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Rajiv Bhatt
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"Rajiv’s advocacy, knowledge of the law and persistence has been outstanding. His ability to think on his feet is also impressive. There is no doubt that he is a rising star."

Client

Rajiv has a wide ranging practice with a particular focus on: employment, commercial litigation, insurance, professional negligence and construction law. He has a particular interest in sports law.

Rajiv’s experience belies his call. He has already been involved in notable cases such as Kumulchew v Starbucks ET Case no 2201217/2014 and Frank Warren v Nathan Cleverly.

Prior to coming to the Bar Rajiv trained as a commercial solicitor at international law firm, Reed Smith LLP. Whilst at Reed Smith, Rajiv was involved in the high profile age discrimination case of John McCririck v Channel 4 and IMG Media (Case no: 2200478/2013). Rajiv also worked on various commercial disputes ranging from intellectual property to shipping, insurance and finance law. His prior experience of being a solicitor makes him perfectly placed to meet client expectations and provide an effective and tailored service.

Rajiv enjoys playing and watching all manner of sports including football, cricket and swimming. He is also currently learning to play the piano.

Banking & Finance

Rajiv has experience of financial services litigation having worked in the commercial disputes and financial regulation departments at Reed Smith.

Civil Fraud & Asset Tracing

Rajiv has a good knowledge of civil fraud and tracing issues having studied Commercial Equity and Restitution during his LLM in Cambridge.

Recent work:

  • Acting as junior counsel for a Claimant in respect of an alleged multimillion-pound investment fraud (led by Nigel Jones QC and David Lewis QC)
  • Acting for a claimant as sole counsel in respect of an investment fraud
  • Advised a claimant in respect of claims for unpaid wages and breach of contract against a company that was in Special Administration. The case arose out of a high profile criminal and civil fraud investigation in the UK and Denmark.

Commercial Arbitration

Rajiv has worked on arbitrations with the Grain and Free Trade Association (“GAFTA”) and Swiss Chamber of Commerce.

Commercial Litigation

Rajiv has a particular interest in commercial law and has acted in a variety of disputes from breach of contract, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty to the tort of conspiracy in relation to the sale of land. He has also obtained injunctive relief in the High Court.

Rajiv has experience of international commercial litigation and welcomes instructions on cases dealing with cross border disputes.

His niche expertise in sports law can be found on the “Sports Law” tab of his profile.

Rajiv’s commercial practice is supported by an LLM in Commercial Law from the University of Cambridge; this has provided him with an in depth knowledge of the legal principles in this area. In addition, whilst at Reed Smith, he was involved in a wide range of commercial disputes such as the construction of charterparty contracts, sale of goods, conflict of laws and banking and financial services litigation.

Recent Work:

  • Frank Warren v Nathan Cleverly – acting for Frank Warren, a well known boxing promoter, in a claim for breach of a promotional agreement against the former professional boxer, Nathan Cleverly.
  • Land Buyers of Britain Limited v (1) Yu Heung (2) Wonder4City Limited (High Court, William Davis J) – obtained an urgent High Court injunction requiring the Respondents to remove a priority search in respect of the Applicant’s property. Following the Respondent’s failure to comply with the injunction, Rajiv returned to the High Court and obtained a mandatory injunction against the Land Registry requiring it to remove the priority search. He also obtained a cost order against the Respondent.
  • Ellis v Meltzer (Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) – acting for the appellant in a case concerning the law of unjust enrichment. Rajiv drafted the Grounds of Appeal, and permission to appeal has been granted on all grounds raised.
  • Thompson Investments Limited v Mills –acting for the Claimant in a claim concerning the back to back sale of land. The case concerns allegations of breach of contract and malicious falsehood.
  • Maxwell Land Limited v Daif-Allah – acting for the Claimant in a claim for breach of contract in respect of the sale of land.
  • Acting for a potential claimant in a multi-million pound breach of contract claim in respect of the purchase of a company.
  • Advised a claimant in a multi-million pound dispute concerning claims for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, conspiracy and malicious falsehood in respect of the sale of land.
  • Acting for a Defendant in respect of a claim for breach of contract and money had and received in respect of the sale of land at auction.

Directors & Shareholders

Rajiv has particular expertise of directors and shareholders disputes

Recent work:

  • Drafted response to unfair prejudice petition
  • Advised in respect of an unfair prejudice petition and potential derivative action

Companies, Joint Ventures & Partnerships

Rajiv’s commercial work has given him experience in dealing with all forms of a corporate vehicle.

Most recently he advised in respect of breach of fiduciary duties of a company director in obtaining unlawful profits.

