Bankim Thanki KC > Fountain Court Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Fountain Court Chambers
FOUNTAIN COURT, TEMPLE
LONDON
EC4Y 9DH
England

Position

Bankim Thanki KC is generally recognised as one of the pre-eminent Leading Counsel in practice at the English Commercial Bar.  He has been described as “Without a doubt one of the superstars of the UK Bar” and by The Times as “One of London’s leading commercial silks” He commenced practice in 1989 and took Silk in 2003. His practice as Queen’s Counsel spans a wide range of commercial litigation, arbitration, regulatory investigations and inquiries (public and private) and other high quality civil work. He recently appeared in the Court of Appeal in Soteria Insurance v IBM [2022] EWCA Civ 440 and in the Supreme Court in Pakistan International Airline Corporation (Respondent) v Times Travel [2021] UKSC 40. He has acted for Ukraine in proceedings before the Supreme Court in the US$3 billion Eurobond claim brought on behalf of the Russian Federation in the Financial List, in which he secured a significant victory in the Court of Appeal [2019] 2 WLR 655, and in defeating a US$6 billion claim concerning minority shareholdings in Ukraine’s largest producer of oil and associated gas in an investment treaty arbitration under the Energy Charter Treaty (Stockholm Chamber of Commerce). He successfully represented Barclays Bank in the case which saw the first judgment handed down in the Financial List in London (GSO Credit v Barclays Bank [2017] 1 All ER (Comm) 421).  He also successfully represented BP in the first case brought to trial under the Commercial Court’s Shorter Trials Scheme and he succeeded in overturning Andrews J’s controversial decision in SFO v ENRC in the Court of Appeal: [2019] 1 WLR 791.

Other notable cases in Silk have included leading successfully for GMR in its dispute with the Republic of the Maldives over the international airport at Malé, for Deloitte LLP in its successful appeal against the record fine imposed by the Financial Reporting Council over its involvement with the Phoenix Four/MG Rover, for Vincent Tchenguiz in his civil claim against the Serious Fraud Office, for the Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago in the public inquiry into the collapse of Colonial Life Insurance, for Lloyds Bank in the OFT test case on Bank Charges, for RBS in the principal test case on the enforceability of credit card agreements, for the son of the King of Bahrain in his dispute with the late Michael Jackson, for the Bank of England in the Three Rivers litigation, for Qantas in The Deep Vein Thrombosis and Air Travel Group Litigation and for the Bar Council in R (Prudential) v HMRC.

Current or recent clients include AstraZeneca, BAE, BNP Paribas, British Airways, BT, the CAA, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, the FCA, Goldman Sachs, GlaxoSmithKline, HSBC, JP Morgan, Lloyds Banking Group, NATS, Qantas, Rolls-Royce, RBS, Teva and UBS. He regularly appears offshore and has also advised several nation states and the central banks of a number of countries including the Deutsche Bundesbank, the Bank of England, the Bank of Namibia, the Central Bank of Belize and the Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago, as well as the World Bank. For full details see Fountain Court’s’ website.

Career

Called 1988, Middle Temple; (Harmsworth Scholar, 1988; Bencher 2008); QC 2003. Head of Fountain Court Chambers since 2018.

Editor, ‘The Law of Privilege’ (2018, OUP); contributor Seddon, Davison et el, ‘The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations’ (2018, Law Business Research); contributor Coppel, ‘Information Rights’ (2020, Hart); contributor, Brindle & Cox; ‘The Law of Bank Payments’ (2010, Sweet & Maxwell); co-author, Fountain Court on ‘Carriage By Air’, (2000, Butterworths); co-editor ‘Commercial Court Procedure’ (Sweet & Maxwell).

Memberships

Commercial Bar Association.

Education

Owen’s School; Balliol College, Oxford (1986 BA First Class Hons; 1989 MA).

Lawyer Rankings

Asia Pacific - The English Bar > Commercial

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Bankim Thanki QCFountain Court ChambersHe is extremely user-friendly and has a knack for cutting straight to the heart of knotty issues.’

London Bar > Insurance and reinsurance

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Bankim Thanki KCFountain Court ChambersA genuine heavyweight in the market, with significant professional liability insurance experience. Brilliant in court and with clients. Calm and unflappable.

London Bar > Aviation

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Bankim Thanki KCFountain Court Chambers ‘One of only a small number of the very top commercial silks with real expertise and experience in the aviation field. Intellectually, he stands out from the rest of the field; and his oral and written advocacy are equally outstanding.’

Fountain Court Chambers is regarded as ‘an impressive set and a go-to for aviation’ with expertise in a range of commercial disputes including redelivery, leasing and aircraft purchase agreements. The set is also experienced in aviation claims involving disaster, catastrophic loss and damage. Akhil Shah KC acted for Goshawk in relation to leasing disputes concerning a Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Michael McLaren KC has acted for Olympic Council of Asia in a claim for damages arising from a purchase agreement for an executive jet. Bankim Thanki KC and Rosalind Phelps KC are frequently instructed by major airlines and regulators while John Taylor KC is acting for Ryanair in a Commercial Court action. Giles Robertson  focuses on civil fraud and banking matters in this space.

