Year of call: 2008 (India) 2018 (England & Wales) 2022 (DIFC)
“Vivek Kapoor … is an excellent litigator, is always well prepared and has an
excellent grasp of facts and law.” The Legal 500
“... able and persuasive submissions” HHJ Stephen Davies in  EWHC 1235 (TCC)
Vivek Kapoor is an experienced advocate and arbitrator specialising in complex commercial disputes and investor-state disputes. He has particular expertise in multi-jurisdictional disputes arising from energy and natural resources, infrastructure and construction, banking and financial services, and technology sectors.
He is recognised by independent legal directories in the field of International Arbitration and Public International Law. Vivek featured in the inaugural Legal 500 International Arbitration Powerlist, which listed 200 of the UK’s leading arbitration practitioners working in law firms and at the Bar.
Vivek has full rights of audience in England & Wales, India, Dubai International Financial Centre, and Abu Dhabi Global Market. His substantial practice is as counsel in international arbitration and before the English and Indian Courts.
Vivek has a wide-ranging practice in the field of international arbitration. He has acted in arbitrations under a wide variety of international arbitration rules including ICSID, ICC, LCIA, SIAC, UNCITRAL, and ad-hoc arrangements. He has experience of arbitration applications before various international courts, including challenges to awards and enforcement under the New York Convention. He also regularly acts as arbitrator in ad-hoc and institutional arbitrations.
Prior to joining 39 Essex Chambers, Vivek spent a number of years in private practice with leading international law firms in London and Singapore, before which he practised at the Bar. He has lived and worked in UK, US, Singapore, and India.
Areas of expertise
International Arbitration (as Counsel)
Cases of note
UNCITRAL Arbitration – Acted for a leading infrastructure company in a dispute under a bilateral investment treaty against an Asian State arising from the indirect expropriation of two power projects.
UNCITRAL Arbitration – Acted for European investors in a dispute under a bilateral investment treaty against a CIS State arising from the direct expropriation of a mining project.
UNCITRAL Arbitration – Acted for a British investor in a dispute against a CIS State under the State’s Foreign Investment Law arising from the breach of the fair and equitable standard and indirect expropriation of a mining project.
UNCITRAL Arbitration - Acted for a Mauritian investor in a dispute pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty against an Asian State arising from the breach of the fair and equitable standard and indirect expropriation of an information technology venture.
UNCITRAL Arbitration – Acted for a Turkish contractor in a dispute pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty against an African State arising from the expropriation of an EPC contract to build a power plant.
UNCITRAL Arbitration - Acting for a European defence contractor in a dispute pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty against a South American State arising from the expropriation of a defence services contract.
UNCITRAL Arbitration – Acted for a Turkish contractor in a dispute pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty against an African State arising from the expropriation of an EPC contract to build a new airport.
ICSID Arbitration – Advising a Central Asian State on a dispute pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty commenced by an investor alleging expropriation of a bank.
UNCITRAL Arbitration – Advising an African State on setting aside of the Final Award obtained by Chinese investors.
LCIA Arbitration – Acted for a one of the largest metals conglomerates in a dispute against a Canadian mining company in dispute arising from an offtake agreement in connection with a mine in Brazil.
UNCITRAL Arbitration – Acted for an African national oil company in a dispute against an international oil company arising from a production sharing contract.
UNCITRAL Arbitration – Acted for an African state-owned company in a dispute against a consortium arising from a joint operating agreement in relation to a production block in Africa.
UNCITRAL Arbitration – Advised an international oil company in a dispute against an Asian state concerning rights under a gas concession agreement.
UNCITRAL Arbitration – Advised the owner and operator of a major gas pipeline in Africa in a dispute regarding the participating interest and rights of two sovereign shareholders.
ICC Arbitration - Acting for an international oil company in a dispute to enforce the payment of cash-calls by a defaulting joint venture partner under a joint operating agreement.
