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Niraj Modha

Year of call: 2010

"As far as barristers go, Niraj is one of the most approachable. He is measured, technically astute and very highly respected and regarded by his peers." The Legal 500 2023

Niraj is a property, commercial, and construction law specialist. His cases frequently involve issues relating to contested interests in land, civil fraud, insolvency, professional negligence, and disputes between shareholders, partners, and joint venturers. He acts for a range of clients including property developers, investors, local authorities, contractors, and multinational conglomerates.

Niraj appears as sole counsel in trials and applications in the Chancery and Queen’s Bench Divisions of the High Court and in the appellate courts. He also acts as counsel in arbitration proceedings (both institutional and ad hoc), invariably with an international element, and represents clients at mediation.

Niraj accepts appointments as an arbitrator. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a member of several panels including the CIArb Business Arbitration Scheme and the Law Society President’s Panel. Niraj has been appointed as an arbitrator in more than 25 matters within the past three years. He is also available to act as a tribunal secretary.

Areas of expertise

Property and Real Estate Litigation

“A highly intelligent and careful junior with strong specialist knowledge. Ultra-responsive though very busy. I would not hesitate to recommend him for any property related dispute.” The Legal 500 (2022)

Niraj acts for property investors, developers, large estates, professional landlords, housing associations, management companies, residents’ associations, and tenants. He accepts instructions in all aspects of real property and in commercial landlord and tenant disputes.

Niraj’s current cases in the High Court (Property, Trusts and Probate List), County Court, and First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) include claims for prescriptive rights, adverse possession, encroachment by tenants, and boundary declarations.

Cases of note:

  • Axnoller Events Ltd v Brake v Brake [2022] EWHC 365 (Ch) - Claim for possession of a 100-acre estate partly occupied by former employees. Led by Edwin Johnson QC. 
  • A v R (ongoing) - Claim against sellers following the exchange of contracts for the sale of development property, where prior to completion the registered title plan showing general boundaries was significantly altered.
  • Dollis Hill Traders v Ali & Hussain - Occupation of commercial property pursuant to a document labelled a ‘licence’ created a tenancy protected under Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
  • Free Trade Wharf, London - Tribunal proceedings concerning the payability by leaseholders of mixed-use developments of service charge in respect of works to a jetty and wharf on the River Thames.

Commerical Dispute Resolution

Niraj frequently appears as sole counsel in the High Court in commercial and company law matters. He is familiar with a range of interim applications, including applications for injunctive relief, security for costs, specific disclosure, strike out, and summary judgment. He has appeared successfully in the Circuit Commercial Court, the Business List, and the Insolvency and Companies List, frequently against more experienced counsel.

Niraj’s practice also involves applications for interim payments, default judgment, setting aside, and issues relating to the enforcement of foreign judgments.

Cases of note:

  • Homes of England v Horsham Holdings (various) - Entitlement to interim injunctive relief in favour of a minority shareholder during the course of an unfair prejudice petition.
  • Homes of England v Nick Sellman (Holdings) Limited & Bromham Road Development LLP [2020] EWHC 936 (Ch) - Correct test on an application by a member of an LLP to bring a derivative action.
  • Confidential (Circuit Commercial Court) - Claim in restitution/for repudiation of a contract following delays in the production, delivery, and installation of equipment at the claimant’s premises (£1m+).
  • Confidential (Commercial Court) - Claim by marine surveyor for damages following de-accreditation by an institution responsible for the inspection and audit of the transport and storage of chemicals at sea
  • Schettini v Silvestri [2019] EWCA Civ 349 - Correct approach to challenging a cross-undertaking. 
  • Leon v Her Majesty's Attorney General & others [2018] EWHC 3026 (Ch); [2019] Bus LR 618 - Entitlement to a vesting order following the dissolution of a company and disclaimer by the Crown. Subject to two appeals
  • Eastenders Cash and Carry plc & First Stop Wholesale Limited v Commissioners for Her Majesty's Customs and Revenue [2014] UKSC 34; [2015] 1 AC 1101 - Customs officers’ powers to detain goods under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 where reasonable grounds to suspect duty had not been paid and further enquiries were required to be made.

Construction, Engineering and Infrastructure Disputes

Niraj advises and represents contractors, local authorities, developers, and project financiers in disputes arising out of construction and engineering projects. Much of Niraj’s work is advisory in nature or determined at adjudication. Niraj is familiar with all major standard form contracts including JCT, FIDIC, RIBA, NEC, and ICE.

Cases of note:

  • Confidential (Adjudication) - Claim by a major contractor for delay and disruption to a construction project involving issues of force majeure and changes in law during the Covid pandemic (£20m+).
  • Confidential (Ad hoc, London) - Domestic construction arbitration between a landowner and developer of luxury pre-fabricated homes (£2m). 
  • Confidential (Adjudication) - Disputes arising out of an EPC contract involving questions of force majeure and liquidated damages.

International Arbitration

Niraj practises as counsel in international commercial and construction arbitration. He has experience with court-related arbitration applications including the challenge of awards under ss67-69 Arbitration Act 1996.

Cases of note:

  • Confidential (ICC, Doha) - Claims and counterclaims relating to the delayed construction of an industrial plant ($350m).
  • Confidential (ICC, Paris) - Arbitration proceedings between an East African government and a European contractor engaged in a road-building project. Claims for an extension of time and costs ($30m).
  • Confidential (AAA, New York) - Claim by an Asian telecommunications provider against an African mobile telecommunications company under a master services agreement for the provisions of telecommunications software, hardware, and services ($3m).
  • Confidential (CIArb, London) - Software licensing dispute between licensor and reseller (£1m).
  • Confidential (Hunt Arbitration Service, London) - Franchising dispute relating to an online trading platform.
  • Confidential (LCIA, London) - Claim by engineering consultancy firm for payment in debt or damages for breach of contract following the provision of design and planning services.


Niraj accepts nominations for appointment as arbitrator in all commercial and construction arbitration proceedings. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Niraj has spoken at ICC Young Arbitrators Forum (YAF) and presented webinars on the procedure and theory of arbitration. He has been appointed as arbitrator in more than 30 disputes within the past three years in areas as diverse as consumer travel claims, software/licensing disputes, and disputes between leaseholders.


Niraj is ranked in The Legal 500 in Property and Real Estate Litigation:

  • “A highly intelligent and careful junior with strong specialist knowledge. Ultra-responsive though very busy. I would not hesitate to recommend him for any property related dispute.” The Legal 500 (2022)
  • “User-friendly and a strong team player.” The Legal 500 (2022)
  • “His attention to detail is superb and he has an ability to grasp difficult and detailed facts quickly. Ability to remain calm under pressure.” The Legal 500 (2021)
  • “Whilst always meticulously prepared, he is also extremely good on his feet.” The Legal 500 (2020)