Daniel Saoul


Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle (London), University of Edinburgh, University of California (Berkeley), University of Oxford (Jesus College), BPP Law School

Tel: +44 20 7822 2040
Email: d.saoul@4newsquare.com
Email Clerk: j.barrass@4newsquare.com

Year of Call: 2008

French (fluent), Spanish (working knowledge)


Saoul, Daniel

Dan’s practice is focused on commercial litigation, international arbitration, sports law and costs. Between Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 he is ranked as a leading barrister in all of these areas. The directories describe him as "authoritative", "a commercial litigator who has swiftly developed a strong reputation" and "a rising star of the Sports Bar". Over recent years he has consistently been recognised by the legal press as being instructed in some of the most heavyweight disputes in his fields of practice.

Dan joined 4 New Square after training and practising as a solicitor-advocate at City firm Herbert Smith (now Herbert Smith Freehills). He has also worked as a litigator in the British Virgin Islands for leading offshore firm Conyers Dill & Pearman. One of only a handful of individuals at the Bar with this breadth of litigation experience, he is a team player who is typically instructed against more senior practitioners in substantial disputes in the High Court and in arbitral tribunals (and he has appeared as sole advocate in the Court of Appeal), or as junior to a QC on bigger cases.  More information about Dan’s specific areas of practice is set out below, and further details can be accessed through the links on the left hand side of this page.

Dan's commercial case-load is broad: he is instructed on all kinds of business disputes, including relating to trade, financial services, company and partnership fall-outs, corporate insolvency, insurance and re-insurance and professional liability in a commercial context. He also has a strong professional interest in civil fraud. Dan is highly numerate and, having worked for two investment banks at the start of his career, is comfortable dealing with sophisticated financial instruments and complex corporate structures where necessary.

His international background - a fluent French speaker, he was educated in the French, British and American systems and has worked in London and Paris as well as the Caribbean - means he is also an ideal choice for disputes with a cross-border or overseas element. He has expertise in all aspects of private international law, enjoys engaging with foreign law and has been involved in a number of high-value international arbitrations as well as in claims for enforcement of foreign judgments.

On the sports law front, Dan has quickly developed a reputation as one of the leading barristers in this arena. A former international standard rowing cox and past member of the British Rowing Council and the Committee of Leander, Britain's leading rowing club, he has first-hand experience of the kinds of legal issues that can arise in sport. He acts for governing bodies, athletes, clubs, agents and other entities on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters. He sits on Sport Resolutions’ Panel of Arbitrators and the Lawn Tennis Association’s Disciplinary Panel, giving him valuable judicial perspective, and is a director of the British Association for Sport and Law.

As for costs, Dan is a specialist in cases raising novel or difficult legal issues. He has appeared numerous times led and unled in the Senior Courts Costs Office and on appeals therefrom, and brings a thorough understanding of the law, detailed research and creative thinking to every instruction. He assisted Lord Justice Jackson with his review of costs in civil litigation and has been involved in numerous matters arising out of the subsequent reforms.

Dan is recognised as an expert by the journals publishing in his practice areas and has recently written for (amongst others) the Journal of the New York State Bar Association and the Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, on topics such as worldwide freezing orders and the ongoing cross-border Lehman Brothers insolvency.

Before commencing practice Dan gained prize-winning first class degrees from the University of Edinburgh (incorporating a year at the University of California, Berkeley) and the University of Oxford, where he was elected to a scholarship. He also taught trusts law at the University of Southampton.


Commercial Dispute Resolution

Commercial litigation forms the core of Dan’s practice. Having worked as a commercial litigator for Herbert Smith in London and Conyers Dill & Pearman in the British Virgin Islands before practising at the Bar, his experience in this field is considerably in advance of his year of call.

Dan’s commercial practice is a broad one: it encompasses all types of business and corporate disputes across a variety of industry sectors, including financial services, retail, consumer goods, manufacturing, commodities and energy amongst others. Dan deals with the full range of commercial legal issues, ranging from contractual matters, shareholder and partnership disputes, allegations of negligence, breach of directors’ duties and breach of trust, commercial fraud including the economic torts and issues of accessory liability (areas in which he has a particular interest), insurance and re-insurance and corporate insolvency. His work often has an international element to it, and he has significant experience of advising on substantive and procedural conflicts of law issues and is comfortable engaging with foreign law. He is also regularly instructed to deal with time critical or complex interim applications, such as freezing injunctions, search and seizure orders, anti-suit injunctions and Norwich Pharmacal orders.

Further, thanks to his City background – he worked in the front and back offices of two leading investments banks before training as a lawyer – as well as his economics degree, Dan is highly numerate and well suited to more sophisticated corporate or financial disputes.

Examples of Dan’s recent commercial work include:

International Arbitration

Dan has significant experience of international arbitration in the context of both commercial disputes and sports matters.

His background makes him ideally suited to international arbitration: he was educated in the British, French and American systems, speaks fluent English and French and has worked in London, Paris and the Caribbean. He is therefore very comfortable in this forum.

On the commercial side, he has been involved in a range of arbitrations in the commodities, financial services, energy, insurance and construction sectors conducted under, variously, LCIA, ICC, ZCC and LME rules, as well as ad hoc arbitrations. These have ranged from smaller actions (for instance a contractual dispute relating to renewable energy technology, worth approximately $500,000) to claims on a very large scale (e.g. a $500million claim arising out of a substantial commodities fraud in Central Asia). He also regularly advises on the scope, validity and effect of arbitration clauses, on challenges to arbitral awards under the Arbitration Act 1996 and on enforcement under the New York Convention.

Where sports law is concerned, he has represented national governing bodies, athletes and other entities before independent arbitral tribunals in both the UK and overseas (including the Court of Arbitration for Sport) and is on the Panel of Arbitrators of Sport Resolutions, the UK’s leading sports dispute resolution body, giving him valuable experience as arbitrator. For more information on Dan’s sports arbitration experience, please select the sports law link on the left hand side of this page.

Professional Liability

In line with Chambers’ expertise, Dan’s practice encompasses the broad spectrum of professional liability work, which he very much enjoys.

His background makes him especially suitable for prosecuting or defending claims against lawyers, where he can draw on his experience from both sides of the profession. Dan has been instructed on cases relating to lost litigation, allegedly negligent transactional advice (including in the context of mergers and acquisitions, pension schemes and overseas property transactions), the (mis)handling of probate matters and apparent conveyancing/mortgage fraud - including elaborate and high value frauds on lenders.

Dan is also strong where allegedly negligent financial advice is concerned – be it in the context of investments, mortgages or insurance. His City background and understanding of relevant products and instruments leaves him well equipped to prosecute and defend claims of this kind, whether relating to retail and consumer dealings or more sophisticated scenarios.

Finally, where surveyors are concerned Dan has significant experience of advising on claims brought by lenders arising out of the apparent over-valuation of properties tendered as security for mortgages. He understands the contributory negligence arguments that might be advanced by defendants in these cases, how to deal with them and how they might affect the commercial viability of a claim.


Dan has a strong costs practice. As a commercial practitioner he appreciates the implications of costs issues in wider litigation and also recognises the importance of costs law as a complex legal field in its own right. His background as a former solicitor leaves him well placed to understand the context in which costs are generated.

He accepts instructions across the full spectrum of costs matters: from inter-partes detailed assessments in the County Courts and the Supreme Court Costs Office, to arguments on technical points as well as claims by solicitors against (former) clients for unpaid fees. He also carries out drafting work relating to costs. His strength undoubtedly lies in advising on and arguing substantial, difficult or novel legal issues in the costs context, a challenge which he hugely enjoys and to which he brings a thorough understanding of the law, detailed research and creative thinking.

Having assisted Lord Justice Jackson in his landmark review of Civil Litigation Costs, Dan is familiar with the reforms implemented and is regularly instructed on cases in which they apply.

Examples of Dan’s costs work include:


Sports Law

Dan has developed a reputation as a prominent player in the sports law arena. He is rated by both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners as a leading barrister in this field, and is described as a "rising star of the Sports Bar", “distinguishing himself through his personal involvement in the sector”.

A former rowing cox, with honours at the Rowing World Cup, Commonwealth Rowing Championships and Henley Royal Regatta to his name, he has remained actively involved in the sport having recently been Secretary of Britain’s leading rowing club, Leander and also served on the Council of British Rowing, the national governing body of the sport in the United Kingdom. He therefore has first-hand experience as a competitor, coach and administrator of the kinds of legal issues that arise in sport.

In addition, he is on the arbitral panel of Sport Resolutions, the UK's leading sports dispute resolution body, and on the Lawn Tennis Association's disciplinary panel, giving him valuable judicial perspective, and is a director of the British Association for Sport and Law. His expertise in sports law was also recognised by his appointment to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Sports Advocacy Service.

Dan acts for sporting governing bodies, athletes, clubs and other entities in the full range of sports related matters, including relating to selection, doping, funding, governance, media concerns, disciplinary issues, sponsorship contracts, broadcasting deals and other commercial matters. He will act as advocate, adviser, arbitrator or mediator in disputes and also takes instructions in non-contentious matters, such as constitutional or transactional advice and drafting. He has appeared before domestic and international tribunals at all levels, including the National Anti-Doping Appeal Panel and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Examples of Dan’s sports work include:


Dan’s practice is focused on commercial litigation and arbitration of all varieties, in particular disputes with a cross-border / offshore element.

He joined 4 New Square in 2008 having previously qualified as a solicitor-advocate at Herbert Smith, and consequently he typically operates well above his year of call. Having become a tenant, in 2009 he went away to develop his practice overseas in the Caribbean: he spent three months on secondment with Conyers Dill & Pearman in the British Virgin Islands, during which time he was called to the Bar of the BVI and worked on a number of very substantial cases in the Commercial Court there (often as lead advocate and advisor). He has returned to the Caribbean on work assignments every year since, and retains close links with a number of firms there.

His practice also extends to other international jurisdictions, including Switzerland and Luxembourg (both countries where his fluent French is often helpful) as well as the United States - in particular New York, where, as testament to this, he is regularly invited to address local lawyers on aspects of English litigation practice of relevance to them, and California, where he used to live.  In keeping with the global outlook of his practice, in recent months Dan has been published by the Journal of the New York State Bar Association on the subject of worldwide freezing injunctions, and the Journal of International Banking and Financial Law (twice) on the ongoing cross-border Lehman Brothers insolvency.