Yash Kulkarni

Called: 1998

Practice Overview

Consistently recommended as a 'Leading Junior' in the legal directories for Commercial Litigation, Commodities, Shipping and Information Technology, Yash Kulkarni has a broad commercial practice covering international trade, banking, information technology, insurance and insolvency. He is described by Chambers UK as: "...a formidable opponent… quick and clever, as well as wonderfully approachable and easy to work with.”  

He has appeared extensively in the Commercial Court, QBD, Technology and Construction Court and arbitration and has particular experience of applications for interim relief including applications to appoint receivers, freezing and search orders and asset preservation orders. He also experienced in applications for anti-suit injunctions. Yash has appeared in over 20 reported cases over the past 5 years alone.

  • What the directories sayView More

    • "...Very sharp and very user-friendly...."

      (Chambers UK, 2018)
    • "...Very bright and very refreshing to deal with." "His approach is highly commercial and his written work is meticulous...."

      (Chambers UK, 2018)
    • "He has a great intellect and always seems to find a solution to every issue that’s thrown at him." "Extremely user-friendly, and a great team player, who is quick to spot the issues in a case."

      (Chambers UK, 2018)
    • "...He is able to sort out the important issues quickly and efficiently..."

      (Legal 500, 2017)
    • "...A commercially astute, creative and technically strong barrister, who is very thorough in his arguments.’

      (Legal 500, 2017)
    • "...Calm and commercial with excellent drafting and advocacy skills..."

      (Legal 500, 2017)
    • "..Highly intelligent, approachable, commercial and user-friendly."…"He continues to provide solid legal advice with a firm grasp of the commercial aspects of a dispute…"

      (Chambers UK, 2017)
    • "…technically adept and tactically aware…"

      (Chambers UK, 2017)
    •  "…A very polished performer." "He is extremely user-friendly and approachable..."

      (Chambers UK, 2017)
    • "…Clearly on top of his material, he's a very good cross-examiner and an impressive performer all round…"

      (Chambers UK, 2017)
    • "...Very creative, comprehensive and thorough, always showing good commercial understanding..."

      (Legal 500, 2016)
    • "...Genuinely a star performer, whom solicitors would entrust with their personal matters..."

      (Legal 500, 2016)
    • "...very meticulous and a producer of excellent written work." "He is technically adept, tactically aware and someone who gives useful commercial guidance”….”He is amazing and lovely to deal with as he's really calm and reassuring. His legal opinion is so clear, concise and easy to follow." "He swiftly acquires a clear grasp of complex situations and remains analytical, authoritative and unflappable even under pressure..."

      (Chambers UK 2016)
    • ."...absolutely brilliant – hugely talented, utterly reliable, a real pleasure to work with.” “Expertly tackles complex cases, and provides sound commercial advice..."

      (Legal 500 2015)
    • "...a confident advocate who is very powerful because he can really hit home hard with his arguments, and also has a good rapport with the judges. Anything that he delivers to us is always meticulous and he has a very calming manner which clients really like. On top of that, he's very decisive, will immediately see what's going on and can devise strategies and plans that work..."

      (Chambers UK 2015)
    • “...a considered, determined and unflappable advocate, who delivers results and is friendly, prompt and organised...”

      (Legal 500 2014)
    • "...lends a real charm to his advocacy, which certainly goes a long way with the Bench ..." ; "...a formidable opponent..."; "...he is quick and clever, as well as wonderfully approachable and easy to work with. His a‘Genuinely a star performer, whom solicitors would entrust with their personal matters.’ dvocacy is particularly admirable..."

      (Chambers UK 2013)
  • Commercial Dispute Resolution K View More

    Yash Kulkarni is instructed in a wide range of substantial commercial disputes and is often instructed as part of a team on substantial and complicated commercial cases. Illustrative cases include:

    • T & L Sugars Ltd v Tate & Lyle Industries Ltd [2015] EWHC 2696 (Comm), Simon J:  defending a claim for some $60m arising out of alleged breaches of warranty and restitution claims related to the sale by Tate & Lyle of its European sugars business.
    • Vik v Deutsche Bank AG [2016] 4 WLR 17, seeking to overturn in the Court of Appeal the largest non-party costs order in British legal history, where the appellant , Mr Vik, was ordered personally to pay Deutsche Bank’s costs of its successful litigation with Mr Vik’s company, which were of the order of £64m.
    • Advising on the effects of the Iranian sanctions regime on a contract for the provision of internet and telephony services through a part-Iranian owned entity
    • BPL Broadcast v International Broadcasting Convention. Commercial Court claim for Wrotham Park damages arising out of breach of a contractual prohibition post contract termination. Claim settled in 2015.
    • Keynvor Morlift Ltd v Tidal Energy Ltd - acting for claimant in a TCC claim for unpaid amounts in respect of services relating to a tidal electricity generation project. Claim settled in late 2015.
    • Smart Aluminium v Aalco Metals. Defending a claim for sums in respect of the supply of aluminium alloy; question was whether the claimant had been guilty of fraud in representing the type of alloy being supplied when this was based on doctored test certificates and, if so, the loss that the defendant could legitimately counterclaim. Claim settled in 2015.
    • LCIA arbitration before Lord Hoffmann, Sir Philip Otton and Jonathan Hirst QC between two Georgian companies, each alleging various breaches of contract, in claims governed by Georgian law. Settled late 2015.
    • Chester Hall Precision Engineering v Service Centres Aero France [2014] EWHC 2529 (QB) A jurisdiction dispute about whether the parties had concluded a jurisdiction agreement in favour of the French courts for the purposes of the EU Judgments Regulation. It arose in the context of a claim by the Claimant for unpaid invoices.
  • Shipping & Maritime K View More

    Yash is instructed in all manner of maritime disputes and is currently instructed in disputes involving, among other things, dangerous cargo claims, liability for stevedore damage, demurrage, breach of nomination clauses in contracts of affreightment, claims for breach of performance warranties, off-spec bunkers disputes, unsafe port claims and cargo claims. Illustrative cases include:

    • Louis Dreyfus Commodities Suisse SA v MT Maritime Management BV; subnom: The MTM Hong Kong - [2016] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 197 Acted for the successful defendant when the Commercial Court dismissed the claimant charterers' appeal against the findings of arbitrators regarding damages awardable for a repudiatory breach of a shipping contract. The case raised an important question as to the damages recoverable by a shipowner where a charterer repudiates the charterparty.
    • Sang Stone Hamoon Jonoub Co Ltd v Baoyue Shipping Co Ltd ("Bao Yue") [2015] EWHC 2288 (Comm) This was a claim in conversion by a cargo owner against the shipowner for wrongfully discharging cargo in circumstances where a third party acquired rights over it, without the cargo owner’s consent. The case raised difficult and technical questions as to the circumstances in which a cargo owner can be said to have expressly or impliedly consented to the creation of a lien over his cargo.  
    • Glencore International AG v MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co SA (The “MSC Eugenia”) [2015] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 508, Andrew Smith J. A case which raised the question of the extent to which electronic delivery documents can fit within the more traditional paper system of bills of lading and delivery orders.
    • HBC Hamburg Bulk Carriers v Huyton Inc (The “Glory Sanye”) [2015] 1 Lloyd's Rep 310, Teare J. Acting for the respondent charterer on a s.69 appeal from an arbitration award concerning whether, on the proper construction of the charter addendum, the disponent owners of a vessel could claim their costs of transiting the Suez Canal even though they would have been liable for those costs under the terms of the head charter.
    • Viscous Global Investment Ltd v Palladium Navigation Corp (The “Quest”) [2014] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 600  Application to the Commercial Court under s.32 of the Arbitration Act 1996 to determine whether the arbitral tribunal had jurisdiction over the dispute before it.
  • International Trade & Commodities K View More

    Yash regularly advises in a broad range of commodities disputes. Ilustrative cases include:

    • Drafting of submissions before first tier tribunals and Board of Appeal. Also involved in numerous applications under s.69.
    • LCIA arbitration - dispute raising issues of jurisdiction, contract formation and extent of loss in the context of the sale of oil.
    • ICA arbitration - dispute as to non-delivery of contracted cotton; issues as to incorporation of terms, and the ICA invoicing-back regime.
    • GAFTA arbitrations raising questions of time bar, quality/specification and the calculation of loss.
    • FOSFA chain arbitration relating to the sale of contaminated Ukrainian sunflowerseed oil. Questions raised of time bar, the effect of certificate final clauses, technical issues as to contamination and questions of recoverable loss.
    • ICC arbitration - concerned the quality of doping works carried out to a cargo of gas oil and the damages that might properly be recoverable in the event of contractually negligent services.
  • International Arbitration K View More

