Ravi Aswani is a commercial dispute resolution barrister. He has a broad practice which covers a number of areas including in particular shipping and international trade, commodities, energy and oil and gas, metals and mining, insurance and re-insurance, banking and finance.
Ravi has a broad domestic and international client base, and in addition to his practice as Counsel he offers services as a mediator and arbitrator. He is a CEDR accredited mediator, a freeman of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators, a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a Deputy District Judge. He is regularly asked to provide expert evidence on English law for use in foreign courts and arbitral tribunals. He frequently speaks at conferences on subjects arising out of his practice areas, both in the UK and abroad.
Appointments & Memberships
Association Internationale des Jeunes Avocats
Bar Pro Bono Unit
British Maritime Law Association
CEDR Exchange Network
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - MCIArb
Commercial Bar Association
FDI International Moot Competition - College of Arbitrators
Indian Maritime Association (UK)
International Bar Association
International Chamber of Commerce - Young Arbitrators Forum
International Council for Commercial Arbitration
Inter-Pacific Bar Association
London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
London Court of International Arbitration - Young International
Arbitration Group and European Users’ Council
London Maritime Arbitrators’ Association - Supporting Member
Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration – Young MCIA
Scottish Arbitration Centre
Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration - Individual Member
UK India Business Council - Next Generation Network Member
Worshipful Company of Arbitrators - Freeman
Commercial Dispute Resolution
All substantive and procedural aspects of litigation, arbitration and mediation. Ravi is currently instructed in a considerable number of Commercial Court actions and commercial arbitrations, many of which may be heard during 2018 and 2019. In the past few years Ravi has acted as counsel in a number of substantial arbitration hearings including LMAA, LCIA, ICC, SCMA and SIAC arbitrations, as well as Commercial Court litigation. Ravi has in a number of recent cases been instructed to appear unled against QC opposition. The disputes Ravi has been instructed have involved allegations of fraud and corruption as well as breach of contract and tort. Ravi is often instructed in heavy interim matters involving questions of jurisdiction, procedure and injunctive relief.
Shipping & International Trade
- All aspects of wet and dry shipping.
- Significant experience also in relation to shipbuilding, ship sale and purchase, ship repair, ship management and all aspects of port operation.
- Domestic and international disputes arising out of contracts for the sale and / or transport of goods (by air, road and rail as well as
by sea), extensive experience of advising under BIFA, CMR and RHA terms, as well as underlying contracts of insurance.
Insurance & Reinsurance
- Construction of policies.
- Disputes as to coverage and non-disclosure/misrepresentation.
- Protection and indemnity policy / marine insurance advice.
Banking & Finance
Disputes arising out of:
- Bills of exchange
- Letters of credit
- Performance bonds
LCIA arbitration (English seat, English law) arising out of alleged consultancy agreement.
ICC arbitration (English seat, English law) arising out of contract for the supply and commissioning of industrial heat exchangers.
SIAC arbitration (Singapore seat, Malaysian law) arising out of a commodity sale and purchase.
ICC arbitration (English seat, English law) arising out of a heavy machinery and plant sales and marketing joint venture.
Ad hoc arbitration (Singapore seat, English law) arising out of a ship management contract.
Exmek Pharmaceuticals SAC v Alkem Laboratories Limited  1 Lloyd’s Rep 239 - Ravi was instructed alone against a QC in a complex challenge to an arbitrator’s substantive jurisdiction in an ad hoc English seated arbitration arising out of a pharmaceuticals distribution joint venture agreement. The judgment considers the effect of prior litigation in Peru on the arbitrator’s substantive jurisdiction by reference to s32 and s33 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982, in the context of dispute resolution provisions providing for both litigation and arbitration, in the “UK” under “UK law”.
