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David Mumford QC

Call: 2000 | Silk: 2016

Overview

David specialises in commercial and chancery litigation, including contractual disputes, civil fraud, banking & finance, company & partnership, professional negligence, and claims against trustees and other fiduciaries. He acts as advocate and adviser in proceedings before the English courts, in domestic and international arbitrations, and in proceedings abroad.

David is recommended in the directories in seven different practice areas. Before taking silk, he was the only junior at the Bar to be ranked in the ‘Stars at the Bar’ section of Chambers UK. In 2007 David was featured by the Times as a 'Future Star of the Bar' and in 2012 he was awarded 'Chancery Junior of the Year' at the Chambers Bar Awards. He was shortlisted the following year for ‘Commercial Dispute Resolution Junior of the Year’. In 2014 he was included in the Chambers Bar 100, a listing of the top 100 UK barristers.

 

David has been involved in a number of the largest and most high-profile commercial disputes of the last 15 years. He successfully represented Roy Ranson, the former Managing Director and Appointed Actuary of Equitable Life, at the trial of the £3.3bn action brought against the Society’s auditors and board as a result of its collapse. He then spent several years acting for the defendant fund managers in the Beresovsky litigation, involving claims in relation to alleged misappropriations of investments made with the prominent Georgian tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvilli running to hundreds of millions of dollars.

More recently, David has appeared in the s.90A FSMA shareholder claims against Tesco plc arising out of its 2014 accounting scandal, the dispute between UC Rusal plc, Roman Abramovich and Vladimir Potanin about their respective stakes in Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s largest mining company, and the €600m dividend claw-back claims in BTI v Sequana, now the leading authority on directors’ duties in the zone of insolvency.

David is recommended in Chambers UK in the following fields: Chancery: Commercial (Band 2); Fraud: Civil (Band 3); Commercial Dispute Resolution (Band 3); Banking & Finance (Band 3); Company (Band 3); Offshore (Band 3); and Partnership (Band 2). He is recommended in The Legal 500 for: Commercial Litigation; Company; Fraud: Civil and Offshore.  David is also recommended in Chambers Global for Commercial Dispute Resolution; Commercial Chancery Dispute Resolution & Offshore (Bar).

David read Greats at Oxford and completed the Diploma in Law at City University. He was a Mansfield Scholar and then a Denning Scholar of Lincoln’s Inn, winning the Buchanan Prize for 2000. At Bar School he won the Croner CCH Company Law Prize and the Scarman Scholarship, for coming top of his year.

David is called to the Bar in the British Virgin Islands.

David is co-editor (with Thomas Grant QC) of the Sweet and Maxwell publication Civil Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure.

“Very good and commercially very switched on. Despite his standing, he also has a lot of time for juniors and pupils." "He is really, really bright, very analytical and highly impressive.” (2022)

Chambers UK
Chancery: Commercial

“David is so articulate and has the ear of the court, making him capable of arguing the most difficult points. He can make any argument sound reasonable and is absolutely tremendous." "His written advocacy is superb and he's got a mind like a steel trap. ” (2022)

Chambers UK
Fraud: Civil

“He's a real intellectual with a brain the size of a planet and his submissions are wonderful. He's meticulous in his preparation.” (2022)

Chambers UK
Fraud: Civil

“Extremely able technically and someone who has an unusual ability to understand the clients' commercial objectives.” (2022)

Chambers UK
Commercial Dispute Resolution

Expertise

Overview

Much of David’s practice comprises commercial litigation, including claims under business agreements (warranty and indemnity claims under share or business sale agreements being a staple), claims for breaches of fiduciary and other duties owed in connection with commercial arrangements (for example, in joint ventures), claims for fraud in the commercial arena and claims for the infringement of shareholder and other investor rights. 

Notable Cases

Notable cases include:

  • Travelport v Wex [2020] EWHC 1960 (Comm): dispute about the applicability to the Covid-19 pandemic of a “Material Adverse Effect” clause in an agreement for the US$1.7bn acquisition of a travel payments business
  • SL Claimants, Omers, Manning & Napier v Tesco plc [2020] EWHC 2106 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 3312 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 3315 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 2858 (Ch): claims in fraud under s.90A FSMA brought by various institutional investors against the well-known retailer in relation to the accounting scandal which broke in 2014
  • UC Rusal plc v Crispian Investments Ltd [2018] EWHC 2415 (Comm): successful claim to prevent Roman Abramovich selling down his $1bn stake in Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s largest mining company
  • Guardian News & Media v Rubicon Project: defending a provider of online advertising services from claims by the well-known newspaper that it had taken undisclosed commissions
  • Cepia HK v The Character Group [2016] EWHC 3133 (Comm): successful defence of claims to enforce an option to acquire shares in a distributor of well-known toy brands
  • Berezovsky v Abramovich, Hine & Ors [2012] EWHC 2463 (Comm), [2011] EWHC 1776 (Ch), [2011] EWHC 1716 (Ch), [2010] EWHC 2044 (Ch): two related multi-billion pound proceedings arising out of an alleged investment joint venture, in which David represented the former fund managers
  • Masri v Consolidated Contractors International Company SAL [2011] EWHC 1780 (Comm): successful defence (on jurisdiction grounds) of conspiracy and procurement of breach of contract claims arising out of the alleged non-payment of judgment debts exceeding US$75 million
  • In re the Buncefield Incident (2009) 2 Lloyd's Rep 1: claims in the Commercial Court in negligence, nuisance and Rylands v Fletcher arising out of the explosion at the Buncefield oil terminal
  • Numerous warranty and indemnity claims arising out of business and share sale agreements, including Cabot v Faccenda Investments (warranty claims relating to the sale of a debt recovery business), Lyondell Basell v Shell Petroleum NV (claims under an environmental contamination indemnity following the sale of a number of petrochemical facilities), Infinity Invest v Caffe Nero (claims to recover escrow monies held following the sale of part of the well-known coffee chain), Ageas (UK) Ltd v Kwik-Fit (GB) Ltd [2013] EWHC 3261 (QB) (warranty claims concerning the accounting treatment of a debt purchase facility) and Telekom Slovenije v Cosmote (warranty claims relating to the sale of one of Macedonia’s largest mobile telecoms operators)

Overview

David has acted in a range of banking and finance related matters, both in the High Court and in domestic and international arbitrations, including complex debt recovery actions, enforcement of securities, disputes over securitisations and bond issues, and the financing of government contracts.  

Notable Cases

Notable cases include: 

  • Qatar v Banque Havilland [2020] EWHC 1248 (Comm): claims in conspiracy arising out of an alleged international scheme to manipulate the value of Qatari currency and bonds
  • Various banks v D & Ors: LCIA arbitration claims to enforce complex debt and security instruments against emerging market borrowers alleging frustration due to military unrest
  • Canary Wharf Finance II v Deutsche Trustee Co [2016] EWHC 100 (Comm): dispute over redemption premia payable under notes issued as part of the securitisation of the Canary Wharf estate
  • Erste Group Bank v JSC VMZ Red October [2015] EWCA Civ 379, [2013] EWHC 2926 (Comm): successful defence (on jurisdiction grounds) of conspiracy and s.423 IA 1986 claims by an Austrian bank against state-owned Russian steel companies
  • CHC Scotia v RBPIL: defending Royal Bank of Scotland in claims resulting from the failure of a consortium to secure a government contract for the provision of helicopter search and rescue services
  • Cinnamon European Structured Credit Master Fund v BCP SA [2009] EWHC 3381: jurisdiction challenge and contractual claims in connection with the securitisation of a €1.5bn portfolio of Portuguese mortgages
  • A number of other claims (in the Commercial Court and in LCIA, ICC and SIAC arbitrations) to enforce debts and amounts due under commercial contracts, including F&I v VirosatPiemonte v Samsung Heavy Industries, Rabobank v Shree Renunka Sugars and ARM v Roeslani

Overview

David is co-editor of a leading textbook on Civil Fraud (Civil Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure, Sweet & Maxwell) and has appeared in many leading fraud cases in the commercial context.  He has experience in bringing and defending claims in deceit, conspiracy, bribery, breach of fiduciary duty and statutory frauds (e.g. s.90A FSMA and s.423 IA 1986), as well as in obtaining and resisting the interlocutory relief that is so often decisive in such claims (freezing orders, search orders etc.). 

