Raj specialises in Commercial Chancery work, with a particular emphasis on commercial, insolvency, property and company law. His clients include private individuals, professionals (including solicitors, liquidators and other office holders) and corporations (including banks and other lenders).
In 2015, Raj was appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown (Attorney General’s C Panel). Raj regularly advises and represents government departments including HMRC, the Treasury Solicitor, BEIS, the Official Receiver, Companies House and HM Land Registry.
Before joining the Bar, Raj was a solicitor in the City, qualifying at Herbert Smith in 2002 and then practising for 6 years as a commercial litigator at a leading US law firm. In 2007, he was appointed a Judicial Assistant to the Court of Appeal (Lady Justice Arden), which gave him an invaluable insight into the way judges decide cases and appellate work.
Corporate Insolvency and Personal Insolvency experience includes:
- Currently acting for Liquidators in relation to claims for unpaid vendor’s liens, unjust enrichment, conspiracy, dishonest assistance and transactions defrauding creditors against a former director and his associates. (Led by Peter Shaw QC)
- Vieira v. HMRC  4 WLR 86 – Successfully acted for HMRC defending an appeal against a Registrar’s refusal to set aside a statutory demand. The case provides an important reminder of the function and status of statutory demands within the bankruptcy process and guidance on the Court’s discretion to adjourn set aside applications.
- Emmanuel v. HMRC  BPIR 1182 – Successfully acted for HMRC defending an appeal against the dismissal of a bankruptcy annulment application on the grounds that HMRC had satisfied its obligations as to service of the tax demand and bankruptcy petition in circumstances where it could not realistically have known that the taxpayer was living at a different address.
- Budniok v. The Adjudicator, Insolvency Service (22 February 2017) – advised and represented the Adjudicator in the leading authority on appeals under the new debtor’s bankruptcy regime which came into force on 6 April 2016 under ss. 263H-O, Insolvency Act 1986.
- Frosdick v. Secretary of State for BEIS & the Official Receiver  EWHC 3008 (Ch) – acted for the Secretary of State for BEIS and the Official Receiver on a successful strike out application of a claim for negligence and breach of duties under ss.287(3), 289 and 315, Insolvency Act 1986.
- Koumettou v. Bolton Hall Senior Living Ltd  EWHC 2046 (Ch) – acted for an administrator on an application for directions as to the validity and enforceability of a legal charge.
- Hunt & another v. Bridgegate Communications Ltd  EWHC 2085 (Ch) – acted for a liquidator in a misfeasance claim against a former director.
- Zelouf v. Khanna  EWHC 205 (Ch) – acted for a creditor on an appeal in proceedings challenging an IVA under s.262, Insolvency Act 1986.
- Schrade v. Sparkasse Ludenscheid  EWHC 1049 (Ch) – acted for a debtor on an appeal against the dismissal of a bankruptcy petition by a German national on the grounds that his COMI was not in England.
Raj advises on all aspects of Company Law, including in relation to shareholder disputes, directors’ duties, reductions and reorganisations of capital and conduct of meetings. Recent experience includes:
- Successfully representing a group of members of a company limited by guarantee who contested the legitimacy of board elections.
- Currently acting for a company in a dispute concerning a share purchase agreement.
- Regularly advises companies and creditors on administration applications.
- Regularly appears (for the Secretary of State or for directors) in disqualification proceedings.
- Acted for the administrators of an estate in relation to a dispute concerning ownership of a company’s shares, including defending a summary judgment application involving questions of res judicata from previous decisions in parallel foreign proceedings.
Raj advises on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious Property Law. Recent experience includes:
- McMahon v. Islington Borough Council (FTT) – successfully acted for a landlord on an appeal under the Housing Act 2004 against a declaration that a property was an HMO.
- Aquarium Entertainments Ltd & Compco Brighton Ltd v. Brighton Seafront Regeneration Ltd (ChD) – acted for the operator of a major UK aquarium in a dispute with its landlord.
- Acted for a residential property owner in relation to an adverse possession and unlawful eviction claim against developers who had acquired an adjacent property at auction.
- Defended proceedings before the Adjudicator to HM Land Registry concerning a landscaping contractor’s claim to a beneficial interest in a property it had worked on.
- Acted for a landlord in defending a claim by his letting agent for unpaid commission and reimbursement of disbursements relating to a portfolio of properties managed by her.
- Regularly acts for landlords and tenants in disputes concerning service charges, ground rent and rent deposits and in forfeiture proceedings.
Raj has extensive experience of Commercial Disputes and applications for injunctive relief, with his recent experience including:
- Blade Motor Group Ltd v. Reynolds & Reynolds Ltd  EWHC 497 (Ch) – acting for a motor retailer in proceedings concerning breach of a software licensing agreement.
- Trinity Logistics USA Inc. v. Goonewardena & others  EWHC 2353 (Comm) – Successfully acted for an individual in a 7-day trial defending proceedings for alleged conspiracy, misrepresentation and fraud in relation to bills of lading arising from international freight forwarding contracts.
- Seddon v. Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency  EWHC 312 (QB) – Successfully acted for the DVLA at a preliminary issues trial concerning whether DVLA owed a duty of care to prospective purchasers of vintage motor vehicles.
- Successfully acted for an English company seeking to recover a loan from a Cypriot borrower and to enforce an equitable charge over the borrower’s property in London. Included advising on issues of service out of the jurisdiction.
- Aarena Associates Ltd v. Pluckrose  EWHC 4216 (Ch) – acted for a property development company in a dispute concerning a joint venture agreement relating to the development of a block of flats.
- JSC Bank of Moscow v. JFC Group Holding (BVI) Ltd & others  EWHC 2915 (Comm) – acted for a Russian businessman in relation to a Worldwide Freezing Injunction. The case concerned whether an individual should also be included on the penal notice to the Injunction on the basis that it was alleged he was a de facto director of the 3 respondent companies. (Led by Michael Ashe QC)
- Regularly acts for lenders and receivers bringing and defending proceedings against borrowers in relation to residential and commercial mortgages.
- Prepared a legal opinion on the validity of a Guarantee and Indemnity under English law for Russian litigation.
- Prepared a legal opinion for a South African bank concerning the validity of a guarantee given in relation to bulk imports of South African wine by an English company.
- (As a solicitor) Acted for Rabobank Nederland in its $200 million claim against NatWest Bank plc for fraud, misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty in the Commercial Court, culminating in a 53-day Commercial Court trial.
Raj has extensive experience advising on and representing parties in trusts disputes, in particular those relating to substantial commercial trusts. He spent 6 months working at Mourant Ozannes in Guernsey, giving him an insight into offshore work. Recent experience includes:
- Investec Trust (Guernsey) Limited v Glenalla Properties Limited & Ors (Royal Court of Guernsey) – acting for the former trustees in breach of trust proceedings arising out of the failure of Kaupthing Bank, both at first instance and the Guernsey Court of Appeal.
- Acted for a trustee bank in a £20 million dispute with a potential beneficiary, including defending an application for a prospective costs order and making a Public Trustee v. Cooper-type application.
- Regularly advises on the validity and construction of trust instruments, on trustees’ duties and beneficiaries’ rights, on constructive and resulting trusts and on conflicts of interest.
- Advised a professional trustee on its potential liability in negligence for having failed to obtain tax advice before implementing a commercial scheme.
- Seddon v DVLA   R.T.R. 13 - DVLA owe no duty of care to purchaser of car
Education and qualifications
MA (Hons) Law, Magdalene College, Cambridge
PGDip, Royal Academy of Music, London
Judicial Assistant to the Court of Appeal
Admitted as a Solicitor (2002)
Levitt Scholar (Lincoln’s Inn)
Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholar
Felicitas Trust Scholar
Junior Counsel to the Crown (Attorney General’s C Panel) (March 2015 to date)
Raj Arumugam is an independent self-employed barrister registered with the Bar Standards Board of England (ref. no 54162); whose practice is governed by the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales which code can be found at www.barstandardsboard.org.uk; has full professional liability insurance provided by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Limited (ref BM 2930/064) (details of the world-wide cover are provided at www.barmutual.co.uk); is registered for VAT (reg. no. 998 4863 32); and can be contacted during chambers opening hours by telephone at 02074045055 or by e-mail at email@example.com.