He has also advised a claimant in respect of claims for unpaid wages and breach of contract against a company that was in Special Administration. The case arose out of a high profile criminal and civil fraud investigation in the UK and Denmark.

Employment & Executive Disputes

Rajiv regularly acts for both employees and employers in complex multiday trials which include discrimination, victimisation, whistleblowing and TUPE. He has a particular interest in disability discrimination claims.

Rajiv also has experience of cases concerning employee competition.

Most notably, Rajiv successfully represented Meseret Kumulchew in her sex and disability discrimination, victimisation and whistleblowing case against Starbucks. The case received considerable press coverage: BBC, The Independent, The Guardian and The Times. The case also featured in the Equal Opportunities Review.

Rajiv has appeared in the Employment Appeal Tribunal and has drafted grounds of appeal and replies to appeals.

  • Drafted grounds of appeal to Court of Appeal, currently at permission stage. If permission is granted the case is likely to be a leading authority on the extent of a Tribunal’s obligation to provide reasons for a decision (i.e. Meek compliance and what amounts to an “overly pernickety critique” pursuant to Brent v London Borough Council v Fuller [2011] ICR 806)
  • Acting for a former police officer in a claim for breach of confidence, misuse of private information, breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998. The claim arose as a result of the Metropolitan Police’s alleged unlawful disclosure of confidential information to a national tabloid newspaper, leading to a negative news story about the Claimant.
  • Acting for a junior doctor in a disability discrimination and victimisation claim. The case concerns the complicated nature of the employment relationship within the context of the NHS.
  • Butt v London Borough of Barking and Dagenham – acting for the Claimant in a claim for damages following the negligent provision of an employment reference.
  • Scanlon v Young Engineers – successfully acted for the Respondent in a dispute concerning amounts owed to an independent contractor. The Claimant appealed the decision to the EAT and Rajiv drafted written submissions in response for a preliminary hearing.
  • Lawrence v Vodafone – acting for the Claimant in an age discrimination and unlawful deductions from wages claim in respect of income protection payments.
  • Perez v Hippdrome Casino Limited – acted for the Respondent in one of the first cases to deal with the interplay between the limitation period for unfair dismissal claims and the Supreme Court’s decision in R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor [2017] ICR 1037).
  • Boulding v Sky Handling Services – acted for the Claimant in an unfair dismissal and disability discrimination case. The Claimant succeeded in her complaint of unfair dismissal following a six-day trial on liability.
  • Kamara v MCCH – acted for the Respondent in successfully obtaining a strike out of the Claimant’s claims for unfair dismissal and discrimination. Successfully obtained a strike out of the Claimant’s appeal to the EAT at an oral hearing on the basis that the appeal had no reasonable prospects of success.
  • Acting for a former police officer in a claim for breach of confidence, misuse of private information, breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998. The claim arose as a result of the Metropolitan Police’s alleged unlawful disclosure of confidential information to a national tabloid newspaper, leading to a negative news story about the Claimant.
  • Acted for a Claimant IP Attorney in a disability discrimination, victimisation and harassment complaint against a City law firm. Obtained a favourable settlement.
  • Acted for a claimant in an age discrimination and unlawful deductions from wages claim in respect of income protection insurance. The Respondent offered to settle the case after receipt of the Particulars of Claim drafted by Rajiv and prior to the service of its Response. Case settled at full value.
  • Acted for a Claimant in respect of an unfair dismissal, pregnancy and maternity discrimination and age discrimination claim.

IP

Rajiv worked on cases concerning breach of copyright, trademark infringement and defamation in the Intellectual Property litigation department at Reed Smith.

He also co-authored a research note on the difference between the defence of “Honest Opinion” in English and Irish law; this was used by a broadcaster to inform a debate in the Oireachtas (the Irish Parliament).

Private International Law

Rajiv has experience of cross-border disputes concerning issues such as choice of law and jurisdiction. He has an in-depth knowledge of these issues having studied International Commercial Litigation during his LLM at the University of Cambridge.

Whilst at Reed Smith Rajiv worked on multi jurisdictional disputes (both litigation and arbitration). He has experience of arbitrations with the Grain and Free Trade Association (“GAFTA”) and Swiss Chamber of Commerce.

Construction Litigation

Rajiv brings a unique experience to his construction law practice having worked in Reed Smith’s Construction Litigation department and at Pearsons Claims where he dealt with insurance claims concerning property damage.

