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Sean Kelsey

Senior Associate
Fax +44.(0)20.7648.9001
Sean Kelsey is a senior associate in the dispute resolution and litigation department of the firm’s London office. He has represented clients in a wide range of domestic and international commercial, corporate and regulatory disputes. His practise encompasses the English High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, complex multi-jurisdictional litigation, and international arbitration. His experience spans many sectors of the economy, including natural resources, extractive industries, specialty chemicals, manufacture, import, transport and distribution, retail, construction, property development, media and telecoms, professional and financial services, and insurance coverage disputes. He also advises on private international law aspects of corporate and financial transactions. He maintains a particular focus on boardroom risk; and devotes a portion of his time to the law as it affects markets in fine art and other cultural property.

Professional Background

Dr. Kelsey joined K&L Gates as a newly-qualified lawyer in October 2007, having spent more than a dozen years as an academic historian, lecturing on early modern British and European history, and researching and publishing a number of articles about the trial and execution of Charles I, a subject on which he still regularly writes and speaks.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Member, London Solicitors Litigation Association
  • Member, British Institute of International Comparative Law
  • Senior Research Fellow, Humanities Research Institute, University of Buckingham

Additional Information

Dr. Kelsey is a frequent contributor to Arbitration World (for which he writes a regular global update on recent developments in international arbitration).
Commercial contracts
  • Advising a leading global business outsourcer in connection with disputes concerning the supply of corporate information services to a number of financial institutions.
  • Advising a New England tea importer in relation to its dispute with a leading English manufacturer and supplier of tea.
  • Advising a corporate financial advisor in relation to recovery of a success fee on completion of a major refinancing for a pre-eminent global transportation business.
  • Advising a leading designer of office furniture in relation to termination of its commercial agent for the MENA region.
  • Successfully enforcing in full the rights of a client of the firm whose claim under a policy had been denied by a Canadian life insurer.

M&A disputes
  • Pursuing claims arising from the sale of a Bulgarian cable telecoms business.
  • Advising in relation to settlement of a dispute arising from the sale of a plant-hire business.
  • Acting in connection with warranty and indemnity claims related to the acquisition of a defence technology business.

Civil fraud
  • Advising a British national utility provider in relation to the investigation of a major fraud.
  • Advising a US telecommunications company regarding efforts to secure extradition from the UK of a Syrian national convicted in the UAE of defrauding the company's JV in the the region.
  • Advising a leading provider of exchange-traded products in relation to a dispute with an agent subject of FCA enforcement proceedings
  • Advising an American investment manager to a hedge fund in relation to claims brought in New York under Cayman law.

  • Resisting various claims against former directors of European Home Retail plc ("EHR") and its subsidiary, Farepak Food and Gifts Limited (including the successful defence of an attempt to disqualify the non-executive directors of EHR).
  • Advising an insurance broker in relation to claims brought by joint liquidators of Independent Insurance Company Limited
  • Advising an insolvency practitioner in relation to settlement of disputes arising in connection with dissolution of a financial advisory partnership.
  • Advising on numerous occasions in relation to service of statutory demands, and/or presentation of, or resisting winding-up petitions.

Economic torts
  • Successfully defending a specialty chemicals manufacturer in the English Commercial Court against unlawful conspiracy claims arising out of the manufacturer’s admitted criminal conspiracy to corrupt officials in Iraq.
  • Representing a leading diamond broker and a number in connection with a claim of inducing breach of contract.

Product liability
  • Acting for one of the world's leading manufacturers of leisure craft in relation to claims brought against their UK distributors.
  • Acting for a Hong Kong retail electronics manufacturer in a dispute with its English customer.

Corporate disputes
  • Advising on successful resolution of shareholder disputes / unfair prejudice claims in relation to a UK-listed African mining company.
  • Advising on disputes arising out of the terms of an issue of capital in another listed African mining company.
  • Acting in the High Court in connection with a dispute between the owners of and investors in a globally pre-eminent South-East Asian producer of shellfish, in relation to an issue of bonds.

Professional negligence
  • Bringing professional negligence claims against firms of solicitors on behalf of a number of property developers.

Boardroom risk
  • Advising company directors (including shadow directors and de facto directors), in context of many of the abovementioned matters, and in relation to potential personal liabilities arising from claims for breach of statutory and common law duties, Insolvency Act claims, corporate governance issues, and disputes with, and among shareholders.

Fine art and other cultural property
  • Advising in connection with documentation of the sale and purchase of artworks.
  • Advising in relation to a dispute over Soviet-era militaria over which Russian government authorities asserted claims, pending purported criminal investigations, after the goods had been consigned for auction, raising title and bailment issues, as well as questions under UNESCO and UNIDROIT conventions.
  • Acting for a major international auction house in connection with an overseas export licencing issue.
  • Advising a US auction house holding a high-profile sale in London in relation to relevant UK law.
  • Advising in relation to interpretation and effect of the UK Artists’ Resale Right Regulations 2006.
  • Advising a contemporary art gallery on terms and conditions of consignment of artworks for exhibition and sale.
  • Advising an artist in connection with retrieval of artworks from a party to whom they had been consigned for exhibition and sale.
  • Advising in relation to not-for-profit management of a large collection of contemporary artworks.

Arbitration matters
  • Advising a Russian investor in an Eastern European oil and gas JV in relation to enforcement of an ICAC arbitral award.
  • Representing parties to the LCIA arbitration of disputes arising out of the sale of a dairy business in the Ukraine.
  • Assisting in an ICC, Swiss-seated arbitration of claims brought against an American manufacturer of jet engine components by its French customer.
  • Acting for policyholder in LCIA arbitration against trade credit insurers.
  • Advising investors in a Mexican leisure and tourism development in relation to issues arising under an ICC award.
  • Advising a third party in connection with the protection of Kazakh mineral rights affected by the ad hoc London-seated arbitration of a multi-jurisdictional partnership dispute.

  • Six-month secondment to the in-house legal team of a major motor manufacturer and distributor.
  • Acting on behalf of a franchised network of motor dealers in the settlement of a dispute with an insurer.
  • Acting in the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the House of Lords and the European Court of Justice on behalf of blue-chip multinational corporations challenging the lawfulness of UK corporate taxes pursuant to group litigation orders.