    Yash is regularly instructed in arbitrations under ICC, LCIA, LMAA, FOSFA, GAFTA and ICA rules as well as those conducted on an ad hoc basis. Illustrative cases include:

    • Currently engaged in a LCIA arbitration concerning a claim for c.$25m consultancy services provided in the medical teaching sector. Listed for a 10 day arbitration hearing in June 2016.
    • LCIA arbitration between two Georgian parties, governed by Georgian law, before Lord Hoffmann, Sir Philip Otton and Jonathan Hirst QC. Settled late 2015.
    • ICC arbitration concerning the sale of Ukrainian glass manufacturing businesses and disputes arising under the share sale agreement.
    • Five day ad hoc arbitration concerning the failure to deliver petcoke under a sale contract. Issues of construction, estoppel by convention and loss.
    • LMAA arbitration – successfully resisted application by charterers to challenge commencement of arbitration proceedings.
    • LMAA arbitration concerning extent of damages to which owners were entitled following late redelivery under a time charter, following the Achilleas decision in the House of Lords.
    • ICC arbitration – concerned the quality of doping works carried out to a cargo of gas oil and the damages that might properly be recoverable in the event of contractually negligent services.
  • Shipbuilding K View More

    Yash is instructed in a wide range of substantial construction and energy disputes. He has advised and appeared in disputes between employers and contractors, contractors and their sub-contractors and disputes involving architects/engineers, project managers, costs consultants and surveyors. He is familiar and comfortable with disputes arising under the usual standard form contracts in the construction industry e.g. JCT, NEC, ACE and RIBA. Illustrative cases include:

    • Keynvor Morlift Ltd v Tidal Energy Ltd - acting for claimant in a TCC claim for unpaid amounts in respect of services relating to a tidal electricity generation project. Claim settled in late 2015.
    • Advising on a dispute relating to provision of services by FSRU (floating storage and regasification unit) between joint venture provider and state purchaser.
    • Involved in LCIA arbitration concerning the construction of an oil and gas platform in the Far East. Covered issues such as miscellaneous variations and the valuation of loss caused by deferred production.
    • Acting on behalf of contractor in a dispute relating to the design and construction of an FPSO. Issues included delay, the alleged late provision of information and technical issues relating to the integrated control and safety system.
    • Advising client in ICC Arbitration regarding a major gas pipeline through Central Asia on legal strategy, formulation of variation and loss/expense claims
    • Phillips Petroleum Co UK Ltd v Snamprogetti Ltd - Court of Appeal. Dispute concerning alleged defective engineering design and procurement work in respect of a project designed to increase gas production on Phillips Petroleum's Hewett platform in the North Sea.
  • Information Technology K View More

    Yash enjoys a growing reputation for the quality of his analysis and advocacy in relation to complex information technology disputes. He is particularly experienced with regard to matters relating to software licensing and contract disputes. Illustrative cases include:

    • Intechnology plc v Legal Document Management Ltd. Defending a claim for sums due in respect of hosting services, data back-up and bandwidth provision, due for trial in 2016.
    • Personal Group v Gee 7 - acting for software company, defending claim for breach of copyright arising out of the alleged online copying of insurance provisions in the claimant’s policies.
    • Alder Gill Associates v Saxman Ltd. Yash was instructed in a case concerning alleged breaches of a contract for services relating to the development of stock management software.
    • De Beers v Atos Origin [2010] EWHC 3276 (TCC), Edwards-Stuart J.A four week trial in October/November 2010 concerning a successful claim by De Beers, the leading diamond trading company, against its IT suppliers in relation to the renunciation of a software development contract.
    • Noemalife SpA v Infinitt UK [2013] EWHC 2376 (TCC), Edwards-Stuart J. Claim by software provider for provision of licence fees in respect of an implied licence of clinical software.
  • Banking & Financial Services K View More

