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Practice Summary

Dan’s practice covers the full range of commercial litigation, arbitration and advisory work. He is regularly instructed in complex, high-value disputes, especially those with an international element. He brings particular expertise to energy and shareholder disputes from having worked at White & Case (London) and King & Wood Mallesons (Sydney).

Before joining chambers, Dan was an associate in the litigation and arbitration group of White & Case (London). While there, he acted in LCIA and ICC arbitrations across the energy, property and telecommunications sectors. Before that, he completed a training contract with the leading Australian firm King & Wood Mallesons, focusing on disputes and transactional work across the energy and construction sectors.

Of Dan’s led work, recent highlights include:

 

  • ICC arbitration – defending claims under a contract for the sale of aluminium fluoride.
  • Omers Administration Corporation v Tesco plc (ChD) – acting for institutional investors claiming hundreds of millions of pounds in respect of the profit overstatement that Tesco revealed in autumn 2014. The claim is the first under FSMA section 90A to proceed to trial. It alleges fraudulent misrepresentations by Tesco to the knowledge of senior management.
  • BGC Brokers LP v Tradition (UK) Ltd (QBD) – defending Tradition, one of the City’s main inter-dealer brokerage firms, from high-value and bitterly fought claims by one of its main competitors. The claimants alleged breaches of confidence and a “team move” of brokers. Dan was heavily involved in a string of successful pre-trial hearings and appeals, preparing factual and expert evidence, and then the trial in late 2019. The case settled during cross-examination of the claimants’ key witnesses.
  • Rosdale Pte Limited v Degevol UK Limited (Comm) – acting for companies that sought to recover Kazakh mining assets that had been misappropriated by the companies’ former directors and controllers. Dan was heavily involved in case strategy, drafting particulars of claim and preparing an application for permission to serve defendants outside the jurisdiction. The case settled shortly thereafter.

And as sole counsel in the High Court:

  • Kirk v Letschew (ChD) –acting for the claimant in contribution proceedings arising out of a judgment against a company and its shareholders for software infringement. Dan was recently the advocate for a full-day hearing, successfully resisting a jurisdiction challenge.
  • RateSetter Trustee Services Limited v Purvis (Comm) –defending a former company director from claims under his personal guarantee of a loan made to the company. The defence relies on misrepresentations by the lender and on collusion between the lender and the company’s subsequent controllers. Dan was the advocate at the CCMC, dealing with disclosure issues and costs budgeting. A three-day trial is expected in late 2020.
  • Norwich Craft Beer Company Limited v Evans (ChD) – defending the main shareholder and former director in proceedings against a minority shareholder for control of the Bullards brands of beer and gin. Dan drafted several pleadings and successfully obtained security for costs at the first CCMC.

EXAMPLES OF RECENT CASES

  • Arbitration

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    • Defending claims under a contract for the sale of aluminium fluoride (ICC rules, London seat)
    • Raga Establishment Ltd v SCM Financial Overseas Ltd (LCIA rules, London seat)
    • While at White & Case, defending a claim for the price of a controlling stake in Ukrtelecom, one of the Ukraine’s largest companies. The defence concerned the seller’s title to the shares in Ukrtelecom and risks the company would be renationalised because of historic wrongdoing by the seller.
    • While at White & Case, acting for the minority shareholder in LCIA proceedings concerning an oil and gas project in a former Soviet state. The case involved technical drilling issues, mismanagement by the project's operator and disputes about the shareholders’ funding obligations.
    • While at White & Case, advising a French private equity firm in resolving contractual disputes that arose during an M&A investment in the chocolate and confectionary sector.
  • Banking and Financial Services

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    • Advising a bank on limitation and similar defences to claims to rescind financial instruments because of an alleged fraud by the claimant’s former controllers.
    • RateSetter Trustee Services Limited v Purvis (Comm)
      As sole counsel, defending a former company director from claims under his personal guarantee of a loan made to the company. The defence relies on misrepresentations by the lender and on collusion between the lender and the company’s subsequent controllers. Dan was the advocate at the CCMC, dealing with disclosure issues and costs budgets. A three-day trial is expected in late 2020.
    • Assisting a bank with pre-action correspondence in respect of claims against a Caribbean nation for payment under a promissory note.
  • Civil Fraud and Economic Torts

