Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Deepak NambisanCall Date: 1998

Deepak is widely recognised as a leading junior commercial barrister.  His work is both domestic and international and he has wide experience of the laws of foreign jurisdictions including BVI, Cayman, Chilean, Cypriot, German, Kazakh, Kenyan, Russian, St. Kitts & Nevis, Spanish, Swedish, Swiss and Tajik law.

Deepak is also a member of the New York Bar.  He regularly appears as an advocate before a wide range of tribunals and is equally comfortable as sole counsel or as part of a larger team of barristers, led both within and outside chambers.  He has been one of the Attorney General’s Junior Counsel to the Crown since 2001 and he is the co-author of Paolini & Nambisan on Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance (Informa), winner of a BILA Prize for “the most notable contribution to literature in the field of law as it affects insurance.”  Deepak is also the co-author of the chapter on company directors in Simpson, Professional Negligence & Liability (2005-).

He was legal advisor to the BBC1 drama series Mistresses and he is also a trustee of the charity Anno’s Africa, a creative arts education project for children in Kenya.

Deepak has a broad commercial and civil practice with particular emphasis on: administrative and public law; aviation; banking and finance; civil fraud; commercial dispute resolution; employment; financial services; insurance; international arbitration; media, entertainment and sport; offshore and; professional negligence.

Areas of Expertise

  • Banking & finance
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Employment
  • Financial services
  • Fraud: civil
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • International arbitration
  • Media, entertainment & sport
  • Offshore
  • Professional negligence
  • Administrative & public law
  • Aviation

Recommendations

Recommended in The Legal 500 2018, Chambers & Partners 2019, Chambers Global Guide and Legal Experts as a leading junior in the following practice areas (and also by Legal Week as one of its Stars at the Bar):

  • Commercial litigation
  • Civil fraud
  • Banking & finance
  • International arbitration
  • Professional negligence

Comments in the last few years include:

Prodigiously hardworking and always a very valuable member of any team.”

Always engaged fully with the detail of the case.”

Particularly good with clients, he’s a smooth operator.”

“Carries himself so well and blows away clients with his demeanour in meetings.”

 

“Produces excellent drafting and is fantastic with clients. He is a natural choice for commercial contract disputes.”

 

A terrifically hard worker.”

Well recognised  as a leading senior junior, who is very robust and fabulous with clients.”

“Excellent.”

“A real pleasure to work with. Deepak is responsive, thoughtful, proactive and intelligent.” “Particularly good with clients – he’s a super smooth operator.” 

“He’s smart, dedicated and someone who works really hard.” 

“ferociously hard-working and a spectacular advocate”

“a true master of the law in this area, with tremendous stamina and a real appetite for litigation”

“continues to dazzle observers with his ‘huge energy and enthusiasm for a case’ and ‘highly strategic and focused mind’”

“very strong advocacy skills and knowledge of the law”

“provides ‘a top-class service and is fantastic with clients’”

“hardworking and very thorough”

“he provides very strong analysis”

“the consummate team player”

“‘a prodigiously hard worker and a true team player, and is great with clients’”

“an extremely strong individual who is very client and solicitor-friendly”

“gets things done, often before you think of asking – and everything is always of an exacting standard”

“clear advice… extremely responsive… also a very bullish advocate, and a pleasure to watch in court”

“a skilled practitioner with the rare ability to distil reams of complex information into a digestible and convincing argument”

“pegged for future stardom”

“clever and commercially aware”

“well-liked for his ‘approachability, conscientiousness and switched on brain'”

“sources praise him for his ‘dynamism and drive'”

“praise abounds for his ‘diligence and commitment'”

“Clever, strong, effective, and a team player. He is able to get down to the detail. A big case specialist.”

“A rising star in the civil fraud arena.”

“That his career has flourished is testament to his intellect and stamina.”

