Rajesh Pillai QC

Rajesh Pillai QC

Call: 2002 | Silk: 2020

"He's very commercially minded and a great all-rounder."

- Chambers & Partners UK Bar (2022)

"A good forensic lawyer with an eye for detail."

- Chambers & Partners UK Bar (2022)

"He's very sought after and in demand."

- Chambers & Partners UK Bar (2022)

"A force to be reckoned with."

- Legal 500 UK Bar (2022)

"Has an excellent blend of technical excellence and commercial nous."

- Legal 500 UK Bar (2022)

Practice Overview

Rajesh is a proven case leader who exudes gravitas on his feet and on paper” and “intellectually very strong and someone who builds a strong rapport with clients”.

He deals with high-value and complex commercial disputes and has significant international experience. He regularly appears for corporate clients and high net worth individuals in the English Commercial Court and overseas.

Rajesh’s particular expertise includes contractual matters, banking and financial services, joint-venture and related shareholder claims, commercial fraud, commercial real estate and asset management, art and cultural property, negligence and insolvency. He has led teams in heavy trials, injunction proceedings and appeals over a variety of sectors. He is often called upon for strategic input in cases involving cross-border enforcement and multi-jurisdictional elements, being noted as someone who “understands the complexities of unwieldy disputes in a three-dimensional way.”

A number of ongoing instructions arise out of banking transactions and M&A, involving claims in fraud and breach of warranty. Rajesh is currently acting for the major creditor in a USD 1bn claim relating to the collapse of the NMC Group. He is instructed on behalf of an international infrastructure conglomerate in a EUR400m claim against an African state. Over the last year he has advised on issues arising out of two USD500m+ defaults in South Asia and the Middle East as well the Covid-19 related termination of a high value sporting media rights contract. Between 2016-2020 he led for the US aviation group Triumph in a successful lengthy trial and appeal over an aerospace acquisition. He also appeared for HMRC in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in relation to film distribution rights and the Eclipse litigation.

International disputes in court and arbitration have involved the BVI, HK and PRC, Paris, Delhi, the DIFC and the SICC. Rajesh has advised and provided expert evidence on behalf of Russian, Ukraine, Indian, PRC, US and various European, African and Middle Eastern clients. He is called to the Bars of New York and the BVI and is also a registered foreign practitioner with the SICC in Singapore and the DIFC Court.

Rajesh frequently works with teams of lawyers from different jurisdictions. As well as holding Top Tier rankings in the UK Bar directories, Rajesh is ranked in the Chambers & Partners Global 2022 Guide, the Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2022 Guide, and he is one of only a handful of English counsel to be ranked in the Spotlight Table for International Arbitration in the Chambers & Partners Asia-Pacific 2022 Guide, clearly demonstrating the breadth of this international practice.

Recommended in Chambers & Partners, Legal 500, Chambers Global Guide, Legal 500 Asia-Pacific and Chambers Asia-Pacific and a leading junior in the following practice areas:

  • Banking and finance
  • Commercial litigation
  • Civil fraud
  • Financial Services
  • International arbitration
  • Offshore

Ranked in the spotlight table for International Arbitration in the Chambers and Partners Asia Pacific 2021 guide

Nominated for the ‘International Arbitration Junior of the Year 2013′. Chambers & Partners Bar Awards

Comments in the last few years include:

‘He has good analytical skills and is very good with clients.’  Chambers Global 2020

‘He’s incredibly client-friendly, industrious and responsive.’ ‘He’ll lead juniors in the same way as a very experienced silk.’ ‘He provides clear, concise advice.’  Chambers & Partners UK 2020

‘Rajesh Pillai is very academic and highly responsive. He turns around high-quality written work quickly and is good with clients.’ ‘He’s very commercial, very user-friendly and really bright.’  Chambers & Partners UK 2020

‘Super efficient and structured, he is also extremely hardworking and a real pleasure to work with.’  Legal 500 2020

‘His ability to think strategically makes him a real asset, and he is incredibly hands-on and client friendly.’   Legal 500 2020

‘He researches the law thoroughly and effortlessly and comes up with creative and pragmatic solutions.’  Legal 500 2020

‘Performs consistently at silk level – a proven case leader who exudes gravitas on his feet and on paper.’  Legal 500 2020

‘Extremely perceptive and always meets clients expectations.’  Legal 500 2020

‘….a barrister of “great charm and real intellectual strength” who “picks things up very fast” and whose “very effective” cross-examination skills provide an excellent illustration of the point that “you don’t have to scream at the witness” to be successful.’  Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific 2019

