Professional practice

Wei Jian has a broad commercial practice in line with Chambers’ profile. He has particular interests in commercial litigation and international arbitration, banking and financial services, all aspects of employment work, insolvency and trusts, and jurisdictional matters (conflict of laws). He has appeared as sole counsel in the High Court and the County Court, in both physical and remote hearings.

Since joining Chambers, Wei Jian has been instructed on a wide range of significant cases in English courts, as well as in international courts and tribunals. Wei Jian’s recent cases include:

  • Arbitration claim against a software company — Acted (with David Joseph QC) for a leading software company on a claim for in excess of US$2 billion involving allegations of intellectual property theft and misconduct within the framework of a joint venture.
  • Harrison Jalla & Others v Royal Dutch Shell Plc & Others — Acting (with Graham Dunning QC) for nearly 28,000 Nigerian claimants in respect of their claims against three companies in the Royal Dutch Shell Group. The claims arise out of the December 2011 Bonga oil spill, in which over 40,000 barrels of oil were spilled into the ocean in the Niger delta, making it one of the largest offshore spills in the history of oil exploration and production in Nigeria.
  • United Company Rusal v. Crispian — Acted (with Lord Goldsmith QC, Daniel Toledano QC, and David Davies) on a major shareholders’ dispute involving companies associated with three of Russia’s most prominent businessmen: Oleg Deripaska, Roman Abramovich and Vladimir Potanin. The dispute concerns the shareholders agreement between the three major shareholders in Norilsk Nickel, one of Russia’s most valuable mining companies and in particular Mr Abramovich’s disputed entitlement to sell his shares, worth approx. $1.9 billion, to the existing shareholders.
  • Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury — Acted (with David Foxton QC, Philippa Hopkins QC and Helen Morton) for HM Treasury on a multi-billion pound dispute with Bank Mellat concerning the impact of financial restrictions orders made in 2009-2011 and the Bank’s claim for damages under the Human Rights Act 1998.

Prior to joining Essex Court Chambers, Wei Jian graduated with a First Class degree in Law from the University of Oxford. He went on to read for the BCL at the University of Oxford, obtaining Distinctions in all four of his BCL subjects. Wei Jian has also contributed to various leading legal texts as a Research Assistant, including Goode on Principles of Corporate Insolvency Law (5th edn), and Goode and Gullifer on Legal Problems of Credit and Security (6th edn).

Wei Jian grew up in Singapore. As a native speaker of Mandarin Chinese, Wei Jian has experience of drafting arbitration statements of case in Chinese, as well as dealing with Chinese-language documents and witness testimony given in Chinese.

 