Konkola Copper Mines PLC v U&M Mining Zambia Ltd - Ravi was instructed as junior counsel (led by Derrick Dale QC) in four consolidated LCIA arbitrations arising out of four related mining joint venture agreements, which led to multiple hearings in the Commercial Court on points that attracted considerable interest in the arbitration community:  EWHC 2210 (Comm) - amending arbitration claim form out of time;  2 Lloyd’s Rep 507 - the exercise of the Court’s power to order securing of the sums due under an award being challenged; and  2 Lloyd’s Rep 652 - s67 and s68 challenges in the context of an “unless” award.
Providing an opinion on English law for use in the High Court of the Republic of Singapore.
Ad hoc arbitration (English seat, English law) arising out of a dispute in relation to the supply of damaged coking coal. Ravi acted as co-counsel with a Senior Advocate from India, against an English QC.
Commercial Court proceedings issued in support of an ICC arbitration seated in Hong Kong.
LCIA arbitration and associated Commercial Court proceedings instructed unled against a QC involving a challenge to the solearbitrator’s decision that he did not have jurisdiction.
LCIA arbitration instructed unled against a QC involving disputes arising out of a mining operation in West Africa.
SIAC arbitration involving the cancellation of a contract for the import of a cargo of coal into India (involving governmental restrictions on the use of imported coal in India in favour of the use of domestic coal), culminating in a 5-day hearing in Singapore.
Royal Bank of Scotland v FAL Oil Company Limited  1 Lloyd’s Rep 327 - exercise of freezing order jurisdiction in support of foreign proceedings where limited evidence of assets in jurisdiction (led by Vasanti Selvaratnam QC).
Representing defendants in Commercial Court litigation in which the claimant seeks monies said to be due under a guarantee. The defences include unenforceability of the guarantee due to want of consideration and no intention to create legal relations as document merely intended to be paperwork to show auditors and not a binding contract. The sums in issue were over €37million.
Commercial Court banking litigation in which Ravi applied and obtained a relatively rare order allowing the defendant greater than the normal 14 days within which to pay the judgment debt which was not in itself disputed.
Commercial Court litigation raising a novel question of which party should bear the risk of currency fluctuations during a period of delayed contractual performance.
Instructed in Commercial Court litigation on behalf of an engineering company in complex Commercial Court litigation concerning the construction of an oil refinery.
Instructed in litigation in the Technology and Construction Court arising out of an adjudicator’s award and subsequent applications for enforcement and injunctive relief.
LMAA arbitration under Bargehire charterparty raising novel questions about insurance and liability obligations in the context of intended regular groundings to a barge causing damage – issues include whether it was impossible to obtain insurance in respect of the same given lack of fortuity and whether damage ordinary wear and tear in any event.
Sea Glory Maritime Co v Al Sagr National Insurance Co  1 Lloyd’s Rep 14 - A substantial trial in the Commercial Court where Ravi was instructed to appear unled against a senior QC and a senior junior. Ravi represented the defendant insurer resisting multimillion dollar claim in which the defence raised matters of misrepresentation and non-disclosure, as well as a number of novel questions of illegality.
Instructed in relation to Commercial Court litigation and concurrent LMAA arbitration arising out of marine insurance policy incorporating Institute Cargo Clauses and concerning damage to a cargo of steel coils.
Shipping / Commodities
Commercial Court litigation arising out of the contamination of a gasoil consignment.
LMAA arbitration relating to the performance of two related contracts to purchase Chinese built Kamsarmax vessels.
LMAA arbitration raising complex issues about SIRE / oil major approvals and quantum of damages (s68 and s69 challenges pending in the Commercial Court).
LMAA arbitration in which the tribunal made an order dismissing the claim on the grounds of inordinate delay (s68 and s69 challenges pending in the Commercial Court).
GAFTA arbitrations arising out of multiple contracts for the sale of soyabean meal and corn, and related challenge to s66 enforcement action on the basis that appeals to the GAFTA appeal board were pending such that the first tier awards could not be enforced.
Navalmar UK Ltd v Kale Maden  1 Lloyd’s Rep 370 – consideration of the meaning of “port limits”.
LMAA arbitration arising out of damage to a cargo of liquefied butadiene.
