Mr Arshad Ghaffar > Chambers of Elspeth Talbot Rice KC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Elspeth Talbot Rice KC
XXIV Old Buildings
Arshad Ghaffar photo


Arshad Ghaffar is a highly regarded and trusted commercial dispute resolution lawyer. His experience encompasses the full spectrum of the business cycle. His clients are based in numerous jurisdictions, earning him unrivalled experience of cross-jurisdictional matters as well as different, and often challenging, bodies of law. He represents his clients in a broad array of resolution forums, from the English commercial chancery high court and appellate courts through to domestic and international arbitrations, and frequently receives nominations to sit as an arbitrator and as a mediator in areas of his expertise.

In addition to his persuasive oral advocacy skills, Arshad is renowned for his commendable written advocacy. His pen is said to be mightier than a sword, and he uses it precisely to state in writing the basis of his arguments, subsequently to be brought to life before a court or arbitration panel. His clients regard him as “exceptionally proactive” during the life of a dispute resolution process and “remarkable” in his ability to identify and present solutions that are intellectually creative, legally robust and commercially sound. Whilst maintaining a firm grasp of the strict legal aspects of a case, Arshad ensures he also works to achieve his clients’ ancillary commercial and strategic objectives.

The disputes in which he is instructed often involve the interplay between the interpretation of complex commercial contracts and their technical underpinnings, such as is the case with large infrastructure projects, and involve the laws of multiple jurisdictions. With arbitration becoming the prevailing forum to address such disputes, his more recent instructions have built up a catalogue of experience in international and domestic commercial and corporate disputes through the process of arbitration at both institutional and ad hoc levels. He has conducted arbitrations under most of the most frequently used institutional rules, including those of the ICC and the LCIA and is also familiar with the UNCITRAL rules.

Arshad also has a non-contentious branch to his practise in which he is often called upon to opine on questions concerning the interpretation of laws and regulations in various jurisdictions and the application of treaties and laws with extra-territorial reach such as trade treaties, AML and sanctions.

Arshad’s international practice is incredibly wide-ranging and diverse. It has ranged from advising on anti-corruption legislation internationally to questions concerning sanctions against individuals in Zimbabwe. He has been instructed by lawyers from a variety of jurisdictions, including Nigeria, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Oman, the UAE, India and Pakistan. The range of Arshad’s work and the number of jurisdictions he has worked in truly reflect him to be a global citizen comfortable wherever he is and sensitive to issues of cultural and geographical diversity.


Qualified 1991, Middle Temple

  • Ambassador for the Commission of the ICC Court of Arbitration on the Belt and Road initiative
  • Chairman of the Steering Committee – CIArb (Oman Branch)
  • ICC Task Force on Arbitration of Climate Change Related Disputes
  • ICC Task Force on ADR and Arbitration
  • Vice President of the Pakistan Branch of the International Law Association (ILA)
  • Member of the Executive Council of the ILA
  • Member of the Board of Governors of the Pakistan Centre for Law and Society (PCLS)
  • Public access accredited




  • Licensed to practice in the Courts of the Punjab, Pakistan by the Punjab Bar Council (2016)
  • Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR) and Chancery Bar Association
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb)
  • LCIA
  • ICC UK and ICC Pakistan
  • Associate Member DIAC (Dubai International Arbitration Centre)
  • Bar of the DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre)
  • Royal Aeronautical Society (MRAeS)
  • Solicitors’ European Group (SEG) and Bar European Group (BEG) and European Circuit
  • British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)
  • International Bar Association (IBA)
  • Society for Advanced Legal Studies (SALS)


  • Westminster School
  • LLB Hons (Exon); LLM (i) (Cantab)
  • Harmsworth Entrance Exhibition, Middle Temple
  • “Stage” scholarship at EU from Bar Council

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Aviation

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 3

Arshad GhaffarXXIV Old Buildings

XXIV Old Buildings is a ‘great aviation and commercial litigation set’ which frequently acts for aviation lessors, airlines and manufacturers. Steven Thompson KC is well-known for handling aviation maintenance, lease, sale and purchase agreements. Arshad Ghaffar  is a popular choice for aircraft lessors, while Bajul Shah  deals primarily with disputes relating to dry leasing, mortgages and forfeiture issues. Erin Hitchens has appeared in various interim matters in the Commercial Court and Tom Stewart Coats is instructed in regulatory matters.

London Bar > International arbitration: counsel

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 3

Arshad GhaffarXXIV Old Buildings ‘Arshad gets straight to the point, understands the interplay between the law and the commercial reality of the situation.’

Middle East: The English Bar > Commercial

(Leading juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Arshad GhaffarXXIV Old Buildings

XXIV Old Buildings is well regarded for its expertise advising on matters throughout the Middle East region, with a particularly strong presence in Dubai. Steven Thompson KC acted for the defendants in Credit Europe Bank v New Medical Centre, which concerns a bank debt claim before the DIFC Courts against the backdrop of a major alleged fraud in the UAE. Before the same forum, he has also acted for the claimants in StormHarbour v Noor Bank, a dispute concerning the agreement of the sale and purchase of aircraft financing bonds, which saw a rare case of a bank seeking rectification of a written contract it signed. Other standout names include Elizabeth Weaver, Arshad Ghaffar and Edward Knight. Key changes in the set include Michael Black KC being appointed as judge in the DIFC Court of Appeal.

Middle East: The English Bar > Construction

(Leading juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

Arshad Ghaffar – XXIV Old Buildings