Brick Court Chambers

Salim Moollan QC

Salim Moollan QC

YEAR OF CALL: England and Wales: 1998; Mauritius: 1998    YEAR OF SILK: 2016

"A very impressive silk."
Legal 500 2021
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Salim Moollan specialises in international commercial and investment arbitration. He has acted as counsel in high profile investment arbitration cases (White Industries v India, Philip Morris v Australia, Cairn Energy v India), and currently acts as lead counsel in a number of prominent investment arbitrations for both States and investors. In the commercial field, he acts in high-value cases in (in particular) the energy and telecoms fields. He frequently sits as arbitrator (party-appointed and chair) in investment and commercial arbitrations. He has an in-depth knowledge of the procedural regimes of all major international arbitral institutions, being a past chairman and vice-chairman of UNCITRAL, a past Vice-President of the ICC Court, a past member of the LCIA Court, a member of the World Bank’s ICSID Panel of Arbitrators and a former editor of the ICSID Law Review; and having worked closely with these and other institutions in the establishment of an African platform for international arbitration in Mauritius. The holder of a mathematics degree from Ecole Polytechnique, Paris (in addition to a first class law degree from Cambridge University and to a degree in economics and political science from Sciences-Po, Paris), he also has a unique grasp of technical and quantum expert issues. He is also called to the Mauritian Bar and appears from time to time before the Mauritian Courts in complex and high value cases. He frequently appears in the Privy Council on issues ranging from civil law to administrative law and tax matters. He is a Visiting Professor in International Arbitration Law at King's College London.

Salim Moollan is a foreign lawyer registered to practice in Singapore (“Registered Foreign Lawyer”). In order to comply with Singapore immigration and employment law, Salim is employed by and practises primarily through a private limited company incorporated under the laws of Singapore.  

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  • international arbitration: counsel M

    In private practice as a barrister since 1998, specialising in international and commercial law, and in particular international investment and commercial arbitration.

    Investment arbitration

    Advises and acts for both investors and States in investment arbitrations under every institutional rules, including ICSID and UNCITRAL.

    Recent and current cases include:

    • Acting as Lead Counsel for India in Cairn Energy plc v India (UNCITRAL, UK – India BIT)
    • Acting as Lead Counsel for India in Vedanta plc v India (UNCITRAL, UK – India BIT)
    • Acting as Lead Counsel for Patel Engineering Ltd in Patel Engineering Ltd v Mauritius (UNCITRAL, Mauritius – India BIT)
    • Acting as Lead Counsel for India in Astro All Asia Networks Limited v Republic of India (UNCITRAL, UK – India BIT) and South Asia Entertainment Holdings Limited v Republic of India (UNCITRAL, Mauritius – India BIT)
    • Acting as Counsel for Philip Morris in Philip Morris v Australia (UNCITRAL, HK – Australia BIT);
    • Acting as Counsel for India in White Industries v India (UNCITRAL, Australia – India BIT)
    • Acting for a State in relation to a claim for denial of justice under a BIT under the UNCITRAL Rules.
    • Acting for an Australian investor in contemplated ICSID proceedings against an African State
    • Acting for an English company in relation to a potential claim under the Energy Charter Treaty with respect to the expropriation of uranium assets worth in excess of $2 billion.
    • Acting for an English private equity firm in a substantial expropriation claim against a Latin American State;
    • Acting for an English mining firm in an expropriation claim against the Czech Republic under the UK/Czech BIT;
    • Acting as Counsel for the Claimants in Courts v Madagascar (ICSID, Mauritius – Madagascar BIT);
    • Advising the investor in Gosling v Mauritius (ICSID, UK-Mauritius BIT)

     

    Commercial arbitration

    Advises and acts in a wide range of international commercial arbitrations, under institutional (including LCIA and ICC) and ad hoc arrangements (including UNCITRAL), under a wide range of laws (both common law and civil law).

    Recent and current cases include:

    • Acting for a UAE entity in a gas dispute worth in excess of US$ 2 billion in a PCA administered UNCITRAL arbitration with a London seat, applying Iranian law;
    • Acting for Toshiba in a joint venture dispute under SIAC Rules, Singapore seat, applying Indian law;
    • Acting for a pharmaceutical company in a substantial dispute under ICC rules, London seat, applying English law;
    • Acting for a state-owned entity in a substantial commodities dispute under LCIA rules, London seat, applying English law;
    • Acting for a Dubai company in an energy-related dispute under ICC Rules, London seat, applying Dubai law;
    • Acting for a French company in a gas dispute under ICC Rules, London seat, applying Nigerian law;
    • Acting for a UK company in a gas dispute in excess of US$500 million in London applying English law;
    • Acting for a Madagascar company in a commodities dispute under ICC Rules, Port-Louis seat, applying Malagasy law;
    • Acting as Counsel for one of the world’s leading communications groups in Europe’s largest telecoms arbitration in excess of €2 billion (VIAC Rules, Vienna seat, Polish law);
    • Acting for one of the world’s leading equipment companies in an ICC claim relating to the termination of licensing agreements in a developing country (Paris seat, English law).
  • international arbitration: arbitrator M

