David Hopkins

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

Clerks:
+44 (0)20 7832 1111

‘Sharp, driven, and a pleasure to work with.’
Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020

‘Exceptionally capable and extremely versatile.’
Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019

David has a broad practice covering Chambers’ specialisms in commercial dispute resolution, financial services, construction, public and regulatory law. David frequently represents parties in a range of courts and tribunals and undertakes drafting and advisory work. In addition, a substantial proportion of David’s practice has an international element, particularly in the field of international arbitration.

Reflecting the breadth of his practice, over the past twelve months David has been instructed in, among other matters, proceedings in the Commercial Court, the TCC, the Chancery Division and the Administrative Court and the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

David is the contributing editor of the Auction and Bailment volumes of Atkin’s Court Forms (2018 issue) and the chapter on determination clauses in Wilmot-Smith on Construction Contracts (4th edn, forthcoming). He has also written for a number of publications, including the IBA’s Dispute Resolution International 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.

 

Commercial Dispute Resolution


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.

David’s recent experience as part of a team of counsel includes:

  • Cheval Roc Residential Ltd & Anor v Zurich Insurance plc (2019–2020), in the QBD: Acting, led by Neil Block QC, 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
  • Seadrill Ghana Operations Ltd v Tullow Ghana Ltd [2018] EWHC 1640 (Comm): Junior counsel assisting Sean Wilken QC, Adam Robb QC and Stephen Kosmin in a 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
  • Brent LBC v Davies & Ors [2018] EWHC 2214 (Ch): 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. Also instructed as sole counsel in relation to applications in the enforcement proceedings
  • 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 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
  • Advising the lessors of a number of large passenger aircraft in a potential dispute concerning the airline’s end of lease obligations

Recent experience as sole counsel includes:

  • Advising the owners in a charterparty dispute 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
  • Acting on behalf of an entrepreneur and former employee of an AIM-traded cyber defence, intelligence and technology firm (ongoing in the Commercial Court). The firm brings proceedings against its former employee for alleged breaches of a share purchase agreement. The claim raises issues, among others, in relation to the intellectual property in a privacy management service developed by the former employee
  • Resisting an application for a freezing injunction brought in proceedings for a declaration that a valid partnership subsisted between the claimant and defendant in respect of a business valued at around £2m
  • Advising pre-issue and acting for the former trustees of a local sports club, set up as an unincorporated association (ongoing in the Chancery Division). The claim seeks enforcement of an option agreement over the club’s land and playing fields. The claim raises issues under the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 and undue influence
  • Advising the owners of a caravan site as to liability following damage to and destruction of a large number of caravans stored at the site, as the result of a suspected arson attack. The potential claim raises issues of whether the caravans were bailed to the site’s owners and whether a notice advising the caravan owners to obtain their own insurance was sufficient to exclude liability
  • Drafting particulars of claim and advising a lessee of a commercial unit whose landlord had failed to reinstate the premises following their damage by fire
  • Advising a clothing wholesaler as to the enforceability of a personal guarantee provided by the director of one of its suppliers who had subsequently gone into liquidation
  • Drafting statements of claim and representation at court on behalf of a firm of chartered surveyors bringing claims arising from unpaid invoices

Banking & Financial Services


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. 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). He is familiar with a very wide range of derivatives and structured products including, among others: asset, commodity, credit default, equity, interest rate, cross-currency and FX swaps, vanilla and exotic options, range accruals, TARNs, structured collars, forwards plus, structured notes and structured deposits.

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

  • Advising pre-issue and drafting particulars of claim on behalf of a customer of a private bank in respect of claims brought pursuant to the Payment Services Regulations, breach of contract and the Quincecare duty, where the bank had refused to refund unauthorised payments made to a fraudulent scheme via a debit card
  • 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
  • Drafting summary grounds of resistance on behalf of the Financial Ombudsman Service opposing a claim for judicial review of a final decision of one of its ombudsmen
  • Representing a global payment services provider in an application for disclosure of confidential information brought by a UK regulatory authority
  • 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

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

  • Advising a local authority as to the enforceability of an undertaking given to it by a Property Authorised Investment Fund (PAIF) set up under the Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEIC) Regulations 2001
  • 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 (CIS), alternative investment funds (AIF) 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

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 a 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. He 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. His recent experience as part of a team of counsel includes:

  • Drafting a CPR Part 18 request for information on behalf of electrical and mechanical consultants defending a claim arising from the redevelopment of a large country house
  • 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
  • Advising as to potential remedies against the architect and contractor under the JCT Minor Works Building Contract following the construction of a hydrotherapy pool and associated buildings
  • 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:

