Professional practice

C&P 2017

Siddharth acts as an advocate and advisor in substantial commercial litigation and arbitration disputes spanning the full breadth of Chambers’ work. In recent years, he has appeared in cases before the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, all divisions of the High Court, and in large value commercial and investment treaty arbitrations under a wide variety of institutional rules.

He is recognised as a top-tier junior for International Arbitration by Chambers and Partners, and in 2015 was awarded International Arbitration Junior of the Year at the UK Bar Awards, having previously been nominated for the same award in 2014.

He has been variously described by his clients as “an exceptional barrister” and “exceedingly gifted”; a “simply excellent junior” and as being “always on top of his brief and very client friendly”. In 2013 he was recognised as one of the 10 “Stars at the Bar” by Legal Week.

He is regularly instructed as the sole advocate, or as part of a larger counsel team (whether that is with a Silk or leading a more junior barrister). He is equally comfortable in Court and in arbitration.

Notable recent hearings over the past year or so include:

  • Hydro & Ors v Republic of Albania (ICSID, September 2017). Defending Albania as sole lead counsel, in a €700 million ICSID arbitration, to be heard over 2 weeks in September 2017.
  • A v B (Commercial Court, July 2017). Acted in a four-day Commercial Court fraud trial challenging a series of arbitration awards (led by James Collins QC) and involving control over a major investment in the Ukrainian retail sector.
  • Albaniabeg v Albania (ICSID, April 2017). Acted as sole lead counsel for the Respondent in a two-week €440 million Energy Charter Treaty claim.
  • Taurus v SOMO (Supreme Court, March 2017). Acted (with Graham Dunning QC and Dan Sarooshi) for the State Oil Marketing Company of Iraq before the Supreme Court. Case gave rise to issues of construction, situs of debts due under letters of credit, state immunity, and receivership orders.
  • Ruby Roz v Republic of Kazakhstan [2017] EWHC 439 (Commercial Court, Feb 2017). Acted for Kazakhstan (with Paul Key QC) in the Commercial Court in its successful defence of a 5-day jurisdictional challenge to an UNCITRAL arbitration award.
  • X v Eastern European State (ICC, December 2016). Acted (as sole lead counsel) for a State in Eastern Europe, defending against a €150m claim relating to a failed hydropower project.
  • Major Indian Conglomerate v Middle-Eastern State (ICC, August 2016). Acted (as sole lead counsel) for the State in a $ 25 million claim relating to exploration in two large on-shore oil exploration blocks.

 

What others say

Siddharth is consistently recommended as a Leading Junior for International Arbitration; and for Energy and Natural Resources, by both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500.

He was awarded “International Arbitration Junior of the Year” in 2015 (having been nominated as one of three for the same award in 2014).

Comments in the Legal Directories include:

  • “Absolutely amazing junior; he is very hands-on and informed. He is accessible, friendly, and very quickly gets the confidence of the client.”
  • “An exceptional barrister – routinely turned to for his treaty arbitration advice.”
  • “He’s incredibly hard-working. He really rolls up his sleeves and gets stuck in, but he’s incredibly down to earth as well. He gets involved as part of the team and is able to explain issues in a way which people, particularly international clients, will understand.”
  • He is exceptionally keen and dedicated and a hard worker who never lets you down. Exceedingly gifted.”
  • “Extremely user-friendly, bright and hard-working. He works well in a team.”
  • “A simply excellent junior, who is extremely hard-working and very personable.”
  • Displays strength across the board in investor-state and commercial arbitrations”

In 2013, Siddharth was voted one of the 10 “Stars at the Bar 2013” by Legal Week. Comments gleaned through the research praised him for “an amazing ability to get to the heart of a case and to provide truly incisive comments which lead to the winning of a case” and highlighted how he “manages to combine razor-sharp legal acumen and punch with disarming charm and politeness“, which is “a deadly combination“.

Examples of recent cases

Notable recent hearings over the past year or so include:

  • Hydro & Ors v Republic of Albania (ICSID, September 2017). Defending Albania as sole lead counsel, in a €700 million ICSID arbitration, to be heard over 2 weeks in September 2017.
  • A v B (Commercial Court, July 2017). Acted in a four-day Commercial Court fraud trial challenging a series of arbitration awards (led by James Collins QC) and involving control over a major investment in the Ukrainian retail sector.
  • Albaniabeg v Albania (ICSID, April 2017). Acted as sole lead counsel for the Respondent in a two-week €440 million Energy Charter Treaty claim.
  • Taurus v SOMO (Supreme Court, March 2017). Acted (with Graham Dunning QC and Dan Sarooshi) for the State Oil Marketing Company of Iraq before the Supreme Court. Case gave rise to issues of construction and situs of letters of credit, state immunity, and receivership orders.
  • Ruby Roz v Republic of Kazakhstan [2017] EWHC 439 (Commercial Court, Feb 2017). Acted for Kazakhstan (with Paul Key QC) in the Commercial Court in its successful defence of a 5-day jurisdictional challenge to an UNCITRAL arbitration award.
  • X v Eastern European State (ICC, December 2016). Acted (as sole lead counsel) for a State in Eastern Europe, defending against a €150m claim relating to a failed hydropower project.
  • Major Indian Conglomerate v Middle-Eastern State (ICC, August 2016). Acted (as sole lead counsel) for the State in a $ 25 million claim relating to exploration in two large on-shore oil exploration blocks.
Arbitration & related court applications

Siddharth is recognised as a “go to” Junior in this field at the Commercial Bar, in both commercial and treaty arbitration. He was awarded International Arbitration Junior of the Year in 2015 by Chambers & Partners, having been nominated for the same award the previous year (as one of three).

Siddharth has substantial experience of acting under a wide variety of arbitral rules, including in ICC, LCIA, AAA, LMAA, UNCITRAL and FOSFA arbitrations. These arbitrations have involved many of the subject areas identified below and been subject to a number of different procedural and substantive laws. In addition, he has a significant practice in investment treaty arbitration under ICSID and ad-hoc regimes (see below). He complements his active practice in the field by teaching both commercial and investment arbitration on the LL.M course at King’s College, London.

Siddharth is equally comfortable acting as sole counsel, with a leader, or as co-counsel with overseas lawyers. Examples of his recent instructions include:

  • Hydro & Ors v Republic of Albania (ICSID, September 2017). Defending Albania as sole lead counsel, in a €700 million ICSID arbitration, to be heard over 2 weeks in September 2017.
  • Albaniabeg v Albania (ICSID, April 2017). Acted as sole lead counsel for the Respondent in a two-week €440 million Energy Charter Treaty claim.
  • X v Eastern European State (ICC, December 2016). Acted (as sole lead counsel) for a State in Eastern Europe, defending against a €150m claim relating to a failed hydropower project.
  • Major Indian Conglomerate v Middle-Eastern State (ICC, August 2016). Acted (as sole lead counsel) for the State in a $ 25 million claim relating to exploration in two large on-shore oil exploration blocks.

Much of Siddharth’s arbitration practice involves arbitration-related applications to the Commercial Court under the 1996 Act. This includes applications for interim relief in support of arbitrations (e.g. anti-suit injunctions); seeking or resisting enforcement of domestic or foreign awards under the New York Convention; and challenging or defending awards under sections 67, 68 and 69 of the 1996 Act. Recent examples of this type of work include:

  • A v B (Commercial Court, July 2017). Acted in a four-day Commercial Court fraud trial challenging a series of arbitration awards (led by James Collins QC) and involving control over a major investment in the Ukrainian retail sector.
  • Ruby Roz v Republic of Kazakhstan [2017] EWHC 439 (Commercial Court, Feb 2017). Acted for Kazakhstan (with Paul Key QC) in the Commercial Court in its successful defence of a 5-day jurisdictional challenge to an UNCITRAL arbitration award.
  • NTT Docomo v Tata. Acting (with Toby Landau QC) for claimant seeking to enforce US$1.2 billion LCIA award.
  • C v D [2016] EWHC 1893 (Commercial Court, July 2016). Two day hearing (with Toby Landau QC) seeking to set aside an unfavourable LCIA arbitration award relating to a Production Sharing contract and Sale Purchase Agreement over two Nigerian oil mining blocks.

 

Banking & financial services

Much of Siddharth’s work (whether in litigation or arbitration) involves advising banks and financial institutions and/or involves disputes under complex financial instruments. Siddharth has particular experience of agreements governed by the ISDA Master Agreement. Examples of his work in this area include:

  • Deiulemar Shipping v Transfield Futures Ltd [2012] EWHC 928 (Comm): acted for the Defendant (with Andrew Baker QC) in obtaining summary judgment (for $41 million) in a claim under the 1992 ISDA Master Agreement.
  • Lomas & Ors v Firth Rixson & Ors [2012] EWCA Civ 419: acted for Cosco Bulk in landmark 5-day conjoined appeal on the construction of the 1992 ISDA Master Agreement. The case was on appeal from Pioneer Freight Futures v Cosco Bulk Carrier [2011] EWHC 1888 (Comm) and is the leading modern Court of Appeal case on the 1992 ISDA Master.
  • Pro Line Limited –v- Transfield ER Futures Ltd (Comm. Ct): a 6-day trial arising out of a forward freight agreement (construction of the ISDA Master Agreement, formalities in the law of guarantees, restitution for mistake).