    Regularly acts as arbitrator in parallel to his main counsel work. Recent appointments include appointments as chairman of an UNCITRAL investment arbitration under the OIC Agreement, as chairman of ICC tribunals sitting in Paris and London, as sole arbitrator in a substantial LCIA arbitration with a London seat, as co-arbitrator (appointed by the ICC) in ad hoc arbitration with a Paris seat, party-appointments in ICC arbitrations with London and Geneva seats, further appointments by the LCIA Court in LCIA arbitrations with a London seat, appointments by the Permanent Court of Arbitration and by appointing authorities acting under the UNCITRAL Rules in commercial and investment arbitrations, appointments by ICSID as co-arbitrator in Case ARB11/8 (as arbitrator for the Respondent) and as member of the Ad Hoc Annulment Committee in ICSID Case ARB07/29, and party-appointment by the Claimant in ICSID Case ARB/13/15.

  • Commercial Litigation and Conflict of Laws M

    Advises and acts for commercial clients across the range of commercial litigation (shipping, insurance, joint venture agreements, agency agreements, sale of goods, asset and share sale agreements) before the Commercial Court and in other Courts, including jurisdictional disputes, summary hearings and trials. Most these cases involve complex issues of conflict of laws and jurisdiction, including anti-suit injunctions.

  • Energy and natural resources M

    Advises and acts in a number of energy or energy-related cases including:

    • Acting for a UAE entity in a gas dispute worth in excess of US$ 2 billion (UNCITRAL, London seat, Iranian law);
    • Acting for Ghana National Petroleum Corporation in a dispute arising from the hedging of an oil field development;
    • Acting for a Dubai company in an ICC arbitration arising out of the construction of an oil refinery;
    • Acting for a UK company in a gas dispute in excess of US$500 million in London applying English law;
    • Acting for a French company in a gas dispute under ICC rules;
    • Acting for a Greek construction company in an ICC arbitration arising out of the construction of a Liquid Natural Gas complex.
  • Telecoms M

    Acted on a series of arbitrations seated in Vienna, with amounts in dispute of 2.7 billion euros, relating to a mobile telecommunication company in Central Europe.

    Regularly advises, and acts for, mobile telephone operators on interconnect and regulatory issues. This has involved the successful resolution of shareholder disputes (following a settled LCIA arbitration), and a MRU 1 billion ($30 million) claim against the Mauritian Government for defective regulation of the Mauritian mobile telecommunications market.

  • Privy Council M

    Salim Moollan has appeared regularly in the Privy Council since 2014, starting with the full argument in the appeal in Rainbow Insurance Company v Financial Services of Mauritius [2015] UKPC 15 (a judicial review case) when still a junior (all Respondents were represented by silks, including Geoffrey Cox QC, the current UK Attorney General). While the appeal was not successful, their Lordships noted the following at para. 62 of the Judgment: “While Rainbow has not succeeded on any of the points raised in its appeal, the Board would like to acknowledge the skilful and well-constructed arguments which Mr Salim Moollan presented. The Board is grateful to him and to all parties’ counsel for the skilful presentation of their cases in this appeal.” Other cases argued by Salim before the Board since have included two tax appeals (a VAT appeal, which the Respondent conceded following service of Salim’s Written Case; and the successful defence of an appeal regarding the taxability of the pension of the President of the Republic of Mauritius: MRA v Chettiar [2015] UKPC 48), and a civil appeal (Rivnu Investments v United Docks & anor [2017] UKPC 24). The latter was unsuccessful, but the Board again made express reference to the quality of Salim’s submissions to the Board (see para. 20 of the Judgment: “Before the Board, Mr Salim Moollan QC developed an elegantly presented series of submissions as to why the courts below had been in error”.) Salim has recently argued two further appeals (both high value arbitration matters): Peepul v VSoft Case No. JCPC 2018/0084 and Betamax v State Trading Corporation. In Betamax, the Privy Council allowed the appeal in favour of Salim’s clients, laying down important principles on the scope of the public policy exception to the validity of arbitral awards under Mauritian and English law.