LCIA Arbitration – Acted for the former head of FX trading of a prominent British multinational bank in an insurance coverage dispute relating to ongoing DOJ, SEC and FCA investigations.
LCIA Arbitration – Acted for a one of the largest metals conglomerates in a dispute against a Middle-Eastern state-owned entity over non-performance of agreement for the supply of coal.
Singapore-seated ad-hoc Arbitration – Acted for a prominent metals conglomerate in a dispute against a south-east Asian state-owned company regarding allegations of misrepresentation and breach of contract in relation to a high-value transaction involving the Chinese-arm of a London-based investment bank.
SIAC Arbitration - Acting for an Indian mining company in a dispute against a Singaporean company specializing in the trade of minerals arising from a contract for the production and sale of iron pellets.
ICC Arbitration – Acted for one of the world’s leading manufacturer of connectors and sensors in a dispute against one of the world’s largest power generation companies in relation to energy production and distribution at a solar park in the Middle East.
SIAC Arbitration – Acting for a defence contractor against a South Asian State in a dispute arising out of the establishment of a major defence project in the State.
LCIA Arbitration – Acted for Russian private equity firm in a dispute against a prominent US real estate developer in relation to investment into a real estate project in Moscow.
SIAC Arbitration – Acted for leading South Asian sports entertainment media companies in a joint venture dispute with one of the largest media conglomerates over the ownership and broadcast of leading sports channels in South Asia.
SIAC Arbitration – Acted for an Indonesian mining company in a dispute against a prominent commodity trader over the impact of regulatory changes in Indonesia’s mining sector on parties’ obligations under long-term agreements for the supply of coal.
London-seated ad-hoc Arbitration - Acted for the Brazilian subsidiary of a leading metals multinational company in a dispute against a Dutch company regarding its contractual performance in relation to a transaction with a Middle- eastern state-owned company.
London-seated ad-hoc Arbitration - Acted for an Indian mining company in a dispute against a British maritime company regarding the application and scope of force majeure under a charterparty.
ICC Arbitration – Acted for a sub-contractor in a dispute with the main contractor in relation to civil works at a gas exploration site in South Asia.
ICC Arbitration – Acted for a fund manager in a dispute over management of the fund focussed on telecom asset in West Africa.
ICC Arbitration – Acted for an engineering subcontractor against the contractor in a dispute pertaining to the design and engineering works forming part of the development of an oil field in West Asia.
International Arbitration (as Arbitrator)
Cases of note
LCIA Arbitration – Sole Arbitrator in a multiparty arbitration involving American, Canadian, Middle eastern and African parties, arising from the acquisition of a private security firm operating in a number of jurisdictions in Africa.
LCIA Arbitration – Co-arbitrator in an arbitration between a European oil and gas company and an African energy company in a dispute arising from the sale of a downstream oil and gas business in Africa.
LCIA Arbitration – Sole Arbitrator in an arbitration between British and German companies arising from a trade mark licence and supply agreement in relation to telecommunication accessories.
LCIA Arbitration – Sole Arbitrator in an arbitration between Chinese and British companies arising from an agreement for the provision of support services in relation to telecommunication devices.
SIAC Arbitration – Sole Arbitrator in an arbitration between African parties in arising from civil and electro-mechanical works in relation to the design, manufacture, construction and commissioning of a solar photovoltaic power generation plant located in East Africa
Cases of note
England & Wales Acted for Liverpool City before the High Court (Technology and Commercial Court) in proceedings to resist an adjudicator’s decision regarding a highways project. Leading case on the approach to a number of important issues related to jurisdiction, dispute under two contracts, service and appointment of an adjudicator, the question referred to an adjudicator, and natural justice.  EWHC 1235 (TCC).
England & Wales Acted for Brazilian restaurant chain Rodizio Rico before the High Court (Technology and Commercial Court) in a claim for loss and damages under contract and tort.