Education

  • LLM, Harvard Law School (1997)
  • BCL, Oxford University (1996)
  • BA (Hons) Law, Cambridge University (1995)

Appointments, memberships, prizes

  • Gray’s Inn Prince of Wales Scholarship
  • Fulbright Scholarship
  • British Academy Scholarship
  • Christ’s College Scholar
  • English Speaking Union BASS Scholarship
  • Junior Counsel to the Crown (B Panel, C Panel)
  • Member of the New York Bar
  • Member of the BVC Practitioner Advisory Group, City University

Recent practice

Aviation

Deepak was for a number of years recommended as a Leading Junior in this field in Chambers & Partners.  He regularly acts for airlines, insurers and passengers in a wide range of aviation related matters, including Warsaw Convention disputes, ground handling and regulatory matters:

  • Acted for underwriting agent and pool in US$35m reinsurance arbitration arising out of the 9/11 property damage and business interruption claims (with Sir Sydney Kentridge QC and David Railton QC) (2011-12)
  • Acted for leading aviation direct underwriters in insurance dispute arising from the collapse of Fortress Re (with David Railton QC) (2009-2011)
  • Advised in disputes with Netjets, the fractional private jet aircraft ownership company (2006-8)
  • Acted for BAA plc and Stansted Airport in their widely publicised dispute with Ryanair in relation to fuel and aeronautical charges arising out of the use of Stansted (with Michael Crane QC) (2004)
  • Advised the CAA on the applicability of the Competition Act to the provision of air traffic services in the UK (with Bankim Thanki QC) (2004)
  • Acted in a number of trials both for and against commercial airlines and their passengers

Banking & finance

Deepak is recommended as a Leading Junior in this field in The Legal 500 and Legal Experts.  He has acted in a wide range of cases both for and against retail and investment banks, private equity firms, hedge funds and other financial institutions and has been involved in disputes of all sizes and types:

  • Advising one of India’s largest corporate groups in dispute with listing authorities (2013-)
  • Acting for FSA in connection with one of the largest retail collapses of recent times (Arch Financial Products, Arch Cru) (2012-)
  • Acting for hedge fund managers in US$200m+ claim in the Cayman Islands courts (with Lord Falconer QC, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher) (2011-)
  • Acted for owner of one of Europe’s largest privately-held companies in dispute with hedge fund re investment activities (2010-11)
  • Acted in US$1.5bn Nigerian banking dispute (with Michael Bloch QC, Wilberforce Chambers) (2010)
  • Acted in US$3bn Kazakh banking dispute (2010)
  • Acted in US$350m dispute concerning sale of main oil terminal in Batumi, Georgia (with Nigel Jones QC, Hardwicke Building) (2009-2010)
  • Acted for the director of a multinational plc in a claim against the wealth management function of a leading bank (2009)
  • Advised on the enforceability of guarantees following novations of underlying financing agreements (2008-9)
  • Advised and acted for a US venture capital firm in relation to injunctive relief restraining a counterparty from exercising a call option under a share purchase agreement (2007)
  • Advised British Vita in relation to contractual and relief issues relating to an intra-group subsidiary transfer arising from British Vita’s acquisition by the private equity capital group Texas Pacific Group for £668m (2006)
  • Acted for the FSA in a number of high-profile matters in recent years
  • Acted for the FSA in disciplinary proceedings brought against various directors of one of the UK’s largest financial advisory firms (against Ali Malek QC, 3VB) (2005-6)
  • Acted for the FSA in disciplinary proceedings arising out of the collapse of MyTravel plc (with Charles Hollander QC, Brick Court Chambers) (2004-5)
  • Advised a German investment bank on the content of its UK advertising campaigns and compliance with FSMA 2000 (2002-3)
  • Acted for the FSA in relation to various liability issues arising out of the decision by the UK government to place Railtrack plc into administration (with Michael Brindle QC) (2002)

Commercial dispute resolution

Deepak is recommended as a Leading Junior in this field in The Legal 500, Chambers & Partners (the 2013 edition describing him as “ferociously hard-working and a spectacular advocate”), Chambers Global Guide and Legal Experts.  He has advised on and acted in a wide variety of commercial disputes of varying sizes and nature in County Court, High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings and has considerable trial experience (both as sole and junior counsel ):