‘Incredibly astute and someone who always ensures that minds are properly focused in a case. He’s hands-on, client-friendly, confident and calm on his feet.’ Chambers & Partners UK 2019

‘Super bright and extremely hard-working.’ ‘… He is quick-thinking, analytical and good at explaining complex matters to clients. He is also very accessible.’ Chambers & Partners UK 2019

‘With a fierce intellect, he is always ready to get into the detail while being a statesmanlike advisor.’ Legal 500 2019

‘An extremely gifted and wise counsel – surely a future silk.’ Legal 500 2019

‘Easy to work with, bright, and has excellent skills.’  Legal 500 2019

‘A gifted and wise counsel who I am grateful to have on our team in extremely complex matters.’ Legal 500 2019

‘He understands the complexities of unwieldy disputes in a three-dimensional way.’ Legal 500 2019

‘Incredibly bright and his drafting is superb.’ ‘Highly rated.’ Legal 500 2019

Arbitration is core to Rajesh’s international practice. He has acted in arbitrations in a variety of sectors including pharmaceuticals, mining, public transport, energy infrastructure projects, trade finance, banking and finance. Rajesh advises clients and acts as advocate both on his own and as part of a counsel team. Recently he has been part of teams involving lawyers from Paris, the Netherlands, New York, BVI, the Isle of Man, India, Dubai, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain and Singapore.

He is recommended for international arbitration in Chambers UK, Chambers Global, Chambers Asia-Pacific, Legal 500 UK and Legal 500 Asia-Pacific. He is listed as one of Who’s Who Legal’s Future Leaders in Arbitration and was nominated as International Arbitration Junior in 2013.

Chambers UK says that Rajesh is “Very commercial, user-friendly and really bright.” Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019 describes Rajesh “as a barrister of “great charm and real intellectual strength” who “picks things up very fast” and whose “very effective” cross-examination skills provide an excellent illustration of the point that “you don’t have to scream at the witness” to be successful.” Chambers Global says “He has good analytical skills and is very good with clients.” Legal 500 says “Extremely perceptive and always meets clients expectations.” Before taking silk, Rajesh was the only junior counsel named in Chambers Asia Pacific’s Spotlight table for the international arbitration bar.

Rajesh accepts instructions to act in arbitrations based in London and abroad. Recent hearings have involved seats in India, Singapore, Europe and the Middle East. He has acted in disputes governed by a range of rules from ad hoc arbitrations to those administered under the LCIA, ICC, SIAC, GCC (Bahrain) and BCCI (Bulgaria). He is also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Recent work includes:

  • Acting for New York and PRC investors in $18m dispute over hotel investments; CIArb (Bermuda) Rules, Bermuda seat (2020)
  • Acting for European bank in a €15m dispute over trade financing arrangements for metals transactions; LCIA Rules, London seat (ongoing)
  • Acting for Middle Eastern company in claim for commission in relation to energy contracts in Iraq; ICC Rules, London seat (2019).
  • Advising Indian oil and gas consultancy in dispute over services; LCIA Rules, London seat (2019).
  • Acting for Serbian companies in claim over breach of warranty in high-value commercial real estate dispute; LCIA Rules, London seat (2019).
  • Acting for a US client in a $multi-million claim against Indian manufacturer over agency and commission for Latin American sales; co-counsel with US team; ICC Rules, London seat (2017).
  • Acting for UK banking group in €100m claim for recoveries arising out of the largest M&A transaction of recent times, involving the merger of four banking groups (with Jonathan Davies-Jones QC); ICC Rules, Paris seat (2017).
  • Acting for an Indian developer in a £350m dispute over alleged investment recommendations (with Richard Salter QC and Jonathan Davies-Jones QC); LCIA Rules, Singapore seat (2012-2016).
  • Acting for Indian infrastructure company in $multi-million dispute over energy joint venture in India; co-counsel with Indian team; SIAC Rules, Singapore seat (2016).
  • Acting for an Indian developer in a US$1bn dispute over Indian real estate ventures; LCIA-I Rules, New Delhi seat (2012-2018).
  • Application to obtain deposition evidence for use in foreign-seated arbitration under the Arbitration Act 1996 (Commercial Court, 2015).
  • Advised Australian machinery company on arbitration relating to European subsidiary’s supply contract with English public body (2014).
  • Acting on behalf of Middle Eastern company in dispute over foreign investment. Shareholder dispute involving entities from the region and state; ICC Rules, London seat (settled 2014).
  • Acting on behalf of claimant mining company resisting s9 Arbitration Act 1996 application for stay (Commercial Court, 2012).
  • Acting on behalf of investment fund in dispute over South Asian power plant involving Cayman and Singaporean parties; acting with New York and Singapore counsel; SIAC Rules, Singapore seat (2011).
  • Acting on behalf of Indian telecoms company in financing dispute with Japanese party; acting with New York and Mumbai counsel; LCIA Rules, Singapore seat (2011).
  • Acting on behalf of arranger in claims for commission and damages relating to break up of joint venture on investment banking operations in the Gulf involving Dubai, Kuwaiti and European parties; GCC Rules, Bahrain seat (2012).
  • Acting on behalf of precious metal mining company in arbitration over design and construction services involving BVI, Jersey and Kazakh interests; issues include alleged bribery, rescission and contractual estoppel; ad hoc and LCIA Rules relevant (with Jonathan Nash QC, 2011).
  • Acted on behalf of claimant multinational pharmaceutical companies in two arbitrations involving UK, Swedish and Bulgarian parties; issues included breach of contract, alleged bribery, commercial agency, standards of proof in international arbitration; BCCI Rules, Sofia seat (with Jonathan Nash QC, 2007-09).
  • Advised on the validity of arbitration clauses and the finality of trade association (International Cotton Association) arbitration awards (2007).