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    • Omers Administration Corporation v Tesco plc (ChD)
      Acting for institutional investors claiming hundreds of millions of pounds in respect of the profit overstatement that Tesco revealed in autumn 2014. The claim is the first under FSMA section 90A to proceed to trial. It alleges fraudulent misrepresentations by Tesco to the knowledge of senior management.
    • Rosdale Pte Limited v Degevol UK Limited (Comm)
      Acting for companies that sought to recover Kazakh mining assets that had been misappropriated by the companies’ former directors and controllers. The case settled shortly after detailed particulars of claim were provided to the defendants.
    • Yukos Finance BV v Lynch (Comm)
      During pupillage, assisting Seb Isaac in defending a hedge-fund manager in a Russian-law dispute arising out of a Russian bankruptcy auction. The claims were later dismissed in full.
    • During pupillage, assisting Seb Isaac in successfully defending claims by companies controlled by Vincent Tchenguiz. The claims were in conspiracy, breach of confidence and unlawful interference with economic interests. They were discontinued shortly after the defence was served.
    • Agate Assets SA v Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild Europe SA (Comm)
      During pupillage, assisting Sonia Tolaney QC and Anna Boase in complex financial litigation involving major financial institutions and a UCITS investment company. The case raised issues of conspiracy, deceit, negligence, dishonest assistance, restitution, agency and the conflict of laws.
    • Avonwick Holdings Limited v Castle Investment Fund Limited (ChD)
      During pupillage, assisting Anna Boase in defending Mr Machitski, one of three Russian businessmen engaged in high-value Chancery Division litigation. The case involved fact-heavy claims of conspiracy and under the Insolvency Act, and various disclosure applications.
    • During pupillage, assisting Jamie Goldsmith in advising a claimant on pre-action disclosure, including by way of Norwich Pharmacal and Bankers Trust orders.
  • Commercial Litigation

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    • As sole counsel, advising an executive search firm on claims for overdue fees. The debtor says it discharged the debt by paying a fraudster who had hacked the creditor’s IT systems.
    • As sole counsel, acting for individuals bringing claims against some of their former friends to recover a loan and interest of more than £750,000.
    • As sole counsel, successfully defending an individual from claims for fees allegedly due to their parent’s care home.
    • As sole counsel, advising a jewellery dealer on claims against a designer for breach of a profit-sharing agreement.
    • As sole counsel, advising a TV production company on the termination of a content distribution agreement.
    • As sole counsel, advising a boutique law firm on claims for payment of disputed invoices.
    • As sole counsel, advising a major accounting firm on claims against HMRC for overpaid taxes.
    • As sole counsel, advising a packaging manufacturer on claims by a recruitment agency for disputed fees.
    • Advising a manufacturer on limitation defences to consumer claims.
    • As sole counsel, advising a clothing manufacturer on claims under a series of sale and export contracts.
    • As sole counsel, defending a claim for sums allegedly due under a building contract. The case involved defective building works and issues of consumer law.
  • Confidential Information and Data Protection

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    • Advising a private equity firm on GDPR compliance, particularly in relation to subject access requests.
    • As sole counsel, advising a consultancy business on claims against former employees for misusing confidential information and for breaches of post-termination restrictive covenants.
    • BGC Brokers LP v Tradition (UK) Ltd (QBD)
      Defending Tradition, one of the City’s main inter-dealer brokerage firms, from high-value and bitterly fought claims by one of its main competitors. The claimants alleged breaches of confidence and a “team move” of brokers. Dan was heavily involved in a string of successful pre-trial hearings and appeals, preparing factual and expert evidence, and then the trial in late 2019. The case settled during cross-examination of the claimants’ key witnesses.
    • As sole counsel, advising a food wholesaler on claims against some of its former employees for copying confidential documents and using them to establish a competing business.
    • As sole counsel, successfully defending an online retailer in employment proceedings concerning data protection.

     

  • Energy and Natural Resources

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    • Advising a fund manager on claims for breach of a lock-out agreement in relation to the financing of a gold mine in West Africa.
    • Endeavour Energy UK Limited v Hess Limited (Comm)
      During pupillage, assisting Anna Boase in acting for Endeavour in a joint-venture dispute concerning liability to pay the costs of decommissioning an oil field in the North Sea.
    • During pupillage, assisting Anna Boase in advising a purchaser of defective tubing used in developing an oil field offshore West Africa.
    • While at White & Case, acting for the minority shareholder in LCIA proceedings concerning an oil and gas project in a former Soviet state. The case involved technical drilling issues, mismanagement by the operator and disputes about the shareholders’ funding obligations.