  • Advising one of India’s largest corporate groups on appeal from adverse decision in multi-billion dollar commercial dispute (2013-)
  • Advising hedge fund arm of Gulf-based financial services firm in multi-million dollar dispute (2011-)
  • Acted for and advised in connection with multi-billion dollar dispute over control of one of Russia’s largest companies (with Lord Goldsmith QC, Debevoise & Plimpton) (2010-12)
  • Advised Indian billionaire’s family office private equity arm in connection with claims against private equity introducer arising out of failed business purchase (2012)
  • Advised international bank on terms of share purchase agreement for USD1.7bn sale of insurance arm (2012)
  • Advised board of major UK private company in dispute with lenders on interpretation of contractual terms applying to debt reduction bonus scheme (2012)
  • Acted for ITV in commercial dispute concerning interpretation of contractual terms (2010-11)
  • Acted for Microsoft in contractual dispute with former employee (2010-11)
  • Represented major international biotech firm in multi-million pound dispute with former management (2009-10)
  • Acted in a contractual dispute concerning a major hospitality venue (2007)
  • Acted for a high street bank in a high profile sponsorship dispute with the organisers of an international awards event (2006)
  • Advised a London Borough Council in its dispute with a care provider threatening to withdraw care services from ~300 vulnerable adults (with Charles Béar QC, then of 11 KBW) (2006)
  • Advised a major multinational on the prospects of rectifying a share purchase agreement for mistake (with Anthony Boswood QC) (2006)
  • Advised a US venture capital firm on the prospects of obtaining an injunction restraining a counterparty from exercising a call option under a share purchase agreement (with Anthony Boswood QC) (2006)
  • Appeared in Havelaar & Ors v Amey plc [2005] EWHC 1330 (Ch), a £35m dispute about the operability of a formula for calculating the consideration payable on exercise of a put option in a share purchase agreement (with Anthony Boswood QC) (2005)
  • Represented the successful Defendants in Gill v Dhillon & ors [2003] All ER (D) 336 (May)
  • Acted as sole counsel for the Dutch-Korean joint venture LG Philips in a multi-million pound dispute relating to contractual obligations arising out of the closure of various factories (2003)
  • Acted for boxing promoter Frank Warren in the trial of a contractual dispute with former WBO World Heavyweight Champion Herbie Hide (2001)
  • Acted for leading UK publishers of novelty books in the trial of a dispute with Hong Kong based printers involving detailed expert evidence on technical printing standards and international trade custom (2001)

Competition law

Deepak is currently acting for automotive, clothing and furniture manufacturers in a number of multi-million pound follow-on damages claims arising out of the Threads and Fasteners cartels (with Rhodri Thompson QC, Matrix Chambers).  He is also acting for a major UK retail bank in the Interchange fees dispute (also with Rhodri Thompson QC).

Employment

Deepak has substantial experience of advising generally on all aspects of employment law with a commercial dimension.  He has particular experience in cases involving City bonuses, pension entitlement disputes, unfair dismissal, redundancy, TUPE and unlawful deductions from wages and he regularly appears in the employment tribunal, acting both for and against employers.  Much of Deepak’s employment work is for the Government, instructed by the Treasury Solicitor.  Other recent experience includes:

  • Regularly advises and acts for Government departments of state in employment disputes with a commercial aspect
  • Obtained strike-out of multi-million pound employment claim against London private equity house (2012)
  • Advised on pensions dispute between former senior manager and leading financial services firm (2010-11)
  • Acted for a former company director in a £1.2m dispute concerning unlawful deduction from wages, whistleblowing and breach of contract claims in a 3-week tribunal claim (2006-8)
  • Acted for Old Mutual plc in a multi-million pound contractual dispute with a former senior employee (with Nicholas Underhill QC and with Nigel Inglis-Jones QC, Outer Temple Chambers): [2006] EWHC 3151 (Ch) (2004-7)
  • Advised a UK coal mining company involved in a contractual dispute with senior employees over working hours (with Nicholas Underhill QC).
  • Acted for a UK financial publishing firm in an unfair dismissal claim brought by an ex-employee summarily dismissed for circulating amongst colleagues various offensive files downloaded from the Internet
  • Advised Coach, the US based luxury goods retailer, on TUPE and redundancy issues arising out of the sale of their Sloane Street and Harrods concessionsAdvised a Swiss multinational company on unfair dismissal claims brought as a result of the summary dismissal of UK subsidiary company employees for fraudulent activities
  • Advised a US venture capital firm on contractual claims for bonus payments made by employees summarily dismissed for cause