  • Drafting particulars of claim on behalf of an employer faced with a situation in which the main contractor under a JCT contract had walked off site
  • Acting and drafting a defence for a contractor resisting a claim for allegedly unpaid invoices made by one of its electrical subcontractors
  • Advising the management companies of a large block of flats in central London with regards to a potential claim to be brought by a building services design consultant who had been engaged to assist with the complete rewiring and refurbishment of the block. David also represented the management companies at a mediation where the potential claim was settled pre-issue
  • Acting for an electrical contractor defending a claim for allegedly defective works following the installation of an emergency lighting system at a large industrial R&D site
  • Defending a structural engineering firm against a claim for professional negligence
  • Advising an employer who had made an initial payment to a contractor prior to the parties executing a JCT contract in circumstances where the contractor had subsequently entered administration
  • Drafting pleadings and acting on behalf of house-builders in response to claims that their work had not met the required National House Building Council (NHBC) and Local Authority Building Control (LABC) standards
  • 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

Administrative & Public


David has a wide-ranging administrative and public law practice. Much of his recent experience directly complements his work in the commercial, financial services and construction spheres:

  • Drafting summary grounds of resistance on behalf of the Financial Ombudsman Service opposing a claim for judicial review of a final decision of one of its ombudsmen
  • Instructed as junior counsel to Marcus Taverner QC and Stuart Catchpole QC in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry on behalf of Rydon Maintenance Ltd
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

Regulatory & Disciplinary


David’s regulatory and disciplinary practice spans across the legal, financial and healthcare professions.

Recent legal regulatory work includes:

  • Advising a global law firm partner under investigation by the SRA
  • Advising a legal outsourcing company with regards to facilitating its clients’ compliance with their confidentiality obligations under the StaRs
  • 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
  • Solicitors Regulation Authority v Akther (Case No 18117-2018): In relation to the original hearing before the SDT, successfully resisting the solicitor’s application for a rehearing under rule 19 of the Solicitors (Disciplinary Proceedings) Rules 2007 (SI 2007/3588)
  • Obtaining orders on behalf of the SRA, against intervened solicitors, for delivery up of documents and redirection of communications under paras 9 and 10 of Sch I to the Solicitors Act 1974
  • Advising a law firm as to whether its work for various financial services parties was compliant with conflicts of interest and confidentiality provisions of the SRA Handbook and the position in respect of the new SRA Standards and Regulations
  • Solicitors Regulation Authority v Hussain & Ors (Case No 11733-2017): 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

Recent financial regulatory 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 Conduct Authority 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

Recent healthcare regulatory work includes:

  • Professional Standards Authority v Health and Care Professions Council & Roberts [2020] EWHC 1906 (Admin): 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
  • Professional Standards Authority v General Medical Council & Hilton [2019] EWHC 1638 (Admin): Instructed by the PSA to assist Fenella Morris QC following the PSA’s successful appeal against the GMC’s decision. The GMC had failed to issue a Warning to a surgeon who had dishonestly informed a patient he had known from his post-operative assessment of the patient that a screw used in the surgery was misplaced
  • For the Professional Standards Authority, acting as legal advisor at a section 29 meeting and drafting detailed case reviews with respect to a number of potential appeals of healthcare regulators’ decisions under the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002
  • Acting on behalf of the Health and Care Professions Council in numerous applications in the Administrative Court seeking extensions of interim orders made against registrants pending the final outcome of the disciplinary process

Energy


Much of David’s experience in commercial dispute resolution and construction matters has concerned the Energy sector, covering both fossil fuels and renewables. He is recommended as a Leading Junior for Construction, Energy and Infrastructure in Legal 500 Asia Pacific’s 2019 and 2020 guides to outstanding juniors in Asia Pacific. Examples of recent work include:

  • ICC arbitration regarding a subcontractor’s claim for retention monies arising from an expansion project at a hydroelectric power plant in Southeast Asia
  • Junior counsel assisting Sean Wilken QC, Adam Robb QC and Stephen Kosmin in Seadrill Ghana Operations Ltd v Tullow Ghana Ltd [2018] EWHC 1640 (Comm) 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
  • Acting for the respondents in a 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

Sport


David is building a sports law practice leveraging 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. Recent experience includes:

  • Representing an athlete served notice by UK Anti-Doping of an apparent Domestic Testing Pool filing failure. UKAD chose to take no further action when it was successfully argued that no negligent behaviour on the athlete’s part had caused or contributed to an inaccurate address for an overseas training camp having been filed
  • Advising pre-issue and acting for the former trustees of a local sports club, set up as an unincorporated association (ongoing in the Chancery Division). The claim seeks enforcement of an option agreement over the club’s land and playing fields. The claim raises issues under the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 and undue influence
  • Advising in respect of defective services works at a large sports stadium
  • Drafting pleadings on behalf of a rugby union club resisting a claim for personal injuries brought by a member of an opposing side

Recommendations


David Hopkins is ranked as a Leading Junior – Tier 1, in Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019 and 2020 in Construction, Energy and Infrastructure:

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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