Arbitration & related court applications
  • NAI Arbitration – Acted (with David Joseph QC) for a leading software company on a claim for in excess of US$2 billion involving allegations of intellectual property theft and misconduct within the framework of a joint venture.
  • LMAA Arbitration – Acted (with Steven Berry QC) for a shipping company in a dispute concerning the financing of four Very Large Crude Carriers (“VLCCs”).
  • UNCITRAL Arbitration – Acted (with Paul Key QC) for a mining company on a dispute concerning the supply of electricity to a mine.
  • HKIAC Arbitration – Acting (as sole counsel) for a financial services consulting company on a dispute concerning the payment of a service fee.
  • Daelim Corporation v Bonita Co Ltd – Acted (with Stephen Phillips QC) for the charterer of a vessel on an application to discharge an Order made under Arbitration Act 1996, s44(3) restraining the charterer from taking steps to demand and/or recover sums from a sub-charterer.
  • LMAA Arbitration – Advised (with Roderick Cordara QC) on the prospects of success of an Arbitration Act 1996, s68 challenge in relation to an LMAA Arbitration Award on the grounds of serious irregularity.
  • Instructed (as sole counsel) by parties to an arbitration governed by the LCIA India Arbitration Rules to assist with a dispute on arbitration costs before Indian courts.
Banking & financial services
  • Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury — Acted (with David Foxton QC, Philippa Hopkins QC, and Helen Morton) on a multi-billion dispute with Bank Mellat concerning the impact of financial restrictions orders made in 2009-2011 and the Bank’s claim for damages under the Human Rights Act 1998.
  • AA v Persons Unknown – Acted (with David Scorey QC) for a cryptocurrency trader in relation to a proprietary claim for the return of Bitcoin allegedly paid as a ransom following a malware attack.
  • HKIAC Arbitration – Acting (as sole counsel) for a financial services consulting company on a dispute concerning the payment of a service fee.
  • Golden Belt 1 Sukuk Company B.S.C.(c) v BNP Paribas & Others [2017] EWHC 3182 (Comm) — Assisted Nigel Tozzi QC and Jeremy Brier in the 6-week litigation involving professional negligence by an Arranging Bank for an Islamic finance instrument.
  • Andusia Recovered Fuels Ltd v TTT Moneycorp Limited; Ti-Tek v First Rate FX Limited — Acted (as sole counsel) on disputes involving claims under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 and 2009.
  • Contributed to leading legal texts including Goode and Gullifer on Legal Problems of Credit and Security (6th edn) as a research assistant.
Civil fraud & asset recovery
  • AA v Persons Unknown – Acted (with David Scorey QC) for a cryptocurrency trader in relation to a proprietary claim for the return of Bitcoin allegedly paid as a ransom following a malware attack.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in a dispute relating to metals and warehouse receipt fraud in China.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in a dispute relating to banking fraud in Russia.
Commercial dispute resolution
  • Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury — Acted (with David Foxton QC, Philippa Hopkins QC, and Helen Morton) on a long-running dispute with Bank Mellat concerning the impact of financial restrictions orders made in 2009-2011 and the Bank’s claim for damages under the Human Rights Act 1998.
  • United Company Rusal v. Crispian — Instructed (with David Davies, Daniel Toledano QC, and Lord Goldsmith QC) on a major shareholders’ dispute involving companies associated with three of Russia’s most prominent businessmen: Oleg Deripaska, Roman Abramovich and Vladimir Potanin. The dispute concerns the shareholders agreement between the three major shareholders in Norilsk Nickel, one of Russia’s most valuable mining companies and in particular Mr Abramovich’s disputed entitlement to sell his shares, worth approx. $1.9 billion, to the existing shareholders.
  • AA v Persons Unknown – Acted (with David Scorey QC) for a cryptocurrency trader in relation to a proprietary claim for the return of Bitcoin allegedly paid as a ransom following a malware attack.
  • UNCITRAL Arbitration – Acted (with Paul Key QC) for a mining company on a dispute concerning the supply of electricity to a mine.
  • HKIAC Arbitration – Acted (as sole counsel) for a financial services consulting company on a dispute concerning the payment of a service fee.
Company & Insolvency Law
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in providing advice to a company seeking to recover sums from various insolvent trade debtors.
  • Contributed to the leading legal text Goode on Principles of Corporate Insolvency Law (5th ed) as a research assistant.
Conflict of laws & private international law
  • Harrison Jalla & Others v Royal Dutch Shell Plc & Others — Acting (with Graham Dunning QC) for nearly 28,000 Nigerian claimants in respect of their claims against three companies in the Royal Dutch Shell Group. The claims arise out of the December 2011 Bonga oil spill, in which over 40,000 barrels of oil were spilled into the ocean in the Niger delta, making it one of the largest offshore spills in the history of oil exploration and production in Nigeria. The jurisdictional application for this case involved the application of Case C-281/02 Owusu v Jackson [2005] ECR I-1445 and other principles relating to litigation against English anchor defendants.
  • Acted (with Paul Key QC and Ciaran Keller) on an application to set aside service of English proceedings on an Iranian national and an Iranian company.
  • Instructed (as sole counsel) to advise on the prospects of securing English court jurisdiction over a Swiss Bank and various UAE companies in relation to a dispute concerning a forged bill of lading.
  • Instructed (as sole counsel) in relation to an application to challenge registration of an Italian judgment in England.
  • Advised (as sole counsel) on the prospects of commencing High Court proceedings in London in relation to conversion of cargo aboard a ship in Panama.
Employment

Wei Jian frequently appears in the Employment Tribunal as sole counsel on a wide range of disputes, including unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. He has successfully applied for strike out of a discrimination claim brought against an employment agency.

