Garbhan Shanks

Garbhan Shanks

Solicitor – admitted 2002

Garbhan Shanks maintains a robust policyholder practice, advising clients on disputes relating to such issues as political risk, public liability and professional indemnity. A client describes him as "exceptionally strong technically and so thorough that he ameliorates the risk of a drawn-out dispute by nailing all the points in the first pass."
Chambers & Partners 2020

Garbhan Shanks is "very capable in this field."
Legal 500 2020

"Garbhan Shanks is hands on and always directly involved. He is obviously experienced and gives calm, measured advice, even when the pressure is on."
Legal 500 2020

Garbhan Shanks and Harriet Chopra form a "wonderful double act in the insurance sector – technically superb with client-facing skills that are second to none." – Legal 500 2019

"Garbhan Shanks is a very good manager of cases and has a good manner." – Chambers and Partner 2019

"Excellent advice, which is of a consistently high standard and tailored to create practical solutions in an international setting."
Legal 500 2016

"Garbhan Shanks has ‘outstanding professionalism and legal knowledge'".
Legal 500 2015


Garbhan is a Commercial Disputes Partner and Head of Insurance and Reinsurance. His extensive experience includes acting for and against ultra-high-net-worth individuals, corporates, financial institutions, insurers and governments in the High Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords and in numerous institutional and ad hoc arbitrations.     

Garbhan primarily acts for policyholders and their captives in insurance coverage disputes in the pharmaceutical, manufacturing, financial services, retail, energy, construction, utilities and public sector. He has advised on construction all-risks, product liability / recall, professional indemnity, property, business interruption, D&O, employers' liability, public liability, political / credit risk, corporate crime (1st and 3rd party) and cyber/privacy insurance cover. He also advises clients on their insurance programmes and policy wordings.

His practice additionally involves acting in reinsurance coverage disputes, which has ranged from US pollution losses in Wasa v Lexington,  disputes over 9/11 World Trade Centre losses and currently acting for a captive reinsurer in a $500m political risk expropriation loss.

Outside the field of insurance, Garbhan has acted in a variety of heavy weight commercial disputes including professional negligence, misselling and civil fraud cases.  Garbhan has experience in third party funded group actions and currently leads the RGL group action against Clydesdale Bank and National Australia Bank. He is often involved in complex procedural matters such as worldwide freezing orders and the enforcement of judgments and arbitral awards in the English courts and abroad.  His arbitration practice acts mainly in high value commercial disputes in the power and oil & gas sectors, in addition to the staple of insurance and reinsurance disputes, including Bermuda Form arbitrations. 

Garbhan has experience in litigating and arbitrating in relation to numerous foreign jurisdictions with a focus on Africa, Russia, the US and Pakistan. Garbhan has a diploma in French law and has supervised disputes in Francophile countries throughout his career. He recently acted for Pakistani bank United Bank Limited before the French Court of Appeal in a successful appeal against Crédit Agricole and Thales in counter-guarantee disputes relating to underlying contracts in the Yemen where "force majeure", alleged fraud and EU Sanction issues arose. Garbhan is a qualified English and Irish solicitor.

He is a member of British Insurance Law Association, AIRMIC, IRLA, AIDA, the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Garbhan is named as a 'Leader in their field' in Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 for many years.

Recent Experience

  • Acting for a group of SME Claimants in High Court proceedings issued against Clydesdale Bank PLC and National Australia Bank in relation to Tailored Business Loans involving allegations of deceit, negligent misstatement, breach of contract and unjust enrichment. (see: Press)
  • Acting for Plurimi Wealth and Plurimi Investment Limited in declaratory proceedings against Akheo Lab LLC in a purported $40m revolving credit agreement claim incorrectly issued in Ohio – all proceedings successfully dismissed and abandoned by Akheo in 2018.
  • Acted for Munnelly Support Services Limited in a High Court Claim brought against Liberty and ACE in 2017 relating to a coverage dispute between the respective PI and EL insurance covers.
  • Successfully defended Aviva Canada Inc. in a reinsurance High Court claim by Minster Insurance Company, and continues to act for Aviva Canada in other reinsurance claims involving issues on the scope of follow settlement clauses and the recoverability of IBNR and Schemes of Arrangement under English law.
  • Acted for a US power company in a property damage/business interruption coverage dispute for losses relating to a damaged gas turbine in the Middle East.
  • Advised the Board of Directors of a UK PLC on its D&O liability cover.
  • Advising an NHS Trust in its claim under the Third Party (Rights Against Insurers) Act 1930 against the PI insurers of an IT contractor.
  • Acted for an Asian manufacturer in a business interruption loss coverage dispute arising out of a fire and prolonged electricity power outage causing solidification in the machines. 

Reported cases

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