Insurance & Reinsurance
Legal Week's Stars at the Bar 2014 feature, David received the following praise: "experience beyond his call, especially in complex insurance and reinsurance disputes" "In the field of marine insurance he is the go-to junior, building a level of expertise in this narrow but important sector that is unmatched by his peers. Other juniors dabble in marine insurance; David is fast becoming the genuine specialist of his generation."
He has been described by The Legal 500 as a
"rising star" in the field of Insurance and Reinsurance who is "a 'go-to' junior for marine insurance".
David's practice covers all aspects of insurance and reinsurance, including claims under contracts for facultative and treaty reinsurance, open covers, binding authorities, and actions against brokers and claims handlers for professional negligence. He also has experience of competition law issues in an insurance context and advises on regulatory matters.
David has acted in claims involving most classes of marine and non-marine insurance and reinsurance, including aviation, business interruption, cargo and hull, EAR, K&R, liability (including P&I and freight liability), MII, political risk, property, rig and XL.
Since acting at the start of his career in the heavy and complex
"WD FAIRWAY" litigation (one of the largest
navigational CTL's experienced by the London Market: see further below), David has had a particular interest in the law of marine insurance. He is currently writing the 11th edition of Chalmers' Marine Insurance Act 1906 with Simon Rainey QC and Guy Blackwood.
David has had market experience on the marine side during a placement with RSA's Marine Hull Claims Team and on the aviation side during a placement with QBE Aviation Syndicate 5555.
Recent cases include:
Acted as sole counsel for the assured in an ARIAS
arbitration where US$19m was claimed under a Marine Cargo and Delay in
Start-up policy. The claim was prompted by damage to diesel generators during a
sea voyage, which were intended to be used in a power plant in Kenya. The
principal issue was whether a delimiting warranty had been breached.
, a multi-million dollar Commercial Court BI insurance and reinsurance claim following a pot freeze at an aluminium plant in Saudi Arabia, with Guy Blackwood QC. Tawuniya Insurance Company v Ma'aden Aluminium Company & ors Advising the London market with Simon Rainey QC on the long-running litigation. Alexandros T , a Commercial Court action to recover unpaid premium from brokers under section 53(1) of the Marine Insurance Act 1906 which is resisted on the basis that paying premium would put Marsh in breach of various laws imposing sanctions on Iran. Norwegian Hull Club v Marsh , a claim for breach of a consultancy agreement. Danson Consultants v Carroll Insurance
, a brokers' negligence dispute in the Commercial Court, which was recently settled. Mentoras Ltd v VSK & ors
, led by Mark Templeman QC: an on-going, contested US$13million CTL claim in the Commercial Court, raising issues of material non-disclosure, misrepresentation and involving claims against brokers. Involnert Management Inc v Aprilgrange Ltd & ors (The "GALATEA")
, again led by Mark Templeman QC: another contested US$8million CTL claim in the Commercial Court, which was settled. Bernina Martime Inc v RSA & ors (The "LIQUID ERA") , a US$16m claim against insurers and reinsurers following the escape of gas during the drilling of an underwater well off the coast of Nigeria. Addax v IEI & ors
, David acted with Guy Blackwood in this claim by insurers for payment of claims under 16 contracts of H&M facultative reinsurance. Al Sagr National Insurance Company v Generali Romania Throughout 2011, David was instructed as part of a 6 strong counsel team in
, a substantial Commercial Court action concerning negligent claims handling across a number of books of business, which was set down for a 40 day trial before a settlement in late 2011. Markerstudy Insurance Company Limited v Endsleigh Insurance Services Limited In March 2011, David acted as sole counsel for underwriters in
where liability was successfully resisted under a freight liability policy. Donkin v Aviva Insurance Limited
Dornoch Ltd & ors v Westminster International BV & ors (The "WD FAIRWAY")  2 Lloyd's Rep. 191: David (led by Iain Milligan QC and Guy Blackwood) acted on behalf of the successful underwriters in this major marine insurance dispute following the constructive total loss of the "WD FAIRWAY". Issues considered by the Court in phase one included abandonment and the extent of underwriters' proprietary rights in a vessel on payment of a CTL and election.
Dornoch Ltd & ors v Westminster International BV & ors (The "WD FAIRWAY")  2 Lloyd's Rep. 420: in phase two of this action the Court considered the impeachment of transactions defrauding creditors under section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986 in an insurance context. Again, David (led by Iain Milligan QC and Guy Blackwood) acted on behalf of the successful underwriters. In early 2010 David also acted (led by Bernard Eder QC, as he then was, and Guy Blackwood) in a third trial concerning the CTL of the "WD FAIRWAY", raising questions regarding an assured's entitlement to interest for the late payment of an indemnity, which was settled during final speeches.
