Sunil Gadhia’s practice focuses on English and international disputes, investigatory and enforcement work.

Acting for both claimants and defendants, he has extensive experience of English court litigation; arbitration; investigations and enforcement proceedings; international sanctions and competition matters.

Sunil is ranked as a leading individual in Chambers and The Legal 500 guides to the legal profession. He has been described in these guides as “an outstanding negotiator, very agreeable but tough,” “one of the leading litigation partners in London,” “brilliant,” “a big-gun in the field… a favorite amongst clients for heavyweight banking and finance disputes,” an “excellent negotiator with a clear vision about litigation strategy,” and a lawyer who “gives really sophisticated advice, sees the subtleties in everything and leaves no stone unturned.”

Notable Experience

English Court Litigation

  • A broad variety of actions in the U.K. courts, extending from contract disputes and international frauds to wide-ranging cases involving emerging markets.

  • African Minerals Limited: Acted on litigation in respect of a $417 million facility agreement, winning before both the first instance Judge and Court of Appeal.

  • African Minerals Limited: Acting on litigation in relation to Sierra Leone entities involved in a dispute concerning parent company liability for the alleged acts of subsidiaries.

  • A leading Kazakh businessman: Advising in connection with 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.

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  • Advising on potential claims giving rise to collective proceedings under The Consumer Rights Act 2015.

  • Advising on competition law claims against financial institutions arising out of benchmarks.

  • Humber Oil Terminals Trustee Limited (a joint venture between Total UK and Phillips 66): Acting in proceedings in England against Associated British Ports concerning the terms and conditions of continued use of the Immingham Oil Terminal.

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International Fraud

  • A leading Kazakh businessman: Advising on substantial and multiple fraud claims, involving injunctive proceedings in various jurisdictions and successful challenges to freezing orders.

  • HMS Group: Advising a European manufacturing and engineering group, in a substantial fraud claim and a derivative action.

  • Madoff: Advising a leading European bank in all aspects of its involvement in the affair, including advising on recovery strategies and defense strategies.

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Banking and Financial Disputes

  • 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.

  • An Indian conglomerate on a substantial dispute with a syndicate of banks.

  • A leading low-cost airline in a derivatives dispute relating to its oil price hedging strategies.

  • 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.

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Investigations and Enforcement Proceedings

  • Extensive experience of regulatory, enforcement and criminal investigations and proceedings. He 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.

  • Extensive experience of investigations and proceedings by the FCA against institutions and individuals; investigations by the Serious Fraud Office and other international law enforcers; and bribery and corruption investigations.

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  • Interpretation issues, compliance, licensing, enforcement, litigation and regulatory issues in relation to sanctions affecting Egypt, Iran, Libya, Syria and the situation in the 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., U.K., 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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  • OAO Tomskneft: Counsel to the Russia-based oil and gas company in a successful application to the Irish High Court to dismiss an application by a former Yukos Oil subsidiary to enforce an ICC arbitration award.

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

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

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Selected Activities

  • 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
  • Legal Adviser (Pro Bono) RCJ Advice Bureau, Royal Courts of Justice; Camden Law Centre
  • Former Non-Executive Director, Law Society Trustees Limited


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.