  • OTHER PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES M

    Retained by the Mauritian Government to advise on and assist in drafting the new Mauritian International Arbitration Act, which was enacted on 25 November 2008, and came into force on 1 January 2009, and on follow up legislation and rules on international arbitration and the New York Convention enacted on 14 May 2013.

    Mauritius delegate at UNCITRAL (2006 to date). Closely involved in the negotiation and drafting of the amendments to the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (1976). Member, in individual capacity of UNCITRAL small expert drafting group. Chaired the UNCITRAL session at which the new UNCITRAL Rules were formally adopted (New York, 25 June 2010). Elected to the vice-chairmanship of UNCITRAL in July 2010, to the chairmanship of the Arbitration Working Group in October 2010 and to the chairmanship of UNCITRAL in June 2011. Chaired the work of UNCITRAL on the UNCITRAL Transparency Rules in treaty-based investor-State arbitration, and on the UNCITRAL Mauritius Convention on Transparency.

    Regularly lectures on international arbitration and commercial law.

    Responsible for the organisation and academic content of the Mauritius International Arbitration Conferences 2010, 2012 and 2014 (the travaux of which are published by the PCA).

    Chairman of the Host Committee of the Mauritius ICCA 2016 Congress.

  • education & qualifications M

    Lycée Labourdonnais, Mauritius (1981-1988)

    • French Baccalauréat, Mathematics and Physics, Mention Trés Bien avec les Félicitations du Jury.
    • French Government scholarship for the best baccalauréat results in Mauritius.

    Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Paris (1988-1990)

    • Classes préparatoires aux Grandes Écoles scientifiques.

    École Polytechnique, Paris (1990-1993)

    • Diplôme de l’École Polytechnique (Advanced Mathematics and Physics).

    Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences-Po) (1993-1995)

    • Political science and economics degree

    Downing College, Cambridge (1995-1997)

    • BA (Law), First Class Honours in Part I and Part II (MA: 2001)
    • Harris Scholarship
    • Senior Harris Scholarship

    Inns of Court School of Law, London (1997-1998)

    • BVC (Bar Vocational Course)
    • Middle Temple’s Queen Mother Scholarship
  • PROFESSIONAL POSITIONS AND AFFILIATIONS M

    ICC Africa Ambassador

    Representative of Mauritius at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) since 2006; past Chairman and vice-Chairman of UNCITRAL and past chairman of its Working Group II (Arbitration)

    Vice-President of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), 2009-2015

    Past member of the Court of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)

    Visiting Professor (International Arbitration Law), King’s College, University of London

    Member of the World Bank’s ICSID Panels of arbitrators and conciliators.

    Member of the UK’s Department for Business, Innovations and Skills’ ad hoc advisory group on international arbitration

    Editor, Arbitration International

    Membre du Comité de Lecture, Revue de l’Arbitrage

    Past member of the Editorial Board of the ICSID Review

    Member of:

    • Comité Français de l’Arbitrage
    • Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
    • Institut pour l’Arbitrage International (IAI)
    • LCIA
    • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
    • ICC UK Arbitration Committee
  • directory quotes M

    "He is meticulous, thorough and incisive. He is clearly well versed in the field of arbitration." Chambers & Partners 2022

    "Very competent in the area of bilateral treaty arbitration." Legal 500 UK Bar 2022

    "He is able to build a real strategy for the whole case and adjust it in view of emerging circumstances without losing focus and ultimate targets." Chambers & Partners 2021

    "A very impressive silk." Legal 500 UK Bar 2021

    “Very experienced and provides insight into complex matters.” Chambers & Partners 2020

    "A smooth and persuasive advocate, hardworking, and hugely knowledgeable on international arbitration." Legal 500 UK Bar 2020 

    "He absorbs volumes of detailed information very quickly and is highly responsive despite having a punishing schedule." Chambers & Partners 2019

    “A fantastic advocate who reads difficult situations well.” Legal 500 UK Bar 2019

    "A powerful advocate who is very strong in arbitration, flexible in his approach and user-friendly." Chambers & Partners 2018

    "Highly recommended for arbitration." Legal 500 UK Bar 2017

    "A smooth and assured advocate. Fantastic and excellent on his feet." Chambers & Partners 2017

    "Smooth, confident and stylish advocacy used to deploy his encyclopaedic knowledge." Legal 500 UK Bar 2016

    "His knowledge of arbitration and jurisprudence is second to none. His cross-examination was really strong, and he absolutely demolished their experts." Chambers & Partners 2016

    "Perfectly bilingual and smooth as marble, he really is a class act." Legal 500 UK Bar 2015