Raj Arumugam
Junior counsel

Raj Arumugam

Call to Bar:2008

Instructing Solicitor

Raj is tenacious, intelligent and his flair shines in court. He needs minimal briefing and can explain the most complex legislation or legal principle with ease and clarity.

Raj has a broad Commercial Chancery practice with a particular emphasis on Trusts and Offshore, Insolvency, Company and Commercial litigation.

Raj has been involved in major offshore disputes such as the Investec Trust v. Glenalla litigation as well as leading insolvency and company law cases, such as recently representing the successful liquidator in the landmark decision in System Buildings Services Group Ltd v. Michie [2020] EWHC 54 (Ch).

Before joining the Bar, Raj was a solicitor in the City, qualifying at Herbert Smith in 2002 and then practising for 6 years as a commercial litigator at a leading US law firm. Raj has also spent 6 months seconded to a leading offshore law firm. As a result, Raj is a team player who understands the needs of solicitors and overseas lawyers when instructing counsel.

Raj was appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel in 2015. He regularly represents and advises Government departments and public bodies including HMRC, HM Treasury, BEIS, the DfE, the MoD, the Official Receiver, Companies House and the DVLA. In 2008, Raj served as a Judicial Assistant in the Court of Appeal (working principally for the then Lady Justice Arden). This gave Raj an invaluable insight into appellate work.

About Raj Arumugam

TRUSTS AND OFFSHORE

Raj has a busy offshore practice and is experienced in dealing with contentious and non-contentious complex offshore and domestic trusts matters including:

• Advising the limited partners of a Guernsey limited partnership (a close private equity fund) on their potential remedies in a substantial dispute with the general partner.
Investec Trust (Guernsey) Limited v Glenalla Properties Limited & Ors (Royal Court of Guernsey) – acted for the former trustees in breach of trust proceedings arising out of the failure of Kaupthing Bank, both at first instance and in the Guernsey Court of Appeal.
Carlyle Capital Corporation v. Conway (Royal Court of Guernsey) – assisted the liquidators in preparation for the first instance trial concerning the collapse of a fund investing in collateralised loan obligations during the 2008 financial crash.
Bordeaux Services (Guernsey) Limited & others v. GFSC (Royal Court of Guernsey) – successfully acted for the Company and its officers on an appeal in respect of the length of prohibitions and the level of fines imposed on them by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission in relation to issues arising from the administration of a Guernsey company connected to the Arch Cru investment fund.
Kilpatrick v. Kilpatrick & others (Royal Court of Guernsey) – advised the defendant settlors and trustee in relation to a claim for misrepresentation, negligence and mistake brought by a beneficiary
B v. Sovereign Trust (Guernsey) Limited (Royal Court of Guernsey) – acted for the trustees of a Major Airline’s employee income protection scheme in a claim brought by a former pilot following the trustees’ rejection of the pilot’s claim after a heart attack.
• Acted for the beneficiaries under an allegedly ineffective Deed of Appointment in relation to the trustees’ application to the Royal Court of Guernsey for directions as to the objects of the trust.
• Acted for a trustee bank in a £20 million dispute with a potential beneficiary, including defending an application for a prospective costs order and making a Public Trustee v. Cooper-type application.
• Regularly advises on the validity and construction of trust instruments, on trustees’ duties and beneficiaries’ rights, on constructive and resulting trusts and on conflicts of interest.
• Advised a trust company on its potential liability in negligence for having failed to obtain tax advice before implementing a PAYE umbrella scheme upon the instructions of the settlor.

