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Joe-han is a specialist commercial barrister who practises across the full spectrum of commercial and construction (including energy and infrastructure) disputes. He has appeared in the Court of Appeal, the High Court (including as sole counsel against King’s Counsel), and specialist tribunals. He has a thriving arbitration practice and regularly appears before international arbitral tribunals.

Joe-han is frequently instructed on complex and high-value disputes with an international element. Many of his cases have a connection with the Far East, and he is regularly instructed by law firms in (for example) the PRC, South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore. His clients range from ultra-high-net-worth individuals to leading public and private financial institutions. Joe-han grew up in the Far East and understands its culture. He also speaks Mandarin Chinese.

Joe-han is ranked in the Legal 500 (2024) as a Leading Individual, with clients commenting “Fantastic intellectual ability, very responsive. Very much on top of his brief”.

In addition to his counsel practice, Joe-han has extensive experience in ADR, and accepts appointments as arbitrator, mediator, and adjudicator. He is a CEDR-accredited mediator and is also on TECBAR’s panel of accredited adjudicators.

Previously, Joe-han practised as a solicitor at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP where he focused on international arbitration and commercial litigation. He also held teaching positions at King’s College London (trusts and equity) and Durham University (contract law). He is regularly published on a range of commercial law matters.

legal 500 rising star 2023 L500 Leading Junior 2024

 

Areas of expertise

Banking and Financial Services

Joe-han is experienced in a wide range of banking and financial services disputes, from consumer credit matters to cross-border banking litigation. He has acted both for and against banks and was previously seconded to the Financial Conduct Authority.

He is ranked in the Legal 500 (2024) as Leading Individual in banking and finance.

Cases of note

  • X v Y – Acting for a Barbadian insurer in two ICC arbitrations with a combined value of US$43.5 million concerning fraud, misrepresentation, and breach of contract.
  • Bank of Baroda & Ors v GVK Coal Developers (Singapore) Pte Ltd - Acted for a consortium of Indian banks in a USD$2 billion banking dispute concerning various breaches of facility agreements and related guarantees/indemnities.
  • NPO Promet LLC v Barclays Bank UK Plc & Ors - Acted on behalf of a European Claimant in a civil fraud claim raising issues as to Bankers Trust Orders, the Quincecare duty, and Quistclose trusts.
  • X v Y - Advised a claims management company in a test claim relating to the provision of mortgage advice raising issues relating to the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Limitation Act 1980.
  • Faulkner v Desaur - Acted for an individual defending a £1.9m loan dispute raising issues regarding contractual interpretation, penalty clauses, and unfair relationships within the meaning of sections 140A-140C of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Civil Fraud

Joe-han has considerable experience in civil fraud disputes, where he has acted for both claimants and defendants. His expertise is complemented by his involvement in the USD$300m Kazakhstan Kagazy litigation from 2013 (when the litigation commenced with a £72m Worldwide Freezing Order) to 2021 (enforcement proceedings against various trusts).

Cases of note

  • X v Y – Acting for a Barbadian insurer in two ICC arbitrations with a combined value of US$43.5 million concerning fraud, misrepresentation, and breach of contract.
  • Kagazy Kazakhstan plc & Ors v Zhunus & Ors [2020] EWHC 2431 (Comm); [2020] EWHC 698 (Comm); [2020] EWHC 128 (Comm) - Enforcement proceedings of a USD$300m judgment in the main proceedings against various trust entities, brought on the basis of tracing, resulting trust (to the fraudster), alternatively section 423 Insolvency Act 1986 (led by William McCormick KC).
  • Townley & Anor v Inter Export LLC [2018] EWCA Civ 2068 - A fraud claim brought by a Ukrainian company against the director of a contractual counterparty regarding the sale of sunflower oil. The appeal raised complex issues regarding Lord Tenterden’s Act and the application of the tortious measure of damages (led by Hugh Jory KC).
  • Alliance Bank JSC v Zhunus & Ors [2015] EWHC 714 (Comm)

Commercial Contracts

Joe-han has experience in a wide range of commercial disputes.

Cases of note

  • Siemens Healthcare Limited v iGene London Limited - Defended against a contractual claim (Commercial Court) that raised complex issues regarding damages and the interaction of the contractual and unjust enrichment causes of action.
  • X v Y - Advised on the proper interpretation of a sale and purchase agreement and its milestone payments in the context of Covid-19 and the doctrine of force majeure/frustration.
  • X v Y - Advised an NHS trust on whether a long-term supply contract could be terminated for ‘material default’.

Construction

Joe-han has broad experience in a range of construction and engineering matters from high-value cross-border disputes to residential building disputes. He also has experience in adjudication and sits on the panel of TECBAR adjudicators.

Cases of note

  • X v Y - Representing a Chinese state-owned corporation in an ICC arbitration against a Spanish company relating to defective photovoltaic trackers in a Middle Eastern solar wind farm, with circa US$25 million in dispute.
  • X v Y - Advised on an DIFC-LCIA arbitration concerning three major infrastructure projects in the UAE with circa US$270 million in dispute.
  • X v Y - Advised on a contractual dispute relating to an engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning project in the Far East (instructed by a leading Malaysian law firm).
  • X v Y - Advised on certain clauses in the JCT standard building contract w/o quantities (2011 edition) and the consequences of the insolvency of a counterparty.
  • The Sky's the Limit Transformations Ltd v Mirza [2022] EWHC 29 (TCC) – Sole counsel for the Defendant in a five-day trial involving five fact witnesses and eight expert witnesses. Claim dismissed with costs. Subsequently pursued the Claimant’s directors for a non-party costs order.

International Arbitration

Joe-han has broad experience in a range of international commercial arbitrations, including those held under LME, SCC, ICC, UNCITRAL, and LCIA rules.

Cases of note

  • X v Y – Acting for a Barbadian insurer in two ICC arbitrations with a combined value of US$43.5 million concerning fraud, misrepresentation, and breach of contract.
  • X v Y - Acted as sole counsel in an LME arbitration concerning the sale of zinc ingots raising issues as to conditions precedent, letters of credit, and hedging losses. A jurisdiction challenge was defeated (with costs) in April 2020, and the Tribunal awarded a substantial sum to the claimant following a two-day hearing in March 2021.
  • X v Y - Advised on an DIFC-LCIA arbitration concerning three major infrastructure projects in the UAE with circa US$270m in dispute.
  • X v Y - Allegations of asset-stripping of a company, raising issues as to the validity of a contract, sham trusts, breach of fiduciary duty, and corporate capacity.