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
- 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
- Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB v Conway and Anr UKPC 36 – Privy CouncilDavid 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 JProceedings 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 QCThe 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 JThe 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.
- JSC VTB Bank v Skurikhin and Ors EWHC 1407 (Comm) – Ms Patricia Robertson QCA Liechtenstein Foundation applied to set aside the Court’s appointment of receivers 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 the 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 of it when that exclusion had been brought about with the knowledge and approval of the judgment debtor himself.
- Candey Ltd v Crumpler and Farmer EWHC 282(Ch) – Andrew Hochhauser QCThe applicant, a firm of solicitors, sought a charging order over sums paid to liquidators of BVI company in settlement of proceedings in which the solicitors had acted for the company pursuant to section 73 Solicitors Act 1974. The deputy judge found that the solicitors had waived their solicitor’s lien prior to the liquidation of the company by taking additional security on the form of a deed of charge without reserving the solicitor’s lien.
- Terry and Ors v Watchstone Limited EWHC 3082 (Comm) – Stephen Hofmeyr QCThe 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 QCThe 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 & AnorSupreme Court of the Seychelles 184/2017 – Govinden J – 20 October 2017In 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 QCDavid 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 JA 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 QCDavid 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 QCDavid 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 ManjiBVIHCMAP2016/0036 – 10 May 2017 – Eastern Caribbean Court of AppealDavid 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 LJThe 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 AB4th 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 35The 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 9The 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 & OrsBVIHC (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. 440Teare 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 IslandsA 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) 295David 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 1001The 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 62Following 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 63Following 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 145House 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 1224Phillips 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.
- Professional membership
- 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 BristolLast updated: 26 Feb 2021.