David Hopkins

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+44 (0)20 7832 1111

‘His particular strength is advising in a way that is very client friendly, he cuts out legal jargon and gets to the point.’
Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021

David is a commercial, financial services, regulatory and public lawyer. David is regularly instructed in proceedings in the Commercial Court, the Chancery Division, the TCC and the Administrative Court and before regulators’ disciplinary tribunals. A substantial proportion of David’s practice has an international element, particularly in the field of international arbitration, where he has acted in disputes subject to the ICC, LMAA and SIAC rules. He is a TECBAR accredited adjudicator and accepts appointments via the TECBAR adjudication scheme.

David is the contributing editor of the chapter on determination clauses in Wilmot-Smith on Construction Contracts (4th edn, 2021) and the Auction, Bailment and Banking and Bills of Exchange volume of Atkin’s Court Forms (2023 issue, forthcoming; 2018 issue (Auction and Bailment only)). He has also written for a number of publications, including the IBA’s Dispute Resolution International, LawInSport and the Practical Law Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Blogs. Prior to coming to the Bar, David worked in the City for five years as a foreign exchange and interest rates derivatives structurer.


Administrative and Public

David’s administrative and public law practice is wide-ranging. He acts on behalf of claimants and defendants in judicial review claims, advises local authorities and other organisations on their public law duties and is instructed in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. Much of his recent work directly complements his financial services, construction and regulatory practices.

Cases of note:

  • R (Martin) v Professional Standards Authority: Acting for the PSA, successfully defending a judicial review claim concerning medical education policy.
  • R (Alexander-Theodotou) v Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal v Solicitors Regulation Authority: Acting for the SRA, the interested party, responding to a solicitor’s claim for judicial review of the SDT’s decision to make no order as to costs following an interim hearing at the SDT.
  • R (Soyege) v Solicitors Regulation Authority: Defending two separate claims for judicial review against the SRA in relation to its decision to impose conditions on a solicitor’s practising certificate. Both claims were rejected by the court and found to be totally without merit.
  • R (Goodall) v Financial Ombudsman Service: Acting on behalf of the Financial Ombudsman Service opposing a claim for judicial review of a final decision of one of its ombudsmen.
  • R (Freeman & Ors) v Lincolnshire County Council: As junior counsel to John Pugh-Smith, acting for the claimant owners of a quarry in a judicial review of a planning authority’s decision to take enforcement action under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
  • Confidential Local Authority: Advising a local authority on public law matters in relation to Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans and the drafting of their Trans Inclusive Education Guidance.
  • The Black Owned Business Alliance: Advising the Black Owned Business Alliance on the Equality Act 2010 (pro bono).

Banking and Financial Services

David brings practical experience of banking and financial services to his work, having previously worked for five years as a foreign exchange and interest rates derivatives structurer. He has, for counsel, an almost uniquely deep understanding of financial markets and products across all asset classes.

He acts in claims both for and against banks and other financial institutions and advises both regulators and regulated persons on compliance with the relevant legislation and regulatory framework. David has previously been seconded to both the FCA and FOS, giving him a deep insight into the work of the regulator and ombudsman in practice.

Cases of note:

  • FX dispute: Ongoing in the KBD, acting as sole counsel for a holiday company seeking to recover around £800,000 losses which arose as a result of its foreign exchange broker’s unauthorised trading.
  • Confidential cryptocurrency and FX dispute: Ongoing. Led by Charlie Manzoni KC SC, David is instructed, together with Anna Lintner, by the victims of a USD 100 million cryptocurrency and FX fraud perpetrated across multiple jurisdictions. Particular issues include obtaining Norwich Pharmacal / Bankers Trust type relief, tracing cryptocurrency assets, and private international law issues of choice of law and jurisdiction.
  • Illiquid exotic assets investment fund: Advising an investment fund proposing to open a new fund investing in illiquid exotic assets on compliance with FSMA and issues concerning the FCA perimeter and the Financial Promotions Regulations, particularly with respect to collective investment schemes.
  • SIAC arbitration: Acting for a number of private equity funds in a USD 350 million claim subject to the SIAC rules regarding the funds’ foreign direct investment (FDI) in India via compulsorily convertible preference shares.
  • Claim against private bank: Acting on behalf of a private bank’s customer, who was a victim of an APP fraud, bringing claims pursuant to the Payment Services Regulations, breach of contract and the Quincecare duty, where the bank had refused to refund payments made to a fraudulent scheme via a debit card.
  • FCA regulation of peer-to-peer lenders: Advising the Financial Conduct Authority 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 (CIS), alternative investment funds (AIF) and deposit taking.
  • FOS complaints: Advising the Financial Ombudsman Service on legal issues raised in respect of a number of complaints referred to the ombudsman, whose subject matters included life insurance, consumer credit and interest rate swaps.


David is frequently instructed to represent and advise clients in all types of commercial matters, both during the initial phase of disputes and through to litigation and arbitration. David developed excellent commercial understanding and insight in his career before the Bar, where his clients ranged from FTSE 100 companies to SMEs and from high street retailers to oil and gas conglomerates.

