In most of the industrialised countries, central or national arbitral organisations have been established which provide facilities for arbitration of commercial disputes.

Name: Karishma Vora
Designation: Barrister
Organization: 39 Essex Chambers
Country: United Kingdom

39 Essex web profile


Year of call: 2006 (India), 2011 (England & Wales), 2020 (DIFC)

“A very hard working lawyer, who is always ready to go the extra mile for her client. Her written advocacy is of a high standard and she is able to break some complicated issues and present them in a simplified and persuasive manner.” The Legal 500 UK 2022

Karishma has a busy commercial disputes practice representing companies and individuals in high value cases before the Commercial Court (London & DIFC Dubai) and in international arbitration. She has vast experience in cross border transactions and is sought after for input on litigation strategy.

She specialises breach of shareholder / share purchase agreements, loan / guarantee / other financial agreements, contracts for the sale of software / commodities, fraud disputes etc. Her sector expertise is in defence, metals and commodities, mining, technology, crypto, pharmaceutical, distribution and diamond industries.

Karishma’s significant international arbitration expertise includes being appointed as an arbitrator and as counsel in arbitrations seated in London, Singapore, Dubai and India in cases governed by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), London Metal Exchange (LME), Refined Sugar Association (RSA), London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA), Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA) and Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration (MCIA) rules. She is empanelled as an arbitrator with many of these institutions and sits as a sole arbitrator and on a panel of three.

Her being invited as a speaker at conferences organised by FICCI-ICA, MCIA Mumbai, IAMC Hyderabad, the Global Arbitration Review (GAR), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), at the Paris and Dubai Arbitration Weeks, African Arbitration Association etc. is a demonstration of how well she is regarded in the field of international arbitration. Karishma is often invited to author articles and chapters for leading international arbitration publications including a recent chapter on anti-suit injunctions in a book titled "Commercial Arbitration: International Trends and Practices" published by Thomson Reuters.

As for litigation, she is typically instructed on jurisdiction challenges, service out, anti-suit and summary judgment applications, Norwich Pharmacal claims and freezing injunctions through to trials.

Karishma frequently works with lawyers from foreign jurisdictions. She has the rare expertise of being triple qualified in England, India and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and has reported judgments in all three jurisdictions. Karishma is ranked for commercial litigation by The Legal 500 in the UK as well as for Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) (band 1). Her international practice includes running a set of chambers in Mumbai, India.

Karishma is an alumna of the London School of Economics where she also taught commercial law. Her full profile can be viewed here.

Banking and Financial Services

“Very thorough and very committed – she knows her stuff, is tactically aware and sees the bigger picture and where we are going with it.” The Legal 500 EMEA 2021 (Tier 1)

Karishma is a specialist in cross border lending and guarantee defaults. She is adept at handling such litigation where the main facility agreement has a governing law that is different from underlying guarantees/security documents. Often, one or more legs of the proceedings are outside England, such as before courts and tribunals in India, USA or the DIFC in Dubai.

She is instructed by banks or by borrowers and guarantors and has had successes for both sides, including when appearing against heavyweight silks.

Commercial Contracts

“A very hard working lawyer, who is always ready to go the extra mile for her client. Her written advocacy is of a high standard and she is able to break some complicated issues and present them in a simplified and persuasive manner.” The Legal 500 UK 2022

Karishma has 16 years of experience as a commercial litigator and taught commercial law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The average size of her matter is about US$10-300m in dispute and many of her cases are reported. She is instructed by both investors and private equity houses in breach of shareholder agreements and related transactions. She is herself an investor in startups and has had successful exits, making her a trusted choice as she gets the commercial angle in each case.

Civil Fraud

“Hard working, diligent, enthusiastic, good at building rapport with clients and instructing solicitors.”
The Legal 500 UK 2021

Karishma undertakes noteworthy civil fraud cases including banking fraud, crypto fraud and email compromise fraud. Owing to her interim application expertise, she is frequently instructed on Norwich Pharmacal claims to ascertain the identity of the perpetrators of fraud, followed by worldwide freezing orders. Karishma has also been quoted by leading newspapers including on the Vijay Mallya-Kingfisher scam and on her experience of how fraud is pleaded in different jurisdictions.

