David’s practice comprises Commercial and Chancery Litigation and Arbitration with particular emphasis on Insurance and Reinsurance, Company and Insolvency, Civil Fraud and Asset Tracing and Media and Entertainment in England and other jurisdictions in the Caribbean and Far East.
David is a member of COMBAR and the Chancery Bar Association. He is called to the Bar of the British Virgin Islands and has been called to the Bar of the Cayman Islands and the Bar of the Seychelles for particular cases. David is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is called to the New York State Bar (FLC).
At home, David regularly appears in both the Commercial Court and the Chancery Division of the High Court, as well as the Appellate Courts including the Privy Council. Internationally he appears regularly in different Caribbean jurisdictions and appeared recently before the Supreme Court of Seychelles as well acting in international arbitrations in Europe and the Far East.
David was heavily involved in the Lloyd’s litigation in the 1990s acting on behalf of the Names. He then became involved in the arbitrations that arose following the personal accident spiral and has since been involved in a number of High Court actions and arbitrations (including Bermuda Form Arbitrations) representing insureds, Lloyd’s syndicates, corporate insurers and reinsurers and brokers.
David was involved in the litigation that arose in relation to British & Commonwealth, Maxwell and Barings and acted for Prince Jefri in his long running dispute with the State of Brunei and the Brunei Investment Agency and for Mr Cherney in his oligarch battle with Mr Deripaska. He is currently involved in other litigation in London and the BVI involving Russian and other Eastern European oligarchs.
David has recently been involved in a large number of international arbitrations concerning subjects such as viatical insurance policies, a Romanian Bank, a Nigerian mobile telephone network, a steel mill in Malaysia, an aluminium smelting plant in Malaysia, and a dispute between a Chinese company and a Russian business concerning mobile telephone communications in Russia. He is currently involved in a high value Bermuda Form Arbitration in London.
He has been involved in a number of cross-border insolvency proceedings and in recent years has been heavily involved in Madoff related litigation in the British Virgin Islands, Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean and the Privy Council acting on behalf of Swiss Banks, and in proceedings brought in the Cayman Islands by the liquidator of a Cayman Fund against the directors of the Fund and to re-claim redemption payments from investors made prior to the liquidation.
David has also acted for a number of high profile sports stars, musicians and actors as well as corporate entities involved in the media and entertainment industry.
- What the directories say
- David is very bright - he is engaged, understands the details of the case, and works hard to understand the underlying case and clients. His counsel is sound, his advice and judgment always on the mark, and he is attentive and responsive. Extremely easy to work with - he quickly gains a client's confidence and calm and unflappable under pressure. His knowledge of BVI law is second to none.Legal 500 2022
- He gets the ear of any judge with ease and clients love his no-nonsense plain language. An exceptionally good cross-examiner and advocate, who works immensely hard and is always committed.Legal 500 2021
- He is creative, sensible and easy to work with. Straight to the point and very commercial-minded. His work is always excellent. Practical, very hands-on and someone who makes sure he gets on top of the detail quickly. He is excellent in court and has very good experience in heavy jurisdictional disputes.
Chambers & Partners UK 2021
- David is listed as one of the leaders of the Bar in the current editions of Chambers UK and Chambers Global where he is described respectively as being “very hands-on, really does his prep, knows the matter inside out and backwards – generally very impressive” and as having “a great reputation particularly for BVI work.”Chambers & Partners UK
- He is also listed as a “Leading Silk” in The Legal 500 where he is described as both as “A superb advocate who has an immediate grasp of a situation and makes incisive decisions” and “A friendly barrister with excellent drafting skills and a practical outlook” and in “Legal Experts”.Legal 500
- Cases of interest
- SFO and Ors v Litigation Capital and Ors
An action concerning proprietary rights in assets held by Enforcement Receivers, Joint Liquidators, the Viscount of Jersey and Others with a large number of parties. There have been a number of interlocutory judgments which include  EWHC 3548 (Comm). David acts for parties that claim an equitable right to distributions from BVI Companies that are in liquidation and appeared at the recent Commercial Court Trial that was listed for 10 weeks between January and March 2021 and was conducted remotely before Foxton J. Judgment is awaited.
- Re Unicorn Worldwide Holdings Ltd
BVIHGMAP2020/012 – Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal – Baptiste, Michel and Farara Jas
The Joint Liquidators of BVI Companies applied to the court for the sanction of a settlement agreement entered into by some of the parties to the litigation referred to above (SFO and Ors v Litigation Capital and Ors). Jack J granted sanction and the Court of Appeal upheld that decision. An application for permission to appeal to the Privy Council is pending.
- Business Mortgage Finance v Wood and Pengelly
 EWCA Civ 471 – Court of Appeal – David Richards, Males and Laing LJJ
The Court of Appeal heard 2 appeals together concerning secret and half-secret commissions paid to the agents of borrowers. Judgment was handed down on 31 March 2021. The Court of Appeal held that it was not necessary to establish a fiduciary relationship between the borrower and the agent. Rather the question was simply whether the payee was under a duty to provide information, advice or recommendation on an impartial or disinterested basis.
- Nosnehpetsji Ltd (in liquidation) v Watersheds Capital Partners Ltd and Anr
 EWHC 1938 (Ch)
The Chancery Division made rulings concerning two groups of shares in the first claimant company, which was in liquidation. The Transfer of ordinary shares for no consideration had been made in breach of duty to the company and the liquidator was entitled to relief on behalf of the company, Further, the preference shares had been redeemable at £2 per share.
- Bridgehouse (Bradford) No. 2 Ltd v BAE Systems Plc
 EWCA Civ 759 – Court of Appeal – Newey, Males and Stephen Jones LJJ
The Court held that a claim pursuant to section 1028(3) Companies Act 2006 was a matter that could be referred to arbitration and was within the terms of an arbitration agreement between the parties.
- JSC VTB Bank v Skurikhin and Ors
 EWCA Civ 1337 – Court of Appeal – Lewison, Males and Stephen Jones LJJ
A Liechtenstein Foundation applied to set aside the Court’s appointment of receives by way of equitable execution over the membership shares and interest in an English LLP. The Court refused to do so on the basis that the original appointment of receivers was final and binding and it was an abuse of process for the Foundation to rely on the exclusion of the judgment debtor as a beneficiary or it when that exclusion had been brought about with the knowledge and approval of the judgment debtor himself. The Court of Appeal upheld the Judge’s decision.
- JSC VTB Bank v Miccros Group Ltd and Taurus Ltd
BVIHC (COM) 2018/0067 – 19 January 2020 (Jack J)
In the BVI a receiver was appointed over the shares of a BVI Company on the basis of the appointment of receivers in London. The legal owner of the shares, an Anguillan company, successfully applied to discharge the receivership.
- Candey Ltd v Crumpler and Farmer
 EWCA Civ 26 and UKSC 2020/0039
The applicant, a firm of solicitors, sought a charging order pursuant to section 73 Solicitors Act 1974 over sums paid to the liquidators of a BVI Company in settlement of proceedings in which the solicitors had acted for the company. The Judge held that the solicitors had waived their solicitors’ lien prior to the liquidation of the company by taking additional security in the form of a deed of charge without reserving the solicitor’s lien. The Court of Appeal upheld the Judge’s decision and refused permission to appeal. However, the Supreme Court itself granted permission to appeal and that appeal is pending.
- Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB v Conway and Anr
 UKPC 36 – Privy Council
David acted for the successful liquidators against the Bank’s appeal from the Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands. The Liquidators recovered redemption payments made to the Bank shortly before the Weavering Fund was placed into liquidation as invalid preferences.
- Galagaev and Ors v Ananyev and Ors
 EWHC 2414 (Comm) – Andrew Baker J
Proceedings brought by a number of Russian investors in Notes issued by a Russian Bank owned by 2 brothers against the 2 brothers and 8 other defendants were struck out on the grounds of want of jurisdiction or because the claims were without foundation.
- Pedriks and Anr v Grimaux
 EWHC 2165 (QB) – Ms Leigh-Ann Mulcahy QC
The defendant sought to strike out parts of the claimants’ claims including those for breach of fiduciary duty. The Court refused to do so.
- Fraser Turner Ltd v Pricewaterhousecoopers LLP and Ors
 EWCA Civ 1290 – Court of Appeal – Vos, Males LJJ and Snowden J
The claimant claimed damages in excess of £100 million against PWC and the administrators of London Mining plc. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the deputy judge to strike out the claims.
- Terry and Ors v Watchstone Limited
 EWHC 3082 (Comm) – Stephen Hofmeyr QC
The claimants successfully claimed sums paid by them in respect of tax liabilities pursuant to an indemnity granted to them as shareholders in the defendant company prior to the company entering into a reverse takeover.
- Bazhanov & Anr v Fosman & Ors
 EWHC 3404 (Comm) – Daniel Toledano QC
The Judge set aside permission to serve the Claim Form out of the jurisdiction in Russia in a dispute between 2 Russian businessmen concerning a sunflower seed oil production business in Russia.
- Barrington Development Limited & Anr v Ocra (Seychelles) Ltd & Anor
Supreme Court of the Seychelles 184/2017 – Govinden J – 20 October 2017
In proceeding concerning the shareholding of a Seychelles company, David acted for the defendants who successfully set aside leave to serve the proceedings on them out of the jurisdiction and had the claim against them struck out.
- In the matter of OS3 Distribution Limited
 EWHC 2621 (Ch) – Elizabeth Jones QC
David acted for the successful respondents in a petition by Watchstone Group plc pursuant to section 994 Companies Act 2004 in which it was alleged that the affairs of the company had been operated unfairly prejudicially.
- Grenda Investments Ltd v Philip Barton
 EWHC 2371 (Comm) – Simon Picken J
A claim by the claimant for c £20m pursuant to 3 loan facility agreements. This was the hearing of the claimant’s claim for summary judgment and the defendant’s claim to strike out the claim.
- Leeds and Hellard v Lemos
 EWHC 1825 (Ch) – His Honour Judge David Hodge QC
David acted for the bankrupt who successfully argued that potentially privileged documents that had been obtained from his former solicitors and were in the hands of his trustee in bankruptcy could not be used in proceedings against him.
- NRC Holding Ltd v Danilitskiy & Ors
 EWHC 1431 (Ch) – Robin Dicker QC
David acted for the registered owner of a valuable property in Knightsbridge in a trial during which the claimant sought to enforce a judgment by way of a charging order.
- Millicom Tanzania N.V. v Golden Globe International Services Ltd and Yusuf Manji
BVIHCMAP2016/0036 – 10 May 2017 – Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal
David acted for the second defendant in proceedings concerning the ownership of shares of a telecommunications company in Tanzania. The second defendant applied to set aside service of BVI proceedings and freezing orders against him on the basis the proceedings should be pursued in Tanzania. David was successful both before the Commercial Court Judge and the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal.
- Blue Tropic Ltd & Anr v Ivane Chkhartishvili
 EWCA Civ 1259 – Court of Appeal – Arden LJ and Henderson LJ
The defendant, a well known Georgian business man and politician had judgment for damages to be assessed entered against him pursuant to Article 992 of the Georgian Civil Code following a lengthy trial in the Commercial Court (at which time David did not act for the defendant). David was instructed to seek permission to appeal and to appeal that judgment which he did successfully on the basis that the claim was only successful as a result of a late amendment to the claimant’s claim which amendment, the Court of Appeal decided should not have been allowed. The judgment was therefore set aside and the claim against the defendant dismissed.
- Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund Ltd v SEB AB
4th December 2015 – Cayman Islands – The Honourable Nigel Clifford QC
A successful claim by liquidators of a Cayman Fund to recover redemption payments made to an investor as invalid preferences.
- Tseitline v Mikhelson
 EWHC 3065 (Comm)
Stephen Phillips J upheld personal service of Commercial Court proceedings on a Russian oligarch.
- The Federal Republic of Brazil v Durant
 UKPC 35
The Privy Council upheld the decisions of the Royal Court and Court of Appeal in Jersey in allowing backwards tracing.
- Michael Norcross & Ors v The Estate of Christos Georgallides
 EWHC 2405 (Comm)
Andrew Smith J dismissed the Claimants’ claims concerning the running of the Sugar Hut nightclubs on the basis that the claims had not been made out and in any event were barred by a settlement agreement and limitation.
- Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund Ltd v Peterson and Ekstrom
(26th August 2011 and 12th February 2015 – Andrew Jones J and Court of Appeal)
A claim by Liquidators of a Cayman Fund for US$111 million against the directors of the Fund.
- Fairfield Sentry Ltd (in liquidation) v Migani & Ors
 UKPC 9
The Privy Council dismissed the Liquidator’s appeals against the decisions of Bannister J dismissing the Liquidator’s claims to repayment of sums paid to the redeeming shareholders on account of the Ponzi Scheme run by Mr Madoff.
- Arts & Antiques Ltd v Richards and Others
 EWHC 3361 (Comm)
The Commercial Court struck out an insured’s claim for breach of contract and professional negligence arising out of the refusal of an indemnity under an insurance contract where the same claim had been determined by arbitration. An issue estoppel arose as against the insurers in relation to the presence of a condition precedent in the policy and it would be an abuse of process to allow the insured to fight that issue against the brokers, who had not been parties to the arbitration.
- RP Explorer Master Fund v Chilukuri
 EWHC 103 (Ch).
Judgment was entered for a Cayman Fund for US$91 million in a dispute concerning investments in India and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Fairfield Sentry Limited (In Liquidation) v Bank Julius Baer & Co Ltd & Ors
BVIHC (COM) 30/2010 and 7 Other Claims.
The Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of Bannister J granting judgment to the Defendant Banks in respect of the Liquidator’s claim to claw-back historical redemption payments on the basis they were paid under a mistake.
- The Seashell of Lisson Grove Ltd and Ors v Aviva Insurance and Ors
 EWHC 1761 (Comm) Teare J
The trial of 3 preliminary issues concerning an insurance policy for a famous restaurant in London that had suffered losses from a catastrophic fire.
- Michael Cherney v Oleg Deripaska
 EWCA Civ 849
A very large claim between oligarchs in which the English Court gave permission for the claim form to be served out of the jurisdiction where the risks inherent in a trial in Russia were sufficient to make England the forum in which the case could most suitably be tried in the interests of both parties and the ends of justice.
- Aspen Insurance UK Ltd v Pectel Ltd
 Lloyd’s Rep. I.R. 440
Teare J – A claim by Insurers for a declaration that they were not liable to indemnify the Insured because of a breach of a condition precedent in the insurance policy.
- Re East Sussex County Council & Ors
 EWHC 935 (Fam)
Eleanor King J – A decision that a reporting restriction should not be continued where the material in dispute was extensively available on the internet and had been in the public domain for a significant length of time.
- Aspinall’s Club Limited v Fouad Al-Zayat
 EWHC 2101 (Comm)
Teare J – An assent by a gaming club to a gambler’s suggestion that he should be allowed one year in which to repay a gambling debt, but that during that period he would continue to gamble at the club and would repay the money out of any money won, amounted to providing or allowing him credit contrary to the Gaming Act 1968 s. 16(1(b).
- Michael Wilson & Partners Ltd v Temujuin International Ltd and Ors
 High Court of Justice, British Virgin Islands
A large fraud case involving asset tracing in the BVI, Bahamas, England and Australia, worldwide freezing orders and the appointment of receivers and applications to dismiss such orders.
- Amedeo Hotels Ltd Partnership & Ors v Zaman & Ors
 EWHC (Comm) 295
David Mackie J – an application to discharge a worldwide freezing order made pursuant to section 25 Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 on the grounds of material non-disclosure.
- Aspinall’s Club Limited v Fouad Al-Zayat
 EWCA 1001
The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal of Mr Al-Zayat and held that on a proper analysis of the provisions of section 16 Gaming Act 1968 Mr Al-Zayat had defences with reasonable prospects of success and summary judgment should not have been entered against it.
- His Royal Highness Prince Jefri Bolkiah v The State of Brunei Darussalam and Anr
 UKPC 62
Following hearings before the Chief Justice and the Court of Appeal in Brunei, the Privy Council decided that the Chief Justice of Brunei was correct not to recuse himself from hearing the proceedings and there were no grounds for granting a stay on the basis that there could not be a fair hearing of the application to enforce the Settlement Agreement.
- His Royal Highness Prince Jefri Bolkiah v The State of Brunei Darussalam and Anr
 UKPC 63
Following hearings before the Chief Justice and the Court of Appeal in Brunei, the Privy Council decided that Prince Jefri had no reasonably arguable defence to the claim by the Brunei Investment Agency to enforce a Settlement Agreement reached on 12th May 2000.
- Konkola Copper Mines & Anr v Coromin Ltd and Any
 EWCA Civ 5 Court of Appeal.
An application for a stay of proceedings against Reinsurers on jurisdictional and case management grounds.
- Freakley & Ors v Centre Re & Anr
 1 WLR 2863
House of Lords.
An appeal concerning whether claims handling costs amounted to administration expenses.
- Feasey v Sun Life & Phoenix, Steamship Mutual v Feasey
 EWCA Civ
Court of Appeal. An avoidance action which also involved consideration of the Life Assurance Act 1774 and insurable interest generally and is currently being appealed to the House of Lords.
- Akinola v Heath
 EWHC 2062 (Ch)
An action to determine who owned the copyright in the highly successful dance song “The Key, The Secret”
- Henderson v Merrett Syndicates
 2 AC 145
House of Lords. A decision on the particular construction of the agency agreements entered into between names, members’ agents and managing agents at Lloyds and the tortious duties owed between those persons.
- Deeny & Ors v Gooda Walker Ltd and Ors
 CLC 1224
Phillips J. The first major Lloyd’s Action (arising out of the difficulties encountered by those underwriting through Lloyds in the late 1980s and early 1990s in the LMX Spiral) involving an Action Group of Names to get to trial and judgment.
- SFO and Ors v Litigation Capital and Ors
- Professional memberships
- Chancery Bar Association
- Called to the Bar of the British Virgin Islands
- Called to the New York State Bar (FLC)
- Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
King’s School, Rochester.
University of Bristol