Rajesh acts on behalf of  domestic and international investment funds, banks, other financial institutions and their customers and private investors. Specializes in investment and retail banking disputes arising out of banker-customer contracts, financial instruments (including derivatives and related products), corporate lending, bonds, guarantees and performance bonds, fraud, breach of mandate, negligent advice (see also Professional Negligence section), inter-bank transactions, documentary credits, money-laundering/POCA, regulatory issues and in enforcing securities.

He is recommended by the directories for Banking and Finance and Financial Services. The Legal 500 2019 describes him as “Super efficient and structured, he is also extremely hardworking and a real pleasure to work with.’ On Financial Services it notes that “He researches the law thoroughly and effortlessly and comes up with creative and pragmatic solutions.”

Current and recent work includes:

  • Acting for Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in US$1bn fraud claim relating to undisclosed debts, supply-chain finance and the collapse of NMC Health plc [2020] EWHC 3423 (Comm)
  • Advising a UK plc on fraud claims arising out of bullion transactions worth over $500m (various jurisdictions)
  • Piraeus Bank v Grand Anemi and ors [2021] EWHC 327 (Comm); [2019] EWHC 2489 (Comm) – Acted for Greek bank in successful €96m claim on loan and security arrangements against shipping conglomerate (Commercial Court).
  • Advising offshore banking group on margin issues arising out of re-valuation of property portfolio (2020)
  • Advising Middle Eastern financial services company in claim for commissions under broking arrangements with well-known US institutional investment consultant (2019).
  • Acting for European bank in a €15m dispute over trade financing arrangements for metals transactions
  • Acting for UK banking group in €100m claim in arbitration for recoveries arising out of the largest M&A transaction of recent times, involving the merger of four banking groups (with Jonathan Davies-Jones QC) (2017).
  • A Bank v B Fund providing expert evidence for Fund in Spanish proceedings relating to effect of refund guarantee and variations to shipbuilding contracts (2016-2018).
  • Advising on guarantee claims and related insolvency issues relating to proceedings in Mumbai and London (2017-2018).
  • Advising leading Indian bank on enforcement options in the context of US$4bn restructuring of a conglomerate’s debts (with Jonathan Nash QC) (2017).
  • Defending Bank in claims relating to variation of interest rates, unfair relationships and FCA obligations including TCF and related regulatory issues (2016).
  • Acted on behalf of Turkish businessman defending claim by Bahrain bank for repayment under Islamic finance arrangement (Commercial Court) (2013).
  • Stokors and ors v IG Markets Ltd [2013] EWHC 631 (Comm); [2012] EWCA Civ 1706 Acted on behalf of claimant investors in claim for dishonest assistance and knowing receipt against CFD provider  (with Jonathan Nash QC, Commercial Court).
  • Honua Securities and ors v SMI Hyundai Corp and ors (US District Court, Virginia) – advised plaintiff investor on dispute relating to a bond issue, fraudulent misrepresentation and provided expert evidence on the interpretation of bond and guarantee provisions. Damages of c. US$100m awarded at trial (2011).
  • Advised on the interpretation of unilateral amendment and related provisions in bond conditions further to a dispute over mandatory convertible securities (with Ewan McQuater QC, 2011).
  • Advised Australian mining concern on the interpretation of early repayment and equity conversion clauses in lending agreements (2011).
  • Acted for defendant Bank in dispute over £10m loan facilities (Comm Ct; Christopher Clarke J, 2010). Issues included construction of terms governing events of default, validity of demands, economic duress and waiver (settled during trial; with Richard Salter QC).
  • Clydesdale Financial Services and ors v Smailes, Jiva Solicitors LLP and ors (Ch D; David Richards J, 2010) Acted on behalf of claimant funders to recover security under complex litigation funding arrangements following sale of solicitors practices. Defendants included former administrators and solicitors firms in liquidation; issues include validity of assignments, tracing and priority of securities (settled with Jonathan Mark Phillips).
  • Advised European bank on events of default and enforcing rights under credit arrangements (2010).
  • Advising London investment fund and fund manager on dispute arising out of structured notes issued by a foreign government (2009).
  • IFE Fund SA v Goldman Sachs International (2007) 1 Lloyd’s Rep 264 (Commercial Ct; Toulson J); (2007) 2 Lloyd’s Rep 449 (CA) – acted at trial and on appeal on behalf of investment fund in claim against arranger of syndicated loan facility for negligent misrepresentation and non-disclosure (with Jonathan Nash QC).