England & Wales Acted for Country Land Conservation before the High Court (Chancery Division) in a claim for damages arising from the breach of a statute.
England & Wales Acted for The Purchasers before the High Court (Chancery Division) in a claim related to the insolvency of the historic Caer Rhun Hall Hotel in Wales.
England & Wales and India Acted for Punjab National Bank International in simultaneous enforcement proceedings before the High Court (Queen’s Bench Division) in London and the Bombay High Court in Mumbai against 8 defendants arising from a multi-million-pound judgment of the English High Court.
England & Wales Acted for the Royal Bank of Scotland in numerous claims arising from allegations of mis-selling of payment protection insurance.
England & Wales Acted for National Westminister Bank in numerous claims arising from allegations of mis-selling of payment protection insurance.
Singapore Acted for Indonesian state-controlled natural gas corporation PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (Persero) in the much controvertible setting aside proceedings in Singapore before the Court of Appeal and High Court, arising from an ICC arbitration regarding a major gas pipeline project in Indonesia. Seminal case in the interpretation of the dispute resolution process under the FIDIC Red Book (1999), and prompted FIDIC Guidance Memorandum.
India Acted for PepsiCo India in proceedings against the state of Punjab before the Punjab & Haryana High Court in a matter pertaining to arbitrary withdrawal of tax concessions awarded for the setting up of three manufacturing units in Punjab.
Hong Kong Acted for PT First Media TBK in enforcement proceedings in Hong Kong before the Court of Appeal in the long running Astro/Lippo dispute related to the enforcement of five arbitration awards.
India Acted for Punjab National Bank International before the Bombay High Court in enforcement proceedings against an IT company and its promotors arising from a multi-million-pound judgment of the English High Court.
India Acted for a trade body representing FMCG companies before the Supreme Court of India in a petition seeking judicial review of a new environmental regulation with a possible multi-million exposure to the entire FMCG industry.
India Acted for PepsiCo India before the Punjab & Haryana High Court in a series of litigations arising out of a dispute with the Indian state of Punjab over the imposition of market fee on agricultural procurement in the state.
Public International Law
Vivek has been instructed by States and private entities on both contentious and non-contentious public international law related issues. He is regularly instructed in matters related to the protection of international investment under bilateral investment treaties, free trade agreements, and investor-state and concession contracts.
He advises on restructuring of investments to provide treaty protections, treaty interpretation, sovereign immunity, state succession, state sovereignty over natural resources, state responsibility for actions of public authorities, and international sanctions. He has also advised on civil liberties and human rights in the context of commercial disputes involving States and State entities.
Energy and Natural Resources
Vivek has extensive expertise of disputes arising from the energy and natural resources sectors. He has acted and advised in disputes related to oil and gas, renewables, nuclear, electricity and thermal power, energy transition technologies, water, mining, and commodities (minerals and petrochemicals). He acts for and advises a broad spectrum of clients in the energy and natural resources sector – sovereign states, state-owned companies, developers, public and private utilities, independent power producers, energy tech companies, investors and lenders.
Vivek also works extensively in the Infrastructure and Construction sector and has experience of infrastructure-related disputes in the energy and natural resources sectors.
Infrastructure and Construction
Vivek frequently acts in multifaceted construction disputes for a range of participants in the construction industry: owners/employers, contractors and subcontractors, developers, lenders, and investors. He has experience of gas pipelines, oil fields and platforms, gas exploration sites, power plants, dredging projects, roads and transport, ports and dry docks, housing, commercial and mixed-use projects, and entertainment projects.
Banking and Financial Services
Vivek acts for leading multinational banks and financial institutions in high-value, complex banking and financial services disputes. He has experience of mainstream banking and financial products as well as civil fraud in relation to banking and finance. He also brings expertise of dealing with claims involving cross-border elements, particularly jurisdiction challenges, freezing and disclosure orders, and other forms of injunctive relief.