Called: 1988 Silk: 2012
Chirag Karia QC has a broad commercial, shipping, insurance and international trade practice. He appears regularly in the Commercial Court, the Court of Appeal and international arbitrations. He is listed as a ‘Leading Silk’ for Shipping and Commodities disputes by Chambers UK, Chambers Global, The Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal and for Commercial disputes by Legal 500 EMEA. Chambers UK notes that:
“He is very user-friendly, a very good advocate and excellent at cross-examining. He is a pleasure to work with." "He has great insight into the international aspects of dispute resolution, and is known for the quality of his written work as much as his forceful advocacy". “He is very professional and practical.” “His diligent approach towards difficult and complex cases, combined with his detailed knowledge of the law, produces superb results".
Chirag is instructed on high level and important shipping and commodities cases, usually multi-jurisdictional and vigorously fought. Over the past few years he has acted on: Unipec v BP & others, a complex series of inter-related Commercial Court actions and LCIA arbitrations claiming over US$80 million in damages from multi-national oil companies as a result of the sale of salt-contaminated crude oil; The Ratna Suradha, a multi-party dispute, involving the sovereign states of Sudan and South Sudan as parties as to title to a US$60 million cargo of oil; Great Elephant Corp. v. Trafigura Beheer BV (“The Crudesky”), a five party “chain” dispute in which Chirag’s clients succeeded in the Commercial Court and then secured a substantially increased recovery from the Court of Appeal; and The Yusuf Cepnioglu, in which Chirag secured anti-suit injunctions against actions brought against his P&I Club client by third parties under Turkey’s right of direct action against liability insurers.
His cases range from charterparty, insurance, bill of lading and commodities disputes to complex oil & gas, share purchase, conflicts of laws and arbitration matters. He also sits as an arbitrator (most recently under the ICC and DIAC rules), is a Registered Practitioner before the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts and teaches advocacy to barristers for Lincoln’s Inn.
He practised as an attorney in California before returning to the Bar of England & Wales – he is admitted to practise before all the Federal and State Courts in California, where he practiced for 10 years prior to returning to the Bar. Chirag’s US practice consisted of a wide range of commercial work, including international trade, oil and gas law, banking, securities fraud, conflicts of laws and intellectual property law. He has a number of reported Federal Court decisions.
Chirag graduated from Cambridge University with the top first in his year (winning the Slaughter and May Prize) and achieved First Class Honours in all three parts of the Law Tripos.
"Chirag is particularly valued for his down-to-earth and commercial approach to advocacy which plays well with trade tribunals."(Chambers UK, 2020)
"A very good advocate who has excellent cross-examination skills."(Chambers UK, 2020)
"He's extremely commercial, approachable and has a fantastic eye for detail."(Chambers UK, 2020)
"His grasp of the law and his ability to apply it to any given case is second to none."(Legal 500, 2020)
"A leading legal mind, he always seems to take the right points and is excellent counsel for complex and high-pressure disputes."(Legal 500, 2020)
"User-friendly, sharp and quick-witted." "...extremely commercial and approachable. He has a fantastic eye for detail." "...he gives clear, concise and practical advice."(Chambers UK, 2019)
"He is quick thinker on his feet and has strong cross-examination skills."(Legal 500, 2019)
"His work includes a range of chartering and award enforcement matters."(Legal 500, 2019)
"A safe pair of hands for high-level and complex commodities cases."(Legal 500, 2019)
"He is a very good advocate in terms of cross-examination and making submissions. He is also very good on paper and user-friendly. He ticks all the boxes."(Chambers UK, 2018)
"Prompt, helpful, sharp and commercial." "...His legal advice is clear and concise."(Chambers Global, 2019)
"Fantastic to work with."(Legal 500, 2017)
"Excellent on the law and crystal-clear in both oral and written advocacy; a formidable barrister."(Legal 500, 2017)
"He is very user-friendly, a very good advocate and excellent at cross-examining. He is a pleasure to work with." "...He is very bright, very commercial, and his advice was spot on."(Chambers UK, 2017)
"A consummate litigator who fights to win and knows the file back to front. He has a charming manner with the bench."(Chambers UK, 2016)
"A great tectician and a great legal brain, liked by clients and the court." ... "Excellent."(Legal 500, 2016)
"Clear, effective and sensitive to clients' needs."(Legal 500, 2015)
"His diligent approach towards difficult and complex cases, combined with his detailed knowledge of the law, produces superb results."(Chambers UK, 2014)
"One of the most user-friendly, hardworking and effective barristers at the Bar."(Legal 500, 2012)
Chirag is regularly instructed on high level and important shipping and commodities cases, usually multi-jurisdictional and vigorously fought.
Chirag acts is a wide variety of commodities disputes, ranging from oil and oil-product actions in the Commercial Court and the Court of Appeal and in arbitrations, including under the LCIA, GAFTA, FOSFA and Sugar Association of London rules amongst others
Chirag has wide experience in energy litigation and offshore disputes. Recent cases include:
Chirag's recent commercial cases have included a hard-fought Commercial Court trial involving the sale of Bulgarian satellite TV company and a large multi-jurisdictional partnership dispute in the Chancery Division involving supplying equipment and fuel to the US army in Afghanistan.
"A leading legal mind, he always seems to take the right points and is an excellent counsel for complex and high-pressure disputes."(Legal 500, 2020)
LL.M. (Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley)
Slaughter & May Prize (top 1st in Law), University of Cambridge; Denning Scholar, Lincoln's Inn; Council of Legal Education Studentship; Harkness Fellow, Commonwealth Fund of New York
Butterworths Commercial Court & Arbitration Pleadings, Joint General Editor.
The “fraudulent device” defence: justice, proportionality and human rights, Insurance Day, 27 Nov 2013.
Fortuity, inevitability and negligence, Insurance Day, 23 Oct 2013.
Fortuity, inevitability and crew negligence, Maritime Risk International, 10 Oct 2013
London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association
State Bar of California
Practised as commercial litigator/attorney in California for 10 years.