INSOLVENCY AND COMPANY

Raj advises and appears for clients on all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency. Highlights include:

Stephen Hunt & System Building Services Ltd v. Michie [2020] EWHC 54 (Ch) – landmark decision on the continuance of directors’ fiduciary duties into administration and CVL. Successfully acted for the Liquidator in a 3-day trial involving constructive trust and misfeasance claims against the director.
Re Transworld Payment Solutions UK Limited [2020] EWHC 115 (Ch) – acted for the Official Receiver on a heavily contested public examination application under s.133(2), IA 1986.
• Refined UK Limited – Currently acting for Liquidators in relation to substantial claims for unpaid vendor’s liens, unjust enrichment, conspiracy, dishonest assistance and transactions defrauding creditors against a former director and associates. (Led by Peter Shaw QC – 7-day trial listed Jan 2021).
• Acting for secured lenders AIB Group (UK) PLC on an application by the administrators of 7 companies to dispose of property which is subject to security under para 71 of Sch B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986.
Standard Gas Engineering Limited v. JE Baring & Co – currently acting for joint liquidators on a claim under s.236, Insolvency Act 1986 for information and documents from the Company’s former solicitors.
Vieira v. HMRC [2017] 4 WLR 86 – Successfully acted for HMRC defending an appeal against a Registrar’s refusal to set aside a statutory demand. The case is a leading recent authority on the function and status of statutory demands and on the Court’s discretion to adjourn set aside applications.
Emmanuel v. HMRC [2017] BPIR 1182 – Successfully acted for HMRC defending an appeal against the dismissal of a bankruptcy annulment application on the grounds that HMRC had met its obligations as to service of the bankruptcy petition where it could not realistically have known that the taxpayer was living at a different address.
Budniok v. The Adjudicator, Insolvency Service (22 February 2017) – advised and represented the Adjudicator in the leading authority on appeals under the new debtor’s bankruptcy regime under ss. 263H-O, Insolvency Act 1986.
Frosdick v. Secretary of State for BEIS & the Official Receiver [2016] EWHC 3008 (Ch) – acted for the Secretary of State for BEIS and the Official Receiver on a successful strike out application of a claim for negligence and breach of statutory duty.
• Raj regularly acts for HMRC on the Companies Winding-Up List in the Insolvency and Companies Court.
Koumettou v. Bolton Hall Senior Living Ltd [2016] EWHC 2046 (Ch) – acted for an administrator on an application for directions as to the validity and enforceability of a legal charge.
Hunt & another v. Bridgegate Communications Ltd [2016] EWHC 2085 (Ch) – acted for a liquidator in a misfeasance claim against a former director.
Zelouf v. Khanna [2016] EWHC 205 (Ch) – acted for a creditor on an appeal in proceedings challenging an IVA under s.262, Insolvency Act 1986.
Schrade v. Sparkasse Ludenscheid [2014] EWHC 1049 (Ch) – acted for a debtor on an appeal against the dismissal of a bankruptcy petition by a German national on the grounds that his COMI was not in England.

Raj advises on all aspects of Company Law, including in relation to shareholder disputes, directors’ duties, reductions and reorganisations of capital and conduct of meetings. Recent experience includes:

• Advising HM Treasury (led by Charles Banner QC) on company law matters arising on the application of the Libya (EU Financial Sanctions) Regulations 2016 to complex corporate structures.
• Advising the Secretary of State for BEIS on the application of streamlined energy and carbon reporting (SECR) regulations to complex corporate structures.
• Regularly advises and represents the Registrar of Companies and private parties on company restoration and rectification of register matters.
• Advising shareholders of a company in relation to an unfair prejudice claim.
• Successfully representing a group of members of a company limited by guarantee who contested the legitimacy of board elections.
• Currently acting for a company in a dispute concerning a share purchase agreement.
• Regularly advises companies and creditors on administration applications.
• Regularly appears (for the Secretary of State or for directors) in disqualification proceedings.
• Acted for the administrators of an estate in relation to a dispute concerning ownership of a company’s shares, including defending a summary judgment application involving questions of res judicata from previous decisions in parallel foreign proceedings.

COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

Raj has extensive experience of Commercial Disputes, including applications for injunctive relief, with his recent experience including:

• Currently advising HM Treasury (led by Charles Banner QC) on company law matters arising on the application of the Libya (EU Financial Sanctions) Regulations 2016 to complex corporate structures.
Seddon v. Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency [2019] EWCA 14 – Successfully acted for the DVLA in the Court of Appeal and at first instance (both as sole counsel) on a preliminary issues trial concerning whether DVLA owed a duty of care to prospective purchasers of vintage motor vehicles.
Blade Motor Group Ltd v. Reynolds & Reynolds Ltd [2018] EWHC 497 (Ch) – acted for a motor retailer in proceedings concerning breach of a software licensing agreement.
Trinity Logistics USA Inc. v. Goonewardena & others [2017] EWHC 2353 (Comm) – Successfully acted for an individual in a 7-day trial defending proceedings for alleged conspiracy, misrepresentation and fraud in relation to bills of lading arising from international freight forwarding contracts.
• Acted for a major international logistics provider in arbitration proceedings under CIArb rules against a major UK food supplier (Jan 2019).
Stenningford Ltd v. CPT Global Ltd – acted for the claimant software consultancy in a claim for unpaid invoices. The defendant counterclaimed for alleged overcharging based upon an ‘hours cap’ clause within the consultancy agreement in circumstances where it was said the defendant asked the claimant to undertake extra hours.
Choudhury & others v. Alam & others (16 May 2018) (Ch) – Successfully acted for the claimants in an acrimonious dispute involving two rival boards, each alleging to have been validly appointed. Obtained an injunction before Newey J to prevent the defendants from interfering in the management of the company. Successfully argued before Rachel Agnello QC that the parties had entered into a binding compromise.
JSC Bank of Moscow v. JFC Group Holding (BVI) Ltd & others – acted for a Russian businessman in relation to a Worldwide Freezing Injunction. The case concerned whether an individual was a de factor director of 3 respondent companies and should therefore also be included on the penal notice to the Injunction (Led by Michael Ashe QC)
• Provided a legal opinion on the validity of a Guarantee and Indemnity under English law for Russian litigation.
• Successfully acted for an English company seeking to recover a loan from a Cypriot borrower and to enforce an equitable charge over the borrower’s property in London. Included advising on issues of service out of the jurisdiction.
Aarena Associates Ltd v. Pluckrose [2013] EWHC 4216 (Ch) – acted for a property development company in a dispute concerning a joint venture agreement relating to the development of a block of flats.
• Prepared a legal opinion for a South African bank concerning the validity of a guarantee given in relation to bulk imports of South African wine by an English company.
• Regularly acts for lenders and receivers bringing and defending proceedings against borrowers in relation to residential and commercial mortgages.
• (As a solicitor) Acted for Rabobank Nederland in its $200 million claim against NatWest Bank plc for fraud, misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty in the Commercial Court, culminating in a 53-day Commercial Court trial.

PROPERTY

Raj advises on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious Property Law. Recent experience includes:

Amin v. Amin – acted for the claimant on a 7-day trial concerning issues of a constructive trust in relation to the matrimonial home. Currently acting on the appeal to the High Court (PTA granted).
Iesis (Ambra Vale) Limited v. Aziz (ChD) – acting in the High Court for the claimant vendor in proceedings for specific performance of a contract for the sale of a substantial plot of land for commercial development in Birmingham.
McMahon v. Islington Borough Council (FTT) – successfully acted for a landlord on an appeal under the Housing Act 2004 against a declaration that a property was an HMO.
Aquarium Entertainments Ltd & Compco Brighton Ltd v. Brighton Seafront Regeneration Ltd (ChD) – acted for the operator of a major UK aquarium in a dispute with its landlord.
• Raj is the contributing editor to Halsbury’s Laws of England (Highways title).

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS

Raj read law at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He qualified as a solicitor in 2002 and was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 2008.
Raj is a keen musician (trumpet), having undertaken a postgraduate performance diploma (graduating with distinction) at the Royal Academy of Music after university. Raj is a trustee of NMC Recordings, a music charity devoted to recording the works of British contemporary classical music.

PRIZES AND SCHOLARSHIPS

Cambridge Commonwealth Trust scholarship
Felicitas Trust scholarship
Levitt Scholar (Lincoln’s Inn)

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

Raj is a member of the Chancery Bar Association.

PRIVACY NOTICE

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