Sunil Gadhia’s practice focuses on English and foreign court litigation, arbitration, investigatory, and enforcement work.

He also has particular experience advising on all aspects of UN, EU, and UK sanctions, including challenging sanctions in the EU and English courts. Sunil currently sits on the firm’s Executive Committee.

Sunil is consistently recognized by legal directories as one of the leading practitioners in his field, cited as “a significant operator”; a lawyer who “gives really sophisticated advice, sees the subtleties in everything, and leaves no stone unturned”; “great at keeping the big picture, developing a tactical response to claims and communicating key aspects back to the company”; with “fantastic knowledge of the complex factual details of the case”; a “clear and authoritative demeanor. He’s always to the point and can give sharply observed points on commerciality issues”; and “very experienced, clear about strategy, and his advice is always results-oriented.”

Notable Experience

English Court Litigation

  • Sunil has more than 30 years’ experience of litigating in the English courts, including the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. His experience ranges from cases on contractual interpretation, contentious insolvency, banking and financial disputes, fraud and asset tracing, parent company liability for subsidiaries in overseas jurisdictions, enforcement of arbitration awards, and sovereign immunity. Examples of his general litigation cases include:

    • Cases on contractual interpretation, including in the High Court and Court of Appeal.
    • A major dispute arising out of claims that hundreds of millions of dollars were stolen from a publicly listed company based in Kazakhstan, involving proceedings before the courts in England, the U.S., Switzerland, and Cyprus.
    • Claims against a parent company in the mining sector for harm suffered by individuals in Sierra Leone, involving issues of vicarious liability for acts of state authorities and negligence.
    • A multinational gaming company in English Commercial Court proceedings over the interpretation of Italian company law in the context of a corporate merger.

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International Fraud

  • English Commercial Court proceedings involving claims for fraudulent misrepresentation, intimidation and conspiracy arising from the sale of a minority interest in an Indian payments company, and with Indian Counsel defeating an anti-suit injunction in the Indian Courts in an issue that went to the Indian Supreme Court.

  • Advising a number of bank entities in substantial litigation and various pre-action applications relating to FX trading, including obtaining judgment in our clients’ favor on an application relating to use of confidential documents and also obtaining an award of indemnity costs in our clients’ favor.

  • A major dispute arising out of claims that hundreds of millions of dollars were stolen from a publicly listed company based in Kazakhstan, involving proceedings before the courts in England, the U.S., Switzerland, and Cyprus.

  • A European manufacturing and engineering group, in a substantial fraud claim and a derivative action.

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Banking and Financial Disputes

  • A number of bank entities in substantial litigation and various pre-action applications relating to FX trading, including obtaining judgment in our clients’ favor on an application relating to use of confidential documents and also obtaining an award of indemnity costs in our clients’ favor.

  • A leading European bank in a complex and substantial derivatives dispute against another leading European bank.

  • A leading European bank in a complex and substantial dispute against another leading European bank in relation to credit-linked notes.

  • One of the world’s leading banks in significant fraud cases involving the recovery of assets in numerous jurisdictions around the world.

  • A leading European bank in a fraud case arising out of a complex and high-value securitization transaction.

  • Sunil also has extensive experience of assisting clients with litigation in foreign courts. Examples include:

    • Former minority shareholders in an Indian payments company in litigation arising from the sale of the company, including defeating an attempt in the Madras High Court to halt English claims, a success upheld by the Supreme Court of India in a case that raised important cross-border issues.
    • A creditor of, and investor in, entities and funds of the collapsed Dubai-based private equity group Abraaj, including contested insolvency proceedings in the Cayman Islands.
    • A creditor of entities and funds managed by a venture capital firm, including contested applications in the Cayman Islands courts.
    • A leading identity company on disputes arising from a $100 million project to supply ID cards to Bangladesh, including Commercial Court proceedings against sub-contractors, litigation in other jurisdictions, and potential international arbitration proceedings.
    • A leading European bank in disputes with a state-owned oil company concerning a commodities financing transaction relating to crude oil, including litigation in the South African courts and potential litigation in England and elsewhere.

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Arbitration

  • A leading identity company on disputes arising from a $100 million project to supply ID cards to Bangladesh, including Commercial Court proceedings against sub-contractors, litigation in other jurisdictions, and potential international arbitration proceedings.

  • A substantial London-seated ICC arbitration between two major technology hardware providers.

  • An LCIA arbitration between two emerging markets businesses involved in a substantial contractual dispute.