    Yash regularly advises and appears in a broad range of banking and finance disputes on behalf of banks, financial institutions and hedge funds. The areas in which he is instructed include asset financing, claims under guarantees, the trading of distressed debt, issues as to conformity and rejection of documents and the scope of duties of banks. Cases in which he has been involved include:

    • Pentland Ferries Ltd v Bank of Scotland plc. Claim by the beneficiary of a standby letter of credit against a collecting bank arising out of a failure by the collecting bank to provide necessary original documentation and/or for failing to check the accuracy of information being sent by it to the issuing bank, resulting in the claim under the standby letter of credit being rejected.
    • Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Ltd v Palladio SCI. Claim by claimant bank in respect of repayment under loans in the sum of EUR 10m. Issues raised included whether the loans had been restructured such that the defendant was not in breach of the now-restructured agreement and/or whether the claimant bank could be said to have waived or be estopped from insisting on repayment within the alleged timescales.
    • Bombardier Capital UK Ltd v G E Commercial Distribution Finance Europe Ltd. Dispute concerning the purchase of yacht financing facilities as between two finance houses in circumstances where a number of the yachts in question had ceased to exist; whether the money paid by the claimant to the defendant was recoverable as money paid under a mistake of fact or on the ground that the defendant was a Quistclose trustee.
    • Sabah Shipyard (Pakistan) Ltd v Islamic Republic of Pakistan [2008] 1 Lloyd's Rep 210, Christopher Clarke J. Claim for US$18m against the Government of Pakistan under a guarantee in respect of the obligations of a state-owned electricity company which entered into a power purchasing agreement with the claimant in the 1990s; whether the guarantee was procured by fraudulent misrepresentation on the part of the claimant.
    • Barbados Trust Company Ltd v (1) Bank of Zambia (2) Bank of America N.A.[2007] 1 Lloyd's Rep 495 (Waller, Rix and Hooper L.J.J.); [2006] 1 Lloyd's Rep 723, Langley J. Dispute concerning whether a debt trader was entitled to recover a US$3.6m traded debt against the Bank of Zambia, the debtor under a syndicated bank loan facility, in circumstances where the facility contained a prohibition on assignment; and whether the use of a declaration of trust circumvented the prohibition on assignment.
  • Insurance & Reinsurance K View More

    Yash has experience of a wide range of classes and types of insurance dispute, acting on behalf of insurers, brokers and assureds, involving a broad range of issues in the marine and non-marine sectors, including issues of construction, double insurance, contribution, insurable interest and non-disclosure. Illustrative cases include:

    • Re Walker's Trusts. Advising a large Jersey-based trust on their indemnity insurance arrangements in relation to the trustee companies and underlying companies within the trust structure.
    • Andrew Johnson Knutzon Ltd v Markel Syndicate 3000. Claim under a business interruption policy for losses arising out of an alleged explosion within the terms of the policy.
    • Quail Travel Group SA v IC Scandinavia & others. Advising on claim under a hull and machinery policy, raising issues of insurable interest and non-disclosure by co-assured.
    • Enron Metal & Commodity Corp v Navan Resources & others. Acting on behalf of assured in a claim under a credit insurance policy whereby Enron insured itself against the risk of the parent company of a counterparty failing to be able to meet a guarantee provided by the parent company in respect of its subsidiary's obligations concerning the supply of commodities under a sale contract.
    • Instructed on a sizeable coverage dispute in respect of a marine insurance policy.

"...Highly intelligent, approachable, commercial and user-friendly..."

(Chambers UK, 2017)


MA (Law, Double First Class) (Cantab)


Fairest Prize for Law. Highest First Class for Equity in Cambridge University Law Tripos Part II.
Hardwicke and Sunley Scholarships (Lincoln's Inn).


Hindi (fluent) and French (near-fluent).


Butterworths Commercial Court & Arbitration Pleadings - author of the chapter on Agency.
Informa Law 2009 - writing chapter on rules and doctrines relevant to jurisdiction and maritime law.


Indian Maritime Association (UK)
Chancery Bar
Society for Computers and Law

Return to Barristers

Our barristers section has a Shortlist feature. You can use this to gather together the profiles of members that are of interest to you. Look out for the Ksymbol and click this to add to your shortlist. If you see this symbol next to a part of a profile you can click this to add just that part.

To view your shortlist please click the button above.