Sapna is an experienced litigator and professional support lawyer (PSL) in commercial litigation, arbitration and other forms of ADR having been a senior PSL at Clyde & Co and a litigator at Baker & McKenzie and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.  She is a regular contributor to LexisNexis, the Commercial Litigation Journal and the Commercial Procurement and Outsourcing Journal.  She is a speaker/trainer on dispute resolution for Central Law Training and Crafty Counsel.

  • Professional services firms
  • Manufacturers
  • Distributors
  • Financial institutions
  • Government bodies

Dispute Resolution experience

  • Advising international body on the full range of methods of international and domestic dispute resolution (both formal and informal) with Governments/Government Bodies and its corporate members
  • Acting for Grupo Torras S.A. in connection with proceedings in the Bahamas to enforce an UK judgement in Grupo Torras S.A’s favour.
  • Assisting in large international arbitration between Japanese manufacturer and its Indian distributor.
  • Acting for Central Bank of Tunisia and Tunisian Ministry of Finance in connection with an appeal against first instance judgement ruling on proper jurisdiction
  • Acting for an Italian distributor against an American supplier in a set of international arbitration proceedings concerning an allegedly defective blood-testing machine.
  • Regularly acting for manufacturers of primarily medical and healthcare products; advising and assisting to resolve a number of product liability claims brought against such manufacturers.
  • Advising a large Japanese company on obligations to recall a potentially defective product and co-ordinating a multi-jurisdictional recall of the product. Co-ordinating foreign law advises on product recall law in the affected jurisdictions.
  • Acting for a management consultancy firm in relation to a fraud committed by one of its employees. Involved obtaining a freezing order against the fraudster and co-fraudsters, negotiating settlement, policing settlement terms and successfully recovered 100% of all monies stolen.
  • Acting for the client in relation to monies owed to it pursuant to a solicitor’s undertaking. Also acting for it in connection with its claim as a creditor in the insolvency of two individuals in the context of an Individual Voluntary Arrangement.
  • Acting for the client in connection with its claim for damages for wasted costs in connection with an aborted transaction. Subsequently acting for it as a creditor in opponent’s liquidation. Also advising on the merits of potential claims for negligence or deceit against one of A’s directors.
  • Acting for the client against a debt factoring company in connection with the failure of the debt factoring company to honour its obligations. Involved attending Commercial Court to get an initial injunction and subsequent emergency applications to resist an improperly obtained Anton Piller order by the debt factoring company. Subsequently settling the proceedings by agreement.
  • Acting for the client in the aftermath of a sale and purchase transaction. Involved alleging various breaches of warranties and indemnities in the sale and purchase agreement and subsequently brokering a settlement prior to the parties entering mediation.

 

Dispute Resolution PSL experience

Internal training sessions

  • Organising and/or giving departmental/firmwide training on disclosure, Part 36 reforms, causation, relief from court sanctions, Jackson reforms

 

Drafting and editing external client facing newsletters on a regular basis

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution Newsletter
  • Banking dispute resolution newsletter
  • Arbitration Newsletter
  • Directors & Officers Newsletter

 

Producing ideas for articles, targeting journals and pitching the idea to legal journals via a synopsis, drafting and/or editing the articles

Examples:

  • Article on Supreme Court decision in Wood v Capita
  • Article for The Banker focussing on Haugesund Kommune case which highlighted arguments which can arise where parties have transacted with each other in the hope of making a profit but the investments plunge instead of rise.
  • Article on Taberna Europe v Selksabet Article on recent developments in security for costs
  • Article on not inadvertently settling claims
  • Article on Commercial Court case FG Wilson v Holt where Court decided that a no set off clause in a supply contract successfully precluded claims arising under another agreement.
  • Article for the CLJ entitled “Mediation, no longer poor cousin to court proceedings” Article for Insurance day on the new ICC rules Article on Supreme Court decision on contract interpretation in Rainy Sky
  • Article on dealing with funded claimants Article for PLC Dispute Resolution on Yam Seng PTE v International Trade Corp 2013 re implying duty of good faith into English contract law for the first time
  • Article re parties choice of jurisdiction and the Brussels Regulation
  • 5000 word article for the International Bar Association on the rise of the Torpedo Action.

 

Drafting and editing briefing notes

  • Annual briefing note analysing and commenting litigation trends arising from MOJ published court statistics
  • Drafting client briefing on the High Court Mitchell decision and its implications
  • Editing briefing note on Supreme Court Parking Eye case
  • Drafting briefing note on Supreme Court decision on the illegality doctrine in Patel v Mirza
  • Drafting case summary on Supreme Court decision in JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov which held that a loan amounted to an asset within the meaning of a freezing order.

 

Horizon scanning

  • Producing annual horizon scanning for the dispute resolution section of documents for key clients, covering key litigation cases and developments expected that year and beyond.

 

Business development

  • For the commercial litigation team (for example): Organising and attending commercial litigation team group meetings, setting agenda, considering initiatives to best market the team such as: organising representatives at litigation conferences; organising a cross referral system within firm; quotes to press from partners on key cases; considering recent cases and coming up with ideas for articles to raise profile of comm lit practice; reviewing progress with common lit marketing contact lists.
  • Assisting arbitration team by (for example): providing legal knowledge on recent developments and writing articles for external publication and considering initiatives to market the arbitration team; putting together content for discussion at LCIA symposium on international arbitration.

 

Assisting with the preparation of content for conferences and seminars

Drafting speech for partner to give key client on Part 36; producing material for talk “litigation top ten hot topics” and drafting note in advance of partner attending conferences; preparing speech for partner on the Third Parties Rights Against Insurers Act 2019; preparing content for speech by partner on Damages Based Agreements; organising client seminar on the Jackson Reforms; putting together talk on English settlement culture (mediation, settlement negotiations, the role played by costs, calderbank offers and part 36 offers) and the role played by costs in considering settlement.

 

Answering a wide range of queries from colleagues on all aspects of dispute resolution

Example: Queries re best practice upon breach of procedural rules and courts’ approach to granting relief from sanctions; query re worldwide service of freezing order; query re whether claimant entitled to all of its costs following acceptance of Part 36 offer, including costs of dealing with third party application; query re agreeing extensions of time; can a party obtain a stay of proceedings (on grounds of champerty) where the other party is funded by a third party? Query whether one can argue that expert was appointed in his personal capacity such that engagement solely with him and not his current firm; can a party challenge a promissory note as purported payment for an unpaid electricity bill; query re recoverability of damages following installation of defective IT system. Considering whether cost of replacement is justified as opposed to cost of cure; query re recovery of “reasonable” costs in arbitration proceedings and what is classed as reasonable.

 

Brexit

  • Considering and drawing together note on the impact of Brexit on existing dispute resolution legislation
  • Drafting Brexit table: key areas relevant to dispute resolution likely to be affected by Britain exiting the EU.

 

Preparing firm for the Jackson Reforms

  • Creating suite of guidance notes on the Jackson Reforms Drafting detailed Qs and As re damages based agreements (DBAs) Drafting client update on litigation funding and DBAs, one page click through note Research re new judicial approach to disclosure
  • Organising series of Autumn Jackson Debates for colleagues and chairing them to glean practitioners’ reactions to the reforms and concerns.

 

Know how meetings with colleagues.

  • These are held to discuss their work in practice and any challenges with a view to gathering useful strategic tips and pointers when dealing with different types of disputes.
  • Drafting attendance notes of such meetings and highlighting key pieces of knowhow for paralegal to obtain for knowhow database and supervising transfer of knowhow onto knowledge database.

 

Assisting with the drafting of comparative law booklets/brochures

  • 23-page guide on class actions and funding of litigation in the UK
  • Creating a comparison of discovery and privilege in the US and the UK

 

Drafting detailed internal guidance to colleagues on specific areas via detailed multi page notes or shorter email bulletins

  • Weekly dispute resolution newsletter sent to all litigators in the firm, highlighting key cases and drawing out key messages
  • Drafting tip of the month – importance practice point for litigators, arising out of real life experiences of practitioners on their cases e.g. when to use a deed, tactical advantages/ disadvantages of making a time limited Part 36 offer
  • Preparing firm for new electronic filing requirement in the Rolls Building
  • Drafting detailed practitioner guide to Part 36
  • Drafting short digestible summaries of the Jackson Reforms for colleagues
  • Drafting briefing note on DBAs in light of revised DBA regulations.

 

In-depth legal research

  • Considering EU Commission report and green paper on the interface of arbitration and the Brussels Regulation
  • Drafting high level overview of choice of seat for PI arbitration disputes and considering reasons why to arbitrate rather than litigate such disputes
  • Researching and discussing with colleagues re: current litigation funding market including discounted CFAs, DBAs, DBA insurance
  • Drafting and reviewing detailed guides for clients
  • Reviewing and updating internal and external guides e.g. Guide to London Insurance Market, Client Guides, Guides to Part 36, Guide to Arbitration.

Previous law firms

  • Clyde & Co
  • Baker & McKenzie Global Services NI Limited
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

 

Education

  • University of Cambridge — M.A. Law, Overall Degree Result: 2:1
  • President of Cambridge University Law Society and Master of Moots

Recent awards