A “renowned insolvency barrister” who is “technically excellent” and a “pleasure to work with” with over 20 years’ specialist insolvency experience, David was amongst the first of his generation to be appointed Queen’s Counsel.
In Silk, he has maintained his extensive and highly-regarded practice covering all aspects of insolvency and insolvency-related litigation. David acts for office-holders (including dealing with professional negligence type claims against them) and those subject to and affected by insolvency proceedings in whatever type of regime. He has vast experience of appearing on routine, controversial and urgent applications and of advising on complex and technical matters arising in the conduct of insolvencies. He is popular with his clients, who describe him as ‘extremely user-friendly’ and ‘clever, authoritative and willing to buy into the case and be part of the team.’
Recent examples of David’s work include:
- advising defendant directors faced with claims alleging breach of duties and dishonesty
- advising administrators with regard to the true construction of documents imposing obligations on the company and with regard to the impact on the distribution of funds to creditors
- advising an IVA provider about its standard terms
- advising and representing an administrator and those who appointed him in response to a challenge to the validity of his appointment
- advising Guernsey liquidators about the true meaning of a document and its impact on the outcome of the liquidation
- advising and representing defendants to a liquidator’s claim alleging a £14m fraud including dealing with assertions of de facto and shadow directorships; freezing injunctions, security for costs and committal applications
- an administration order application brought by a peer-to-peer lender
- defending a £2m claim brought by a liquidator alleging breach of directors’ duties when entering into employee benefit trusts
advising on the true construction of purported fixed charges in the context of a proposed administration of a group of companies
contested recovery actions in both corporate and personal insolvency. For example, David successfully defended a company director accused of wrongful trading where the liquidator sought to recover more than £2m (Nicholson v Fielding, 2017) and represented the trustee in bankruptcy in the only reported case on the recovery of excessive pension contributions in bankruptcy (Stanley v Wilson  BPIR 227);
- advising one of the stakeholders in the insolvency of a trading company owned in the Isle of Man with regard to the interface between Isle of Man and English insolvency law;
- advising and representing the English administrators of a Cypriot company with regard to the exit route from administration;
advising former fixed charge receivers as to the recovery of their fees.
Having been Junior Counsel to the Crown from 2007 until his appointment to Silk, David has vast experience of work for the Secretary of State and the Official Receiver with particular emphasis on public interest and directors disqualification. He advised and represented the Official Receiver throughout the liquidation of Sahaviriya Steel Industries (UK) Limited, which operated the Redcar Steelworks. That work included making the first application under the then very recently reframed Insolvency Act 1986, section 233  EWHC 2877 (Ch) and advising on all aspects of the liquidation.
In 2017, David became the General Editor of Schaw Miller and Bailey on Personal Insolvency. He is a regular speaker at R3 seminars.
Secure Mortgage Corporation v Harold and others – appearing on behalf of the respondents to an application challenging the validity of an administrator’s appointment or seeking his removal  EWHC 1364 (Ch)
2020: Ongoing advice and representation of directors faced with claims for breach of duty and dishonesty
2020: Ongoing advice to administrators about the true construction of various documents and the impact on distributions to creditors
2020: Advice to an IVA provider about its standard terms
Toone v Ross  EWHC 2855 (Ch) – representing the defendants to a £2m claim brought by liquidators arising out of the entry by a company into employee-benefit trusts and an interest-in-possession fund
Gwinnutt v George – Court of Appeal case on whether barrister’s fees were property passing to his trustee in bankruptcy  EWCA Civ 656
Horler v Rubin – successfully defending insolvency practitioner accused of having obtained earlier judgment by giving false evidence at trial  EWHC 660 (Ch) and  EWHC 2487 (Ch)
Absolute Living Developments Ltd (in liquidation) v DS7 Ltd: Allegation of £14m fraud brought by a liquidator  EWHC 1432 (Ch);  EWHC 1717 (Ch)
2018: Resisting application by peer-to-peer lender for administration order
2018: Advising on the true construction of purported fixed charges in the context of a proposed administration of a group of companies
2018: Representing defendant directors resisting allegation of breach of duties by reason of entering into employee benefit trusts
2018: Advised one of the stakeholders in the insolvency of a trading company owned in the Isle of Man with regard to the interface between Isle of Man and English insolvency law
2018: Advised and represented the English administrators of a Cypriot company with regard to the exit route from administration
Nicholson v Fielding : Successfully defended a company director accused of wrongful trading where the liquidator sought to recover more than £2m
Stanley v Wilson  BPIR 227: Appeared for the trustee-in-bankruptcy in the only reported case on the recovery of excessive pension contributions
2017: Advised former fixed charge receivers as to the recovery of their fees
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills v PLT Anti-Marketing Ltd  EWCA Civ 76: Appeared for Secretary of State in appeal against refusal to vary undertakings.