Former Owners of Melissa K v Former Owners of Tomsk  1 Lloyd’s Rep 503 – whether an offer to settle liability in respect of a collision could be accepted in circumstances where a claim form had been issued in time but not served in time in the absence of an extension of time (led by Vasanti Selvaratnam QC).
Ameropa SA v Lithuanian Shipping Company  EWHC 3847 (Comm) – defence against an arbitration application based on an allegation that the tribunal had dealt with the claim on a basis which had not been argued.
LMAA arbitration arising out of a number of related contracts for the construction and purchase of jack up oil drilling rigs.
LCIA arbitration arising out of a high value ship repair contract.
LMAA arbitration on behalf of charterers in a dispute arising out of a catastrophic failure in the ship’s crane’s luffing ropes.
LMAA arbitration (led by Steven Gee QC for hearing only) listed for a 10 day hearing arising out of carriage of a cargo of petroleum products and involving expert evidence in multiple fields, settled on fourth day of trial.
Substantial Commercial Court litigation instructed unled on behalf of cargo interests in relation to the grounding on a reef of a vessel and consequent damage to cargo and salvage / general average. Both the owners and the charterers instructed senior QCs.
LMAA arbitration (unled) against a senior QC representing charterers on a novel question of whether, as a matter of New York law, a vessel was entitled to tender NOR notwithstanding her suffering problems with her propulsion systems.
LMAA arbitration on behalf of charterers in relation to a dispute arising out of the carriage of a cargo of sulphur from Ukraine to Egypt.
Instructed unled on behalf of well-known steel charterers in an LMAA arbitration concerning the alleged liquefaction of an iron ore cargo off the coast of West Africa and the consequences of that alleged liquefaction. The owners were represented by a QC.
LOF arbitration against a QC on behalf of cargo interests in a salvage dispute.
Instructed in an LMAA reference concerning the novel legal consequences for a ship sale and purchase agreement of an earthquake and resulting tsunami allegedly preventing delivery under a ship sale and purchase agreement.
Ispat Industries Ltd v Western Bulk Pte Ltd  EWHC 93 (Comm) - whether majority arbitrators under any obligation expressly to consider views expressed by dissenting arbitrator (led by Nigel Cooper QC).
D/S Norden A/S v Samsun Logix Corporation  BPIR 1367 – factors to be considered by Court when determining application for permission to bring proceedings and/or enforce security against a foreign insolvent company.
BTC Bulk Transport Corporation v Glencore International AG  EWHC 1957 (Comm) – whether alleged error of law in award where application under s69 Arbitration Act 1996 not possible for want of reasoned award could be relevant to irregularity for purposes of s68 Arbitration Act 1996 application.
Exfin Shipping (India) Ltd v Tolani Shipping Co Ltd  2 Lloyd’s Rep 389 – whether an admitted but unpaid liability constitutes a “dispute” within the meaning of an arbitration clause.
Bernuth Lines Ltd v High Seas Shipping Ltd (The Eastern Navigator)  1 Lloyd’s Rep 537 - whether arbitration can validly be commenced by email sent to general information email address.
LG Korbetis v Transgrain Shipping BV  EWHC 1345 (Comm) – application of postal rule to misdirected letters of acceptance.
Triton Navigation Ltd v Vitol SA (The Nikmary)  1 Lloyd’s Rep 55 - Appeal to Court of Appeal on point concerning timing of charterer’s obligation to provide / load cargo (led by Timothy Hill).
Awards & Scholarships
University College London
»» Andrews Prize
»» Simmons & Simmons EC Law Prize
»» Titmuss Sainer Dechert / CCH Company Law Prize
»» Sweet & Maxwell Prize
»» Dean’s List
Nottingham Law School
»» Taylor Prize Runner Up
»» Hardwicke Entrance Award, 1998
»» Sir Thomas More Bursary, 1999
»» Buchanan Prize, 2000
»» Megarry Scholarship, 2000