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The University of Southampton
Institute of Maritime Law

Vasanti Selvaratnam QC

Vasanti Selvaratnam QC
Vasanti Selvaratnam QC

Vasanti Selvaratnam QC became a member of the IML in November 2019 and has a long relationship with us and Southampton Law School.

As the joint head of The 36 Group, Vasanti practices in all aspects of international commercial litigation and arbitration, including shipping (wet and dry), commodities, banking and finance, conflict of law and jurisdiction disputes, all forms of interim urgent relief including freezing orders and anti-suit injunctions, and civil fraud.

One of the first Asian women to join the ranks of the Commercial Bar in 1984 after obtaining Distinction in her LLM from King’s College London, and one of the youngest Silks to be appointed in 2001, Vasanti Selvaratnam QC’s International Commercial Arbitration practice covers a wide range of industry sectors and institutional rules, both as Counsel and Arbitrator.

She is currently involved in live arbitrations governed by ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL, SIAC, LMAA and LOF Rules.

Vasanti has a particular interest in India and Asia related disputes and has a wide client base in those jurisdictions. She is currently sitting as Arbitrator in an Indian seated arbitration under the ICC Rules and is appearing as Counsel in an Indian law related jurisdiction appeal arising out of an ICC Award in an Indian law governed and English seated ICC arbitration.

Vasanti has made new law in the field of International Commercial Arbitration by establishing that compliance with a friendly discussions clause in a multi-tiered dispute resolution clause in a contract between Asian parties was a binding condition precedent to the right to invoke arbitration – see Emirates Trading Agency v PMEPL [2015] 1 WLR 1145 (Teare J).

As Counsel, she is consistently rated in the Directories and is praised for her advocacy skills, attention to detail and her mastery of technically complex cases.

On 6th November 2019 Vasanti delivered the 37th Donald O'May Lecture at the Law Society; this was titled "Good Faith – Is English law swimming against the International tide?"


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