Rajesh’s experience covers fraud claims and obtaining freezing, search and asset preservation orders; asset tracing work, money-laundering and restitutionary remedies; specific disclosure applications and applications for the release of evidence and assets under civil freezing orders and criminal restraint orders (under POCA). He appeared in the Supreme Court in 2016 in relation to the Eclipse film-finance tax avoidance schemes and argued as sole counsel for HMRC on a question of statutory interpretation. He is currently representing Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in CLAIMS arising out of the collapse of the NMC Group.

He is recommended by the directories for Civil Fraud. Legal 500 says in 2019 that Rajesh “Performs consistently at silk level – a proven case leader who exudes gravitas on his feet and on paper.” Chambers UK 2019 states “He’s incredibly client-friendly, industrious and responsive.” “He’ll lead juniors in the same way as a very experienced silk.” “He provides clear, concise advice.

Current and recent work has involved trials, interim applications and injunction proceedings in the Commercial and Mercantile Courts as well as work on injunctions in BVI and DIFC:

  • Acting for Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in US$1bn claim relating to undisclosed debts, supply-chain finance and the collapse of NMC Health plc [2020] EWHC 3423 (Comm)
  • Advising UK banking plc on fraud claims arising out of bullion transactions worth over $500m (various jurisdictions) (2020)
  • Acting for defendant Swiss steel traders in dispute over breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy (2019).
  • Acting for former directors defending claims by liquidator alleging unlawful distributions, breach of fiduciary duty and accessory liability, trial autumn 2020 (Ch D).
  • Acting for BVI mining company in US$multi-million dispute with Central Asian oligarchs (2019).
  • Acting for director of HK listed company in relation to litigation in BVI, Ontario and PRC relating to freezing injunctions and receivership over assets worth more than HKD 800 million (2017-2018).
  • Acted for Museum director defending allegations of dishonesty and third party disclosure proceedings relating to sale of artworks and alleged commission (2017-2019).
  • Acting for respondent to enforcement proceedings relating to Indian arbitration award, responding to world-wide freezing injunction wrongly granted by DIFC Court and subsequently removed by consent (2016-2017).
  • Eclipse Film Partners (No. 35) v HMRC [2016] 1 WLR 1939 sole counsel for HMRC in Supreme Court on question of statutory interpretation and tribunal rules; [2015] EWCA Civ 95 in successful challenges to film finance and tax avoidance schemes (with Malcolm Gammie QC and Rebecca Murray).
  • Hirco plc v Hiranandani et al (Isle of Man High Court; Staff of Govt Division) acting on behalf of defendant former Chairman defending allegations of fraud and negligence in relation to AIM company’s foreign investments (with Richard Salter QC, 2016).
  • A v B (QBD) acting on behalf of leading global power company defending claims related to alleged frauds by agent (with Ewan McQuater QC, settled 2014).
  • Stokors and ors v IG Markets Ltd [2013] EWHC 631 (Comm); [2012] EWCA Civ 1706 Acted on behalf of claimant investors in claim for dishonest assistance and knowing receipt against CFD provider (with Jonathan Nash QC, Commercial Court).
  • Acting on behalf of investment fund in dispute over South Asian power plant involving Cayman and Singaporean parties; acting with New York and Singapore counsel; SIAC arbitration rules, Singapore seat (2011).
  • Honua Securities and ors v SMI Hyundai Corp and ors (US District Court, Virginia) – advised plaintiff investor on dispute relating to a bond issue, fraudulent misrepresentation and provided expert evidence on the interpretation of bond and guarantee provisions. Damages of c. US$100m awarded at trial (2011).
