Biography

David studied law at Cambridge University in the UK and had been in practice at the English Bar for over 20 years. He joined Al Tamimi in 2022 from a leading set of chambers in London. He has lived and worked in the UAE since 2019 and has been listed as one of the leading English barristers practising in the region in the Legal 500 in 2021 and 2022.

David is a specialist in international trade law and international commercial dispute resolution. He has developed particular experience of the oil and gas industry, joint ventures, insurance and reinsurance disputes (particularly in the marine and energy sectors), commodities disputes, and disputes involving carriage of goods, and banking and financial disputes. He has been instructed in several cases involving State parties and in various matters involving public international law including claims arising under

bilateral investment treaties and disputes involving issues of State Immunity before national courts.

David also has extensive experience of international arbitration and has represented clients in numerous arbitrations conducted under various international institutional rules and in ad hoc arbitrations including ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL, LMAA and LME. He is also experienced in court proceedings ancillary to arbitration, including applications for interim relief and contested enforcement proceedings.

In addition to counsel work David sits as an arbitrator and is appointed to the panel of arbitrators for DIAC (Dubai), CIETAC (Beijing), SCIA (Shenzhen), C.A.A (Taipei) and THAC (Bangkok). He has also served as a Tribunal Member of the Hong Kong Board of Review (the Hong Kong tax appeals Tribunal). He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb).

He is also an accredited mediator (IMI accredited), and has significant ADR experience

Directory Listings

Legal 500 (Middle East 2021), Leading UK counsel (commercial). “He is seriously clever and a true expert on matters of international trade, oil and gas and the procedure and tactics in high value international arbitration matters.’

Legal 500 (Middle East 2022), Leading UK counsel (commercial). ‘David has a very clear mind and quickly identifies relevant issues. He is also a strategic and commercial thinker who can provide relevant legal advice in context. David is unflappable and persists to advocate persuasively even in hostile settings.

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Thought Leadership

Appointments

  • Appointed to COMBAR working group on the reform of the English Arbitration Act 1996.
  • Appointed to the DIFC working group on Maritime Law
  • FCIArb
  • Panel appointments with various arbitral institutions
  • Tribunal Member for Hong Kong Tax Appeals (Board of Review, Inland Revenue Ordinance)

Publications

  • Schmitthoff, the Law and Practice of International Trade (Co-author of 11th and 12th Editions) (Sweet & Maxwell, London)
  • General Editor, International Arbitration Law Review (Sweet & Maxwell)
  • DIFC Court Practice. Book Chapter in 2nd edition to the guide. (Edward Elgar, eds. Rupert Reed QC and Tom Montagu Smith QC forthcoming 2023)
  • The Cambridge Research Compendium of International Arbitration. Book Chapter, “State Control of Arbitration by National Courts” (Forthcoming 2023, editors Ferrari, Bjorklund, Kroell).
  • Research Handbook on Unilateral Economic. Sanctions (ed. Prof. Charlotte Beaucillon). Book chapter, “Unilateral Economic Sanctions in International Arbitration- Procedural and Substantive issues” (with Prof. Eric de Brabandere); Edward Elgar. September 2021.
  • Research Handbook on Sanctions and International Law (ed. van den Herik). Book chapter, “The impact of International Economic Sanctions in International Arbitration” (with Prof. Eric de Brabandere); Edward Elgar. July 2017- Chapter 14.
  • “One Belt One Road One Dispute Resolution clause”, book chapter with Michael Hwang SC in “China and Dispute Resolution in the context of the BRI” (Cambridge University Press 2021, eds Shan, Su et al). Published also in Michael Hwang SC: “Collected essays in Dispute Resolution, December 2018”.
  • The New Chinese International Commercial Court and the Future of Dispute Resolution in the Belt and Road Initiative. 20188:Vindabona Journal of International Commercial Law and Arbitration (2018) 22 VJ (2) pp. 96-125. This research was also published in the book, Dispute Resolution in China, Europe and the World (Springer 2020, Chapter 3).
  • Retour sur la comity: les origines de la comity au carrefour du droit international privé et du droit international public(Journal du droit international (Clunet), with Thomas Schultz, December 2011 Volume 3 pp.863-886).
  • Retour sur la comity: la comity dans l’histoire du droit international privé (Journal du droit international (Clunet) with Thomas Schultz, March 2012 Volume 1 pp. 572-595).

