David Hopkins

Year of call:
2013
Email:
david.hopkins@39essex.com

Clerks:
+44 (0)20 7832 1111

David’s practice concentrates on commercial dispute resolution, financial services, construction, public and regulatory law. David frequently represents parties in the English courts and regularly undertakes pleading and advisory work.

In addition, a substantial proportion of David’s practice has an international element, particularly in the field of international arbitration, where he has acted in a range of commercial and construction matters, primarily before tribunals constituted under the ICC or SIAC rules.

Prior to coming to the Bar, David worked in the City for five years as a foreign exchange and interest rates derivatives structurer.

Commercial Dispute Resolution


David is frequently instructed to represent and advise clients in all types of commercial and chancery matters, both during the initial phase of disputes and through to litigation and arbitration.

David has gained significant experience of proceedings in the High Court, County Court and international arbitral tribunals. Recent experience as part of a team of counsel includes:

  • Acting for the respondents in an SIAC arbitration regarding disputed payments arising from a contract between a Chinese state-owned entity and various Indonesian companies
  • Advising the lessors of a number of large passenger aircraft in a potential dispute concerning the airline’s end of lease obligations
  • Advising a large retailer regarding potential contractual remedies where control boxes installed at its warehouses were subject to spontaneous failures
  • Representing bridging finance companies in a £1m claim for possession and a money judgment in respect of unpaid loans
  • Junior counsel assisting Hefin Rees QC and Jennifer Thelen in a £3m fraud claim in the Chancery Division brought by the London Borough of Brent against former school governors
  • Advising the majority owners of a telecoms infrastructure company in a situation where a minority shareholder, who was the company’s major customer, was exiting the industry

Recent experience as sole counsel includes:

  • Drafting statements of claim and representation at court on behalf of a firm of chartered surveyors bringing claims arising from unpaid invoices
  • Advising on the enforceability and enforcement of a European Order for Payment under Regulation (EC) No 1896/2006
  • Representing a global payment services provider in an application for disclosure of confidential information brought by a UK regulatory authority
  • Advising a property management company regarding allegations of conflicts of interest in respect of lease enfranchisement under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993

Banking and Financial Services


David has acted in a number of financial services matters, including:

  • Acting for a number of private equity funds in an SIAC arbitration regarding their foreign direct investment (FDI) in India via compulsorily convertible preference shares
  • Assisting Hugh Mercer QC (Essex Court Chambers) in his role as an expert witness on EU Law in an ICC investment treaty arbitration arising out of the Central Bank of Cyprus’s decision to put FBME Bank into resolution
  • Successfully resisting an insurer’s claim for a declaration that it had validly avoided the driver’s policy of motor insurance by reason of material non-disclosure
  • Representing a global payment services provider in an application for disclosure of confidential information brought by a UK regulatory authority

David also has a broad advisory practice in relation to financial regulation. Recent work includes:

  • Advising the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regarding the authorisation and regulation of peer-to-peer lenders such as Zopa, Funding Circle and RateSetter. Particular issues included Article 36H of the Regulated Activities Order and activities related to collective investment schemes (CISs), alternative investment funds (AIFs) and deposit taking
  • Advising the FCA regarding the regulatory and legal implications of securitisation industry practice
  • Advising the Financial Ombudsman Service regarding a number of complaints whose subject matters included life insurance, consumer credit and interest rate swaps

David brings practical experience of banking and financial services to his practice, having previously worked for five years as an FX and interest rates derivatives structurer. In these roles he provided financial expertise to clients across the UK and EMEA regarding their foreign assets, liabilities and cash flows and their portfolios of exotic and vanilla derivatives. Latterly he worked as a consultant to three major banks advising them in relation to the FCA’s review of sales of interest rate hedging products (IRHPs).