  • Towler v Wills [2010] EWHC 1209 (Comm) (Teare J). Acted for defendant former company director and shareholder in successful strike out of £2.5 million claim alleging dishonest concealment of conflicts of interest and breaches of shareholder agreement. Alternative ground for strike out was that majority of claims were for reflective loss.
  • EMDA Business Holdings and ors v GEV Offshore Ltd and ors. (Commercial Ct 2010). Acting on behalf of claimant Swiss and BVI companies in action for damages and equitable compensation arising out of alleged misappropriation of company monies, breaches of fiduciary duty by former directors, dishonest assistance, knowing receipt and passing off (with Paul Lowenstein QC).
  • Acted on behalf of claimant multinational pharmaceutical companies in two arbitrations involving UK, Swedish and Bulgarian parties; issues included breach of contract, alleged bribery, commercial agency, standards of proof in international arbitration; BCCI arbitration rules, Bulgaria seat (with Jonathan Nash QC, 2007-09).
  • MODSAF v FAZ Aviation and Anor [2008] 1 All ER (Comm) 372 (Langley J). Acted for a foreign government in multi-jurisdictional claim against an aviation company and its director concerning a substantial alleged procurement fraud involving issues of bribery and domestic jurisdiction under EC Regulation 44/2001. Issues also included effect of UN sanctions, domestic law implementation of UN regime and the relationship between civil actions and criminal restraint orders (with David Quest).
  • Bank of Cyprus v Ilyas (QBD; Penry-Davey J and Davis J 2008) – obtained freezing injunction on behalf of bank against company director in respect of misappropriated loan monies.
  • SecTrack NV v Satamatics Ltd and Anor [2007] EWHC 3003 (Comm) (Flaux J) – acted for Belgian satellite telematics distributor in an action to prevent misuse of confidential information; obtained “springboard” injunction and other orders for preservation of evidence, delivery up and imaging of computers. Claim involved alleged breaches of confidence and dishonest assistance (with Paul Lowenstein, settled before trial).
  • National Grid plc v McKenzie and Ors (Ch D; David Richards J and Park J 2006) – acted for claimant in obtaining search and freezing orders in relation to bribery and fraud claims (part of counsel team with Andrew Onslow QC).
  • Cable & Wireless and Pender v Valentine and Ors (Commercial Ct; Gloster J, 2005-06) – acted on behalf of joint administrators of Guernsey insurance company defending dishonest assistance and proprietary claims in an alleged reinsurance fraud (led by Richard Salter QC, settled 12 weeks into trial).
  • Simply Loans v Wood and Ors [2006] EWHC 805 (Ch) – acted on behalf of a company director defending allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and proprietary claims; obtained variations to freezing orders in relation to legal costs and sale of property.

Rajesh deals with a broad range of commercial disputes including the sale of goods and financial instruments, claims for breach of warranty and misrepresentation following sale of businesses or plant, break up of joint venture and shareholder disputes, commercial agency, media, internet and telecommunications disputes and insurance. A number of recent instructions arise out of failed M&A transactions, leading to claims in fraud and for breach of warranty. Rajesh has also represented the purchasers of high-value art and their agents in the context of third party disclosure and related proceedings.

Rajesh is instructed as lead advocate and as part of a team in applications and heavy trials. He has particular experience of disputes involving expert business valuations and allegations of negligence and is well used to dealing with expert issues in a variety of sectors.

He is recommended in Chambers and Legal 500 which say “His ability to think strategically makes him a real asset, and he is incredibly hands-on and client friendly.”   

Examples of current and recent work include:

  • Triumph Controls UK Ltd v Primus International and ors [2020] EWCA Civ 1228; [2019] EWHC 565 (TCC); [2019] EWHC 2216 (TCC); [2018] EWHC176 (TCC) Acting for US purchasers of aerospace industries companies in the UK and Thailand, brought successful claim for breach of share purchase warranties and also won on appeal (with Nathaniel Bird).
  • ICTSI v Government of Sudan – Acting for port operator in €410m claim against a state  over funding for Red  Sea  port facilities (Comm Ct ongoing).
  • Advised licensor in dispute with broadcaster over European football rights (2020)
  • Atlas Residential v Greengate SARL [2020] EWHC 366 (Comm); [2019]  EWHC 2788 (Comm) Acted for US and UK asset management companies in dispute over termination of agreements (with  David Quest QC and Ravi  Jackson).
  • Senna v Henderson & ors [2021] EWHC 453 (QB); [2020] EWHC 3345 (QB) Acted for company and directors in successful strike-out of claims for economic torts and fraud, also obtained civil restraint order (with Ian Higgins).
  • Acting for Romanian entities defending claim for breach of warranty in sale of software and related services businesses (Comm Ct 2019).
  • Acting for Serbian companies defending claim for breach of warranty in high-value commercial real estate deal (arbitration 2019).
  • Acting for UK banking group in €100m claim for recoveries arising out of the largest M&A transaction of recent times, involving the merger of four banking groups (with Jonathan Davies-Jones QC, arbitration) (2017).
  • Acting for director of HK listed company in relation to litigation in BVI, Ontario and PRC relating to freezing injunctions and receivership over assets worth more than HKD 800 million (ongoing).
  • Acting for renewable energy company in dispute over breach of share purchase warranties (ongoing).
  • Acted for Museum director and art consultancies defending allegations of dishonesty and third party disclosure proceedings relating to sale of artwork and alleged commission (2017).
  • Acted for purchasers of one of the most expensive artworks ever sold in dispute over acquisition and transfer of title (2016).
  • Globe Motors Inc. and another v TRW Lucas Varity Electrics Steering Ltd [2016] EWCA Civ 296; [2014] EWHC 3718 (Comm) Acted on behalf of the successful claimant, a major US automotive parts manufacturer, at 10 week trial in dispute with its UK customer arising out of the termination of an exclusive supply agreement, involving contractual and tort claims and on appeal. Leading decision analysing contractual variations and interpretation of long-term contracts (with Paul Lowenstein QC).
  • A v B (QBD) acting on behalf of leading global power company defending claims related to alleged frauds by agent (with Ewan McQuater QC, settled 2014).
  • Stokors and ors v IG Markets Ltd [2013] EWHC 631 (Comm); [2012] EWCA Civ 1706 Acted on behalf of claimant investors in claim for dishonest assistance and knowing receipt against CFD provider (with Jonathan Nash QC, Commercial Court).
  • Clydesdale Financial Services and ors v Smailes, Jiva Solicitors LLP and ors. (Ch D; David Richards J, 2010) Acted on behalf of claimant funders to recover security under complex litigation funding arrangements following sale of solicitors practices. Defendants included former administrators and solicitors firms in liquidation; issues include validity of assignments, tracing and priority of securities (settled with Jonathan Mark Phillips).
  • GMAC-RFC v Watson & Brown and Connells (London Mercantile Court – acting in managed litigation of fifty claims for conveyancing negligence and breach of fiduciary duty against solicitors and for valuation negligence against valuers (with Paul Lowenstein QC, 2009-2010).
  • Advising London investment fund and fund manager on dispute arising out of structured notes issued by a foreign government (2009).
  • Acted on behalf of BVI company defending claim for US$5 million under alleged loan agreement in respect of Zimbabwean gold mining interests (Commercial Ct 2009).
  • IFE Fund SA v Goldman Sachs International (2007) 1 Lloyd’s Rep 264 (Commercial Ct; Toulson J); (2007) 2 Lloyd’s Rep 449 (CA) – acted at trial and on appeal on behalf of investment fund in claim against arranger of syndicated loan facility for negligent misrepresentation and non-disclosure (with Jonathan Nash QC).
  • Post Scriptum Ltd v Dar Al Watan KSC (QBD; Field J); (see LTL 19/11/07) – sole advocate at trial on behalf of defendant Kuwaiti publishing company in a dispute over alleged breaches of contractual and agency/fiduciary duties arising out of an international distribution agreement.
  • Rajesh also acts in a range of insurance-related disputes. (Commercial Ct 2009).
  • In Munich Re and ors v Hutchison 3G (Commercial Ct 2009) Rajesh acted on behalf of H3G in ongoing dispute over alleged prejudicing of insurers’ subrogated rights (with Andrew Fletcher QC).
  • In Cable & Wireless and Pender v Valentine and Ors (Commercial Ct; Gloster J 2005-06) he acted on behalf of joint administrators of a Guernsey insurance company defending dishonest assistance and proprietary claims in an alleged reinsurance fraud (with Richard Salter QC, settled 12 weeks into trial).
  • His experience extends to copyright matters and litigation to recover royalties in a variety of disputes in the entertainment and media field, involving parties ranging from recording artists to videogame publishers. Particular interest in the field of computer and internet based gaming disputes.
  • In Winwood v Blackwell (Ch D) Rajesh acted on interim applications for defendant on claim for monies for alleged shareholding following sale of Island Records (with Andrew Sutcliffe QC, 2009).
  • In Crave Entertainment Ltd v Play It and Ors (Ch D), he acted on behalf of a US video game publisher in dispute over copyright and licensing issues (with Paul Lowenstein, 2006-2007).