Dry Shipping, Commodities & Transport
David has a busy dry shipping and commodities practice. He is recommended in the fields of Shipping and Commodities in Chambers & Partners 2015, where is he described as
"one to watch" and where he wins praise as an advocate who is "very confident and composed and does not take any nonsense" and for being "incredibly bright and very easy to get on with".
On the dry shipping side he has particular experience of unsafe port claims, demurrage disputes, termination/withdrawal/anti-technicality clauses, issues of illegality, unseaworthiness, the NYPE Inter-Club Agreement, delivery/redelivery obligations, cancellation clauses, performance claims and casualties arising out of dangerous cargo incidents. David regularly advises and acts in Hague and Hague-Visby Rules cases and has been involved in a substantial number of cargo claims.
His commodities practice encompasses all aspects of international trade and futures, including oil trading, metals and foodstuffs.
David also has experience of a number of cases involving the carriage of goods by road, involving the applicaiton of the CMR, BIFA, RHA and UKWA terms.
Recent cases include:
section 68 application in the Commercial Court challenging the decision of an LMAA panel to make a final rather than partial award. Lorand Shipping Ltd v Davof Trading (Africa) BV (The "OCEAN GLORY")  EWHC 3521 (Comm): David was instructed with Contecon Guayquil SA & ors v Ikaria Maritime: Luke Parsons QC in this substantial Admiralty Court action brought by the operators of a terminal at a port in Ecuador after The "CCNI ANTARTICO" caused damage when it berthed at excessive speed. he acted for the successful cargo interests in this Commercial Court claim for damage to frozen fish being carried in reefer containers from New Zealand to Germany. JP Klausen & Co A/S v MSC (The "SKY JUPITER")  EWHC 3254 (Comm):
David acted for the successful cargo interests in this claim against the owners of the CHS Inc Iberica SL v Far East Marine SA (The "DEVON")  EWHC 3747 (Comm): "DEVON" for damage caused to a consignment of corn when the subject voyage took 59 days instead of 8 days because of a main engine breakdown. Issues considered by Mr Justice Cooke included unseaworthiness, due diligence and the obligation to proceed with reasonable despatch.
: David, led by Transpetrol Maritime Service Ltd v SJB (Marine Energy) BV (The "ROWAN") Stephen Cogley QC, settled the application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court from the Court of Appeal's decision at  1 Lloyd's Rep. 564. The case concerned the proper construction of an oil majors approval clause in a voyage charter.
Emeraldian Limited Partnership v Wellmix Shipping Company Limited & ors (The "VINE")  1 Lloyd's Rep. 301: David was led by Lionel Persey QC in this demurrage / safe berth dispute and associated guarantee claim, which involved a number of conflict of laws issues and the application of Chinese law and exchange controls.
Much of David's work in this area is in arbitration.
Recent arbitrations include:
David is currently instructed, with Simon Croall QC in a Hong Kong arbitration where substantial damages are claimed for breach of a long-term COA. David is currently instructed, with Simon Kverndal QC, in an LMAA arbitration where damages of c.US$60m are sought for breach of a long-term time charter. The issues include whether the decision in The "ASTRA" on whether the obligation to pay hire is a condition or innominate term is correct. He is also currently instructed in a significant LMAA arbitration between the owners of a vessel and two sets of bareboat charterers relating to the condition of the vessel on redelivery from one bareboat charterer and delivery to the next. In October 2014, David acted as sole counsel in a 2-day jurisdictional challenge under section 30 of the Arbitration Act 1996. Issues included whether there was intention to create the legal relationship of owner/charterer, authority and misrepresentation. In April 2014, David acted as sole counsel for the successful claimants in an HKIAC arbitration concerning a US$1.3m claim for breach of a COA. In July 2013, he acted (led by Simon Croall QC) for the successful owners in a safe berth dispute before an LMAA tribunal. In September 2011, David was instructed as sole counsel in c.US$2m charterparty dispute set down for 5 days, which settled shortly before opening speeches. The case involved, among other things, allegations of unseaworthiness and a dispute over a deviation to take a pilot.
In November / December 2010, David appeared as junior counsel (led by Simon Croall QC) in an arbitration involving a c.US$20m claim for breach of two COAs for the carriage of bauxite. Issues considered included the application of without prejudice privilege and renunciation.
David has been instructed in a range of commercial cases; recent examples include:
He recently acted as sole counsel in the
litigation JSC BTA Bank v Solodchenko (a case involving commercial fraud, freezing orders and sentencing for civil contempt), settling an application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court against the 21 month custodial sentence imposed by the Court of Appeal on Mr Kythreotis (see  1 WLR 350). David
was instructed as sole counsel in , a multi-million dollar Commercial Court claim for the alleged breach of a contract for the exclusive distribution of perfumes and fragrances in Nigeria. Industrial Flavours & Colours Limited v Robertet (UK) Limited
David also has particular experience of jurisdictional and other conflict of laws issues in a commercial context:
Emeraldian Limited Partnership v Wellmix Shipping Company Limited & ors (The "VINE")  1 Lloyd's Rep. 301: which concerned the law applicable to guarantees and the consequences of illegality under foreign systems of law.
