Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle (London), University of Edinburgh, University of California (Berkeley), University of Oxford (Jesus College), BPP Law School
Tel: 020 7822 2040
Email Clerk: email@example.com
Year of Call: 2008
French (fluent), Spanish (working knowledge)
Dan’s practice is focused on commercial litigation and arbitration of all varieties, and sports law. He also has expertise in costs law. He is considered a leading junior by both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500, which describe him as “a commercial litigator who has swiftly developed a strong reputation”, "a rising star of the Sports Bar" and “one to watch”.
Dan joined 4 New Square in 2008 after training and practising as a solicitor-advocate at City firm Herbert Smith LLP. He has also practised as a litigator in the British Virgin Islands for leading offshore firm Conyers Dill & Pearman. Dan is one of only a handful of individuals at the junior Bar with this breadth of litigation experience, and consequently he typically operates above his year of call.
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 arguments and misconduct, insolvency and professional liability in a commercial context. He also has a strong professional interest in civil fraud. Dan is 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 strong 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 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, including, most recently, a Swiss Rules arbitration relating to a massive alleged fraud in Central Asia featuring claims and counterclaims in excess of $500 million.
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 current Secretary 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 was instructed (with Nicholas Bacon QC) on the biggest costs claim in English legal history, Motto v Trafigura.
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.
More recently, he has been published by (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.
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 as well as at the Bar, his experience in this field is considerably in advance of his year of call.
During his time in practice as a solicitor and barrister Dan has been involved in both large-scale and more contained commercial and chancery litigation covering a wide range of industries, including banking, retail, consumer goods, construction, manufacturing and commodities, often involving household names and brands.
His commercial practice continues to be a broad one, and includes cross-border and domestic contractual and trade related matters (including arising out of alleged economic torts), high-profile shareholder and partnership disputes, civil fraud and unjust enrichment claims as well as actions involving allegations of breach of trust, fiduciary duty or other equitable wrongs. He also has experience of litigation arising out of personal or corporate insolvency, including relating to the appointment of trustees in bankruptcy, administrators, receivers and liquidators. Further, Dan’s City background (including stints in the front and back offices of two leading investment banks) makes him well suited to more sophisticated corporate or financial disputes: he has recently been instructed as sole Counsel on a number of seven figure claims in this context, including arising out of private equity investments, derivatives trading and rights issues.
Within the context of commercial litigation, Dan has increasing experience of advising on and/or arguing unusual, time-critical or complex procedural applications. These have included applications for freezing injunctions, anti-suit injunctions, search and seizure orders, Norwich Pharmacal orders, injunctions against non-parties in aid of enforcement, the appointment of provisional liquidators, stays pending appeal and witness summonses at short notice.
Finally, Dan particularly enjoys work with an international dimension and appreciates the legal and practical problems that can arise within such disputes: he has significant experience of advising on substantive and procedural conflicts of laws issues, engaging with expert evidence on foreign law (including Swiss, Chinese, Indian and Italian law amongst others) and handling witnesses through interpreters. He is called to the Bar of the British Virgin Islands and has been involved, both as adviser and advocate, in a number of high value cross-border claims issued in that jurisdiction, both at first instance and on appeal to the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal.
Dan has significant experience of domestic and international arbitration, both in a commercial law and a sports law context.
In particular, his background (having been educated in the French, British and American systems he is fully bilingual in English and French, and he has worked in London, Paris and the Caribbean) makes him an ideal choice for commercial disputes resolved by international arbitration. His experience in this area includes high value actions under LCIA, ICC, ZCC and LME rules, including in the commodities, energy, insurance and construction sectors. He has also advised on challenges to arbitral awards under the Arbitration Act 1996 as well as enforcement under the New York Convention.
Where sports law is concerned, he has represented national governing bodies and athletes before independent arbitral tribunals and is on the Panel of Arbitrators of Sport Resolutions, the UK’s leading sports dispute resolution body, giving him valuable experience as arbitrator.
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.
Financial Services Regulation
Highly numerate and with experience of working both on the trading floor and in the back-office of two leading investment banks, Dan is comfortable working on cases involving complex corporate structures or sophisticated financial instruments.
