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Nikki Singla QC

Call: 2000    QC: 2018

+44 (0)20 7306 0102nsingla@wilberforce.co.uk

Practice Overview

  • Business Litigation Barrister of the Year – Corporate LiveWire 
  • Business Litigation Barrister of the YearLawyer Monthly Legal Awards 
  • Private Client Barrister of the Year Corporate LiveWire 

Nikki is an experienced commercial, company and trusts litigator. He has been instructed for many years as the lead advocate in complex and high-value claims in the High Court and overseas. He is an experienced cross-examiner. He is recognised in the directories as one of the leading names at the Bar in commercial and business litigation: “a very effective, robust and ferocious advocate” and “incredibly commercial with clients and speaks their language” (Chambers and Partners); and “his drafting skills are top notch, his knowledge of trusts and offshore litigation second to none” and “a class act and someone to look to whenever the opportunity arises” (Legal 500).

He has a breadth of expertise covering a wide range of commercial and business disputes particularly in the fields of complex contracts, company valuation, joint ventures, director and shareholder disputes, trustee and fiduciary disputes, professional negligence and media and entertainment.

He brings additional depth to his commercial cases with his expertise in equity, equitable remedies including asset tracing, trusts and trusts litigation, and company and partnership law.

He is an experienced trial advocate and has appeared in a number of reported cases in the High Court (Chancery Division and Commercial Court) and in other jurisdictions, including Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. He has extensive experience of leading teams in arbitrations, both domestic and international. Many of his cases have a strong international element particularly in the Caribbean, the Channel Islands and the Middle East.

Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners recommend him as a leading name at the Bar in a number of practice areas:

Commercial Litigation

  • A “skilful, strategic advocate” with the ability to “cut through the complexities to the core issues
  • knowledgeable and user friendly”, a “rising star” and “an able communicator and litigator for any size of case
  • “A real star; very capable indeed and lovely to work with”

Commercial Chancery Litigation

  • “He’s absolutely delightful to be against as he’s utterly fair and charming”
  • “He gets under the skin of the case and is a very good team player”
  • “Calm in the face of a storm”

Company and Partnership Litigation

  • Speedy, analytical and honest in his opinion, which is appreciated by the client”

Offshore Litigation

  • “He is excellent with clients, very calm, and he has a great manner to him”
  • “He is very bright and impressive”

Professional Negligence

  • “Committed, thoughtful, intense and thoroughly committed to winning”

Media and Entertainment

  • “He has very good judgement and is definitely someone you want on your team in a difficult case”

He is listed in the Who’s Who Legal: UK Bar for Private Client.

Recent cases include:

  • Al-Dowaisan v Al-Salam & Others (Chancery Division): Lead counsel at the trial of a Kuwaiti investor’s claim for an account of his substantial investments in the UK and overseas.
  • Trustees of 3 Settlements v A Firm (Expert Determination): Acting for the claimant trustees in their negligence claim against former solicitors who had drafted invalid deeds of retirement and appointment. Complex dispute over what heads of loss are recoverable in law.
  • In the matter of a Trust (Supreme Court of Bermuda): Acting for a class of beneficiaries in contested Beddoe proceedings objecting to the decision of trustees to enter into a highly leveraged acquisition of shares for several million dollars based on expert valuations and projections based on the price of oil.
  • Re a Company (ICC Arbitration): Acting for claimant shareholders seeking damages for conspiracy and relief for unfair prejudice against defendant directors and shareholders of a BVI joint venture investment company.
  • Re a Bank (in liquidation): Advising on obtaining evidence in England for use in a large foreign insolvency proceeding commenced overseas.
  • Ripples Homeland Security v Osborne Clarke Solicitors (Mercantile Court): Acting for claimant in a professional negligence claim against former solicitors for their role in a failed share sale transaction depriving the claimant of investment capital to take the claimant’s technology to market.
  • A v B (Stockholm Chamber of Commerce Arbitration): Acting for the defendant in the trial of a several billion dollar gas transit arbitration between state parties in relation to one of the world’s largest transit pipelines.
  • Re a Company (Grand Court of the Cayman Islands): Acting for directors and shareholders to ascertain “fair value” under Cayman companies’ legislation for minority shares in a management buy-out. Case concerns intricate matters of share valuation and discounted cash flow valuation techniques.
  • E v D (Football Association Arbitration, Rule K): Acting for Premiership footballer in the trial of claims of breach of contract by a former football agent.
  • T v D (Ad hoc Arbitration): Acting for solicitor excluded from a firm of solicitors in the trial of claims for breach of contract, good faith and other partnership duties.
  • The Light Touch Clinic v Forrester (Chancery Division): Acting for cosmetic clinic company seeking to enforce restraint of trade clauses against former director and employee setting up competing business and using confidential information.
  • Jenington v Assaubayev and Others (Chancery Division): Acting for the defendant directors defending claims of £200million for alleged fraud on AIM investors in respect of mineral ventures in Kazakhstan. Contested applications for worldwide freezing orders, search orders, gagging and passport orders.
  • eGain v (1) RBS (2) Lloyds TSB and 14 others (Commercial Court): Large internet banking fraud against US company – acted for company obtaining a series of asset tracing orders to locate the money, freezing injunctions and disclosure orders against fraudulent defendants and several banks and contested interpleader proceedings.
  • In the Matter of a Trust (Supreme Court of Bermuda): Acted for a member of one of the wealthiest Canadian families in the trial of a dispute between him and his father over the application of trust provisions in a complex Bermudian trust and corporate structure. Case was one of the first to consider the application of trust “jurisdiction” clauses.
  • In the Matter of the H Trust (Royal Court of Jersey): Acted for a corporate fiduciary services provider defending beneficiary claims against several defendants for over £30million for alleged fraudulent and negligent investment advice. Allegations made against well-known accountant and adviser for fraud and breach of trust which led to criminal proceedings.
  • In the Matter of a Company (Royal Court of Guernsey): Acted for the defendant corporate fiduciary services provider and director defendants with local leading advocates in the defence of breach of trust proceedings and alleged negligence in respect of investment policy for approximately £10million. Case required consideration of the duties of non-executive directors and offshore corporate services providers.
  • A v B (DIAC arbitration in Dubai): Acted in the trial for the claimant company building the world’s largest theme park in Dubai against contractors and designers alleged to have acted in breach of the design contract and defending counterclaim for lost profits arising on termination.
  • Arrow Group ApS v Gelmedic Holding ApS (Chancery Division): Acted for claimant licensor against large pharmaceutical licensee in breach of contract claim for failing to develop a patent into a lozenge and bring it to market. Consideration of the application of the Limitation Act to a “best endeavours” clause in the contract.
  • Ackerman v Ackerman (Chancery Division): Acted for the claimant in the trial of a large complex shareholders’ dispute where a challenge was made to an expert QC’s determination of the division of family corporate assets between two sides of a family.
  • Reeves v Sprecher (Chancery Division): Acted for the majority shareholder in a large hedge fund established in London and Nevis in a dispute against the minority shareholder who sought partnership remedies of dissolution and account. Case involved foreign proceedings and considered the jurisdiction of the Court over foreign incorporated companies.
  • British Midland Tool v Midland International Tooling (Chancery Division): Acting for the claimant company in the lengthy trial of a large conspiracy claim against former directors who set up competing business and breached duties of confidence and other fiduciary duties.
  • Reachlocal UK v Bennett (Queen’s Bench Division): Acting for NASDAQ listed company in the trial of its claims against competitors using social media, Twitter and Facebook, to defame and attack the business.