Dornoch Ltd & ors v Westminster International BV & ors (The "WD FAIRWAY")  2 Lloyd's Rep. 191 (phase one) and  2 Lloyd's Rep. 420 (phase two): these cases considered, among other things, renvoi, the situs of a registered vessel and various issues of Dutch, Thai and Nigerian law.
David regularly appears in the Commercial Court in applications relating to security for costs, freezing orders and enforcement proceedings. Recently, with
Poonam Melwani QC, he also obtained two urgent, ex-parte anti-suit injunctions in out-of-hours hearings before Commercial Court judges by telephone.
David has experience of arbitrations on ICC, FOSFA, GAFTA, LCIA and HKIAC terms. Confidentiality prevents the naming of particular disputes.
He has also been instructed in a number of arbitration claims in the Commercial Court (ss. 67, 68 and 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996), including , a section 68 application in the Commercial Court challenging the decision of an LMAA panel to make a final rather than partial award, as well as an application to strike out an arbitration appeal for want of prosecution. Lorand Shipping Ltd v Davof Trading (Africa) BV (The "OCEAN GLORY")  EWHC 3521 (Comm)
Energy, Shipbuilding & Construction
David regularly advises and acts in a variety of
offshore and energy disputes. He has acted in disputes relating to
drilling and exploration projects and, particularly, in relation to casualties
due to failures of equipment or negligent operation. He has advised on a number
of disputes on the BIMCO Supplytime
form. Recent cases include the following :
He was recently instructed, with Simon Croall QC, in , a c.US$7m claim in the Commercial Court relating to the supply of gasoil to a Kenyan storage facility. The case concerned, among other things, Kenyan law relating to the delivery of gasoil from or in commingled storage tanks. Glencore Energy (UK) Limited v Total Kenya Limited David was also recently instructed in an ICC arbitration claim for damages of c.US$30million under an off-shore supply contract, brought by the operator of a jack-up drilling rig,
which was to be used for the exploration of blocks off the coast of Cameroon. He was instructed
in arbitration claim relating to modifications to a cable-laying vessel,
which was being used to create infrastructure to support off-shore wind
farms in the North Sea. David was instructed
in arbitration claim concerning the sale of an offshore supply vessel
under the Norwegian Saleform 1987. Issues included expert evidence on the
volatile, project-driven nature of the market for supply vessels.
He also has experience of shipbuilding disputes and is currently instructed in a number of on-going arbitrations:
In January 2013, David acted with Simon Croall QC in a shipbuilding arbitration concerning the proper construction of a contractual requirement to supply evidence of registration of refund guarantees. The arbitration considered, among other things, changes in Chinese law on exchange controls.
He also appeared as junior counsel in an arbitration concerning an application by a buyer to perform certain non-destructive tests on the welds of a vessel prior to delivery.
Aviation & Travel
David is instructed by the major airlines in Convention claims and those under EC Regulation 261/2004 and has dealt with a number of claims resulting from the closure of airspace due to the volcanic ash cloud in April 2010.
He was instructed, led by Robert Lawson QC, in All Nippon Airways v Thai Airways , a US$20m Commercial Court claim for alleged negligent aircraft maintenance, which settled shortly before trial.
David has also acted as counsel in a number of high-profile inquests that have followed aviation disasters:
In October 2013, David appeared at the inquest into a death following a mid-air collision near Leicester airport. In October 2012, he was instructed to appear at the inquest into a death following a
mid-air collision at Shoreham airfield and is now instructed in the High Court litigation brought by the family of the deceased. In November 2011, David was instructed to appear at the inquest into two deaths at Rotherfield Greys, near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, which occurred when a bi-plane failed to recover from an
aerobatic manoeuvre. In October 2009, he was instructed on behalf of the North West Parachute Centre at the inquest into two deaths following a
mid-air collision between two light aircraft near Blithfield Reservoir, Staffordshire. In September 2009, David was instructed to appear at an inquest into two deaths following an
air accident at Seething airfield, Norfolk.
Banking & Finance
David regularly appears on behalf of major clearing banks and other lenders and financial institutions in both trials and interlocutory applications. He also undertakes advisory work in relation to commercial and consumer banking matters. David has experience of insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings.
He appeared in
, which considered, among other things, the impeachment of transactions defrauding creditors under section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986. Dornoch Ltd & ors v Westminster International BV & ors (The "WD FAIRWAY")  2 Lloyd's Rep. 420
Full detail on selected areas will be included in the downloadable PDF.