SoS v Doherty  EWHC 2816 (Ch): directors disqualification alleging misrepresentation in obtaining finance; disqualification order made after eight day trial
SoS v PLT Anti-Marketing Ltd  EWHC 3625 (Ch),  EWCA Civ 76: represented SoS on application for appointment of provisional liquidator; injunction granted instead; application by company to vary undertaking rejected; appeared in Court of Appeal on company’s appeal against refusal to vary undertaking.
Utilise TDS Limited v Davies & Bolton College  EWCA Civ 906: appeared for one of the respondents in the Court of Appeal when three cases were heard together and fresh guidance was issued on the way in which CPR 3.9 was to be applied on applications for relief from sanction, following the decision in Mitchell v News Group Newspapers Ltd. (Reported as Denton v TH White Ltd and other appeals.)
Certain Exhibitions Ltd  EWHC 4165 (Ch);  2 All ER 1019;  Bus LR 597;  BCC 143;  BPIR 416;  RA 123: representing supervisor of CVA on application for directions whether non-domestic business rates accrued for the whole year or instalment-by-instalment.
Solar Energy Savings Ltd : representing liquidators of solar panel supplier following its winding-up in the public interest, dealing with customer monies and recovery actions.
Official Receiver v Wild: directors disqualification  EWHC 4279 (Ch);  BPIR 1073.
Willett v Economy Power  EWCA Civ 1164;  BPIR 1298
Oxford Fleet Management Ltd : resisting application for security for costs where office-holder has the benefit of an ATE insurance policy.
Graf : contested application under section 236.
Official Receiver v Ferguson : contested application for bankruptcy restrictions order.
SoS v Okeford Properties Ltd : public interest winding-up proceedings against 13 companies involved in a scheme in respect of non-domestic rates.
SoS v Davies : application to commit for making false witness statement.
SoS v Ahmed (2011): directors disqualification in the context of VAT fraud; heard over 5 days.
Williams v Mohammed  EWHC 3293 (Ch);  B.P.I.R. 1787: appeal against order made in favour of trustee in bankruptcy for production of filenote of solicitor’s advice; legal professional privilege was overridden by fact that the advice was sought to further fraud.
Williams v Mohammed (No 2)  B.P.I.R. 238: obtaining warrant for the seizure of documents.
Halliwells LLP : advising together with Leading Counsel in respect of a major firm of solicitors.
Booth v Mond  EWHC 1576 (Ch);  BPIR 1111 : an application for a direction whether arrears of payments due under an income payments agreement fell within a subsequent bankruptcy.
BA Peters PLC  1 BCLC 110.
Suburban Style Bar Company Ltd : acting on behalf of administrators to recover c £3m worth of assets.
Cathedral Court (Blackburn) Ltd : acting on behalf of administrators and their appointor in resisting application to remove them pursuant to para 81 of Sch B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986.
Abacrombie & Co Ltd  EWHC 2520 (Ch): acting on behalf of Secretary of State in a public interest winding up petition heard over 5 days.
OMP Leisure Ltd  BCC 67.
Quinn v Mehta  All ER (D) 163 (Jun). Re a Company  All ER (D) 60 (Feb). Kwik Save Group of Companies.
Homeform Group of Companies (Sharps, Möben, Dolphin). Almidani (for the bankrupt)  B.P.I.R. 620.
The Accident Group Ltd