Recent Experience

  • JTrust Asia Pte Ltd v Konoshito and others [DIFC- CFI-034- 2023]
  • Successfully represented J Trust in DIFC court proceedings arising out of a complex muti jurisdictional fraud (a USD 210 million investment fraud / conspiracy dispute involving multiple parties/ cross-border litigation)
  • Successfully obtained enforcement orders in the DIFC Court of judgments of the Singapore and BVI Courts amounting to more than US$124 million. Represented the J Trust in contested enforcement proceedings and contested applications for interim relief. Worked with colleagues from Dubai to ensure a coordinated approach between the client’s UAE representation and its legal representation in various other jurisdictions.
  • Kirtanlal International DMCC v State Bank of India and others [DIFC- CFI- 041-2022]
  • Successfully represented the State Bank of India in resisting claims for more than US$18m following the non-renewal of a facility agreement.
  • Represented the Bank in proceedings before the DIFC Court culminating in a 5-day trial in the DIFC Court. The case involved construction of the terms of the facility agreement and also issues of DIFC contract law, the law of obligations and regulatory law as well as issues of damages.
  • Credit Suisse and Others v Emirates Hospitals Group:
  • Represented an international banking syndicate in claims against borrowers, personal and corporate guarantors for US$304 million. The claims involve issues of jurisdiction, insolvency and the interaction of Dubai and DIFC law. This case also involved a reference to the UAE Union Supreme Court to resolve an alleged conflict of jurisdiction and one of the first considerations of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross Border Insolvency in the DIFC Courts. (2022)
  • DIFC/ LCIA Oil Trading Arbitration and related Court Proceedings (2020/21):
  • Successfully represented a major international oil trading company in recovering US$25 million of fuel oil product which was subject to a number of competing claims. The case involved issues of fraud. Successfully obtained two world wide freezing orders from the DIFC Court against various parties. Successfully represented the client in DIFC/LCIA arbitration proceedings and in parallel proceedings in the DIFC Courts against related parties. The case also involved a reference to the Joint Judicial Committee to resolve alleged conflicts of jurisdiction. (2021)
  • FAL Oil v Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA):
  • Successfully represented an international energy company in enforcing in the DIFC Courts an unsatisfied judgment from the Sharjah Courts for over US$300 million. Sole counsel in contested enforcement proceedings against a UAE public utility company. The case is a leading authority of DIFC Law on issues of state immunity, international
  • jurisdiction and enforcement and the inter- Emirate enforcement of judgments. (DIFC Court of First Instance 2021)
  • UNCITRAL Arbitration:
  • Advising an investor in a dispute arising out of the cancellation of a power concession. Claims and counterclaims valued at over US$1bn. (2022)
  • LCIA Arbitration:
  • Appointed by the LCIA as co-arbitrator in 3 consolidated commodities arbitrations
  • involving Chinese and European parties (2022)
  • LME Commodities Arbitration:
  • Represented a Chinese party in LME proceedings arising out of a large warehousing fraud in China. Claims valued at around US$10million. (2021/2022)
  • Deciding a challenge to an arbitrator under the THAC rules:
  • Was appointed to the committee to decide the first challenge to an arbitrator under the THAC rules. (2022)
  • KBC Aldini Capital Ltd v. (1) David Baazov (2) Canaccord Genuity Corp (DIFC Court of First Instance 2020):
  • Successfully represented a finance house in defending DIFC proceedings relating to
  • equity commitment letters filed in support of a bid to acquire a global internet gaming company. (Claims valued at US$50 million. Instructed by Allen & Overy LLP).
  • Selected Non recent Cases.
    • Kuwaiti Oil Tanker Company v Q, A and others.

    Instructed on behalf of a state owned oil company in a dispute arising out of a US$130million fraud.

    Appeared as junior counsel in one aspect of the case in the House of Lords- reported at (2004) 1 AC 300 : (2003) 3 WLR 14 : (2003) 3 All ER 501 appeared and advised in various related proceedings including various international enforcement applications.