Energy & natural resources
  • Harrison Jalla & Others v Royal Dutch Shell Plc & Others — Acting (with Graham Dunning QC) for nearly 28,000 Nigerian claimants in respect of their claims against three companies in the Royal Dutch Shell Group. The claims arise out of the December 2011 Bonga oil spill, in which over 40,000 barrels of oil were spilled into the ocean in the Niger delta, making it one of the largest offshore spills in the history of oil exploration and production in Nigeria.
  • UNCITRAL Arbitration – Acted (with Paul Key QC) for a mining company on a dispute concerning the supply of electricity to a mine.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in a dispute concerning the payment of administrative costs pursuant to a Joint Operating Agreement for the exploitation of North Sea gas resources.
Human rights & civil liberties
  • Instructed (with David Foxton QC, Philippa Hopkins QC, and Helen Morton) on Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury – a multi-billion pound dispute with Bank Mellat concerning the impact of financial restrictions orders made in 2009-2011 and the Bank’s claim for damages under the Human Rights Act 1998. The case settled just before trial.
Insurance & reinsurance
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers instructed in a reinsurance dispute involving issues of aggregation of underlying claims.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers instructed in a Bermuda Form insurance dispute involving, inter alia, a “fresh start” defence and an “expected or intended” defence.
Media, Art, Entertainment & Sport
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers instructed on a dispute involving an allegedly inauthentic Old Master painting.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers instructed on a dispute involving the importation of artwork containing a specimen from an endangered species.
Professional negligence
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in the 6-week Golden Belt litigation [2017] EWHC 3182 (Comm) involving professional negligence by an Arranging Bank for an Islamic finance instrument.
Public & administrative law
  • Instructed (with David Foxton QC, Philippa Hopkins QC, and Helen Morton) on Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury – a multi-billion pound dispute with Bank Mellat concerning the impact of financial restrictions orders made in 2009-2011 and the Bank’s claim for damages under the Human Rights Act 1998.
Public international law
  • Qatar v the UAE: Assisted Dan Sarooshi QC on an application for provisional measures before the International Court of Justice.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers instructed in a dispute in the Iran-US Claims Tribunal involving inter alia issues of State responsibility.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in a dispute involving issues of State immunity.
Revenue law (including VAT, IPT, duties & excise)
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in the HMRC v Taylor Clark Leisure [2018] UKSC 35 appeal in the Supreme Court, which concerned the proper treatment of Single Taxable Persons for the purposes of VAT law.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers with an appeal from a decision by HMRC to deny input VAT recovery pursuant to the Kittel/ Mobilx principles.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers with advice for a religious organization on zero-rating of VAT.
Shipping & admiralty
  • LMAA Arbitration – Acted (with Steven Berry QC) for a shipping company in a dispute concerning the financing of four Very Large Crude Carriers (“VLCCs”).
  • Daelim Corporation v Bonita Co Ltd – Acted (with Stephen Phillips QC) for the charterer of a vessel on an application to discharge an Order made under Arbitration Act 1996, s44(3) restraining the charterer from taking steps to demand and/or recover sums from a sub-charterer.
  • Acting (with Jeremy Brier) for the owner of a vessel in relation to a claim for sums allegedly owed in respect of bunkers purchased by the vessel’s charterer.
  • LMAA Arbitration – Advised (with Roderick Cordara QC) on the prospects of success of an Arbitration Act 1996, s68 challenge in relation to an LMAA Arbitration Award on the grounds of serious irregularity.
  • Instructed (as sole counsel) to advise on the prospects of securing English court jurisdiction over a Swiss Bank and various UAE companies in relation to a dispute concerning a forged bill of lading.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in a marine insurance dispute involving allegations of scuttling.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in a marine insurance dispute involving allegations that the Vessel had been sent to sea in an unseaworthy state with the privity of the Owner.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in a dispute concerning the sale of a yacht, in which the buyer was alleged to have wrongfully failed to accept the yacht.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in a dispute concerning the settlement of demurrage claims.
Unjust enrichment & restitution claims
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in a summary judgment application involving issues of limitation for unjust enrichment claims.
Career

2018: Tenancy at Essex Court Chambers

2017 – 2018: Pupillage at Essex Court Chambers (Main Pupil Supervisor: Jeremy Brier)

2017: Called to the Bar (Gray’s Inn)

2017: Paralegal at Shell International Limited (Global Litigation Team)

2017: Research Assistant to Asst Professor Kristin van Zwieten for Goode on Principles of Corporate Insolvency Law (5th ed)

2016: Research Assistant to Professor Louise Gullifer for Goode and Gullifer on Legal Problems of Credit and Security (6th ed)

2010 – 2011: Fulltime National Serviceman at Singapore Armed Forces (9th Singapore Division/ Infantry)

Education

2016 – 2017: BPP Law School — Bar Professional Training Course (Very Competent)

2015 – 2016: University of Oxford — Bachelors of Civil Law (Distinction in all 4 subjects)

2012 – 2015: University of Oxford — BA Jurisprudence (First Class; Subject Prize for Commercial Law; Distinction in Law Moderations)

2004 – 2009: Raffles Institution (Singapore)

Awards

2016: Gray’s Inn Bedingfield BPTC Scholarship (highest award)

2015: BCL Scholarship

2015: Final Honour School Prize for Commercial Law (highest score in final examinations)

2014: UK National Champion 55th Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

2013: Harris Manchester College Scholarship

Publications

‘Whose Iniquity Is It Anyway? Case Comment on Accident Exchange v McLean’ [2019] LMCLQ 33 (with Nathan Pillow QC)

‘The Jurisdictional One-Two Punch’ [2017] LMCLQ 190

‘Secured Transactions Law Reform: The Long and Winding Road’ [2017] 32(4) JIBFL 215