Masters of the Bench
Miss Vasanti Selvaratnam QC
Full Title: Miss Vasanti Selvaratnam QCCategory: Ordinary Bencher
Bench Call Date: 26.7.2011
Call Date: 28.7.1983
Vasanti Selvaratnam was educated by nuns at St Augustine’s Priory in Ealing where she was made Head Girl, the first non-Catholic to hold that position. After attaining four A Levels in a mixture of arts and sciences, she studied Law at King’s College London, obtaining an LLB and then an LLM (First Class), specialising in maritime and commercial law.
She was fortunate in receiving a generous Middle Temple Benefactors Scholarship. After completing a successful pupillage in the shipping Chambers of Gerald Darling QC in Queen Elizabeth Building, Vasanti became a tenant in October 1984, and has continued to practise at the commercial and shipping Bar ever since.
She has appeared in many of the leading cases in the area, including the Choko Star (leading case in the Court of Appeal on agency of necessity); the Nagasaki Spirit (House of Lords decision on the meaning of fair rate); the Starsin (leading case on title to sue in the House of Lords); and most recently the Alexandra 1 (Court of Appeal decision on the interaction between narrow channel and crossing rules in a shipping collision).
Vasanti became a Recorder on the Western Circuit at the age of 39 and took Silk in 2001, one of the youngest women from an Asian background to do so in her field. She became a Bencher in 2008 and continues to enjoy Inn life, most recently forming part of the Middle Temple delegation on an Amity Visit to Hong Kong.
In June 2018, Vasanti became Joint Head of 36 Stone, the specialist shipping, international trade and commercial arbitration wing of the 36 Group, located at 4 Field Court, Gray’s Inn.
She sits increasingly as an international arbitrator, both in England and abroad, in a wide range of commercial disputes under the rules of the well-known institutional bodies.