Gulnaar Zafar focuses on international arbitration and litigation. She has extensive experience managing large-scale and complex commercial arbitrations, cross-border litigation and other dispute resolution processes including, in particular, acting as lead associate in disputes arising out of share sale transactions, joint ventures and shareholder agreements. Ms. Zafar has acted for clients from various sectors, including investment and finance, banking, telecom, oil and gas, energy, defence, shipping and heavy industry companies.

She also has acted as advocate in arbitration proceedings, including performing trial advocacy conducted under the auspices of the leading international arbitral institutions. Before joining Skadden in 2007, Ms. Zafar trained, qualified and practiced law in the top-tier litigation department of a Magic Circle firm.

Representative matters include:

  • acting for the majority shareholders and the director of an international sea and river cruise company defending a multimillion dollar minority shareholder claim in the Bermuda Supreme Court and Court of Appeal (for breach of fiduciary duty, unfair prejudice and breach of contract), including coordinating international counsel and leading the litigation strategy;
  • defending a number of damages claims against and devising and managing a multi-jurisdictional litigation strategy on behalf of an international defence contractor facing allegations of breach of contract and corruption, including bringing counterclaims in litigation and ICC arbitration and leading settlement negotiations;
  • acting as counsel and trial advocate in a successful US$300 million LCIA expedited arbitration claim brought in London on behalf of a Russian investment group involving a claim for specific performance to secure the release from escrow of a valuable shareholding in an international construction company;
  • acting as counsel and trial advocate in a successful US$200 million ICC expedited arbitration claim for a major London-based global investment fund against its fraudulent joint venture partner in connection with the misappropriation of the client’s stake in a lucrative Turkish port development;
  • bringing a successful High Court claim on behalf of a high-net-worth individual for breach of confidence and copyright following the illegal hacking of his private email account, including investigating the wrongdoing, identifying the perpetrators, applying for the necessary court orders and coordinating a simultaneous search and seizure operation;
  • successfully representing an oil major in an expert determination regarding a dispute under a sales and purchase agreement (SPA), relating to the calculation of and entitlement to a tax overprovision;
  • acting in a High Court damages claim between two Cypriot entities concerning a novel claim for unjust enrichment and account of profits for breach of the confidentiality obligations under an SPA. The case involved successfully defending a reverse summary judgment and strike out application as well as a number of complex jurisdiction challenges, including before the Court of Appeal; and
  • acting for a U.S. investment fund in an LCIA arbitration claim worth in excess of US$1 billion against a Russian oligarch who had fraudulently diverted the assets of the parties’ joint venture cement production company.



  • Legal Practice Course, Nottingham Law School, 2002
  • LL.B., Durham University, 2001


  • Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England & Wales

Gulnaar Zafar

Associate, International Litigation and Arbitration