    • Thoresen (Bangkok) Ltd v Fathom Marine & Others

    Instructed (whilst working for a firm of city solicitors) on behalf of the successful shipowner in a ship sale and purchase dispute involving ships with a value of US$ 42million. Reported at [2004] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 622.

    • Rowan Gorilla V

    Instructed (whilst working at a firm of city solicitors) on behalf of the successful reinsurer in respect of the unlawful failure to take delivery of an Oil Rig (Rowan Gorilla V).Reported at (2006) 1 Lloyds Rep 500.

    • Svenska v Government of Lithuania and Others.

    Instructed by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania to defend enforcement proceedings of an ICC arbitration award to the value of US$15million. The case arose from a dispute involving a Joint Venture oil exploration agreement entered into at the time of Lithuanian independence (the first such investment contract signed by that State). The defence involved the law of State Immunity and its interrelation with the law relating to the enforcement of arbitral awards. Instructed as part of an international team of lawyers working on parallel enforcement proceedings in England, Lithuania and Germany. Appeared as junior counsel in the English and Court of Appeal hearings and drafted the relevant submissions which were extensive and involved both English and international jurisprudence.Reported both at first instance [2006] 1 Lloyds Rep page 181 and in the Court of Appeal [2006]. EWCA Civ 1529, (2007) 2 WLR 876,: (2007) 1 Lloyd’s Rep 193 : (2006) 2 CLC 797, (2007) QB 886, Times 17/11/ 2006, Independent, 16/11/ 2006

    • UNCITRAL Oil Arbitration- Seat Houston

    Successfully defended on behalf of an oil major a claim of over US$200,000,000, in international arbitration proceedings arising out of a Joint Venture oil exploration agreement. Appeared as co- counsel in a team of English and American lawyers.

    • Vercoe & Others v Rutland Fund Managers

    Acted for a private equity firm in claim for £44million arising out of a corporate take over and floatation and a claim for breach of confidence and breach of contract. [2010] EWHC 424 (Ch)

    • ICC Emergency Arbitrator Proceedings

    Represented a Ukrainian trading company in one of the first hearings under the new pre arbitral emergency procedure introduced in the ICC rules in 2012. The application was for emergency interim relief in a case involving fraud in a commodities case.

    • Sanctions Case

    Advising an overseas client as to its rights in a high value sales transaction which was embargoed by a foreign government by virtue of international sanctions and assisting with pre arbitral dispute resolution.

    • LMAA Arbitration

    Instructed as counsel in a long term charterparty dispute involving the carriage of coal. The case involved .the interaction of UK, Indian and Singapore law and various aspects of arbitration procedure relating to appointment of arbitrators. The substantive legal issues included the construction of the clauses relating to nomination of vessels and routes and the obligation to declare cargo, repudiation and fundamental breach of contract and aspects of damages law including the doctrine of minimum performance.

    • ICC Arbitration

    Represented a UAE client in ICC proceedings involving the construction and ownership of high value industrial plant (c$500million), the import and export of commodities to the UAE and various associated claims.

    • ICC Arbitration London

    Instructed by an Indian Company in a dispute with a large English multinational in relation to an infrastructure project in India. The claim involved parallel proceedings and disputes about jurisdiction. The dispute was also involved a mediation under the ICC rules of conciliation.

    • Oil Trading LMAA Arbitration

    Acted in US$15million case involving force majeure following the State seizure of assets belonging to a company related to Yukos oil. (LMAA arbitration)

    • UNCITRAL/ ICC Cases

    Advising an investor in claims against a former Soviet Republic in relation to the cancellation of various construction projects. Advising on the conduct of 3 interrelated arbitration claims against States/ State entities and related parties. Counsel in the ICC proceedings. Counsel in pre-action negotiations in the BIT proceedings.

Language(s)

  • French
  • German
  • English

Education

BA and MA in Law, Cambridge University (Squire Law Scholar)

Master of Law and Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam

FCIArb

Admission

1996 – Barrister, England & Wales

2019– Hong Kong. (Registered foreign lawyer)

2020– DIFC Court, Dubai. (Part II Registered advocate)

2021 –AIFC Court, Nur- Sultan, Kazakhstan.(Licensed advocate)