Rahul Varma

Call: 2007

Rahul has a Chancery and commercial practice.  He regularly appears in the High Court, County Court, Property Chamber, and various ADR forums.

Further to his practice, Rahul has contributed to (amongst others) The Estates Gazette, Practical Law, and the Property Litigation Association. He also co-edits a volume of the Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents with colleagues at Selborne. You can follow his updates on legal issues on Twitter.

Before coming to the Bar, Rahul read Law at King’s College London. He is a Major Exhibition scholar of the Inner Temple, for whom he now interviews scholarship candidates. Rahul has won a series of other awards for academic achievement and oratory alike.


  • ADR and Mediation

    As well as routinely advising on settlement negotiations, Rahul has experience as an advocate in a range of ADR forums.


    –Drafting submissions to an arbitrator regarding the relevance of Calderbank offers in a rent review case;

    -Attending an all-day ’round table’ meeting in a TOLATA 1996 and Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 dispute;

    -Attending an all-day mediation in group litigation concerning a residential development;

    -Attending an all-day mediation in a dispute concerning a profit share arrangement.


  • Commercial

    Rahul’s work includes: the sale and carriage of goods; the supply of services; agency (including commission and profit shares); guarantees and indemnities; bailment and conversion; restitution; share sales; overage; and joint ventures.


    -Advising on a High Court claim alleging a constructive trust over classic cars;

    -Advice on a ‘best endeavours’ clause in an overage claim worth c. £1m;

    -Advising defendants to a £290k commission claim concerning: (a) whether standard terms were penal; and (b) the enforceability of a personal guarantee;

    -Acting for parties seeking specific performance of a contract collateral to a share sale;

    -Advising a real estate developer on a claim for the return of c. £1m deposit;

    -Acting for a solicitor in a claim for unpaid fees raising issues of novation, privity, and third-party rights;

    -Acting for a solicitors firm in proceedings involving, inter alia: an attempt to rely on an equitable charge to recover fees limitation-barred in contract; alleged undue influence; and s.53(1)(a), LPA 1925 formalities.

  • Company and Partnership

    Rahul is instructed in a broad range of litigation concerning business structures, including actions relating to fiduciaries; directors’ duties; minority shareholders’ relief; and derivative claims.


    -Appearing in a multi-day trial to determine whether a joint venture operated as a partnership, a company or both;

    -Drafting amendments to solicitors’ LLP agreement to introduce a ‘salaried member’;

    -Advising on a personal claim in deceit against a director said to have made a fraudulent misrepresentation of his company’s solvency by entering into a licence on its behalf;

    -Acting for the defendant dentist in a claim for unjust enrichment brought by an NHS trust, featuring a corollary partnership dispute;

    -Advising in relation to reflective loss and breach of a shareholders’ agreement.


  • Insolvency

    Rahul assists individuals and corporations with various aspects of insolvency and restructuring.

    His work covers: winding-up; bankruptcy; insolvency offences; debt recovery; administrations; CVAs delays to dissolution; restorations to the register; vesting orders; and related injunctive relief.


    -Obtaining repeated extensions of the administrations of companies in a group with a total indebtedness of c. £25m;

    -Acting for the creditor in the QBD trial to determine whether the debtor facing an application for a charging order held the subject property on trust for his relatives;

    –Acting for the liquidators of manufacturing companies in a dispute as to (a) the intentionality of trespass to land, and (b) the extent of the Lundy Granite principle;

    -Negotiating the settlement of a pre-bankruptcy debt held to have crystallised in a post-bankruptcy charging order;

    -Obtaining an urgent order for the postponement of dissolution to allow the company’s former employee to bring a claim;

    -Acting for a debtor seeking to prevent the presentation of a bankruptcy petition whilst the Court of Appeal resolved his challenge to the underlying Statutory Demand;

    -Obtaining a total of 28 charging orders in relation to seven discrete judgments made in a single claim;

    -Resisting an urgent application to restrain the presentation of a winding up petition.

  • Landlord & Tenant

    Rahul acts in a broad range of landlord and tenant matters.

    His work includes: forfeiture and possession (including break clauses); service charges; breaches of covenant (including s. 168, CLARA applications); dilapidations and disrepair; 1954 Act renewals; rent reviews; tenancy deposits; lease extensions and acquisition orders; nuisance; easements and rights of way; trespass; specific performance and injunctive relief.


    -Acting for long leaseholder of a Mayfair penthouse in a dispute as to whether a roof terrace formed part of his demise;

    -Acting for the head lessees of large residential estates on Merseyside in a forfeiture dispute with associated split reversion issues;

    -Advising commercial tenants on a claim for overpaid service charges worth c. £700k;

    -Acting for a Premier League footballer in possession proceedings arising out of rent arrears and disrepair;

    -Acting for the appellant landlord in an Upper Tribunal appeal against a s. 168(4), CLARA determination;

    -Acting for the long lessees of several residential blocks seeking to vary their leases to introduce shared repairing obligations;

    -Advising a corporate freeholder as to whether to seek maintenance contributions qua landlord or qua company;

    -Acting for the residential landlord in a trial concerning whether multiple penalties under s. 214, HA 2004 could be awarded in respect of the self-same deposit monies;

    -Acting for lessees seeking an Acquisition Order in a ‘missing landlord’ case under Part III, LTA 1987.

  • Professional Negligence

    Rahul deals with claims against a variety of professionals in the business, property, and legal sectors.


    -Advising in relation to limitation in a claim against solicitors for negligent advice concerning a conveyance;

    –Acting for the owners of a large residential property in Kensington in a multi-day trial concerning builders’ negligence;

    -Acting for a taxi company suing software designers for losses caused by their defective booking system;

    -Acting for a homeowner suing a builder in relation to damage caused by unnecessary roof works;

    -Advising a developer suing solicitors for negligent advice relating to an injunction to restrain construction works.

  • Real Property

    Rahul is instructed in all manner of real estate litigation.

    His work includes: TOLATA; land registration and title disputes (including adverse possession and boundary disputes); mortgages and securities; restrictive covenants over freehold land; overage, options and pre-emption rights; nuisance; easements and rights of way; trespass; specific performance and injunctive relief.


    -Acting for a railway company denying the adverse possession of lands adjoining a railway arch. The case raised novel insolvency issues;

    – Advising on restrictive covenants relating to the proposed development of a £3m+ freehold title;

    -Advising a party looking to vary HMLR restrictions relating to overage;

    -Acting for the respondent in an appeal against a TOLATA declaration concerning (inter alia) the admissibility of a foreign will as fresh evidence;

    -Advising a freeholder in relation to various disputes arising out of inherent defects in a mixed-use hotel/apartment complex;

    -Acting for an adverse possessor seeking default judgment on a claim for declaratory relief;

    -Advising in relation to the transitional provisions in the LRA 2002 concerning overriding interest.