London Bar > Travel law (including jurisdictional issues)

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Bankim Thanki KCFountain Court Chambers ‘One of only a small number of the very top commercial silks with real expertise and experience in the aviation field. Intellectually, he stands out from the rest of the field; and his oral and written advocacy are equally outstanding.’

London Bar > International arbitration: counsel

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Bankim Thanki KCFountain Court Chambers ‘Bankim is a standout silk, who has an excellent broad practice and that includes leading high value and high profile arbitration work – he is a real superstar of the Bar.’

London Bar > Financial services regulation

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Bankim Thanki KCFountain Court Chambers ‘His advocacy is excellent – he has a measured, authoritative style. With his many years of eminence and expertise he has the ear of even the most senior Judges.’

London Bar > Banking and finance (including consumer credit)

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Bankim Thanki KCFountain Court Chambers ‘He’s now one of the star players at the commercial Bar specialising in banking and finance; and rightly so. Throughout an illustrious career at the Bar, he has done more high-profile banking cases than almost anyone else and knows the industry better than anyone. He’s a true banking specialist.’

Fountain Court Chambers is ‘the pre-eminent set for banking litigation‘ with ‘strength and depth all the way up and down the list of members‘. While the set’s members regularly act on the market’s largest banking disputes, clients note that ‘they are always also happy to assist with the smaller matters‘. A major recent case was Law Debenture v Ukraine, a claim brought by the Russian state concerning a $3bn eurobond loan default, in which Bankim Thanki KC and Simon Atrill  represented Ukraine before the Supreme Court, whose judgment was pending at time of writing. In Federal Republic of Nigeria v JP Morgan Chase, Rosalind Phelps KC and David Murray are defending JP Morgan against a US$870m claim relating to bank deposits made as part of an allegedly corrupt oil deal involving Malabu Oil and Gas, a company linked to disgraced Sane Abacha-era Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete.

London Bar > Commercial litigation

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Bankim Thanki KCFountain Court Chambers ‘A first-rate intellect; breath-takingly hard-working and always superbly well-prepared; an excellent cross-examiner in an unshowy but highly effective way; and all courts (from the High Court to the Supreme Court) have the greatest of respect for him. Really exceptional.’

Fountain Court Chambers is ‘a stellar set of chambers that can offer both very capable juniors and well-respected and highly talented silks‘. The set’s impressive credentials stretch across several core areas, from high-end banking and finance disputes, through to civil and criminal fraud. A major instruction has been NMC Health Ltd & Ors v BR Shetty & Ors, in which Bankim Thanki KC is leading Nico Leslie, among others, for the joint administrators of the Middle Eastern healthcare company, NMC Health, involving claims against the founder and certain prominent former shareholders for fraud and embezzlement. In VTB Capital plc v Republic of Mozambique & Others, David Railton KC is leading Timothy Howe KC , Adam Sher  and Ian Bergson  for the claimant, in a dispute involving monetary claims against Mozambiquan borrowers, guaranteed by the Mozambique state.

London Bar > Fraud: civil

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Bankim Thanki KCFountain Court Chambers ‘One of, if not, the most respected barristers at the London Bar: no barrister commands the respect of judges, arbitrators and opponents more than him. His attention to detail and ability to run winning cases in complex fraud claims are second to none. He is also a pleasure to work with.’

London Bar > Professional negligence

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Bankim Thanki KCFountain Court ChambersI would single out his calm approach, whether in meetings, day-to-day advice or as an advocate.  This calmness carries greater authority than table-banging or cheerleading for the client’s benefit.  Within the legal team, calmness at the top – whether dealing with good points or bad points — filters down.’

The English Bar Offshore > The English Bar Offshore

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Bankim Thanki KCFountain Court ChambersBankim’s core strength is his ability to get to the heart of a matter and to identify the fundamental principle at play and then design and execute a litigation strategy around that insight.  His style of advocacy is of the quiet, unrelenting, one nail after the other kind.  Gulliver only realizes he’s caught when he can’t move!’

Fountain Court Chambers is a well respected commercial set offering offshore expertise in areas such as banking and finance, commercial litigation, company law and civil fraud. Members of chambers are regularly instructed by leading firms for cases in the Caribbean. One highlight case is Sonera v Cukurova Telecom/Alfa Telecom, a matter before the British Virgin Islands courts, in which Bankim Thanki KC appeared in breach of contract in a claim against a Russian entity arising over a dispute over the ownership of a substantial European mobile telephone network. Ben Valentin KC has an extensive offshore practice in both the BVI and Cayman Islands, and turning to the set’s juniors Nico Leslie is a notable junior for his involvement in large and high profile offshore disputes in recent years, with recent work in jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands.