COMMERCIAL BARRISTER IN LONDON
Arfan Khan is a leading Chancery, Commercial & Public Law Barrister, practising predominantly in the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and the High Court in a broad range of Chancery, Commercial and International Law disputes.
Arfan Khan is described by solicitors as “a polymath” who “advocates with mesmeric quality” and "a formidable intellect".
Arfan Khan has a high profile specialist appellate practice in Chancery, Commercial and Public law. He is instructed in exceptionally difficult appeals. He has led and argued landmark appeals in the Court of Appeal, the High Court, and in the UK Supreme Court. He appeared successfully as sole Counsel in Day v Haine  BCC 84, a landmark appeal where the Court of Appeal reversed the Court at first instance, holding that protective awards were provable debts in a company liquidation. The Court of Appeal decision in Day v Haine paved the way for the UK Supreme Court decision in Re Nortel  UKSC, where the correctness of his approach in Day v Haine was confirmed. He was instructed on appeal to the Court of Appeal in a widely reported case concerning the gifted drawings of the late Francis Bacon. Recently, when leading a tax barrister, and a tax litigator on appeal to the Court of Appeal, he persuaded the Upper Tribunal to grant permission to appeal against its own decision on a point of law.
He has also appeared in landmark public law cases. In Wokuri v Kassam  Ch 80, he succeeded in contending that the diplomat was not entitled to immunity. He successfully led the intervention for 4A law in the Court of Appeal, and in the UKSC in Benkharbouche v Libya & Others  IRLR 123, where the UK Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision to set aside the State Immunity Act 1978, in order to give effect to certain claims falling within the material scope of EU law. He led in the Court of Appeal in Reyes v Al-Malki  ICR 42 and made written submissions in the UKSC.
He has also appeared successfully as lead or sole Counsel in other high profile cases raising free speech and national security issues such as Geert Wilders v SSHD  INLR 337 and Geller & Anor v SOS  All ER (D) 54. He appears in litigation against or for the government with appropriate security clearance. In 2009, Arfan Khan was named Times Lawyer of the Week.
Whilst the core of his practice is appeals, where he is increasingly instructed to lead, or appear as sole Counsel, he is frequently instructed as sole or lead Counsel in the High Court. These include trials, and interlocutory disputes, where the sums involved are substantial.
He regularly participates in the Bar Council’s outreach schemes to encourage social groups currently underrepresented at the Bar to consider a career as a barrister (including the Bar Council pupillage schemes). He was a spokesperson for the Bar Council in a speech to the College of Law entitled “Changes to the Bar”.
Prior to commencing a career at the Bar, he was a part time tutor in Property Law at the University of Sheffield.
EDUCATION & QUALIFICATIONS
• Keble College, Oxford, the SEC Advanced International Advocacy Course.
• University College London, LLM. Distinction in Insolvency Law.
• Sheffield, LLB (Hons). First Class in part 1 and 2 subjects, including highest first in Jurisprudence.
SCHOLARSHIPS & AWARDS
• Recipient of the Potts Scholarship UCL for excellence in the All UK Universities Post Graduate Essay Competition in Commercial Law.
• Recipient of the University Moot Court Award for exemplary oral and written advocacy.
• Times Lawyer of the Week, 2009.
• Hardwicke Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn.
• Mitchell’s Scholar (for Participation in the Quarter Finals of the World Universities Debating Championships).
• Nathanson Scholar (for first place in the Nabarro Nathanson Mooting Competition).
• Setting Aside Statutory Demands: A Revisit, The Law Quarterly Review, (2007), 123 (January), 42 (Sweet & Maxwell).
• The Commencement of Laytime in a Voyage Charter Party, The Journal of Business Law, May (2003), 284, 294.
• A tenant at the Chambers of Mark Littman QC, London (until Mark’s retirement from practice and closure of Littman Chambers).
• Member of the United Kingdom Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists.
REPORTED CASES AS SOLE OR LEAD COUNSEL
• Gangat v Jassat  EWCA Civ 604 (CoA upheld judge’s decision based on “extensive cross examination” at trial despite document suppression). Sole Counsel on appeal and at trial.
• Akinola v the Upper Tribunal & Others  1 WLR 1585 (Upper Tribunal case of Ramshini wrongly decided – appeal pending within s.3C (2) (c) when notice of appeal filed, and not when an extension of time was granted). Sole
Counsel on appeal.
• Okpara & Sastry v General Medical Council  ICR 1565 (CoA resolved the previously undetermined tension in the authorities – no deference to the tribunal in sexual misconduct appeals). Lead Counsel on appeal. Lead
• Ameyaw v PwC  UKAT 2019-000480 (meaning of exceptional circumstances in rule 30A, procedural irregularity, and private life in Article 8). Lead Counsel.
• Vafa v Patel  EWHC 198 (QB) (abuse of process). Sole Counsel and on appeal to the High Court and CoA.
• General Transport Service SpA v Revenue and Customs Commissioners  LLR 766 (meaning of Article 33 and Article 37 of the VAT Directive). Lead Counsel on appeal.
• Thomas v Bulethwala  B.P.I.R 430 (nature and extent of beneficial interest in land/constructive trusts). Sole Counsel.
• Thomas v Bulethwala  EWHC 1947 (Ch) (successfully obtained permission to appeal at an oral hearing against a district judge’s finding that the applicant did not have a beneficial interest in property). Sole Counsel.
• Shuttlewood v Ministry of Defence  EWHC 1209 (Admin) (validity of the Solicitor General’s Fiat under s.61 and 58 of the Armed Forces Act 2006). Sole Counsel.
• Olsen v Griffin  EWHC 78 (QB) (Defendant’s attempt to strike out a pleading not settled by counsel was unsuccessful. Case adjourned for amended pleadings). Sole Counsel.
• Deutsche Leasing (UK) Ltd v Zaskin College  EWHC 1977 (QB) (correct interpretation of CPR r 52.12 (2) (b) concerning the date of decision for the purposes of filing an appeal notice). Sole Counsel.
• Balogun (t/a Mama Africa) v Phonographic Performance  EWHC 1327 (Ch) (correct approach to setting aside summary judgment orders). Sole Counsel.
• Loson v Stack  EWCA Civ 803 (correct approach to variation of a judgment debt). Sole Counsel.
• Nwankwo v Secretary of State for the Home Department  1 WLR 2641 (successfully established that the first appeals test applies on appeals to the Court of Appeal from Upper Tribunal in Judicial Review Proceedings. This
led to the disapproval of the Presidential Guidance on the second appeals test). Sole Counsel.
• AA (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1259 (costs following settlement and jurisdiction). Sole Counsel.
• KM (Algeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 2622 (procedural irregularity and reasons challenge). Lead Counsel.
• Benkharbouche v SSHD & Others  H.R.L.R 15 (s.4 (2) (b) and s.16 (1) (a) incompatible with Article 6). Lead Counsel for 4A Law.
• Yadly Marketing Co Ltd v Secretary of State for the Home Department  1 WLR 1041 (extension of a statutory limitation period). Lead Counsel.
• Benkharbouche v Embassy of Sudan  QB 347 (declarations made that, in preventing employment claims being brought against embassies, the State Immunity Act 1978 s.16 (1) (a) infringed the ECHR art.6, and s.4 (2)
(b) infringed art.6 and art.14). Lead Counsel for 4A Law.
• Reyes v Al-Malki  1 WLR 1785 (article 31 (1) (c) of the VCD did not exclude diplomatic immunity in relation to employment claims by domestic workers who had been trafficked. Also, in writing on appeal to the UKSC.
Lead Counsel for 4A Law.
• SA Builders and Contractors v Holm  EWCA Civ 712 (meaning of a “document purporting to be a defence” under Para.1.1 of PD 12 to the CPR). Lead Counsel.
• Geller & Spencer v SSHD  EWCA Civ 45 (challenge to the legality of the governments unacceptable behaviours policy and Article 10). Sole Counsel.
• Michael v Official Receiver  EWCA Civ 1590 (appeal involving apparent bias). Sole Counsel.
• Wokuri v Kassam  Ch 80 (diplomat not entitled to diplomatic immunity). Sole Counsel.
• Bank of Ireland v Gill  EWHC 2996 (Ch) (refusal to set aside a stay of execution involving appeal). Sole Counsel.
• Gaurilcikiene v Tesco Stores  EWCA Civ 1213 (procedural irregularity). Sole Counsel.
• A Holdings v G  EWHC 3800 (Ch) (the Court declined to award summary judgment). Sole Counsel.
• Tanner v Miller  B.P.I.R 512 (application to adduce fresh evidence on appeal to establish the authenticity of art work said to be the work of the late Francis Bacon). Sole Counsel.
• Tanner v Miller  EWCA Civ 1463 (appeal against refusal to admit evidence). Sole Counsel.
• Chilab v Kings College London  EWCA Civ 1178 (security for costs application refused against wife). Sole Counsel.
• Mashate v Kaguta  EWCA Civ 1168 (court approved consent order after an appeal against the making of an extended civil restraint order in a claim against the President of Uganda was agreed). Sole Counsel.
• Wokuri v Kassam  EWHC 2878 (Ch) (costs). Sole Counsel.
• Integral Memory v Haines Watts  S.T. 1385 (no continuous duty to advise). Sole Counsel on appeal.
• Urang Commercial v Century Investments  C.I.L.L. 3061 (adjudicator’s powers and duties). Sole Counsel.
• Chamberlin v Revenue and Customs  STC 1237 (VAT returns established the liability upon which a bankruptcy order was made). Sole Counsel.
• Osuji v Holmes  EWCA Civ 476 (permission to discontinue proceedings). Sole Counsel.
• Chamberlin v Revenue and Customs  S.T.C. 2782 (VAT returns could not give rise, inferentially, to a debt under s.25 (1) where the relevant supply of services was not liable to VAT. Sole Counsel.
• Unite the Union v Re Nortel Networks  BCC 706 (provable debts in a company administration). Sole Counsel.
• M v M  1 F.L.R. 1413 (maintenance pending suit where divorce petition withdrawn). Sole Counsel.
• Geert Wilders v SSHD  Imm. A.R. 269 (exclusion of Dutch MP unlawful). Sole Counsel.
• Secretary of State v Property Investors Courses Ltd & Anor  EWCA Civ 104 (application to re-open and reinstate an appeal).
• Odunsi v Daodu  EWHC 1764 (Ch) (beneficial ownership in land). With Lead Counsel.
• Hughes v Alan Dick & Co Ltd  EWHC 2695 (QB) (defamation claim not an abuse of process and default judgment). Sole Counsel.
• Attorney General of Zambia v Meer Care & Desai (A Firm)  Lloyd's Rep. F.C. 587 (findings of trial judge after 6 month trial set aside on appeal). With Lead Counsel.
• Obed v Secretary of State for the Home Department  Imm. A.R. 747 (meaning of immigration rule 60 (v) in relation to a course of study). With Lead Counsel.
• Day v Haine  BCC 845 (protective awards provable in the liquidation of a company). Sole Counsel.
• Fraser v Judicial and Legal Services Commission  UKPC 25 (case of Innis wrongly decided). With Lead Counsel.
• Day v Haine  EWHC 2691 (Ch) (protective awards not provable in the liquidation of a company). Reversed on appeal. Sole Counsel.
• In the Matter of SW (2006) (Trans-Atlantic Airline Liquid Bomb Conspiracy. Landmark judgment where the Court extended detention without charge time for suspects accused of terrorism to 28 days). Sole Counsel.
INDEPENDENT JUDICIAL COMMENTS
• “excellent oral and written submissions”: Mr Justice Julian Knowles in Okpra v GMC (during the hearing after oral and written submissions).
• “clarity and high quality submissions”, “considerable assistance provided during oral argument”: Mathew Gullick (sitting as a Deputy High Court judge in Ameyaw v PwC  UKEAT 2019-000480.
• “… Put with succinctness and clarity and having raised every conceivable submission that could be advanced in favour of the claimant”: HHJ Thornton (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge in Bakare v SSHD  EWHC 3811.
• “Mr Khan has advanced his client's case succinctly but comprehensively”: Lord Justice Moylan and McCombe” in KM Algeria v SSHD  EWCA 2662 (Civ).
• “extremely well argued”: Penelope Reed QC in PPL v Balogun  EWHC (Ch).
• “able submissions both orally and in writing”: Lord Justice Lloyd in Secretary of State v Property Investors Courses Ltd & Anor  EWCA Civ 104.
• “ably represented by Mr Arfan Khan”: Vos LJ, Sullivan LJ, and Briggs LJ in Michael v Official Receiver  EWCA Civ 1590.
• “ably represented (the Appellant) in the best traditions of the Bar in a case involving a hugely complex background”: Lord Justice Wall and Mr Justice Holeman in M v M  2 FLR 957.
• “Mr Khan has confined himself to two principal matters and put it very concisely”: Lord Justice Keene in Hughes v Alan Dick  EWCA Civ 272.
• “advanced cogent arguments”: Rimer LJ in Gaurilcikiene v Tesco Stores  EWCA Civ 1612.
• “It is said with force that the decision cannot be allowed to stand”: Rimer LJ in Michael v Official Receiver  EWCA Civ 534.
• “Focused, helpful and concise.. document”: Patten LJ, Tomlinson LJ and Floyd LJ.
• “very properly relies on fundamental principles”: Arden LJ, Clarke LJ and Barling J in Gaurilcikiene v Tesco Stores  EWCA Civ 1213.
• “ingenious and spirited”: Longmore LJ in NB v SSHD  EWCA Civ 887.
• “full and careful” [skeleton]: Thorpe LJ, Wall LJ, and Coleridge J in Moore v Moore  1 FLR 1413.
COMMENTS FROM THE LEGAL PROFESSION INCLUDE
• “easily as good as a top QC”, “one of those old school totally professional gentleman barristers”, who is “incredibly nice” (Head of Chambers at a tax Chambers).
• “possessor of an exceptional general capability allied to an unparalleled commitment” (Commercial, Chancery and Public Law Silk).
• “exceptionally hard working and gifted advocate of the highest integrity” (Partner in a top ranked City firm).
• Referred to in the Legal 500 as bringing to the set “a specialist appellate practice in chancery, commercial and public law” (16/9/2021).
His client service policy, fees policy, and complaints policy, can be viewed through the following links: