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Blackstone Chambers is delighted to announce the arrival of Luka Krsljanin and Thomas Leary. The two highly rated junior barristers join Chambers’ busy commercial group.

Thomas Leary is a leading junior specialising in commercial litigation, civil fraud and international arbitration, including investment treaty disputes, and public law. Called to the bar in 2012, he has extensive experience appearing both as sole and junior counsel in the Commercial Court and in arbitrations in London and internationally, including Singapore and Malaysia. Recent work includes a US$1.6bn ICC arbitration relating to allegations of conspiracy and breaches of a joint venture agreement, a US$400m six week LMAA arbitration following the termination of a construction contract for a semi-submersible drilling rig and an appeal to the Singapore Court of Appeal concerning a natural gas development.  

Luka Krsljanin is a leading commercial junior called to the bar in 2013. He has considerable expertise of significant, heavyweight civil and commercial litigation. Luka frequently acts in cases with a cross-border element, often engaging complex questions of foreign law and is highly rated for his expertise in private international law disputes. Recent work includes PDVSA Servicios S.A. v Clyde & Co & Anor [2020] EWHC 2819 (Ch); and PetroSaudi Oil Services (Venezuela) Ltd v Clyde & Co [2021] EWHC 444 (Ch) in which Luka acted for the successful defendant regarding injunctive and other relief sought by major international oil and gas companies in respect of a fund of $350 million held by the law firm as escrow agent to a major commercial arbitration, with the funds in question alleged to be connected with the major 1MBD corruption scandal; Luka has been involved in overlapping litigation in the English Courts, the US Courts and the Malaysian Courts.

Monica Carss-Frisk QC, joint head of Blackstone Chambers, said: “This recruitment underscores once again our determination to deliver hard hitting commercial teams to our clients in the toughest cases. We look forward very much to working with them.”

Gary Oliver, senior clerk of Blackstone Chambers, said: The demand in the market for our commercial expertise, both domestic and international, is phenomenal and – for the second time in five years – has necessitated lateral recruitment to bolster the junior ranks. I’m delighted that we have been able to add two such high quality junior counsel to the existing team.”

Tom said: “I am delighted to be joining Blackstone. I look forward to the incredible diversity work undertaken and to developing my practice further across all areas of commercial litigation, civil fraud, international arbitration and public law”.

Luka said: ““I am thrilled to be joining Blackstone Chambers, a set that I have long admired, to focus on Commercial Law.”