In addition, Siddharth has recently co-authored (with Lord Collins) a chapter on interim remedies and the ISDA Master Agreement in the forthcoming International Financial Disputes: Arbitration and Mediation (Ed. Golden & Lamm, 2015).

Commercial chancery disputes

Siddharth is experienced in acting in substantial commercial chancery disputes, both as sole advocate and with a leader. Examples of his work in this area include:

  • Barnsley & Ors v Noble [2014] EWHC 2675: acted for the successful defendant (with Joe Smouha QC and Ciaran Keller) in a 7-week trial before Nugee J involving claims of deceit, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • JSC BTA Bank v Kythreotis: acted (as sole advocate) for the second defendant in the circa $300-million Chancery fraud claim brought by JSC Bank in the Chancery off-shoot of the Ablyazov
  • BBGP Managing General Partner Ltd & Ors v Babcock & Brown Global Partners (Norris J.) [2010] EWHC 2176: acted (with Richard Millett QC) for the successful claimants in a trial on privilege. An important case on confidentiality, the iniquity exception, and the application of joint/common interest.
Commercial dispute resolution

Siddharth has wide experience acting in substantial commercial disputes both as sole advocate and with a leader. He is regularly instructed to appear in the High Court and has particular expertise in arbitration-related applications to the Commercial Court.

Examples of significant recent cases and reported decisions include:

  • A v B (Commercial Court, July 2017). Acted in a four-day Commercial Court fraud trial challenging a series of arbitration awards (led by James Collins QC) and involving control over a major investment in the Ukrainian retail sector.
  • Taurus v SOMO (Supreme Court, March 2017). Acted (with Graham Dunning QC and Dan Sarooshi) for the State Oil Marketing Company of Iraq before the Supreme Court. Case gave rise to issues of construction, situs of debts due under letters of credit, state immunity, and receivership orders.
  • Ruby Roz v Republic of Kazakhstan [2017] EWHC 439 (Commercial Court, Feb 2017). Acted for Kazakhstan (with Paul Key QC) in the Commercial Court in its successful defence of a 5-day jurisdictional challenge to an UNCITRAL arbitration award.
  • C v D [2016] EWHC 1893 (Commercial Court, July 2016). Two day hearing (with Toby Landau QC) seeking to set aside an unfavourable LCIA arbitration award relating to a Production Sharing contract and Sale Purchase Agreement over two Nigerian oil mining blocks.

 

Energy & natural resources

 

Siddharth has been consistently ranked in the Legal Directories for his expertise in Energy and Natural Resources. He is said to have a “great command of highly technical issues” in this field (Legal 500, 2016); with market sources “quick to highlight his impressive work ethic and intelligence” (C&P, 2017). He has very considerable experience acting in a broad range of cases concerning energy and utilities and in a variety of contexts (Court, commercial arbitration, investor/state arbitration).

He has particular specialist experience in disputes arising under long-term “take or pay” gas supply contracts and in gas price review arbitrations. In particular, he acted for the National Iranian Gas Company in Botaş v NIGC, its long-running $25 billion ICC price review dispute with Botaş (the Turkish state-owned energy interest).

Other examples of his varied work in this field include:

  • Renewables: Defending Albania as sole lead counsel, in a €700 million ICSID arbitration, to be heard over 2 weeks in September 2017, relating (in part) to a failed hydroelectric project (Hydro & Ors v Republic of Albania (ICSID, September 2017)).
  • Renewables: Acted as sole lead counsel for the Respondent in a two-week €440 million Energy Charter Treaty claim relating to a failed waste-to-energy project (Albaniabeg v Albania (ICSID, April 2017)).
  • Oil: Acted (as sole lead counsel) for the State in a $ 25 million claim relating to exploration in two large on-shore oil exploration blocks (Major Indian Conglomerate v Middle-Eastern State (ICC, August 2016).
  • Gas: acting and advising a Middle-Eastern state-owned energy company in a multi-$ billion ICC arbitration claim brought by a major energy interest under a long-term gas sale and purchase agreement for alleged failure to supply gas.
  • Gas (LNG): advising a European gas major in relation to its price review dispute under a long-term LNG contract.
  • Coal: successfully acting (as sole advocate) for a major trading house in its circa $40 million LCIA arbitration claim against a Chinese importer of coal in a dispute under a 12-month coal supply contract.
  • Palm oil: acting (as sole advocate) for the importer in a multi-$million FOSFA arbitration relating to the sale of palm oil.
  • Nuclear energy: acted for Siemens (with Toby Landau QC) in a circa $700 million ICC arbitration claim brought by Areva under its joint venture agreement with Siemens.
  • Oil: acted (as sole advocate) for a British mining interest in successfully obtaining an urgent ex parte anti-suit injunction to prevent the pursuit of proceedings in Iraq.
  • Gas: acted for the claimant in a complex claim before the Technology and Construction Court in Omni Laboratories v Eden Energy, involving drilling for methane gas deposits in South Wales.
Insurance & reinsurance

Siddharth has acted and advised in a wide range of insurance and reinsurance disputes, both in the Commercial Court and in arbitration. He has a particular expertise in respect of the Bermuda excess liability form, and D&O liability cover, and is familiar with the typical issues that arise thereunder (including the application of varied procedural and substantive laws).

Investment treaty disputes

Described as “a simply excellent junior” and an “exceptional barrister – routinely turned to for his treaty arbitration advice”, Siddharth has a substantial practice in acting for and/or advising both States and investors in investment treaty disputes. He complements his active practice in the field by teaching investment arbitration on the LL.M course at King’s College, London with VV Veeder QC and Sam Wordsworth QC.

He has been recognised as one the Leading Juniors in this area for a number of years, having won 2015 International Arbitration Junior of the Year at the Chambers & Partners Bar Awards.

Examples of recent work in this area includes:

  • Hydro & Ors v Republic of Albania (ICSID, September 2017). Defending the Respondent as sole lead counsel in a circa. €700 million ICSID arbitration relating to inter alia the failed construction of a hydroelectric power plant in Albania. The hearing is over 2 weeks in Sept. 2017.
  • Albaniabeg v Albania (ICSID, ECT, April/May 2017). A €440 million Energy Charter Treaty arbitration, heard over 2 weeks in April/May 2017, relating to a failed energy project. Acted as sole lead counsel for Albania.
  • Safa v The Hellenic Republic (Greece) (ICSID, Ongoing). Currently acting (with Guy Blackwood QC) on behalf of The Hellenic Republic in defending a claim brought under the Lebanese/Greek BIT.
  • BSG Resources Ltd v Guinea (ICISD Case No. ARB/14/22). Recently acted for the claimant investor in a very large ICSID claim arising out of the expropriation of its investments in Guinea.
  • Agility v Pakistan (ICSID Case No. ARB/11/8). Acted for Kuwaiti investors in a $450 million claim against Pakistan under the Kuwait/Pakistan BIT.
  • Karkey v Pakistan (ICISD Case No. ARB/13/1). Acted for Turkish investors in a $2 billion-odd claim under the Turkey/Pakistan BIT.
Public international law

Siddharth has considerable experience of PIL issues, particularly in the investment-treaty context (please see above).

Ship sale & ship construction disputes

Siddharth has considerable experience of complex shipbuilding/ship sale disputes. Examples include:

  • Riva Bella S.A. –v –Tamsen Yachts GmbH [2011] EWHC 1434 (Eder J): successfully represented the Defendant in a 3-week Commercial Court trial arising out of the sale of a “super yacht”.
  • Acted for the defendant purchaser in a $26 million LCIA arbitration brought by the seller involving complex issues of construction and detailed technical evidence on the fuel consumption of the vessel.
Career

2005: Call: Middle Temple

2004: Passed New York Bar exam

Education

2006: BCL (Distinction), St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford

2005: BVC (Very Competent), Inns of Court School of Law

2004: LL.M, Harvard Law School, University of Harvard

2003: B.A (Double First Class Hons.) (Law), Downing College, University of Cambridge

Awards

2006: Placed First in European Contract Law; and Placed First in Philosophical Foundations of the Common Law, BCL, University of Oxford

2005: Queen Mother Scholarship, Middle Temple Harmsworth Exhibition Scholarship, Middle Temple

2003: Kennedy Memorial Trust Scholarship

2003: Senior Seton Scholar, Downing College, University of Cambridge

2002: Platt Prize, Downing College, University of Cambridge Winner, De Smith Mooting Competition, University of Cambridge

Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship

2001: Platt Prize, Downing College, University of Cambridge Placed Second in Part 1A Tripos, University of Cambridge

2001-3: Rebecca Flower Squire Scholar, University of Cambridge

2001-3: Scholar, Downing College, University of Cambridge