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Khawar Qureshi QC, Head of Chambers

Khawar Qureshi QC practises as a Barrister from Serle Court Chambers in London, in addition to being a Founding Member and the Head of McNair Chambers LLC in the Qatar Financial Centre. 

Recent matters:

January 2020 - June 2021, litigation, arbitration and international law matters include:

Advising on separate BIT claims against a South American State (mining sector), a GCC State (infrastructure), and a Central Asian State (industrial sector), representing a claimant in a Singapore-seated SIAC arbitration and a London-seated LCIA arbitration concerning energy contracts, representing an African State in a London-seated LCIA arbitration in a case concerning the extractive industries sector, appearing and advising on challenges to arbitral awards before the English Commercial Court concerning Sections 67, 68 and 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996.   Member of an LCIA arbitral tribunal which sat in person and virtually to determine a high-value shareholder dispute involving issues of Russian and English Law.

Advising the Head of State and senior Government Ministers in respect of proceedings before the International Court of Justice. Advising a foreign State on Diplomatic Immunity issues concerning English Court proceedings, representing a Claimant in Judicial Review proceedings concerning the UK’s conduct relating to the EU Withdrawal Treaty, advising major UK multi-national companies on the impact of Brexit on specific UK Treaty obligations, as well as representing a State entity as Intervener in Judicial Review proceedings concerning EU/Treaty obligations in the context of trade issues.   

Advising the Director of Public Prosecutions of Kenya (as Lead Counsel for the Prosecution specially appointed in 2018) in respect of the criminal and constitutional proceedings pending before the Kenyan Courts and Judicial Services Commission relating to charges of fraud against Deputy Chief Justice of Kenya. Appeared as Advocate to the Court before the Qatar Financial Centre Commercial Court to assist the Court in respect of the regulatory framework underpinning a £40 million financial penalty imposed on the First Abu Dhabi National Bank PJSC, as well as providing a comparative analysis with reference to the USA and UK financial services regulatory regime.

Further, continuing to engage in capacity building and facilitating international education and awareness initiatives in arbitration and international law, including publications, webinars as well as Keynote Speaker at the inaugural webinar of the African Institute of International Law. Appointed to board member/special adviser positions at the Tashkent International Arbitration Centre, the African Asian International Arbitration Centre, and the OIC Arbitration Centre established in Istanbul.

Academic Qualifications:

LLB, LLM (Cantab 1st Class Hon.)

Professional Qualifications:

Called to the Bar (Middle Temple) 1990, (Queen Mother’s Scholar, Middle Temple Colombos Public International Law Prizewinner and Middle Temple Public Law Prizewinner)


  • 1999-2006 – One of around 20 Barristers appointed by the UK Government as “A” Panel Treasury Counsel to advise and represent the UK Government in civil matters.
  • 1998 to 2008 – Member/Vice Chairman Bar Council International Relations Committee & Chairman Public International Law Committee
  • October 2006 – Appointed as Queen’s Counsel.
  • March 2008 – Appointed as Head of Chambers of the first ever Barristers’ Chambers established outside the UK (McNair Chambers in Qatar)
  • October 2010 – Appointed as a part time civil Judge (Recorder).
  • 2010-April 2015 – Chairman of TheCityUK Legal Services and Dispute Resolution Group (representing the Legal Services profession of the UK and designated by the UK Ministry of Justice as the lead agency to promote UK legal services overseas)
  • January 2013 – Appointed as a Deputy Judge of the High Court (dealing with civil and commercial matters)
  • 2019 – Appointed as a Member of the Supervisory Board of the Tashkent International Arbitration Centre (TIAC)
  • April 2021 – Appointed by the Government of Malaysia as a Member of the Advisory Council of the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC)

Academic and Publications:

  • 1989-1993 – Visiting lecturer in Commercial Law, University of Cambridge
  • 1995-2002 – Visiting lecturer in Public International Law, King’s College London
  • 2006-2013 – Visiting Professor in Commercial Law, London University
  • 2010 onwards – Halsbury Law Exchange (Lexis Nexis) Board Member Regular author of articles in the New Law Journal and other periodicals on Public International Law, International Arbitration and Commercial Litigation.
  • Wildy’s Legal Handbooks:
    • Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration (2016)
    • Bilateral Investment Treaty Claims: The Essentials (2016)
    • Public International Law Before the English Courts (2016)
    • Advisory Opinions of the International Court of Justice (2018)

Practice Areas:

Commercial Litigation, International Arbitration, Public International Law, Judicial Review and Fraud/Regulatory matters.

Consistently recognized as one of the leading advocates in these areas by the Directories, his main strengths include the diversity of the practice areas he covers (being one of the few Commercial Silks to have undertaken very extensive advocacy, including high profile criminal cases). 

Chambers & Partners 2017

"He's very smart, user-friendly and a good team player. He's good at dealing with clients in court hearings, he can think on his feet rapidly and he's particularly good at cross-examination."

"A pure PIL lawyer who covers a huge span of public international law."

Chambers & Partners 2015

"He gets to grip with the issues, identifying the weaknesses and strengths accurately. He's also very easy to deal with."

"Very able and a powerful advocate."

Chambers & Partners 2014

"He delivers the goods, and is particularly good at difficult cases. He is part of the team and very flexible. As such he's completely what the modern barrister should be like."

"He is a very powerful advocate who works incredibly hard and gets on top of both the legal issues and the facts."

Undertaken hundreds of cases before the English Courts at all levels, as well as frequent appearances before International Arbitral Tribunals all over the world. Has acted or advised on matters involving around 80 different jurisdictions. Very experienced in disputes involving foreign law issues and works extensively with non-English Co-Counsel. The youngest ever advocate to have appeared before the International Court of Justice in 1993 as Counsel for Bosnia in the Genocide case against Yugoslavia.

Only selected cases are identified below. 

Further details of specific practice areas and experience can be obtained by emailing: .




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