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Practice Summary

David Cavender QC specialises in commercial dispute resolution in both litigation and international arbitration. Expertise in but not limited to: banking and financial services, commercial contracts (including agency), company law insolvency, contractual building disputes, insurance and reinsurance, injunctions, international and domestic sale of goods, and professional negligence.

Current work includes acting for the leading online supermarket Ocado Group Plc in a high profile claim against one of the original founders of Ocado in relation to the taking and use of Ocado’s confidential information in the setting up and operation of Project Today Holdings Limited which has set up a competing business in the online supermarket arena.  Also, acting in the defence of an associated counterclaim brought against Ocado by Project Today (said to be worth 100’s of £millions) alleging a conspiracy between Ocado and Marks & Spencer Plc to damage its business- in particular a contract it had entered into with Waitrose Limited in relation to an online delivery platform.  The action commenced with Ocado simultaneously executing Search Orders granted in the Chancery Division against three locations occupied by the Defendants which revealed that they had in their possession large amounts of Ocado’s confidential information.

David also led the 5 week trial for Post Office Limited (which operates ten thousand post offices in the UK) in a group claim brought by 500 current and former postmasters concerning the determination of over 20 “common issues” relating to the meaning and effect of the Post Office’s standard form sub-postmaster contracts – including the implication of a “good faith” term and 20 other implied terms. This claim has attracted considerable political and press attention, and was shortlisted as was one of The Lawyer’s top 20 cases of 2018 [2019] EWHC 606 (QB) [2019] 3 WLUK 260.

In another high-profile dispute, David acted for Mike Ashley (Sports Direct/Newcastle United) successfully defending a claim by a consultant investment banker appointed by Sports Direct (Mr. Blue) for a bonus of £14m which he claimed was payable pursuant to an oral agreement (alleged to have been reached with Mike Ashley in a London pub in January 2013) if Mr. Blue was able to get the share price of Sports Direct ( a FTSE 100 company) from £4.00 to £8.00 in the following 3 years. The share price subsequently exceeded £8.00 within 3 years. Issues raised included, intention to create legal relations, certainty of contract, relevance of events post the date of the alleged oral contract, approach to oral evidence unsupported by documents and causation. (Blue v Mike Ashley [2017] EWHC 1928 (Comm); [2017] WLUK 593).

Legal Directory Quotes;


"A superb Silk" Commercial Disputes Resolution, Legal 500 2019-2020

"A great cross-examiner whose overall strategic view is great, and who's always calm and collected." "He's a good advocate who's understated and not given to histrionics." Commercial Dispute Resolution, Chambers UK 2019

‘Particularly strong in cross-examination.' Commercial Litigation, Legal 500 2018-2019

"He's user-friendly, approachable and a tough courtroom advocate." "Recommended for his insightful and robust approach." Chambers UK 2018 - Commercial Dispute Resolution

"He’s very at peace with dissecting people in the witness stand." Legal 500 2017 - Commercial Litigation

"Extremely capable commercial silk" who is both "insightful and robust." Chambers UK 2017 - Commercial Dispute Resolution

"A first class advocate who is always willing to roll his sleeves up". "Fantastic with clients, commercially astute and very robust in the courtroom". (Chambers & Partners) 

Highly regarded as an advocate, and praised by sources for his courtroom presentation and technical skill. "He is a brilliant advocate who works his socks off, and knows every document in a case like the back of his hand" (Chambers and Partners )

"He has an excellent courtroom manner and is able to establish an easy rapport with all judges" (Legal 500)

"Fantastic with clients, he's commercially astute and very robust in the courtroom." "Precise, organised and clear, he sticks to the strategy and it works out well."  (Chambers and Partners)