Fraud: civil

Deepak is recommended as a Leading Junior in this field in The Legal 500, Chambers & Partners (the 2013 edition identifying him as “a true master of the law in this area”), Chambers Global Guide and Legal Experts.  He has particular expertise in deceit, bribery, jurisdictional, constructive trust and restitution issues, as well as in international asset tracing litigation and obtaining freezing injunctions:

  • Striking out multi-billion dollar claim against Russian companies in St Kitts & Nevis (with Lord Goldsmith QC, Debevoise & Plimpton) (2011-12)
  • Discharging ex parte US$3.5bn freezing injunction granted to Rusal which prevented a Norilsk Nickel subsidiary from completing share buyback transactions (with Lord Goldsmith QC, Debevoise & Plimpton) (2011-12)
  • Multi-million pound claim for breach of fiduciary duty against former director of leading manufacturer of electronic cigarettes (2011-12)
  • Acted for major agricultural enzyme technology developer in multi-million pound fraud claim (2010)
  • Acted in US$3bn Kazakh banking dispute (2010)
  • Acted in proceedings arising out of a US$350m worldwide freezing injunction (with Nigel Jones QC, Hardwicke Building) (2010)
  • Sole counsel advising foreign shareholders in a Russian joint venture in a US$330m conspiracy, fraud and restitution claim involving complex questions of Russian law and jurisdiction (2009)
  • Acted as first junior counsel for the claimant in Tajik Aluminium Plant v Ermatov & Others, a US$485m fraud claim concerning bribery and the supply of raw materials to an aluminium smelting company in Tajikistan (with Murray Rosen QC, Herbert Smith, and Neil Kitchener QC, One Essex Court) (2006-9).  Deepak also appeared before the Court of Appeal, successfully opposing an appeal against an order requiring disclosure of the identity of a third party in the context of bribery allegations [2008] EWCA Civ 54 (with Murray Rosen QC, Herbert Smith)
  • Acted as sole counsel for Resolute, managers of the run-off of the liabilities reinsured by Equitas, in a multi-million dollar fraudulent misrepresentation claim concerning a commutation agreement
  • Acted for the Second Defendant in a £130m fraud claim brought by Anglian Water plc following its September 2000 acquisition of Morrison Construction plc, Scotland’s largest construction firm (with Philip Marshall QC, Serle Court).  The claim was one of The Lawyer magazine’s Top 10 trials of 2006.  Deepak also appeared before the Court of Appeal in the Defendants’ successful application to have the original trial judge recuse himself on the grounds of apparent bias: [2006] EWCA Civ 6, overturning [2005] EWHC 2786 (Ch)
  • Acted for the Law Society in recovering over £1m of monies from offshore accounts fraudulently diverted from a solicitor’s client account (2002-5, with Timothy Dutton QC)
  • Acted for a former police interpreter in a claim brought by the Metropolitan Police Authority to recover over £250,000 in fees alleged to have been billed fraudulently, the claim settling at mediation
  • Acted for JP Morgan in a fraud claim surrounding a private placement of shares in a European telecommunications start-up company (2000-3, with John Nicholls, Maitland Chambers)
  • Represented a Swiss multinational company in a £22m deceit claim (2002-3, with Philip Brook Smith QC)
  • Acted for the Democratic Government of the Republic of Chile and the world’s largest copper producer, Codelco, in connection with US$170 million losses in copper and bullion futures trading on the London Metal Exchange, involving proceedings in London, Bermuda, Cayman, Guernsey and Florida (2000-1, with Ian Geering QC, 3VB, and Tony de Garr Robinson, One Essex Court)