Cases of note:

  • Secretary of State for Health and Social Care & Ors v Lundbeck Limited & Ors: Ongoing in the Competition Appeal Tribunal, Case 1415/5/7/21 (T). Led by Duncan Sinclair, acting for NHS England and NHS Wales in a competition follow-on claim against the manufacturers of the antidepressant citalopram. The manufacturers were found by the European Commission to have entered into “pay for delay” agreements, which amounted to infringements of competition law by object under Art 101 of the Treaty.
  • Perfect Smile Spa Ltd v Trans-Atlantic Securities Ltd & Ors: Ongoing. Sole counsel acting for the first and second defendants, a financial intermediary and an accountant who is a director of the first defendant, defending a claim seeking recission of a loan agreement and damages of >£1 million on the basis of the defendants’ alleged misrepresentations and negligent misstatements.
  • Confidential ship sale and purchase dispute: Advising the buyers of a vessel under a contract on an amended 2012 Norwegian Saleform in a dispute arising from the vessel’s late delivery following the need to make repairs which arose after 10-day approximate delivery notice had been tendered.
  • Downey & Anor v Stevens & Ors [2021] EWHC 752 (Ch): Successfully acting as sole counsel for the defendant trustees of Magdalen Park Bowling Club in a seven-day High Court trial. The court found the contract under which the claimants alleged they were entitled to purchase the Club’s land for £1 to be invalid pursuant to s 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 and that, even if it were valid, it would be unconscionable for the claimants to rely on its terms.
  • Confidential charterparty dispute: Advising the owners in a charterparty dispute subject to the LMAA rules regarding the charterers’ bunkering obligations on redelivery. The charterparty was an amended NYPE 1946 form and the charter itself spanned the introduction of the IMO 2020 Regulation.
  • Remy’s Ltd v Peacock and Smith Ltd (2020–2021): Led by Richard Harwood QC, acting for a property developer in a professional negligence claim arising from services provided by a planning consultant. Settled pre-trial.
  • Cheval Roc Residential Ltd & Anor v Zurich Insurance plc (2019–2020): Led by Neil Block KC, acting for an insurer resisting a £6.5m claim brought following the partial collapse of a cliff near to the insured property. The claim was settled prior to the hearing of a trial to determine whether Zurich was liable to indemnify the claimants.


David is familiar with and has acted in and advised on matters involving all the standard forms of contract, including JCT, NEC, FIDIC and FMB, as well as many ad hoc contracts. He is also a TECBAR accredited adjudicator and accepts appointments via the TECBAR adjudication scheme.

Relatedly to his construction practice, David was instructed in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry from May 2018 to November 2022, led by Stuart Catchpole KC and Marcus Taverner KC. As such, he has a strong understanding of building fire safety and the related legislation and guidance.

Cases of note:

  • Various confidential Building Safety Act matters: Following the passing of the Building Safety Act 2022, David is instructed in various matters acting for leaseholders, housing associations and management companies considering potential claims in regards to fire safety defects.
  • FTH Limited v Varis Developments Limited [2022] EWHC 1385 (TCC); 203 ConLR 288: Led by Paul Darling KC, acting for the claimant contractor applying to enforce an adjudication decision in its favour. The defendant resisted enforcement on the grounds that the claimant was in a CVA and that enforcing the award would deprive the defendant of security for its alleged cross-claim.
  • Red Key Concepts Limited v Breakshore Limited: Led by Paul Darling KC, acting for a contractor seeking declarations that the employer has committed acts of prevention by, among other things, failing to use due diligence to obtain necessary planning permission.
  • Slinger v Surewell Management Consultants Limited: Ongoing. As sole counsel, acting for a claimant builder (ongoing in the TCC) in a Part 8 claim for a declaration as to the terms of a contract under which the defendant property owner agreed to share the profits of a development carried out jointly with the claimant.
  • Confidential delay dispute: Led by Paul Darling KC, advising the main contractor for a large mixed-use development in Singapore on the extension of time, delay and liquidated damages provisions of an amended Singapore Institute of Architects contract.
  • Confidential cladding dispute: Assisting Adam Robb KC in a potential claim brought by the owners of a building affected by cladding defects (non-fire related) against the underwriters of a latent defects policy who had declined coverage.
  • Confidential delay dispute: Led by Adrian Hughes KC, 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.

Regulatory and Disciplinary

David’s regulatory and disciplinary practice spans across the legal, financial and healthcare professions. He acts for both regulators and regulated persons. His trial practice covers first instance tribunal hearings, appeals to the High Court and judicial reviews. He also frequently advises clients on compliance with the relevant regulatory frameworks, regulators’ practices and procedures and how best to respond to regulatory investigations.

