Dan has a broad practice encompassing commercial disputes, sports law, public law and costs. He is also frequently instructed in cases spanning different aspects of his expertise, such as disciplinary and regulatory matters, matters involving alleged fraud, dishonesty and corruption, and cases with an international or cross-border aspect, including international arbitrations.

He is recognised as an outstanding practitioner in his fields of specialism. The legal directories rank him as a leading barrister in six areas: commercial dispute resolution, international arbitration, civil fraud, professional negligence, sports law and costs litigation. He has also been appointed to the Attorney-General’s Panel of Counsel (B Panel) and advises and represents the UK Government on a range of legal issues.

In 2016 he was identified as one of just ten “Stars of the Bar” under 10 years’ call by Legal Week.

Recent comments from Chambers & Partners, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal include:

  • Absolutely outstanding. He is the complete counsel: he has a brilliant intellect, he’s always able to find one extra first-rate point of argument, he’s excellent at paperwork and he’s a particularly outstanding advocate
  • His commerciality and passionate advocacy make him stand out from the crowd
  • A tough opponent, who knows his stuff and will always give you a hard fight
  • Incredibly user-friendly, innovative and a real details man
  • An absolute terrier on his feet and a fantastic advocate
  • Very commercial, very thorough and also very creative
  • A modern barrister, who offers clients a 360 degree view
  • He has a fantastic understanding of what solicitors need from a barrister
  • He delivers a seamless service to clients

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 (called to the BVI Bar in 2009). 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 or as junior to a QC on bigger cases. Quite exceptionally for a barrister of his year of call, and reflecting his wider litigation experience and the trust placed in him by clients, he has appeared as sole advocate in both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

The directories confirm that “his experience belies his call” and that “he goes toe-to-toe” with silks.

He is a member of the Executive Committee of both the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR) and the British Association for Sport and Law (BASL).

More information about Dan’s specific areas of practice is set out below.

Areas of Expertise

Commercial Litigation
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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. He is ranked by the directories as a leading practitioner in this area.

Dan’s commercial practice is a broad one: it encompasses all types of business and corporate disputes across a variety of industry sectors, including banking and financial services, retail, consumer goods, manufacturing, commodities and energy amongst others.

Dan deals with the full range of commercial legal issues, including contractual matters, commercial fraud, shareholder and partnership disputes, allegations of negligence, breach of directors’ duties and breach of trust, 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 (including against third parties), 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 – Dan is well suited to more sophisticated corporate or financial disputes.

Examples of Dan’s recent commercial work include:

  • Being instructed on a US$250million commercial fraud claim by a group of Kazakh companies against their former directors (led by Robert Howe QC)
  • Acting as sole Counsel on a US$2.5million claim relating to investments in a Cayman based fund, including the obtaining of worldwide freezing orders and the unwinding of fraudulent transactions under Section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986
  • Acting in a high profile dispute relating to alleged fraud, unfair prejudice and breach of directors’ duties in the management of a telecommunications company (led by Justin Fenwick QC)
  • Appearing as sole advocate on a £1.5million claim brought against a high street retailer for alleged economic duress, intimidation and negligent misrepresentation
  • Being instructed as part of a team led by Mark Hapgood QC on a €200million claim arising out of an alleged conspiracy to defraud an Italian hedge fund, involving freezing and mandatory injunctions
  • Advising on a £15million warranty claim by a leading US biochemical company following a corporate acquisition it had made (led by Sean Wilken QC)
  • Appearing as sole advocate on a £10million claim relating to a fraud on an investment management company allegedly perpetrated by one of its directors, involving freezing and proprietary injunctions
  • Appearing as sole advocate on a €2million claim brought by the founder of a private equity fund, relating to commission fees due for business introductions
  • Acting in a high profile matter for a former partner in a defunct Wall Street law firm in relation to claims brought against him by alleged creditors of the firm
  • Working as part of a team (led by Murray Rosen QC) on a substantial arbitration arising out of an alleged $500million commodities fraud in Central Asia
  • Acting on a £150million professional negligence claim against a magic circle firm of solicitors, relating to advice received in connection with a complex corporate transaction (led by Justin Fenwick QC)
  • Advising on a very significant claim arising out of interest rate swaps entered into by a European public authority
  • Acting as sole advocate on a £2.5million claim brought by an offshore private bank against an ultra-high net worth former customer from the CIS
International Arbitration
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Dan has significant experience of international arbitration in the context of both commercial disputes and sports matters. He is ranked by the directories as a leading junior in this area.

His background makes him ideally suited to international arbitration: he was educated in the British, French and American systems, speaks fluent French and has worked in London, Paris and the Caribbean.

Where commercial arbitrations are concerned, he has been involved in a range of matters 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. Purely by way of example (and recognising the confidentiality which typically attaches to this area of work) this has included a dispute arising out of renewable energy technology in Continental Europe, a claim arising out of an alleged commodities fraud in Central Asia and a case arising out of broadcasting contracts in the Middle East. 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 arbitrations are 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 law work, please click on the “Sports” link on this page.

Sports
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Dan is one of the leading sports lawyers at the Bar. The directories consistently recognise him as one of the foremost barristers in this field.

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 subsequently 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, 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 and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games 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:

  • Acting in numerous eligibility and selection disputes relating to participation in major Games and Championships, both for and against National Governing Bodies, National Olympic Committees and International Federations, including in boxing, rowing, wrestling, shooting, taekwondo, fencing, bobsleigh and speed-skating  amongst others. He has also been appointed as independent chairman of Olympic selection panels, as well as in an arbitral capacity in selection disputes, and has advised upon and drafted selection policies.
  • Being instructed on a wide range of doping matters both for prosecuting authorities and for athletes and other third parties implicated in breaches of the World Anti-Doping Code. Dan has been involved in landmark cases relating to the use of anabolic steroids, synthetic hormones, stimulants (including methylhexaneamine) as well as recreational substances, and has handled matters involving the provision of substantial assistance. He has also advised governing bodies on their anti-doping policies and compliance with their anti-doping obligations generally.
  • Advising on myriad governance matters at the national and international level, including re-writing the constitutional documents of governing bodies, navigating member unrest at general meetings, guiding boards of directors on corporate best practice and managing relationships with international federations and other overarching sporting bodies.
  • Representing National Governing Bodies in challenges to funding decisions taken by UK Sport.
  • Representing athletes and agents, as well as sitting as arbitrator, in player-agent disputes in a range of sports, including football, boxing and rugby, resulting in hearings before bespoke panels such as FA (Rule K) arbitral tribunals and British Boxing Board of Control tribunals.
  • Prosecuting and defending a range of disciplinary matters, including acting as prosecutor before the Motor Sports Association’s National Court and defending high profile Olympic athletes accused of misconduct. Dan has also been instructed to draft or update governing bodies’ disciplinary policies.
Costs
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Recognised for his strong costs practice, Dan is ranked as a leading barrister in this field by both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500, who describe him as capable of going “toe-to-toe” with any of the costs silks. He has led teams of lawyers on large-scale costs litigation as well as dealing with more specific costs issues. As a commercial practitioner he appreciates the implications of costs 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 costs budgeting issues at the outset of litigation, to issues of funding and security for costs, as well as substantial detailed assessments and also complex arguments on discrete legal points. He is also frequently instructed in claims by or against firms of solicitors in relation to their fees, and has been involved in some of the leading cases on the availability of liens and other relief such as freezing injunctions to protect solicitors’ interests. His strength undoubtedly lies in advising on and arguing difficult, novel or high-profile legal issues in the costs context, a challenge which he hugely enjoys and to which he brings a thorough understanding of the law, creative thinking and outstanding client care.

Examples of Dan’s costs work include:

  • Acting as lead Counsel on a very substantial detailed assessment relating to a costs claim of approximately £18million, giving rise to numerous strategic issues as well as undecided legal points
  • Advising on the costs issues arising out of a substantial appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal
  • Being instructed as sole advocate to argue important detailed assessments of lead PPI cases, in the Supreme Court Costs Office
  • Appearing unled in the Court of Appeal on a matter relating to the amounts recoverable inter-partes for work done by unqualified fee-earners
  • 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
  • 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 de-listing and subsequent insolvency, advising on an application for costs against the company’s directors
  • 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 over £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 which were the subject of three appeals to the Court of Appeal
Offshore
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Dan’s practice is focused on commercial litigation and arbitration of all varieties, often with a cross-border / offshore element.

In 2009 Dan worked for 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 BVI Commercial Court, including as lead advocate.

Since then Dan’s work has frequently involved an offshore element: he is regularly instructed on matters featuring offshore entities or corporate vehicles, or where litigation is proceeding both in an offshore jurisdiction and in England. He is an expert in the obtaining of injunctive relief in England or the BVI in support of a main action elsewhere.

He also has significant experience of dealing with cross-border issues or foreign law relating to other, onshore, foreign jurisdictions, such as Switzerland, the USA, Russia and the CIS, the Middle East and North Africa, China, India and elsewhere.

For further information about Dan’s international work, please contact the clerks.

 

Professional Liability
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In line with Chambers’ expertise, Dan’s practice encompasses the broad spectrum of professional liability work. He is recognised by the directories as a leading practitioner in this area.

He has substantial experience of claims against lawyers, accountants, financial advisors and surveyors.

His background makes him highly suitable for prosecuting or defending claims against lawyers – both solicitors and barristers – where he can draw on his experience from both sides of the profession. Dan has been instructed on cases relating to mismanaged 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 institutions.

In relation to accountants, Dan has significant expertise in claims involving auditors and is well placed to engage with the complex regulatory regime that is in play (as well as the detailed factual issues that typically arise), as well as cases relating to flawed tax advice.

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 relating to the valuation of properties. 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.

Disciplinary
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Dan has significant experience of advising on disciplinary and regulatory matters across a number of professional sectors, including accountancy and law amongst others. He is also a recognised expert in disciplinary cases arising in sport. Further details can be obtained from the clerks.

Public & Administrative
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Dan has a strong interest in public and administrative law.

In recognition of this, in 2015 he was appointed to the Attorney-General’s Panel of Counsel (B Panel).

He regularly advises the UK Government as well as other clients on legal issues within this sphere, often but not always related to his other areas of expertise. His work for the Government has included complex corporate tax disputes, for example engaging ground-breaking issues relating to alleged tax avoidance, as well as advising on other matters relating to the overlap between the State’s activities and the commercial world.

He is also an expert on constitutional issues, and has significant experience of advising parties including sporting national governing bodies, clubs and individual members in this area, both inside and outside the framework of the Companies Act 2006.

He also frequently advises on challenges to the decisions of government departments or other entities, including regulators, subject to the principles of judicial review (or the equivalent private law jurisdiction).

Qualifications & Memberships

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.

He is a member of COMBAR, CFLA, PNBA and BASL.

He speaks fluent French and has a working knowledge of Spanish.

VAT registration number: 971673783