Rajesh advises on a variety of company law issues, especially in relation to directors’ duties, boardroom disputes and advising shareholders over shareholder agreements and unfair prejudice actions.

Current and recent work includes:

  • Acting for former directors defending claims by liquidator alleging unlawful distributions, breach of fiduciary duty and accessory liability, (2020) (Ch D).
  • Acting for director of HK listed company in relation to litigation in BVI, Ontario and PRC relating to freezing injunctions and receivership over assets worth more than HKD 800 million (2017-2018).
  • Advising shareholder of BVI company in shareholder dispute, responding to petitions for unfair prejudice and equitable winding up (2015).
  • Advising on claims for breach of directors’ duties and alleged fraud in shareholder disputes (with Richard Salter QC, 2012-2016).
  • Towler v Wills [2010] EWHC 1209 (Comm) (Teare J). Acted for defendant former company director and shareholder in successful strike out of £2.5 million claim alleging dishonest concealment of conflicts of interest and breaches of shareholder agreement. Alternative ground for strike out was that majority of claims were for reflective loss.
  • Acting for majority shareholders defending s.994 (unfair prejudice) proceedings (Ch D; settled 2009).
  • Advised international IT infrastructure company on disputes, directors’ duties and conflicts of interest arising out of TfL shareholder agreements (2008).
  • Advising generally in relation to shareholder agreements and potential actions against majority shareholders (2008).
  • Stone v X Ltd (Ch D) – instructed on behalf of company and directors responding to s459 petition (former unfair prejudice provisions) and questions relating to corporate governance and share valuations (2004-06).

Rajesh has experience of the multi-jurisdictional and conflicts of law issues that often arise in disputes involving international parties, examples are:

  • Acting for port operator in dispute against a state over funding for Red Sea port facilities (2019).
  • Piraeus Bank v Grand Anemi and ors [2019] EWHC 2489 (Comm) – Acting for Greek bank in €85m claim on loan and security arrangements against shipping conglomerate, dealing with asymmetric jurisdiction clauses and the Brussels (Recast) Regulation, defendants in different jurisdictions, service agent resignation (Commercial Court).
  • Acting for director of HK listed company in relation to litigation in BVI, Ontario and PRC involving jurisdictional challenges over matrimonial assets (2017-2018).
  • Hirco plc v Hiranandani et al (Isle of Man High Court; Staff of Govt Division) acted in jurisdiction challenges in the Isle of Man on behalf of defendant former Chairman defending allegations of fraud and negligence in relation to AIM company’s foreign investments (with Richard Salter QC, 2015-2017).
  • Acting on behalf of claimant mining company resisting s9 Arbitration Act 1996 application for stay (Commercial Court, 2012).
  • International Consolidated Minerals Ltd and others v Precious Metal Capital Corporation (Commercial Ct 2008) – advised and acted for the defendant international mining corporation to resist an anti-suit injunction relating to Canadian proceedings between these and other parties concerning the ownership of Peruvian mining rights (with Paul Lowenstein QC).
  • MODSAF v FAZ Aviation and Anor [2008] 1 All ER (Comm) 372 (Langley J). Acted for a foreign government in multi-jurisdictional claim against an aviation company and its director concerning a substantial alleged procurement fraud involving issues of bribery and domestic jurisdiction under EC Regulation 44/2001. Issues also included effect of UN sanctions, domestic law implementation of UN regime and the relationship between civil actions and criminal restraint orders (with David Quest).
  • NV v Satamatics Ltd and Anor [2007] EWHC 3003 (Comm) (Flaux J) – acted for Belgian satellite telematics distributor in an action to prevent misuse of confidential information; obtained “springboard” injunction and other orders for preservation of evidence, delivery up and imaging of computers. Claim involved alleged breaches of confidence and dishonest assistance (with Paul Lowenstein, settled before trial).
  • Advised New York-based website owner on potential jurisdiction challenges to claim for transfer of website being brought in English courts (2008).

Rajesh advises on interpretation of complex structured finance documentation for the purpose of restructuring proposals and also for related disputes, including over bondholder issues. Rajesh also carries out regular corporate and personal insolvency work in the High Court on behalf of creditors and respondent companies. Acts for and against liquidators, administrators and receivers. Personal insolvency work includes acting for trustees in bankruptcy with a focus on asset recovery and disputes relating to trusts and beneficial interests.

