David Hopkins

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

Clerks:
+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 frequently instructed to represent and advise clients in all types of commercial and construction matters, both during the initial phase of disputes and through to litigation and arbitration. His recent commercial practice includes High Court proceedings regarding: a land option contract; alleged breaches of a share purchase agreement; and a £6.5m claim brought against an insurer following the partial collapse of a cliff near to the claimants’ property. In construction, he has acted in and advised on matters involving all the standard forms of contract, including JCT, NEC, FIDIC, SIA and FMB contracts, as well as many ad hoc forms. He is a TECBAR accredited adjudicator and accepts appointments via the TECBAR adjudication scheme. A substantial proportion of David’s practice has an international element, particularly international arbitration, and he has acted in and advised on commercial and construction disputes subject to the ICC, LMAA and SIAC rules.

Banking and financial services matters find a home across all of David’s wider practice areas, from commercial disputes, through regulatory actions and authorisations to judicial reviews. 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 acted in claims both for and against banks, in arbitrations involving private equity funds and banks, advised the FCA and Financial Ombudsman Service and acted for the Financial Ombudsman in judicial review claims.

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 hearings at first instance before regulators’ disciplinary tribunals, 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.

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.

Building on his core commercial, financial services, regulatory and public practices, David also acts in disputes involving insolvency and restructuring issues and matters from the art and cultural property, energy, insurance and reinsurance, and sport sectors. 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 and is a member of Chambers’ team of advocates on Sport Resolutions (UK)’s Pro Bono Panel.

David is the contributing editor of the chapter on determination clauses in Wilmot-Smith on Construction Contracts (4th edn, 2021) and the Auction and Bailment volumes of Atkin’s Court Forms (2018 issue). 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. He is recommended as a Leading Junior for Construction, Energy and Infrastructure in Legal 500 Asia Pacific’s 2019, 2020 and 2021 guides to outstanding juniors.

Administrative & Public


  • R (Martin) v PSA: Acting for the PSA, defending a judicial review claim concerning medical education policy
  • R (Alexander-Theodotou) v SDT v SRA: 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 SRA: 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 FOS: 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
  • 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
  • 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 Black Owned Business Alliance on the Equality Act 2010 (pro bono)

Banking & Financial Services


David’s background as a foreign exchange and interest rates derivative structurer before coming to the Bar means he has, for counsel, an almost uniquely deep understanding of financial markets and products. In addition to fixed income, currencies and commodities derivatives and structured products, David is familiar with, among others: FX spot, swap and forward trading (including algorithmic trading); credit facilities; debt capital markets; and equity markets (including ETFs, equity swaps and other derivatives).

David has acted in a number of banking and financial services disputes, 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 various defendant banks in proceedings brought under the Consumer Credit Act 1974
  • 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

Commercial Dispute Resolution


  • 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
  • Led by Duncan Sinclair, advising the claimants in a competition follow-on claim against defendants domiciled in EU member states on service out of the jurisdiction and potential enforcement options post-Brexit
  • Led by Richard Harwood QC, acting for a property developer in a professional negligence claim arising from services provided by a planning consultant
  • As sole counsel, 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
  • As sole counsel, acting on behalf of an entrepreneur and former employee of an AIM-traded cyber defence, intelligence and technology firm. The firm brought proceedings against its former employee for alleged breaches of a share purchase agreement. The claim raised issues, among others, in relation to the intellectual property in a privacy management service developed by the former employee
  • 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
  • As sole counsel, successfully 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

Construction


  • Led by Paul Darling QC, 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
  • 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
  • Assisting 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
  • Led by Adrian Hughes QC, 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
  • 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
  • As sole counsel, acting for a contractor resisting a claim for allegedly unpaid invoices made by one of its electrical subcontractors. The claim was struck out and the subcontractor ordered to pay costs
  • 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

Insolvency & Restructuring


  • Advising a garments wholesaler as to the enforceability of a personal guarantee given by the director of a customer which had entered into voluntary liquidation
  • Advising a prospective employer as to the recoverability of monies advanced to a prospective contractor where the contractor had entered administration prior to the parties executing a draft JCT contract. Particular issues included whether the employer retained beneficial ownership of the monies and/or could claim in unjust enrichment
  • Instructed variously on behalf of petitioners and respondents in a number of winding up petitions
  • Advising a lender as to the validity of a security expressed to have been given over a replica of an 18th century ship in circumstances where the borrower had entered into personal insolvency

International Arbitration


  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

Regulatory & Disciplinary


Recent legal regulatory and disciplinary work includes:

  • In light of the SRA’s 2020 Thematic Review on dubious investment schemes, advising a law firm on the potential legal and financial regulatory risks raised by its client’s proposed property development scheme
  • R (Alexander-Theodotou) v SDT v SRA: 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
  • Acting for and advising a global law firm partner under investigation by the SRA. The investigation closed with the SRA taking no further action
  • 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)

Recent financial regulatory and disciplinary work includes:

  • Acting for and advising a director of a corporate pension trustee under investigation by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
  • 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 and disciplinary work includes:

  • R (Martin) v PSA: Acting for the PSA, defending a judicial review claim concerning medical education policy
  • 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 carry out a detailed case review prior to appeal and to assist Fenella Morris QC following the PSA’s successful appeal
  • 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

Art & Cultural Property


  • Advising a lender as to the validity of a security expressed to have been given over a replica of an 18th century ship in circumstances where the borrower had entered into personal insolvency
  • Acting for the owner of a rare classic car which had been damaged by flooding whilst in storage
  • Advising on public international law in relation to a Spanish galleon sunk by the British Navy in the Caribbean sea in the 18th century

Energy


  • ICC arbitration regarding a subcontractor’s claim for retention monies arising from an expansion project at a hydroelectric power plant in Southeast Asia
  • 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 USD 277m 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
  • 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

Insurance & Reinsurance


  • Assisting 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
  • 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
  • As sole counsel, 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
  • Advising the Financial Ombudsman Service in respect of coverage under life insurance policies, exclusions for suicide and the decision in Beresford v Royal Insurance [1938] AC 586

Sport


  • 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
  • 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
  • Advising in respect of defective services works at a large sports stadium

Recommendations


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

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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