International Arbitration


David has built up a substantial amount of international arbitration experience for his level of call. He is particularly familiar with arbitrations under the ICC and SIAC rules, including:

  • Acting for a number of private equity funds in an SIAC arbitration regarding their foreign direct investment (FDI) in India via compulsorily convertible preference shares
  • Assisting Hugh Mercer QC (Essex Court Chambers) in his role as an expert witness on EU Law in an ICC investment treaty arbitration arising out of the Central Bank of Cyprus’s decision to put FBME Bank into resolution
  • SIAC arbitration concerning the supply of mirrors manufactured and supplied by a European party to a solar power technology firm in China
  • Acting for the respondents in an SIAC arbitration regarding disputed payments arising from a contract between a Chinese state-owned entity and various Indonesian companies
  • ICC arbitration regarding a subcontractor’s claim for retention monies arising from an expansion project at a hydroelectric power plant in Southeast Asia

Construction


David is frequently instructed to represent and advise clients in a variety of construction matters. Recent experience as part of a team of counsel includes:

  • ICC arbitration regarding a subcontractor’s claim for retention monies arising from an expansion project at a hydroelectric power plant in Southeast Asia
  • Advising the main contractor as to a potential claim arising from its subcontractor’s failure to complete the laying of subsea communications cables in the contractually agreed period
  • SIAC arbitration between a Chinese state-owned entity and various Indonesian companies arising from an EPC contract for a power plant
  • Drafting the employer’s response to the main contractor’s claims for extensions of time and additional costs of USD 55m arising from an EPC contract for a new facility at an oil refinery in Southeast Asia

Recent experience as sole counsel includes:

  • Acting for the claimant telecoms provider in a claim for damages suffered to fibre optic cables as a result of local authority roadworks
  • Advising an employer as to the effect of the statutory payment rules affecting construction contracts under Part II of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996
  • Defending a property owner against a utilities company’s claim for damage allegedly suffered due to excavation works
  • Acting for the claimant builder in a claim for unpaid stage payments in a project where the employer alleged defective work

Administrative & Public


David’s recent experience includes:

  • As junior counsel to John Pugh-Smith, acting for the claimant landowners in a judicial review of a planning authority’s decision to take enforcement action under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990
  • Advising the Financial Ombudsman Service regarding a number of complaints which raised public law issues such as the limits of the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction and discretion

David also gained exposure to public law issues in a number of contexts during pupillage with Kate Grange, including:

  • Drafting a skeleton argument resisting an EEA national’s appeal against the Home Secretary’s decision to exclude him from the UK pursuant to Reg 19(1B) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006
  • Drafting advice for the Secretary of State for Justice as to the merits of a potential appeal from R (Hawke & Anor) v SSJ [2015] EWHC 3599 (Admin), in particular in relation to the effect of Senior Courts Act 1981, s 31(2A) (the “highly likely” test in judicial review)
  • Drafting advice for the Ministry of Justice on the likely outcome of the appeal to the Supreme Court from Cox v Ministry of Justice [2014] EWCA Civ 132 [2015] QB 107

Regulatory & Disciplinary


David’s regulatory and disciplinary court practice primarily involves cases concerning the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Recent work as sole counsel includes:

  • Acting for the SRA in the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in a matter concerning breaches of the SRA Accounts Rules. The SDT imposed fines on the firm’s partners, COLP and COFA and made a section 43 order with respect to the firm’s accounts clerk
  • Obtaining an order on behalf of the SRA, against an intervened solicitor, for delivery up of documents and redirection of communications under paras 9 and 10 of Sch I to the Solicitors Act 1974
  • Acting for the SRA seeking an adjournment of a possession hearing where the SRA had intervened into the defendant’s solicitors’ practice several days previously

David also has a broad advisory practice in relation to financial regulation. Recent work includes:

  • Advising the Financial Conduct Authority regarding the application of the Regulated Activities Order to peer-to-peer lenders such as Zopa, Funding Circle and RateSetter
  • Advising the Financial Ombudsman Service regarding a number of complaints whose subject matters included life insurance, consumer credit and interest rate swaps

Energy


Much of David’s recent experience in commercial dispute resolution and construction matters has concerned the Energy sector, covering both fossil fuels and renewables:

  • ICC arbitration regarding a subcontractor’s claim for retention monies arising from an expansion project at a hydroelectric power plant in Southeast Asia
  • Acting for the respondents in an SIAC arbitration regarding disputed payments arising from a contract to build a coal-fired power plant between a Chinese state-owned entity and various Indonesian companies
  • SIAC arbitration concerning the supply of mirrors manufactured and supplied by a European party to a solar power (concentrator photovoltaics) technology firm in China
  • Drafting the employer’s response to the main contractor’s claims for extensions of time and additional costs of USD 55m arising from an EPC contract for a new facility at an oil refinery in Southeast Asia

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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