He has advised on a range of financial services matters both regulatory and otherwise. His regulatory work has included advising on FSA and other rules in banking and insurance contexts. Examples include: compliance with the listing and disclosure rules, financial promotions, close links notification, the making of payments by regulated firms to overseas third parties and the operation of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
On the non-regulatory side, Dan's financial services work ties in with his general commercial litigation practice: he has been involved in intricate and high-value multi-jurisdictional claims against asset and fund managers following the collapse of investment funds after the uncovering of so-called Ponzi schemes in the US, as well as in claims arising out of derivatives trading, the formation of hedge funds, rights issues and private equity financing.
Banking litigation also forms a significant part of Dan’s caseload. For example, he has acted as sole advocate for a Swiss private bank in a £2.5m claim against a Russian oligarch, and for a major high street lender in a case involving a series of significant commercial loans, guarantees and other securities and raising issues of undue influence and fraud.
Dan has also advised on a number of claims involving credit products regulated by the Consumer Credit Act and references to the Financial Services Ombudsman.
Dan recognises the increasing importance of costs law, both as a crucial component of any piece of civil litigation, as well as a complex legal field in its own right. He accepts instructions across the full spectrum of costs matters: from set piece 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. His strength undoubtedly lies in advising on and arguing 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.
Examples of recent work include:
- acting as junior to Nicholas Bacon QC on the record breaking claim by Leigh Day & Co (in the name of their clients, Motto & Others) against Trafigura for £100m of legal costs, following the settlement of a class action brought by residents of the Ivory Coast, a case raising a range of new or untested technical issues
- assisting Lord Justice Jackson in his landmark Review of Civil Litigation Costs
- successfully resisting an application for costs against an expert witness arising out of complex criminal proceedings;
- having won a fully contested summary judgment application in the Commercial Court in a contractual claim against a listed company, resulting in that company’s insolvency, advising on an application for costs against the company’s directors
- arguing moot points relating to the application of Part 36, as well as the fixed costs regime, which are likely to have significant practical implications for litigators
- acting for a firm of solicitors in a high profile High Court claim against former clients for unpaid fees incurred in pursuing various litigation on their behalf for over a decade
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 junior 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 remains actively involved in the sport as the Secretary of Britain’s leading rowing club, Leander. He has also served on the executive body 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 recently 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 cases, including relating to selection, doping, funding, governance, media concerns, disciplinary issues, child protection, sponsorship and other commercial matters. He will act as advocate, adviser or arbitrator 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 work include:
- Acting for the Montenegrin Olympic Committee before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the successful defence of a Montenegrin boxer’s right to participate in the London 2012 Olympic Games
- Acting for the International Canoe Federation in a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport on an anti-doping matter
- Sitting as arbitrator on several Olympic Games selection disputes, including Aaron Cook’s well-publicised challenge to Sport Taekwondo UK’s refusal to select him (co-arbitrator) as well as an appeal to an Olympic selection decision taken by British Shooting (sole arbitrator)
- Being appointed Standing Counsel to the British Wrestling Association, the governing body for Olympic wrestling in the United Kingdom, with work arising including acting on challenges to national team selection decisions (both for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi as well as the London 2012 Olympic Games), advising on doping issues, governance disputes and press publication concerns, and also arguing a high profile appeal against a decision by the British Olympic Association relating to the participation of British wrestlers at London 2012
- Acting for a rugby league player in a landmark appeal to the National Anti-Doping Panel’s Appeal Tribunal following his suspension for methylhexaneamine use, getting a 2 year ban reduced to 6 months
- Advising British Taekwondo on its constitutional structure and re-writing relevant documentation
- Acting for a British champion professional boxer on a successful challenge to a ban imposed by the European Boxing Union
- Acting on myriad player-agent contractual issues in a number of sports, such as football, rugby and boxing, including, recently, appearing before the British Board of Boxing Control on a boxer – agent dispute
Dan’s practice is focussed 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 in 2012 he was invited to speak at the New York City Bar Association, 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.