Photo of Luka Krsljanin

Luka Krsljanin

Call 2013

lkrsljanin@2tg.co.uk

+44 (0)20 7822 1200

“Extremely Intelligent and Assiduous”

Legal 500 2021

“Punches Above his Weight”

Legal 500 2021

“Hard-working and diligent”

Legal 500 2021

“Has a wonderful bedside manner that is totally reassuring to clients”

Legal 500 2021

“Luka Will Go Far”

Legal 500 2021

"He is unbelievably unflappable"

Chambers UK 2020

“A Confident and Robust Advocate”

Chambers UK 2019

Practice Overview

Luka specialises in commercial disputes, in which he is regularly instructed both as sole counsel and as part of a counsel team. He regularly appears in the Business & Property Courts. His practice encompasses general contractual disputes, shareholder disputes and cases involving allegations of fraud and conspiracy. Many of his cases arise in the sports context, and he is identified by the Legal 500 as a “rising star in sports disputes, who is “particularly well known for his work in football – especially contractual claims – he has a wonderful bedside manner that is totally reassuring to clients, together with a clear, deep knowledge and understanding of sports law. Luka will go far in this field.”

A specialist in the field of disclosure in all civil litigation, he has acted (led and unled) in leading cases before the High Court and Court of Appeal on issues of privilege, pre-action disclosure and obligations under the Disclosure Pilot in the Business & Property Courts.

He also frequently acts in a range of civil and commercial cases with a cross-border element, often engaging complex questions of foreign law. He also has experience in complex professional (including clinical) negligence disputes.

He is ranked in numerous areas of practice in both the Legal 500 and in Chambers & Partners, where he has been praised as “extremely intelligent and assiduous”, “unbelievably unflappable”, and “hard-working and diligent”.

Commercial Dispute Resolution

Both led and as sole counsel, Luka regularly advises and acts in cases concerning all manners of commercial disputes, most commonly in the Sports context, but also more generally in the Joint Venture, Partnership and Agency contexts. He has represented high-profile clients in high value claims, including the owners of West Ham United Football Club, Sheffield United Football Club and Stade Rennais Football Club.

He specialises in tackling complex issues of disclosure, and has appeared in two of the leading cases of recent years on disclosure in commercial cases. He also has particular interest and experience in tackling the controversial issue of implied obligations of good faith in English contract law.

Current and Recent Work

 

  • Re R-Squared Holdco Limited [2020] EWHC 23 (Ch):
    Luka acts for a number of Respondents to a s.994 Unfair Prejudice Petition, in which the Petitioners allege that other shareholders have attempted unlawfully to secure the Petitioners’ shareholding at nominal value including by instituting disciplinary proceedings against the Petitioners to oust them from the company. The case involves complex questions of disclosure – including the question of a shareholder’s entitlement to inspect legal advice given in respect of ongoing disciplinary proceedings against that shareholder. The judgment noted above provides valuable guidance on the approach to interim injunctions in the context of an Unfair Prejudice Petition.
  • Stade Rennais F.C. v Sports Invest Ltd [2020-]:
    Luka acts for the French Ligue One Football Club Stade Rennais, owned and controlled by the well-known Pinault family, the owners of such world-famous companies as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga. Stade Rennais are alleged to have induced a breach of contract by ‘poaching’ a high-profile agent/manager from Sports Invest, an English-based football agency, to serve as their Director of Football. Complex disclosure issues are concerned, in particular with regard to the limits of privilege under French Law. The case proceeds to trial in 2020.
  • DongGuan Limited & Butt v Vantage Aviation Limited & Newton [2020]:
    Luka acts (unled) in this multimillion pound dispute concerning a contract by which an English aviation company agreed to provide sophisticated training to helicopter pilots employed by the Chinese Ministry of Transport. In addition to issues of contractual construction, the case involves allegations of undue influence and fraud.
  • Sheffield United Ltd v UTB LLC & Ors [2019] EWHC 2322 (Ch):
    Luka acts for Sheffield United Ltd in this dispute concerning the ownership of the Club as between two 50% co-owners: Mr Kevin McCabe and Saudi Prince Abdullah. The case led to a landmark judgment on the Disclosure Pilot in the Business & Property Courts from the Chancellor, Sir Geoffrey Vos ([2019] EWHC 914 (Ch)). The substantive trial of the case, which lasted for 6 weeks, has also led a major judgment from Fancourt J on matters including: implied terms, obligations of good faith, unfair prejudice, and conspiracy ([2019] EWHC 2322 (Ch)).
  • WH Holding Ltd v E20 Stadium LLP [2018] EWCA Civ 2652:
    Luka acted on behalf of the successful Appellant in this landmark Court of Appeal case on the limits of litigation privilege. The appeal came in the context of a claim brought by the owners of West Ham Football Club against the leasehold owner of the London Stadium (the former Olympic Stadium). West Ham alleged that E20, the Stadium owners, were unlawfully preventing West Ham from accessing certain seats in the Stadium, and therefore depriving West Ham of substantial ticketing revenue. The claim involved allegations that E20 has failed to act in good faith. The case involved numerous significant judgments including that of the Court of Appeal noted above. In particular, a judgment of Snowden J on the redaction of commercially sensitive documents ([2018] EWHC 2578 (Ch)) and a judgment on applications for third party disclosure ([2018] EWHC 2971 (Ch)).
Sport

The Legal 500 identifies Luka as one of four “rising stars” in the field of Sport, noting in particular his strengths in litigating contractual disputes in the football context (see the bio above). He is junior counsel of choice for West Ham United Football Club, the well-known Premier League Football team, and has represented them in a series of disputes, including in their high-profile dispute with the owners of the former Olympic Stadium; a claim valued at over £100 million.

In addition to his comprehensive commercial experience, Luka also deals with Sports cases involving injury and regulatory matters, and therefore is well-versed in cross-examining experts on complex scientific and medical issues in a sporting context.

Current and Recent Work

  • Stade Rennais F.C. v Sports Invest Ltd [2020-]:
    Luka acts for the French Ligue One Football Club Stade Rennais, owned and controlled by the well-known Pinault family, the owners of such world-famous companies as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga. Stade Rennais are alleged to have induced a breach of contract by ‘poaching’ a high-profile agent/manager from Sports Invest, an English-based football agency, to serve as their Director of Football. Complex disclosure issues are concerned, in particular with regard to the limits of privilege under French Law. The case proceeds to trial in 2020.
  • X v Y [20201]:
    Luka acts in a confidential dispute concerning a Football Club, in which it is alleged that the actions of an individual have caused reputational damage to the brand of the Club.
  • Sheffield United Ltd v UTB LLC & Ors [2019-]:
    Luka acts for Sheffield United Ltd in this dispute concerning the ownership of the Club. The dispute arises out of an Investment and Shareholders Agreement, pursuant to which Sheffield United Ltd (a limited company controlled by English businessman Kevin McCabe) and UTB LLC (a limited company controlled by Saudi Prince Abdullah Bin Mossad Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud) held 50% of the shares in the Football Club’s holding company. UTB claims it is entitled to obtain Sheffield United Ltd’s shares in the company, and the latter counterclaims and also pursues an unfair prejudice petition by which it asks the Court to make a buyout order in its favour. The case involves legally significant questions as to implied obligations of good faith.
  • WH Holding Ltd v E20 Stadium LLP [2018] EWCA Civ 2652:
    Luka acted for the successful Appellant, (led by Paul Downes QC) in this landmark appeal concerning the scope of litigation privilege. Luka’s client succeeded in the appeal, with a unanimous Court of Appeal (Sir Terence Etherton MR, Lewison LJ and Asplin LJ) rejecting the Respondent’s argument that it was entitled to redact and conceal evidence of discussions between Board Members regarding a potential settlement of the claim. The Court of Appeal held that such discussions, which were in the context of anticipated litigation but not directed at obtaining advice or evidence for that litigation, were not protected by litigation privilege.
  • West Ham v E20 Stadium LLP [2016-2018]:
    Luka acted on behalf of the owners and operators of West Ham United, in their claim against the leasehold owner of the London Stadium (the former Olympic Stadium). West Ham alleged that E20, the Stadium owners, were unlawfully preventing West Ham from accessing certain seats in the Stadium, and therefore depriving West Ham of substantial ticketing revenue. The claim involved allegations that E20 has failed to act in good faith, and so invokes complex consideration of good faith issues. Prior to its settlement at trial, the case involved numerous complex case management issues, and interim applications which led to valuable High Court Judgments on the redaction of commercially sensitive documents ([2018] EWHC 2578 (Ch)) and applications for third party disclosure ([2018] EWHC 2971 (Ch)).
Private International Law and Travel

Luka is ranked in both the leading legal directories as a leader in the field of private international law/travel. The Legal 500 says he is “Extremely intelligent and assiduous, and has good experience of travel law and jurisdictional issues. Punches above his weight.”, whilst Chambers UK calls him “unbelievably unflappable”, “very astute and confident” with “a very impressive knowledge of foreign claims”.

Luka routinely acts in high-level Conflict of Laws disputes before the English Courts. He has worked on landmark cases before the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Current and Recent Work

 

  • Rasmussen and IQE Plc v Zurich Espana [2020]:
    Luka acts as sole counsel for the Defendant in this case, valued at over £20 million, which arises out of the death of a man following a cycling accident in Spain. The Deceased was CFO of a cutting-edge technology company, producing materials at the forefront of the Artificial Intelligence revolution, giving rise to substantial disputes concerning the claim for loss of earnings.
    In addition to claims brought by the estate and dependants, a legally novel claim was brought by the Deceased’s former employer for losses sustained as a result of the death of their CFO and the associated market impact, estimated in the sum of £2.2 million. Luka prepared and drafted the jurisdiction challenge to this claim, and days before the hearing the company discontinued its claim.
  • Challenor v Zurich Espana [2020]:
    Luka acts for the Spanish Defendant in this multimillion pound claim arising out of a serious road traffic accident between a motorcycle and a four-by-four vehicle in Menorca, leaving the Claimant tetraplegic. The Claimant motorcycle driver concedes that the accident was caused solely by his own negligence, but claims that he is nonetheless entitled to recover under the insurance policy. Complex questions of Spanish insurance law are engaged.
  • ABC v AXA France [2020]:
    Luka acts (led by Nina Goolamali QC) in this claim arising out of a serious road traffic accident in France which caused life-altering injuries to a young child. French law applies and accordingly complex questions of French quantum law arise in this multi-expert, multimillion pound claim, estimated to be worth £20 million.
  • Vilson v Suravenir Assurances SA [2018]:
    Luka acted (as sole counsel) for the successful Appellant in this reported case concerning the English Court’s powers to stay proceedings where parallel proceedings arising out of the same serious incident are brought in a foreign Court.
  • Spring v EvKB [2017]:
    (led by Charles Dougherty QC), an ongoing High Court case in which the Claimant, a former soldier stationed in Germany in the 1990s, seeks to claim in respect of injuries suffered during training.
  • Howe v MIB [2016]:
    (led by Marie Louise Kinsler), a High Court case on the issue of limitation in the context of a claim brought against the Motor Insurers Bureau relating to an accident abroad. Luka appeared for the successful Defendant. The Claimant is now seeking permission to appeal.
  • Brownlie v Four Seasons Ltd [2015]:
    (led by Howard Palmer QC and Marie Louise Kinsler), a Court of Appeal case concerning jurisdiction and choice of law in contract and tort.
  • Bianco v Bennett [2015]:
    (led by Marie Louise Kinsler), a High Court case in which Luka and Marie Louise succeeded on an important point of law regarding foreign causes of action in the English Courts.
Clinical Negligence

One of only two “Rising Stars” identified in the Legal 500 (2021), Luka is praised as “highly intelligent, hard-working and diligent” and “punching way above his year of call”. He is also ranked in Chambers UK for his work in the field.

He has acted unled in High Court trials, and acted for the successful Defendant both in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal in Manzi v King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [2018] EWCA Civ 1882, an important judgment on adverse inferences and fact-finding, as well as for the successful Respondent in the Privy Council in Williams v Bermuda Hospitals Board [2016] UKPC 4 (led), a leading authority on the law of causation.

Current and Recent Work

 

Luka frequently appears in trials, and has built up a reputation for his strong cross-examination of medical experts. His recent trial successes include the following:

  • Austin v Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust & Others [2019]:
    Luka represented the First Defendant in this complex case relating to gynaecological treatment. The trial was originally listed for a full week’s hearing. On the third day of trial, Luka cross-examined the Claimant’s expert, and drew from him vital concessions which were fatal to the Claimant’s case. The Claimant discontinued immediately after the cross-examination, and agreed to pay the Defendants’ costs.
  • Hindmarsh v Norwich County Hospitals NHS Trust [2018]:
    Luka acted for the successful Defendant in this case concerning spinal surgery carried out on the Claimant. A spinal fixation device had failed shortly after complex spinal surgery, and the Claimant alleged that this was the result of wrongful surgical technique. Under Luka’s cross-examination, the Claimant’s expert conceded that he had fallen into the “Sherlock Holmes fallacy” (the erroneous approach to causation rejected by the House of Lords in the famous case of The Popi M). The Judge found for the Defendant on breach and causation.
  • Teasdale v Royal Free London NHS Trust [2017]:
    Luka represented the successful defendant in this ophthalmology case where breach of duty had been admitted. Causation was firmly disputed and HHJ Baucher singled out Luka’s cross-examination of the Claimant’s expert, a Professor of Opthalmology, as “exemplary”, as essential in resolving the case in the Defendant’s favour
  • Sinclair v Colchester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [2017]:
    Luka represented the successful defendant in this Fatal Accidents claim arising out of cardiac treatment. The claim was pleaded in the value of several hundreds of thousands of pounds. The Court found for the Defendant on breach of duty and also on causation.
Professional Negligence

Luka frequently acts in professional negligence matters which closely relate to his commercial practice: he has particular experience of dealing with solicitors’ negligence cases as well as in complex technology and construction matters.

  • Aerospace Resources Ltd v RGV Aviation Ltd [2020]:
    Luka acts for the Claimant in this case; a sophisticated business providing aerial surveillance solutions to the oil and gas sector, which purchased an Aircraft from the Israeli Armed Forces. The Defendant is a company specialising in providing inspection and surveying services for Aircraft. The Claimant alleges that the Defendant negligently failed to detect structural damage with the Aircraft, resulting in substantial losses.
  • A v B [2018]:
    Luka is instructed in this case concerning an offshore attorney alleged to have negligently mishandled client funds, resulting in losses of tens of millions of pounds.
  • Agouman v Leigh Day [2016] EWHC 1324 (QB):
    Luka acted in this major professional negligence claim concerning the disbursement of settlement monies to millions of villagers in the Cote d’Ivoire. Luka acted at numerous interlocutory stages, including in a hearing against a QC regarding contested aspects of expert evidence on banking and finance matters.
  • Atang v Newatia [2016]:
    is currently instructed as sole counsel in a professional negligence claim worth $500,000. The claim relates to the provision of negligent investment advice by a senior, experienced financial investment adviser. As such, Luka has valuable experience of dealing with complex allegations of professional negligence, including breach of the COBs rules.