Professional practice

Ricky Diwan QC has a wide-ranging practice in the fields of international commercial and domestic litigation, international commercial arbitration, international investment arbitration, and public international law. His practice frequently involves multi-jurisdictional disputes across the globe involving jurisdiction battles that give rise to both court and arbitration related aspects involving both interlocutory applications whether under the Arbitration Act 1996 or the CPR, arbitrations and trials and frequently require overall strategic co-ordination.

He appears both before the English Courts (at first instance and appellate level), foreign Courts and in international arbitrations in London and abroad under a wide variety of rules (including HKIAC, ICC, ICSID, LCIA, SCC, SIAC, UNCITRAL and VIAC). His advocacy practice is complemented by his extensive experience sitting as an international arbitrator in addition to which Ricky is a member of the HKIAC and SIAC panel of arbitrators, sits on the advisory board of the Mauritian International Arbitration Centre and sits on the UK ICC Arbitration Committee. Prior to practicing at the English Bar, Ricky was admitted to the New York Bar and practiced in New York at the leading international law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton.

He has been variously described in the legal guides as “a very strong advocate”, an advocate who “glues the attention of the court”, whose understated but powerful performance at hearings is advocacy at its best”, “extremely bright”, “exceptionally sharp and extremely pleasant to work with”, “meticulous, extremely hard-working and always on top of all the detail” and “widely recognised and recommended figure in the market.” In 2020, he was one of three nominees for international arbitration silk of the year at the Chambers Bar Awards. Two of his recent cases have also been shortlisted by international guides for awards for their legal significance (GAR Awards 2019 and 2020) and the breadth of his international practice is recognized in Chambers and Partners Global, where he is ranked as a Global Market Leader.

The subject matter of his cases is diverse reflecting Ricky’s versatility in getting on top of the detail in different areas of factual and legal expertise, including matters of a technical nature and often involving issues of civil fraud, conspiracy and tortious interference. His areas of subject matter expertise include international trade, infrastructure and power projects, joint ventures, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, shareholder agreements, supply agreements (both hardware/equipment and software) and telecommunications. He also has a great deal of experience in cross-examining and arguing cases under a wide variety of civil law systems including Angolan law, French law, Iranian law, Kuwait law, Libyan law, Polish law, Russian law, Sudanese law and Turkish law.

 

Recent Work

Ness Global Services v Perform Content Services Ltd [2021] 1 WLR 1643, involving a jurisdictional battle involving US and English proceedings raising novel legal issues under the Brussels Regulation Recast (Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012), in which Ricky will shortly be appearing before the Court of Appeal on an shortly on an expedited basis by the Court of Appeal. The underlying case, which Ricky is also handling concerns the supply of software development services.

Kabab-Ji v Kout Food Group [2020] 1 CLC 90 (CA), which has involved an ICC arbitration, English Court proceedings and French Court proceedings. Ricky, who has acted both in the ICC arbitration and in the Court proceedings (at High Court and Court of Appeal), will shortly be appearing before the Supreme Court having succeeded at first instance and before the Court of Appeal. The underlying case involved a franchise development agreement between two Middle Eastern companies in the food and beverage industry. The English court proceedings raise a variety of important legal issues including the applicable law of the arbitration agreement, the interplay between good faith under English law and UNIDROIT principles, the interpretation of No Oral Modification Clauses and the interpretation of the New York Convention (1958). Ricky also handled various interlocutory applications that raised questions as to admissibility of foreign law expert evidence: A v B [2019] EWHC 275 (Comm).

Tatneft v Ukraine [2021] 1 WLR 1123, a case which involved a trial on issues of Ukrainian law relating to the validity of an investment under Ukrainian law, issue estoppel, abuse of process, waiver and treaty interpretation of a BIT. The case is currently pending before the Court of Appeal, Ricky having succeeded at first instance.

International arbitration, Permanent Court of Arbitration. Counsel in long running multi billion gas supply contract dispute between a privately held UAE oil and gas company and a state entity.

Raymond Eyre and Montrose Development v Sri Lanka [ICSID Case No. ARB/16/25, 2020], an investment dispute concerning the alleged expropriation of land that was intended for hotel development and raising a wide range of issues concerning treaty interpretation under a BIT and international investment law. Ricky was successful both before the original ICSID Tribunal and before the ICSID Annulment Committee including on a point of law that had never previously been decided by an Annulment Committee.

Republic of Korea v Dayyanis [2020] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 212, which involved two phases. The first phase raised questions treaty interpretation under a BIT and international investment law, including the meaning of the term “investment” and the concept of standing in international law. The second phase raised issues of sovereign immunity under the State Immunity Act 1978 and the circumstances in which a judgment against a state can be enforced against a state owned entity applying the Gecamines criteria ([2012] UKPC 27).

Griffin v Poland [2018] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 410, in which Ricky acted for the investor in English Court proceedings and successfully set aside an investment award, being the first investor state award to be set aside by the English High Court.

Other Notable Cases

Bouhadi v Breish [2016] EWHC 602; Libyan Investment Authority v Societe Generale [2015] EWHC 1720 and [2015] EWHC 1925. Commercial Court litigation concerning control over the Libyan Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of Libya, and the question of who was the government of Libya (following the fall of the Gaddafi regime).

Yegiazaryan v Smagin [2015] EWHC 1944. Commercial court trial to determine whether signature on an agreement was a forgery. In interlocutory proceedings prior to trial the case raised novel legal issues on the power to grant security pending final determination of an enforcement application: Y v S [2015] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 703.

Dowans v Tanzania Electric Supply Co Ltd [2011] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 475 and 2012 [EWHC] 350 (Comm). Represented company in USD 100 million ICC dispute relating to an Emergency Power Off Take Agreement for the supply of electricity entered into with the Tanesco, the state owned entity, which then led to Court enforcement proceedings.

Acted in two major mobile telecommunications disputes: one involving a dispute between a French and German mobile operator (claims in excess of Euro 2 billion) and one concerning a Malaysian and Indian mobile operator (claims in excess of USD 250 million); acted in oil and gas pipline dispute relating to an African State (claims in excess of uSD 1 billion); acted in claims arising out of the supply of military vessels and the accuracy of military hardware to a Caribbean state (claims in excess of USD 70 million); acted in high tech equipment supply contract dispute raising complex engineering issues (claims in excess of USD 40 million).

What others say

Legal 500 UK Bar 2021, International Arbitration: Counsel:

“Extremely sharp and understated at the same time – advocacy at its best.”

Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2021, International Arbitration: General Commercial & Insurance:

“He’s a very strong advocate, extremely bright and completely straightforward.”

“He glues the attention of the court in a very understated and efficient manner.”

Chambers & Partners (2019) and Chambers Global (2020)

“Ricky’s understated but powerful performance at hearings is advocacy at its best. He has a real willingness to exchange ideas and does very careful and detailed analysis.”

Chambers & Partners (2018)

“Highly regarded for his international arbitration practice, which concentrates on commercial and investment issues.

Legal 500 (2019)

“Exceptionally sharp and extremely pleasant to work with.”

Legal 500 (2018)

“An excellent silk who lives and breathes arbitration.”

Who’s Who Legal UK Bar (2019)

“Widely recognised and recommended figure in the market.”

Who’s Who Legal UK Bar (2017)

“Draw[ing] praise for the rate at which he has developed a very strong practice in both international commercial and investment arbitration with one source claiming, “He is one of the best young silks around”.

Who’s Who Legal UK Bar (2016)

“Outstanding Ricky Diwan QC emerges as one of the leading lights in our research and specializes in international commercial arbitration both in London and abroad under a range of laws.” In Chambers and Partners (2017) he was ranked in the field of international arbitration and described as “meticulous, extremely hard-working and always on top of all the detail.”

Career

Called to the Bar of England & Wales: 1998

Admitted as an Attorney and Counsellor at Law by the State of New York: 1996

Education

Cambridge University, Trinity College (1991-1994) BA (Law), First Class Honours (Parts 1A, 1B & Part II) Trinity College Senior and Junior Scholarships

Van Heyden Prize for Academics

ECS Wade Prize for Administrative Law

Harvard Law School, Cambridge Massachusetts, USA (1994-1995) 

LL.M. (1994)

Holland Fund Scholarship awarded by Trinity College, Cambridge University for study at Harvard Law School

Inns of Court School of Law, Lincoln’s Inn, London (1997-1998)

Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn

Lord Mansfield Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn

Bar Association Prize for Commerce, Finance & Industry CCH Editions Prize for Company Law

Finalist of the Robert Wright Mooting Competition