Cases of note:

  • SRA v Neilson (2022, SDT Case No: 12347-2022): Defending a property solicitor against allegations of misconduct in the SDT. The SRA originally alleged that the solicitor had been dishonest or reckless, but dropped these allegations the day before the hearing. Nevertheless, the SRA sought an order suspending the solicitor from practice. The tribunal determined that a suspension would be excessive and awarded the SRA less than half of its claimed costs.
  • Confidential SRA investigations (2019–2022): Acting for and advising solicitors investigated by the SRA in relation to non-disclosure agreements which the SRA alleged breached its Principles. The investigations were closed without the SRA imposing any sanctions or referring any allegations to the SDT.
  • GMC and PSA appeal under ss 40A and 40B of the Medical Act 1983 (2022): Led by Fenella Morris KC, acting for the Professional Standards Authority in an appeal concerning determinations of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal in respect of a number of doctors who were all members of a WhatsApp group in which they had shared racist, misogynist and otherwise offensive messages and images. The appeal raised a wide range of issues, including, among others, the boundary between doctors’ professional and private lives; the potential effect on patient safety; and, procedurally, whether the court should grant the doctors anonymity. The appeal was settled before hearing, with the doctors all agreeing to receive warnings.
  • Confidential SRA investigation (2020–2021): Acting for and advising a global law firm partner under investigation by the SRA in circumstances where the partner was suffering from a mental illness and the firm had accused the partner, among other things, of potentially misleading a tribunal in a witness statement they filed with the tribunal. The investigation was closed with no further action being taken by the SRA.
  • Institute and Faculty of Actuaries investigation (2021): Acting for and advising a director of a corporate pension trustee under investigation by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
  • Professional Standards Authority v Health and Care Professions Council & Roberts [2020] EWHC 1906 (Admin); [2020] ACD 89: A paramedic was guilty of misconduct in making racist comment but his fitness to practise was found not to be impaired. Instructed by the PSA to carry out a detailed case review prior to appeal, and in respect of costs following the determination of the appeal.
  • Akther v Solicitors Regulation Authority [2019] EWHC 2650 (Admin): Acting on behalf of the SRA, successfully resisting a solicitor’s appeal to the High Court, under section 49 of the Solicitors Act 1974, against an order of the SDT striking him off from the Roll. David also successfully resisted the solicitor’s application in the SDT for a rehearing: SDT Case No 18117-2018.

Energy and Natural Resources

Much of David’s experience in commercial dispute resolution and construction matters has concerned the Energy and Natural Resources sector, covering both fossil fuels and renewables. He has been recommended as a Leading Junior for Construction, Energy and Infrastructure in Legal 500 Asia Pacific’s guides to outstanding juniors in Asia Pacific since 2019.

Cases of note:

  • Confidential ICC arbitration: Subcontractor’s claim for retention monies arising from an expansion project at a hydroelectric power plant in Southeast Asia.
  • Confidential SIAC arbitration: Acting for the respondents in a claim brought regarding disputed payments arising from a contract to build a coal-fired power plant between a Chinese state-owned entity and various Indonesian companies.
  • Confidential SIAC arbitration: Acting for the claimant in a claim concerning supply of mirrors manufactured and supplied by a European party to a solar power (concentrator photovoltaics) technology firm in China.
  • Seadrill Ghana Operations Ltd v Tullow Ghana Ltd [2018] EWHC 1640 (Comm): Junior counsel assisting Sean Wilken KC, Adam Robb KC and Stephen Kosmin in a USD 277 million claim considering whether a provisional measure issued by ITLOS in Case No 23 between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire was a force majeure within the contract for a deepwater drilling unit.

Confidential EPC contract dispute: 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.


David’s sports law practice leverages on his specialisms in commercial, construction, regulatory and disciplinary law. He was one of seven Chambers members to be appointed by the IAAF to the panel providing legal advice and representation to athletes and officials in disputes arising out of the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha and is a member of Chambers’ team of advocates on Sport Resolutions (UK)’s Pro Bono Panel.

Cases of note:

  • Confidential athlete: Representing an athlete served notice by UK Anti-Doping of an apparent Domestic Testing Pool filing failure. UKAD chose to take no further action, accepting that no negligent behaviour on the athlete’s part had caused or contributed to an inaccurate address for an overseas training camp having been file.
  • Downey & Anor v Stevens & Ors [2021] EWHC 752 (Ch): Successfully acting as sole counsel for the defendant trustees of Magdalen Park Bowling Club in a seven-day High Court trial. The court found the contract under which the claimants alleged they were entitled to purchase the Club’s land for £1 to be invalid pursuant to s 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 and that, even if it were valid, it would be unconscionable for the claimants to rely on its terms.
  • Confidential sports authority: Advising the owner-employer in respect of defective services works at a large sports stadium.


David has been ranked as a Leading Junior – Tier 1 for Construction, Energy and Infrastructure in Legal 500 Asia Pacific since 2019 and as a Leading Junior – Tier 4 for Construction in The Legal 500 since 2023:

  • “His particular strength is advising in a way that is very client friendly, he cuts out legal jargon and gets to the point”: Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021
  • “Sharp, driven, and a pleasure to work with”: Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020
  • “Exceptionally capable and extremely versatile”: Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019

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

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