  • A Russian oil and gas company on High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings to enforce a $112 million arbitration award against Ukraine; obtaining leave to enforce the award and resisting Ukraine’s application in the High Court to set aside the order for enforcement based on sovereign immunity grounds.

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Investigations and Enforcement Proceedings

  • Extensive experience of regulatory, enforcement, and criminal investigations and proceedings. Sunil has advised in relation to investigations by global regulators in Europe, the U.S., and Asia concerning the Foreign Exchange LIBOR, ISDAFIX, and other benchmark rates.

  • Wide-ranging experience of investigations and proceedings by the FCA against institutions and individuals.

  • Significant experience of investigations by the Serious Fraud Office and other international law enforcers into bribery and corruption allegations, including the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation into Unaoil.

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Sanctions

  • Interpretation issues, compliance, licensing, enforcement, litigation, and regulatory issues in relation to sanctions affecting Egypt, Iran, Libya, Syria, and the situation in Ukraine.

  • A number of leading cases in the EU and English courts challenging sanctions imposed against financial institutions and individuals.

  • Lobbying strategies for institutions in relation to sanctions at UN, EU, and national levels, including the U.S., UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, and various offshore jurisdictions.

  • Commercial disputes in which sanctions issues are raised as defenses.

  • Interpretation of sanctions laws and their impact on commercial arrangements, including regulatory issues arising from potential infringement.

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Selected Activities

  • Legal Adviser (Pro Bono) RCJ Advice Bureau, Royal Courts of Justice; Camden Law Centre
  • Former Non-Executive Director and Council Member, Advertising Standards Authority
  • Former Volunteer Legal Adviser, Free Representation Unit
  • Former Volunteer Legal Adviser and Chairman, Fulham Legal Advice Centre
  • Former Non-Executive Director, Law Society Trustees Limited

Publications

UK Serious Fraud Office Publishes Corporate Co-Operation Guidance,” (co-author with James Brady, Frances Carpenter, Tim Vogel, Lev L. Dassin, Rahul Mukhi, Christina Karam and Adrienne Dahrouge), Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memorandum, September 24, 2019.

FCA Issues First Penalties for Competition Infringements,” (co-author with Jonathan Kelly, Nicholas Levy, James Brady, Paul Gilbert, David R. Little and Vassilena Karadakova), Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memorandum, February 26, 2019.

Securities and Related Investigations Know-How Guide,” (co-author of the U.K. chapter), Global Investigations Review, October 25, 2018.

English High Court Ruling on the Extraterritoriality of the Serious Fraud Office’s Powers,” (co-author with Abena Mainoo, Thomas Shortland and Pascale Bibi), Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, October 2, 2018.

UK Regulators Fine Barclays’ CEO for Errors of Judgement in Relation to Whistleblower,” (co-author with Jonathan Kelly, James Norris-Jones and Tim Vogel), Cleary Enforcement Watch blog, May 21, 2018.

UK Supreme Court Asserts Jurisdiction Because Conspiracy Was Hatched in England,” (co-author with James Brady and Marina Zarubin), Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memo, April 30, 2018.

Securities and Related Investigations Know-How Guide,” (co-author of the U.K. chapter), Global Investigations Review, October 17, 2017. 

“Securities and Related Investigations Know-How Guide,” (co-author of the U.K. chapter), Global Investigations Review, February 4, 2016. 

“Sham Trusts,” (co-author with Konrad Rodgers and Joe-han Ho), Trusts & Trustees, December 4, 2015.

“'A Watershed Moment for Enforcement' – Sizing up Class Action Competition Reforms,” (co-author with Paul Gilbert), Legal Business, November 4, 2015.

“New Rules May Mean More Private Actions in Antitrust Cases,” by Sunil Gadhia, Paul Gilbert and Paul Stuart, The Lawyer, October 2015.

“Setting Up a Trust Under English Law,” by Sunil Gadhia, Konrad Rodgers and Joe-han Ho, Legal Insight, September 2015.

“Financial crime compliance—joining up the dots,” (co-author with James Brady), PLC Magazine, Thomson Reuters, July 23, 2015.

Seminars and Presentations to Clients:

  • Litigation Funding: What Defendants Need to Know
  • Global Crisis Management Lessons and Observations: Considerations for In-House Teams
  • Top 10 Mistakes Companies Make in Preparing for and Managing a Crisis
  • The Impact of Brexit - Governing Law, Jurisdiction, and Enforcement
  • International Arbitration Agreements and Expedited Arbitration
  • Legal Professional Privilege in Internal Investigations
  • Achieving Efficiencies in Investigations and Disputes: Lessons Learned From the Benchmark Investigations

Events