Current and recent restructuring and insolvency work includes:

  • Acting for former directors defending claims by liquidator alleging unlawful distributions, breach of fiduciary duty and accessory liability, (2020) (Ch D).
  • Advising leading Indian bank on enforcement options in the context of US$4bn restructuring of a conglomerate’s debts (with Jonathan Nash QC, 2017).
  • Advising on just and equitable winding up and potential exit strategies in shareholder disputes over BVI entities (with Richard Salter QC, 2016).
  • Advising on voting rights and share purchase in the context of a corporate restructuring (2013).
  • Advising on the restructuring of the debts of a European conglomerate (with Ewan McQuater QC, 2011).
  • Advised on the interpretation of unilateral amendment and related provisions in bond conditions further to a dispute over mandatory convertible securities (with Ewan McQuater QC, 2011).
  • Hobbs v Gibson and Tailby [2010] EWHC 3676 – acted on behalf of defendant liquidators in application to remove.
  • Advising the Office of Fair Trading on insolvency issues relating to competition proceedings (2010).
  • Clydesdale Financial Services and ors v Smailes, Jiva Solicitors LLP and ors. (Ch D, 2010) Acted on behalf of claimant funders to recover security under complex litigation funding arrangements following sale of solicitors practices. Defendants included former administrators and solicitors firms in liquidation; issues include validity of assignments, tracing and priority of securities (settled with Jonathan Mark Phillips).
  • Acted for company in injunction proceedings to restrain exercise of administrators’ powers where creditor’s right to appoint following event of default was disputed (Ch D, 2008).
  • Acted for liquidator in claim to recover monies from vendors of company under share sale agreement (QBD; settled 2009).
  • Advised European bank on partnership and related insolvency issues arising out of the dissolution of a London law firm (2008).
  • Advised administrators of property company in relation to breaches of contract and claims for specific performance (2008).
  • Advised German company on claim against English administrators further to retention of title clauses (2008).
  • Hill v RFS Limited [2006] All ER (D) 227 (Nov) (Ch D) – acted for creditor finance company in appeal from application to dismiss statutory demand.

Deals with a variety of negligence actions, with a particular focus on advice in relation to financial instruments (including FSMA issues) and other investments, solicitors and valuers’/surveyors’ negligence. A number of Rajesh’s commercial and banking cases involve expert evidence as to share and business valuation and income forecasting and mean that Rajesh regularly works with leading experts both in the UK and internationally.

Examples of current and recent work include:

  • Triumph Controls UK Ltd v Primus International and ors [2018] EWHC 176 (TCC); [2019] EWHC 565 (TCC); [2019] EWHC 2216 (TCC) Acting for US purchasers of aerospace industries companies in the UK and Thailand, brought successful claim for failure to prepare careful forecasts (with Nathaniel Bird).
  • Acted on behalf of individual in claim over negligent investment of pension fund, issues include damages under FSMA s.150, breach of advisory agreement and duty of care, breach of fiduciary duty (settled 2014).
  • Advice on potential claims against corporate finance, legal and accountancy advisors in relation to investment in foreign public services company (2014).
  • Acting for financial services advisory company on contribution claims arising out of the alleged misselling of investment products (ongoing).
  • GMAC-RFC v Watson & Brown and Connells (London Mercantile Court – acting in managed litigation of fifty claims for conveyancing negligence and breach of fiduciary duty against solicitors and for valuation negligenc against valuers (with Paul Lowenstein QC, 2009-10).
  • IFE Fund SA v Goldman Sachs International (2007) 1 Lloyd’s Rep 264 (Commercial Ct); (2007) 2 Lloyd’s Rep 449 (CA) – acted at trial and on appeal on behalf of investment fund in claim against arranger of syndicated loan facility for negligent misrepresentation and non-disclosure (with Jonathan Nash QC).
  • Munich Re and ors v Hutchison 3G (Commercial Ct 2009) – acted on behalf of H3G in ongoing dispute over alleged prejudicing of insurers’ subrogated rights (with Andrew Fletcher QC: 2009-10).
  • Acting for and advised insurers and insureds in a range of matters including fraudulent claims/ use of fraudulent devices and repudiation of policies (2007).

Over the last few years Rajesh has advised on a variety of issues relevant to the purchase and recovery of art by private transfer and auction. Clients include a well-known auction house, a museum based in the Middle East, art buyers, a museum director and art consultancies.

Acted for leading global auction house dealing with letters of request for documents and deposition evidence in relation to US proceedings (2020).

Acted for leading global auction house on disclosure issues and confidentiality relating to attribution and sale of a work (2017).

Acted for Museum director and art consultancies defending allegations of dishonesty and third party disclosure proceedings relating to sale of a work and alleged commission (2017).

Acted for buyer of one of the most expensive works ever sold in dispute over acquisition and transfer of title (2016).

  • Conversational French
  • Sinhala