     

  • Insurance

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    • Advising insurers on the scope of a professinal indemnity policy. 
  • Injunctions

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    • As sole counsel, advising on prospects and strategy for an interim injunction to hold a former employee to their post-termination restrictive covenants.
    • As sole counsel, advising on prospects and strategy for an interim injunction in support of a claim against a former employee for misusing confidential information.
    • Advising claimants on the merits and tactical importance of various applications for freezing orders.
    • During pupillage, assisting Sonia Tolaney QC and Jamie Goldsmith in resisting an urgent application for anti-suit relief in the context of a high-stakes corporate takeover.
  • Jurisdiction and Conflict of Laws

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    • Kirk v Letschew (ChD)
      As sole counsel, successfully resisting a jurisdiction challenge in contribution proceedings against a German national.
    • Rosdale Pte Limited v Degevol UK Limited (Comm)
      Acting for companies that sought to recover Kazakh mining assets that had been misappropriated by the companies’ former directors and controllers. The case involved parties in six different countries, claims under several sets of applicable law, and challenges to the English court’s jurisdiction. It settled shortly after detailed particulars of claim were provided to the defendants.
    • Du Pont Pension Trust v Yuksel Insaat AS (Comm)
      During pupillage, assisting Jamie Goldsmith in acting for financial institutions bringing claims for fraudulent misrepresentation in relation to senior notes issued by a Turkish construction group. The case involved intricate issues of jurisdiction and governing law.
    • China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation v Emerald Energy Resources Limited (Comm)
      During pupillage, assisting Jamie Goldsmith in acting for an insurance company seeking to enforce a promissory note and successfully defeating a jurisdiction challenge.

     

     

     

  • Professional negligence

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    • As sole counsel, advising individuals on claims against their tax advisers in respect of advice on structuring the sale of a business.
    • Oury Clark Chartered Accountants v Hencan Country Homes Limited
      As sole counsel, acting for an accounting firm claiming overdue fees and defending a counterclaim arising out of a fraud allegedly committed on one of the firm’s former clients. A three-day trial is expected in late 2020.
    • Advising solicitors on a suspected cyber fraud.
  • Recent Advocacy Experience

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    • Murray v SThree Parternship LLP
      Successful application to strike-out a claim against a recruitment business
    • Kirk v Letschew (ChD)
      Successfully resisting a jurisdiction challenge in contribution proceedings against a German national (full-day hearing).
    • Zehnder Group UK Limited v Bolton Textiles (Group) Limited
      Successful claim against a textile manufacturer for payment of rent for industrial equipment.
    • Taylor’s Hoists Limited v Gormley Stone Marble & Granite Ltd
      Successfully resisting an application to file a defence out of time in proceedings about disputed invoices.
    • RateSetter Trustee Services Limited v Purvis (Comm)
      Full-day CCMC with disclosure issues and costs budgeting.
    • Cawood v Sunningdale Golf Club
      Application for indemnity costs and a substantial payment on account of the claimant’s costs.
    • Screwfix Direct Limited v Denwood
      Successful claim against a company director for trade debts that he had guaranteed.
    • Alacer Software Limited v Audley Court Limited
      Successful claim against an aged-care business for payment for software services.
    • Norwich Craft Beer Company Limited v Evans (ChD)
      CCMC involving a successful application for security for costs and disputed costs budgets.
    • Acting for petitioning creditors in bankruptcy proceedings. The case settled with full payment and costs recovery against the debtor.
    • Morris v Sherfield School Ltd
      Successfully defending a claim for the recovery of school fees paid in advance.
    • Chase PR & Social Media Limited v GMK Limited
      Successful application to strike out claims for payment of disputed invoices.
    • Johnston v Computer Futures
      Successful application to set aside default judgment.
    • CMC Spreadbet plc v Wisdom
      Successfully resisting an application to pay a judgment by instalments.
    • Starke v Camstar Herbs Limited
      Full-day trial of a claim for destroying bailed goods.

     

  • Shareholder Disputes and Company Law

    Add to Portfolio
    • Kirk v Letschew (ChD)
      As sole counsel, acting for the claimant in contribution proceedings arising out of a judgment against a company and its shareholders for software infringement.
    • Norwich Craft Beer Company Limited v Evans (ChD)
      Defending the main shareholder and former director in proceedings against a minority shareholder for control of the Bullards brands of beer and gin. Dan drafted several pleadings and successfully obtained security for costs at the first CCMC.
    • Advising minority shareholders in a UK healthcare business on claims of unfair prejudice and wrongful competition by the majority shareholder.

     

Education

  • University of Oxford, Bachelor of Civil Law (Distinction) [2016]
  • University of Sydney, Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) [2013]
  • University of Sydney, Bachelor of Science (Advanced) [2012]

Admissions

  • Solicitor, New South Wales (Australia) [2014]

Academic Achievements

  • Vinerian Scholarship Proxime Accessit for 2nd place overall in the Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) (University of Oxford) [2016]
  • 1st place in all four subjects studied during the BCL: Unjust Enrichment, Commercial Remedies, Legal Concepts in Financial Law, and Law and Society in Medieval England.

Previous Employment

  • Associate, White & Case London (Commercial Litigation and International Arbitration) [2016-17]
  • Solicitor, King & Wood Mallesons Sydney [2014-15]