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.

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. Most recently, Wei Jian has been involved in an arbitration claim against a software company for in excess of US$2 billion. He was also instructed on the Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury litigation, 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.

Wei Jian graduated with a First Class degree in Law from the University of Oxford. He went on to read for the BCL, obtaining Distinctions in all four of his BCL subjects. Prior to joining Essex Court Chambers, Wei Jian 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). He also worked in Shell’s Global Litigation team, during which time he was exposed to a wide range of commodities and energy disputes.

Wei Jian grew up in Singapore. He is a native speaker of Mandarin Chinese and has a good knowledge of Asia and the Asian markets.

 

Examples of Recent Cases
  • Instructed (with David Joseph QC) by a software company to defend against an arbitration claim for in excess of US$2 billion involving allegations of intellectual property theft and misconduct within the context of a joint venture.
  • Instructed (with David Foxton QC, Philippa Hopkins QC, and Helen Morton) on Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury – 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. The case settled just before trial.
  • Instructed (with Lord Goldsmith QC, Daniel Toledano QC, and David Davies) on United Company Rusal v. Crispian – 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.
Arbitration & related court applications
  • Instructed (with David Joseph QC) by a software company to defend against a claim for in excess of US$2 billion involving allegations of intellectual property theft and misconduct within the context of a joint venture.
  • Instructed by parties to an arbitration governed by the LCIA India Arbitration Rules to assist with a dispute on arbitration costs before Indian courts.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in advising a company on the proper construction of arbitration and expert determination clauses in a Share Purchase Agreement.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in a jurisdictional challenge to an arbitral award under Section 67 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
Banking & financial services
  • Instructed (with David Foxton QC, Philippa Hopkins QC, and Helen Morton) on Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury – 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. The case settled just before trial.
  • Instructed (as sole counsel) on various disputes involving claims under the Payment Services Regulations 2009 and 2017.
  • 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.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in a dispute between an investor and an algorithmic hedge fund involving allegations of misrepresentation and breach of contract.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers in a dispute relating to a swap transaction entered into pursuant to a 1992 ISDA Master Agreement.
  • Contributed to leading legal texts including Goode and Gullifer on Legal Problems of Credit and Security (6th edn) as a research assistant.
  • Worked as a research assistant to the Secured Transactions Law Reform Project from 2016-2017.
Civil fraud & asset tracing
  • 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
  • Instructed (with David Foxton QC, Philippa Hopkins QC, and Helen Morton) on Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury – 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. The case settled just before trial.
  • Instructed (with David Davies, Daniel Toledano QC, and Lord Goldsmith QC) on United Company Rusal v. Crispian – 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.
  • Instructed (as sole counsel) on a claim for over US$500,000 in respect of consultancy services.
  • Advised (as sole counsel) on resisting the enforcement of a construction adjudication decision on the basis that the adjudicator took an overly restrictive view of his own jurisdiction.
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
  • Instructed (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.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers with an application for an anti-suit injunction to restrain proceedings in Lebanon which had been commenced in breach of a London arbitration agreement.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers with an application for permission to effect service out of jurisdiction in the USA.
Employment
  • Assisted various Members of Chambers acting for both employees and employers in restrictive covenant disputes.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers acting for an employee facing allegations of breach of confidence.
  • Assisted a Member of Chambers acting for an employer in a dispute concerning its employee incentive programme.
Energy & natural resources
  • 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.
  • Prior to joining Essex Court Chambers, Wei Jian worked as a paralegal in the Global Litigation department of Shell, during the course of which he was exposed to a wide range of disputes in the energy industry.
Human rights & civil liberties
  • Instructed (with David Foxton QC, Philippa Hopkins QC, and Helen Morton) on Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury – 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. 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
  • 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 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. The case settled just before trial.
Public international law
  • 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
  • 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