Mr Chirag Karia KC > Chambers of Poonam Melwani KC > London, England > Barrister Profile

Chambers of Poonam Melwani KC
Quadrant Chambers


Commercial litigation and arbitration, shipping, commodities, energy, insurance/reinsurance and international arbitration. Cases: GTLK v Aviation Reinsurers (lead counsel in US$2.2 billion aviation insurance claim following Russian seizure of leased aircraft); Sharp v Viterra 2023] 2 All E.R.(Comm) 457(CA) (GAFTA Default-Clause construction); Stema Barge II [2022] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 170 (CA)(meaning of “operator” in Limitation Convention); OCM v Gulf-Petrochem (2022)(LOI enforcement); Maersk v Mercuria [2022] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 95 (2021)(anti-suit  injunction in US$45 million fraud); Hin- Leong/Ocean- Tankers Fraud (US$800 million oil fraud); Sakizaya Kalon [2021] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 70 (100% recovery in 3-vessel Suez Canal collision); Setana v Hafesa (2021)(trigger-pricing in term diesel- sale); Tenacity (2020) (impecuniosity  defence to LOI); Arbitration (contaminated bunkers); Arbitration (lien-on-sub-freights); Arbitration (bunker-fraud); Committeri v ClubMed (CA)(Rome I vs. Rome II Regulations); Sea Master [2019] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 101 (switch bills; arbitral jurisdiction); Yusuf Cepnioglu [2016] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 641(CA)(contractual anti-suit injunction vs. 3rd party); Ramburs [2016] Bus.L.R. 135 (GAFTA Substitution Clause); Crudesky [2014] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 1(CA)(force majeure; novus actus); Proton [2014] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 100 (contract formation); Merwestone [2013] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 131 (“perils of the sea” & Inchmaree insurance cover; fortuity requirement); Lehmann Timber [2013] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 541 (CA)(GA; lien exercise costs); Ratna (CA)(US$60M oil dispute; state immunity); Arbitration (subsea blowout preventer defects); Choil v Sahara (hedging losses).


Called 1988, Lincoln’s Inn (Denning Scholar); Queen’s Counsel 2012; MA(Cantab.), Slaughter & May Prize (top 1st in Law at Cambridge University); LL.M. (UC Berkeley), Harkness Fellow; Attorney practising in California (1990-2000).

Joint Editor, “Butterworths Commercial Court and Arbitration Pleadings”


Gujarati (spoken); basic French.


COMBAR; State Bar of California.


Cambridge University (1987 MA Hons); Slaughter and May prize for top 1st in Law at Cambridge University (1987); Denning Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn (1988); University of California, Berkeley (1990 LLM); Harkness Fellow, Commonwealth Fund of New York (1989-90).


Theatre, music, reading, skiing.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Shipping

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 5

Chirag Karia KCQuadrant Chambers ‘A very rare combination of tenacious advocacy and academic excellence.’

London Bar > Commodities

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Chirag Karia KCQuadrant Chambers ‘Chirag is an astute judge of the mood of the court, knowing when to push harder for the client’s interest, and his advice is practical.’

Quadrant Chambers is ‘a first-rate, go-to set for shipping and commodities disputes with a large number of excellent and extremely capable barristers’. The large number of members skilled in shipping and trade matters frequently act for buyers, sellers and other interested parties in commodities disputes, whether in the courts of England and Wales or in international arbitration. Their work spans matters under the rules of many arbitral institutions, among them LCIA and ICC, as well as trade associations such as GAFTA, FOSFA and the RSA, acting also for large corporates, including many of the world’s leading commodity trading houses. Chirag Karia KC, who recently acted for the claimant in Sharp Corp Ltd v Viterra BV, a section 69 arbitration appeal from the decision of the GAFTA Board of Appeal. Among the juniors, Benjamin Coffer recently assisted the claimant in CM Biomass Partners v Stanley’s Biomass Limited, a dispute concerning failure to supply the contractual quantity of wood pellets.

Asia Pacific - The English Bar > Shipping and commodities

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Chirag Karia KCQuadrant ChambersA very responsive and clear-minded silk. He is also very user-friendly.’


Middle East: The English Bar > Commercial

(Leading silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Chirag Karia KCQuadrant Chambers ‘Excellent attention to detail. Advice is clear, concise and practical, and is always helpful to the client.’

‘A strong international commercial set with top class silks and juniors‘, Quadrant Chambers are considered a ‘go-to set’ in the Middle East for ‘all trading, shipping, trading finance and sanctions matters.’ Chirag Karia KC continues to command a strong reputation for commercial, shipping and commodities cases, while Robert-Jan Temmink KC regularly appears before DIFC and ADGM Courts; as well as being a DIAC registered arbitrator. Paul Toms is highly active in the DIFC Courts and represents the claimant in Westford Trade Services DMCC v Dubai Insurance Co., a credit insurance claim following the demise of Phoenix Global DMCC.