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

Essex Court Chambers
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 > Banking and finance (including consumer credit)

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 3

Ciaran KellerEssex Court ChambersVery bright, commercial, accessible, a good team player and a pleasure to work with.

Essex Court Chambers is a ‘high-profile, high-quality set‘ whose members have an enviable track record when it comes to complex and highly technical banking litigation. In recent years chambers has been involved in several insolvency-related banking disputes, such as the Lehmans Waterfall litigation relating to the distribution of over $1bn from the Lehman’s estate. Another highlight involving numerous members was the Hellas II litigation – Hosking v Apax Partners, Deutsche Bank & Others, in which Joe Smouha QC and Ciaran Keller faced a team including David Foxton QC.

London Bar > Commercial litigation

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 2

Ciaran KellerEssex Court ChambersVery bright and responsive, a pleasure to work with.

London Bar > Company and partnership

(Partnership - Leading juniors) Ranked: Tier 3

Ciaran KellerEssex Court ChambersHe is incredibly bright, and fiercely intelligent.

London Bar > Energy

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 3

Ciaran KellerEssex Court ChambersOne of the very best juniors at the commercial Bar, he will no doubt be a star for many years to come.

London Bar > Fraud: civil

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 2

Ciaran KellerEssex Court ChambersA star junior who will be a star silk.

London Bar > Offshore

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 3

Ciaran KellerEssex Court ChambersIncredibly bright and fiercely intelligent.