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The 36 Group

Work 020 7421 8000
Fax 020 7421 8035
360 LDE
London, Singapore

Vasanti Selvaratnam QC

Work 020 7440 6900
The 36 Group (The 36 Group)

Work Department

36 Stone


Vasanti Selvaratnam QC is a senior QC practising at 36 Stone and is joint head of the 36 Group. She 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. She is particularly noted for her user friendly hands-on approach to cases and for her ability quickly to get to grips with disputes raising complex factual and technical issues which require a sound grasp of expert evidence and mastery of detail. Reported leading cases include the Court of Appeal decisions in The Wadi Sudr [2010] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 193 (leading case on the arbitration exception, the Judgments Regulation and issue estoppel), Joint Stock Asset Management Co Ingosstrakh-Investments v BNP Paribas [2012] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 649 (leading case on non-contractual anti-suit injunctions),Madoff Securities International Ltd (in liquidation) v Yacht Bull Corporation [2010] EWHC 133 (Ch) (interrelationship between the Judgments Regulation and the Insolvency Regulation in relation to jurisdiction) and The Alexandra 1 [2018] EWCA Civ 2173 (leading case under the International Collision Regulations due to be heard by the Supreme Court in October 2019). Other noteworthy cases include Emirates Trading Agency LLC v Prime Mineral Exports Private Ltd [2014] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 457 (friendly discussions clause a condition precedent to right to commence arbitration);  Stolt Kestrel [2015] EWCA Civ 1035  (mandatory extension of time where no reasonable opportunity to arrest under section 190(6) Merchant Shipping Act 1995 and other time bar issues) and Rubicon Vantage Int Pte v Krisenergy Ltd [2019] EWHC 2012 (Comm) (first reported case to consider the construction of a parent company guarantee which is part “on demand” and part “see to it”). Vasanti also sits regularly as an Arbitrator under ICC, LCIA and LMAA Rules and is a member of the LOF Panel of Arbitrators.


Called 1983 Middle Temple; Recorder 2000-2018; Queen’s Counsel 2001. Bencher of Middle Temple. Joint Head of The 36 Group 2019.


Working knowledge French.


ICC, LCIA, COMBAR, BMLA, LMAA, LSLC (head of education sub-committee), ICCA, BEG Accredited mediator.


St Augustine’s Priory Ealing; King’s College, London (1982 LLB; 1984 LLM Hons 1st).


Foreign travel

London Bar


Within: Leading Silks

Vasanti Selvaratnam QC - The 36 Group ‘ The quality of service provided she provides is unparalleled. ’

Within: Commodities

36 Stone, part of The 36 Group, is a dedicated commodities, shipping and international trade set. Its members have extensive experience in matters relating to shipping and commodities contracts in the civil and criminal courts, arbitrations, inquiries and other tribunals in the UK and overseas. It has highly regarded specialists including international trade and commodities specialist Vasanti Selvaratnam QC, who acted for a respondent Malaysian Bank in Deutsche Bank AG v CIMB Bank Berhad, which concerned discrepancies in documents in a commodity transaction. Highly experienced junior Charles Debattista practices in commodities, dry shipping and international trade disputes, both as counsel and as arbitrator. Ravi Aswani frequently handles the physical and paper elements of commodities transactions, and has experience in arbitrations before specialist trade bodies including GAFTA and FOSFA.

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International arbitration: counsel

Within: Leading Silks

Vasanti Selvaratnam QC - The 36 Group ‘ Extremely intelligent, collaborative, rolls up her sleeves and quickly becomes part of the team. ’

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Within: Leading Silks

Vasanti Selvaratnam QC - The 36 Group ‘ Very experienced. ’

Within: Shipping

36 Stone, which is part of The 36 Group, is a dedicated international trade and shipping set which is 'user-friendly' and has a 'wealth of experience'. Vasanti Selvaratnam QC and James Shirley were successful in Nautical Challenge v Evergreen Marine (UK) Ltd, which is a leading ship collision case on the inter-relationship between the crossing rule, the narrow channel rule and the general rule of good seamanship in the approaches to a narrow channel. Ravi Aswani appeared in Dera Commercial Estate v Derya Inc, which examined the dismissal of claims for inordinate and inexcusable delay under section 41 of the Arbitration Act 1996 and whether a geographic deviation would deprive a carrier from the benefit of the limitation period in the Hague Rules.

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