Rajiv acted for the successful Defendant, CSS Electrical, in the case of Gregg Nowak Ltd v CSS Electrical Distributors Ltd. This was a 3 day trial in front of HHJ Bailey where Rajiv successfully resisted Gregg Nowak’s application to lift a stay of enforcement on an adjudication award. The case concerns the interplay between construction and insolvency law. It has received considerable attention and concerns some of the issues discussed in the Court of Appeal’s decision in Lonsdale v Bresco [2019] EWCA Civ 27. Rajiv’s case has featured in a blog for Practical Law UK and was recently featured in the UK Adjudicator’s newsletter.

Rajiv has experience of acting for parties in construction adjudications. Currently acting for a referring party in an adjudication which concerns allegations of professional negligence against a contract administrator.

During his time at Reed Smith Rajiv was involved in a high profile billion-pound dispute concerning the collapse of the metro tunnel in Cologne. The case concerned the interplay between construction, insurance and professional liability. Rajiv was also involved in construction adjudications.  Rajiv’s experiences at Reed Smith have allowed him to gain a detailed understanding of construction contracts and the various forms of disputes resolution concerned.

Whilst at Pearsons Claims Rajiv dealt directly with builders and contractors and has a first-hand insight as to the realities of construction projects.

Rajiv’s practice at the Bar combines his previous experience. He is currently advising a construction company in respect of a claim for breach of contract and professional negligence.

Insurance Coverage

Rajiv has experience of insurance related disputes.

Prior to coming to the Bar, he worked at a firm of loss assessors where he acted for policy holders dealing with household insurance claims. Rajiv’s work included advising on interpretation of policy wordings, working with insurance loss adjustors and drafting appeals to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

He has also acted for the policy holder in respect of a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service in a case concerning allegations of misrepresentation by the insurance company.

Corporate Insolvency

Owing to Rajiv’s detailed knowledge of company law issues Rajiv is well placed to undertake insolvency work.  Rajiv’s insolvency practice also complements his employment law practice and Rajiv is particularly adept at advising on issues bordering both employment and insolvency law.

Rajiv has advised an employee in respect of unpaid wages following a controlled wind down of her then employer.  The case arose out of high profile multi-million pound fraud proceedings.

Contentious Probate & Inheritance Act Claims

Rajiv has studied equity and trusts at master’s level during his time in Cambridge. He is therefore particularly adept at dealing with thorny legal issues in respect of contentious trusts.

Rajiv is currently instructed to act for a beneficiary under a will where the will has been challenged on grounds of testamentary capacity.  The disputed estate is worth over £3m.

Sports Law

Rajiv has a particular interest in sports litigation. He is currently instructed by the boxing promoter Frank Warren in a contractual dispute against the former WBO Light Heavyweight Champion boxer, Nathan Cleverly.

He is a Sports Resolutions Pro Bono panel member and also a member of LawInSport. He is also one of a few number of lawyers to have been admitted into the LawInSport mentoring scheme.

Prior to coming to the Bar Rajiv assisted in the case of Dwain Chambers v British Olympic Association [2008] All ER (D) 255. The case concerned the British sprinter Dwain Chambers’ application for an interim injunction preventing the British Olympic Association from applying a byelaw which made him ineligible for selection as a member of Team GB for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Defamation

Rajiv has experience of acting for both Claimants and Defendants in defamation actions. Whilst at Reed Smith Rajiv co-authored a research note on the difference between the defence of “Honest Opinion” in English and Irish law; this was used by a broadcaster to inform a debate in the Oireachtas (the Irish Parliament).priv

Rajiv is currently instructed to act for a Claimant in a high profile claim for defamation against a well known news broadcaster in the Middle East. The claim also concerns complicated issues relating to jurisdiction.

International

Rajiv has expertise of international commercial litigation, underpinned by his time at an international law firm.

He has particular experience in relation to the Middle East.

Professional associations

  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • Industrial Law Society
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
  • Sport Resolutions Pro Bono Legal Advice Panel
  • LawInSport Plus member
  • Personal Injury Bar Association
  • Society of Construction Law
  • TECBAR

Publications

A Practical Guide to Disability Discrimination in the Workplace” (Law Brief Publishing), publication due in December 2018.

Qualifications

  • Shelford Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2014)
  • LLM, Commercial Law, Jesus College, University of Cambridge (2012)
  • LLB, English & European Law, Queen Mary College, University of London (2010) (1st Class)
  • LLB, ERASMUS year, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (2009) (1st Class)

Languages

Gujarati

CSR

  • Sports Resolutions Pro Bono Legal Advice Panel member
  • Rajiv runs an annual advocacy workshop for participants of the Queen Mary University George Hinde Moot. He has also judged the quarter final of the competition.
  • Rajiv undertakes work with the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
  • Free Representation Unit
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