Insurance

  • Extensive experience in a range of insurance and reinsurance disputes and is the co-author of Paolini & Nambisan on Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance (2008, Informa).  He represents insurers, Lloyd’s underwriters and others on a wide range of policy coverage and avoidance issues and contractual claims.
  • Currently acting in numerous D&O coverage disputes at both direct and reinsurance levels
  • Acted for underwriting agent and pool in US$35m reinsurance arbitration arising out of the 9/11 property damage and business interruption claims (with Sir Sydney Kentridge QC and David Railton QC) (2011-12)
  • Acted in US$30m ARIAS reinsurance arbitration concerning 9/11 losses (with David Railton QC) (2010-11)
  • Acted for Resolute, managers of the run-off of the liabilities reinsured by Equitas, in a fraudulent misrepresentation claim concerning a commutation agreement (2008)
  • Acted for a reinsurer as sole counsel in its multi-million pound dispute with reinsured over deductibles in respect of employers’ liability claims (2006-7)
  • Acted as junior counsel for reinsured in a major dispute culminating in a 3-month £170m Commercial Court asbestos exposure trial, where reinsurers sought to avoid on the basis of non-disclosure and also appeared in earlier proceedings in the Court of Appeal in the related case of European International Reinsurance Co Ltd v Curzon Insurance Ltd [2003] Lloyd’s Rep. I.R. 793 (with Michael Crane QC)
  • Acted for Equitas and LMCS Ltd against former Lloyd’s Names seeking to challenge the R&R settlement offer (appearing as sole counsel in the Supreme Court Costs Office, High Court and Court of Appeal)
  • Advised a leading UK insurance company in relation to various regulatory and conflict of interest issues arising out of a proposal to provide in-house loss adjusting and project management services (with Timothy Dutton QC)
  • Acted as sole counsel for Nigerian insured in their successful dispute with London market insurers concerning a US$8m claim (against John Lockey, Essex Court Chambers)

International arbitration

Deepak is recommended as a Leading Junior in this field in The Legal 500.  Deepak has considerable experience of substantial (and smaller) domestic and international commercial arbitration under all the principal rules and regimes, including ICC, LCIA, ARIAS, GAFTA and others.  Deepak’s recent arbitration practice includes:

  • US$2bn LCIA arbitration concerning control of one of Russia’s largest public companies (with Lord Goldsmith QC, Debevoise & Plimpton) (2011-12)
  • US$35m reinsurance arbitration arising out of the 9/11 property damage and business interruption claims (with Sir Sydney Kentridge QC and David Railton QC) (2011-12)
  • US$30m ARIAS reinsurance arbitration concerning 9/11 losses (with David Railton QC) (2011-12)
  • Sole counsel in €24m ECA arbitration for major UK broadcaster concerning co-production of global preschool animation property (2010-2011)
  • Sole counsel in four conjoined LCIA arbitrations (€33m) concerning disputed put and call options and hedge fund investment decisions (2010)
  • US$75m ARIAS reinsurance arbitration (with David Railton QC) (2009-2010)
  • Swiss Rules IT / software dispute for major US manufacturer (2009)
  • US$10m GAFTA arbitration concerning animal feedstuffs (2008)
  • US$14m reinsurance fraud arbitration (2008)
  • US$220m Swiss Rules arbitration concerning supply of aluminium (2006-9)

Media, entertainment & sport

  • Acting as sole counsel for global broadcaster in reality TV dispute (2012-)
  • Sole counsel in €24m ECA arbitration for major UK broadcaster concerning co-production of global preschool animation property (2010-2011)
  • Acted for production company in dispute with major terrestrial broadcaster over archive Formula 1 footage
  • Advises various programme-makers and production houses on copyright issues relating to the use of images, paintings and documentary film footage for use in DVD, videotape, film and television (both domestic and satellite) productions
  • Advised major European video distributors in a breach of copyright claim brought by the German government in relation to Leni Riefenstahl’s film of the 1934 sixth Nazi Party Congress at Nuremberg, “Triumph of the Will
  • Wide experience of claims both for and against record companies, artists, music industry agents, management companies and promoters.  He advises and acts for various record companies and artists in relation to recording contract disputes, compliance with both technical and commercial aspects of record licensing agreements, royalty disputes and override royalty agreements and various other contractual disputes
  • Acted for clients such as the promoters of the leading dance event “The Big Chill
  • Represented a best-selling music band in a dispute with their former legal advisers over the negotiation of recording and music-publishing contracts
  • Acted for a boy band in a dispute with their record company
  • Acted for a leading UK dance music label in a contractual dispute with their platinum album best-selling artist
  • Advises in matters of boxing regulation, management and promotion
  • Advised on various aspects of the FIFA Players’ Agents Regulations
  • Advised members of the International Olympic Medical Committee in relation to proposed appointments to national Olympic Association for the 2000 Olympic Games
  • Acted for a major UK retail bank in a £29m claim brought by a football club and in related proceedings.

