Ciaran Keller > Essex Court Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Essex Court Chambers
Ciaran Keller photo


Commercial and chancery litigation and arbitration (domestic and international), including: business agreements and contractual disputes of all kinds; banking and financial services litigation; civil fraud and asset tracing; energy and minerals; jurisdiction disputes; company, partnership and insolvency matters; shareholder disputes; fiduciaries; professional negligence; enforcement of judgments and awards; and claims for and against sovereign states.

Admitted as a member of the Bar of the British Virgin Islands.

Notable cases include: Maximov v NLMK [2017] (Comm – enforcement of annulled award); Hellas II v Apax Partners [2017] (Ch – transaction defrauding creditors); Nogotkov v Browder [2017] (Ch – Cross Border Insolvency Regulations; public policy); British American Tobacco v Sequana [2016] (Ch – unlawful dividends; breach of fiduciary duty; transactions defrauding creditors); Krys v KBC Partners [2015] (Privy Council – construction of articles of a limited partnership); Yukos Capital v Rosneft (No. 2) [2014] (Comm – enforceability of annulled arbitral awards); Barnsley v Noble [2015] (Ch – deceit, breach of contract and fiduciary duty); Cifal Groupe v Meridian Securities [2013] (Comm – jurisdiction challenge); Yukos Capital v Rosneft [2012] (CA – act of state, issue estoppel); Favor Easy Management v Wu [2012] (CA – civil fraud); NML v Argentina [2011] (Supreme Court – sovereign immunity); Crossco v Jolan [2011] (CA – constructive trust, proprietary estoppel); Star Energy v Bocardo [2010] (Supreme Court – trespass by oil pipelines at depth); Crest Nicholson v Akaria [2010] (CA – contractual formation); IPCO v NNPC [2009] (CA – part enforcement of New York Convention awards); Meretz v ACP [2008] (CA – conspiracy; inducing breach of contract); Donegal v Zambia [2007] (Comm – debt recovery against a sovereign state); Gamlestaden v Baltic Partners [2007] (Privy Council – unfair prejudice remedy for shareholders).


Formerly a Member of HM Diplomatic Service (serving at the United Nations and the British Embassy, Lisbon). Called to the Bar 2004.


Commercial Bar Association; Chancery Bar Association; Financial Services Lawyers Association


Educated at Cheadle Hulme School and Brasenose College, Oxford (MA, 1st Class Honours; Gibbs Prize, John House Prize, Shell Prize; Open Scholarship), City University (Distinction) and the Inns of Court School of Law (Barstow Scholarship, Sweet & Maxwell Company Law Prize). Member of Lincoln’ s Inn (Hardwicke, Lord Haldane, Lord Mansfield and Megarry Scholarships; Buchanan Prize; Sir Louis Gluckstein Advocacy Prize).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Commercial litigation

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Ciaran KellerEssex Court ChambersA future leader in the field.

London Bar > Banking and finance (including consumer credit)

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 3

Ciaran KellerEssex Court ChambersExcellent in the banking and finance arena.

London Bar > Fraud: civil

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Ciaran KellerEssex Court ChambersPossibly the most promising junior in the country.

Essex Court Chambers is ‘the leading set for large, complex civil fraud cases‘, commended for its ‘number of very impressive individuals, and huge strength in depth‘. Silks such as Paul McGrath KC and Joe Smouha KC are among the most eminent practitioners in the field, and Smouha QC represented Mozambique in The Republic of Mozambique v Credit Suisse, Privinvest, and others, the ‘tuna bond’ scandal involving allegations of $200m in bribes, alongside Nathan Pillow KC and leading a team that includes Ciaran Keller.  A highlight for McGrath QC has been The Libyan Investment Authority v Credit Suisse International, GLG Partners Asset Management Ltd & Ors, in which he is leading Ruth den Besten on behalf of GLG Partners, in a claim involving allegations of bribes paid to secure a $200m investment into funds. Vernon Flynn KC left to join Brick Court Chambers.

London Bar > Company and partnership

(Partnership - Leading juniors)Ranked: Tier 3

Ciaran KellerEssex Court Chambers

London Bar > Energy

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 3

Ciaran KellerEssex Court ChambersCiaran has a sharp mind, responds quickly to new facts and is skilled at rigorously putting the client’s best case.

London Bar > Offshore

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Ciaran KellerEssex Court ChambersA deep thinker with an enormous brain and capacity for cutting through complex legal issues to provide clear and effective advice.