Technology and Cryptocurrency Disputes

Karishma has considerable expertise in tech disputes and is frequently engaged to advice on
matters concerning breach of contract or fraud with an intersection of technology. She is instructed on disputes arising out of crypto assets, email compromise fraud, shareholder disputes involving underlying investments in technology companies and ERP software disputes.

She has a good understanding of cryptocurrency markets, blockchain technology, AI and smart contracts and has successfully represented clients in relation to complex crypto-asset recoveries
before English courts. Karishma is nimble-footed in collaborating with IT forensic experts to understand the latest methodologies and to help extract relevant information for courts/arbitral tribunals

Clients find Karishma’s expertise in cross border disputes useful as she brings her knowledge of Norwich Pharmacal orders, freezing injunctions and service outside the jurisdiction to cross-border tech disputes.

Karishma has lectured widely on the impact of technology in disputes in conferences organised globally.

International Arbitration - Counsel

“Her analytical and systematic approach to matters are just one of her may hidden strengths.” A client instructing her on an LCIA arbitration

Her command over conflict of laws makes her an attractive choice for complex arbitrations. For example being instructed as counsel in a London seated ICC arbitration governed by Sudanese law. Karishma is instructed in arbitrations under the auspices of the ICC, LCIA, SIAC and MCIA rules and in commodity arbitrations such as under the LME and RSA rules.

International Arbitration - Arbitrator

Karishma is empanelled with the Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA), Mumbai Centre of International Arbitration (MCIA), London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and Mauritius International Arbitration Centre (MIAC). She sits as a sole arbitrator and co-arbitrator in commercial and commodities disputes on an ad hoc basis and under institutional rules. She is familiar with the ICC, SIAC, LCIA, DIAC, LMAA, ICA and MCIA rules as well as rules framed by commodity exchanges such as the LME and RSA rules. She has particular expertise in cross-border arbitrations involving foreign law, foreign parties or both.

She is regularly invited as a speaker at reputed international conferences such as by ICA Delhi, MCIA Mumbai, IAMC Hyderabad, GAR, Paris Arbitration Week, Dubai Arbitration Week, Combar, African Arbitration Association. This reflects the respect peers in the field have for her, making her a safe and reliable choice as an arbitrator.

Practice - India

"Karishma is extremely hard working and committed to her clients. She is responsive, friendly and a pleasure to deal with. She pursues her client’s interests with dogged determination and does a lot of oral advocacy. She is known for her work on India related disputes." The Legal 500 UK 2023

Karishma was a litigator in Mumbai for six years before relocating to London and appeared before the Bombay High Court, Debt Recovery Tribunal and Company Law Board (predecessor to the NCLT), acting for clients such as Tata Motors, HDFC Bank, Calyon Bank, Bank of Baroda and family-run business conglomerates.

Her international practice includes running her own set of chambers in Mumbai with a well-stocked Indian-law library that is located in Fort, the legal district.

Karishma is instructed as counsel and arbitrator in domestic Indian arbitrations and has become the go-to expert on Indian law before courts in England.

Practice - Middle East

“Very thorough and very committed – she knows her stuff, is tactically aware and sees the bigger picture and where we are going with it.” The Legal 500 EMEA 2021 (Tier 1)

Karishma is ranked by The Legal 500 in band 1 for commercial litigation in the Middle East and Africa. She has full rights of audience before the DIFC Court and is instructed in a range of high-stakes Middle Eastern matters including landmark and novel DIFC court litigation and DIAC arbitration.


  • Indian Council of Arbitration, New Delhi
  • The Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
  • The Chancery Bar Association
  • African Arbitration Association (AfAA)
  • The London School of Economics Lawyers Alumni Association
  • Bombay Bar Association, Mumbai
  • Life member of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)





  • English (fluent)
  • Hindi (fluent)
  • Gujarati (fluent)
  • Marathi (basic)

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