Professional discipline

Deepak is able to combine the skills of a commercial lawyer with an in-depth knowledge of various regulated fields.  He advises and acts both for and against a wide range of regulatory bodies, including the Law Society and the FSA (see above), enabling him to give his clients reliable, informed and objective advice:

  • Advising Lloyd’s PA market on judicial review proceedings against Financial Ombudsman Service
  • Acted for the Law Society in a number of disputes with solicitors, solicitors’ clerks and aggrieved complainants to the Office for Supervision of Solicitors and he has particular experience of interventions (and challenges to such interventions) under the Solicitors Act 1974 and cases involving breaches of the Solicitors Accounts Rules
  • Acted for the Law Society in Miller v The Law Society [2002] 4 All ER 312 and in Egole v Law Society [2003] All ER (D) 378
  • Acts for individual solicitors and law firms in disputes with regulators
  • Appeared regularly both for and against regulatory authorities in judicial review proceedings brought within a commercial context, such as R. (Norwich and Peterborough Building Society) v Financial Ombudsman Service [2003] 1 All ER (Comm) 65 (with Anthony Boswood QC)
  • Acted both for and against the Law Society in judicial review claims on numerous occasions, and also in other regulatory fields, for example in relation to awards of compensation for alleged endowment policy mis-selling, disciplinary sanctions and the right to an oral hearing

Professional negligence

Deepak is recommended as a Leading Junior in this field in The Legal 500.  Deepak is the co-author (with Mark Simpson QC) of Chapter 23, on the liability of Directors & Officers in Simpson, Professional Negligence & Liability(2005, Informa).  He has acted for and against a wide range of disciplines, including directors, accountants, banks, insurance brokers and solicitors.  Recent experience includes:

  • Currently acting as sole counsel for UK plc in professional negligence claim against major UK law firm
  • Currently acting as sole counsel for a major firm of financial advisers in relation to a multi-million pound claim in respect of a film tax relief scheme
  • Acted for the director of a multinational plc in a claim against the wealth management function of a leading bank
  • Acted for firm of valuers in claim arising out of valuation of block of flats
  • Acted for auditors in claim relating to audit of plc

Other experience

  • Speaker, Freshfields Dispute Resolution Foundation Course, London
  • Lecturer, British Council Law Summer School, Hong Kong
  • BVC Practitioner Advocacy Trainer, College of Law, London
  • Visiting Barrister, Herbert Smith, London
  • Legal Advisor, Mistresses, BBC1, 6 x 1 hour drama
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit work
  • Some time Legal Adviser, University House Legal Advice Centre, Bethnal Green
  • Assisted on a number of death row appeals to Privy Council
  • Trustee of the charity Anno’s Africa, a creative arts education project for children in Kenya.

Publications

  • Directors’ & Officers’ Liability Insurance (2008, Informa), Co-author (with Dr Adolfo Paolini)
  • Insider Healing, The Lawyer (11 September 2006)
  • Chapter 23, Directors & Officers, in Simpson, Professional Negligence & Liability (2005, LLP), Co-author (with Mark Simpson QC and Dr Adolfo Paolini)
  • Guide to Practice in Media Law (2004, Target Law)
  • Human Rights and the Business Lawyer (2001, Business Law International), Co-author (with Lord Goldsmith QC, Timothy Dutton QC and Thomas Keith)
  • Commercial Court Procedure (2001, Sweet & Maxwell), Editor

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