Notable Cases

Notable cases include:

  • SL Claimants, Omers, Manning & Napier v Tesco plc [2020] EWHC 2106 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 3312 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 3315 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 2858 (Ch): claims in fraud under s.90A FSMA brought by various institutional investors against the well-known retailer in relation to the accounting scandal which broke in 2014
  • Qatar v Banque Havilland [2020] EWHC 1248 (Comm): claims in conspiracy arising out of an alleged international scheme to manipulate the value of Qatari currency and bonds
  • Conway v Eze: [2018] EWHC 29 (Ch), [2018] EWHC 1569 (Ch): claim to set aside a contract to acquire a high value London residence on the grounds of bribery
  • State Bank of India v Mallya & Ors: David acted for companies allegedly holding assets for the prominent entrepreneur (behind Kingfisher and the Force India F1 team) in relation to various “Chabra” orders obtained against them
  • Asia Resource Minerals plc: David acted for the FTSE-listed mining conglomerate in a number of matters arising out of alleged financial irregularities and misappropriations, including a successful SIAC arbitration
  • OSL v BCG: defending brokers against dishonest assistance claims brought by a Russian private bank defrauded by certain of its employees
  • Ikon International v Ikon Finance: Commercial Court and arbitration proceedings concerning alleged frauds and diversions of profits in a foreign exchange trading joint venture
  • MWP v Sinclair [2012] EWHC 2560 (Comm): conspiracy and dishonest assistance claims brought against third parties allegedly implicated in the diversion of corporate opportunities from a Kazakh firm concerned in natural resources transactions
  • ITS Ltd v Pitt Capital Partners Ltd: claims in conspiracy and dishonest assistance arising out of the alleged fraudulent misapplication of £52 million from certain UK pension schemes
  • Jennington International Inc v Assaubayev [2010] EWHC 2351 (Ch): US$500 million fraud action brought by a Russian gold mining conglomerate concerning the sale of a gold mining business in Kazakhstan
  • Cadogan Petroleum plc v Tolley: fraud, conspiracy and dishonest assistance claims by a listed petroleum company against its former CEO and others for alleged bribery in connection with transactions in Ukraine
  • Fifth Street Owner Corp v Rolin: deceit and restitutionary claims brought by a group of US property holding companies against a property advisor for $46 million worth of allegedly false invoices
  • Stirling Mortimer Global Property Fund Ltd v ELS: claims in fraud, contract and dishonest assistance arising out of the misappropriation from a solicitor’s client account of €10 million deposited by a global property investment fund
  • Marlwood v Kozeny [2008] EWHC 1538 (Comm): fraud and conspiracy claims advanced by AIG and other investors in respect of a scheme to invest in Azeri privatisation options

Overview

Company and partnership disputes form a substantial part of David’s practice, particularly as they arise in the commercial context.  He has acted in such disputes in litigation and arbitration, both domestically and abroad.  Such work includes unfair prejudice claims and other shareholder disputes, claims for breach of directors’ duties, claims for frauds on creditors or minorities and partnership dissolution actions.  He has also acted in a number of disputes involving joint ventures.

Notable Cases

Notable cases include:

  • BTI v Sequana [2019] 1 BCLC 347, [2017] EWHC 1339 (Ch), [2017] EWHC 211 (Ch), [2016] EWHC 1686 (Ch): multi-million Euro claim to claw back allegedly unlawful dividend distributions in order to satisfy potential indemnity liabilities arising out of environmental contamination in the US.  Now the leading authority on directors’ duties in the zone of insolvency
  • Asturion Fondation v Alibrahim [2020] 1 WLR 1627, [2019] EWHC 274 (Ch): claim by a vehicle holding assets of the Saudi royal family to set aside a transfer for want of authority on the part of one of its board members; now the leading authority on “warehousing” abuse of process
  • Reyl & Cie SA v LK Bennett Group Ltd: claims under s.423 IA 1986 and in conspiracy arising out of the restructuring of the group owning and operating the well-known shoe and fashion retailer
  • Re SAB Miller: advice in connection with the US$121bn takeover of SAB Miller by AB InBev (the largest ever in the brewing industry)
  • Berezovsky v Abramovich, Hine & Ors [2012] EWHC 2463 (Comm), [2011] EWHC 1776 (Ch), [2011] EWHC 1716 (Ch), [2010] EWHC 2044 (Ch): two related multi-billion pound proceedings arising out of an alleged investment joint venture, in which David represented the former fund managers
  • Boghani v Nathoo [2011] 2 BCLC 704: dissolution action concerning a branded hotel partnership, with a leading decision on the application of s.38 of the Partnership Act 1890. 
  • Heron Quays v Administrators of Lehman Brothers Ltd: dispute in the administration of Lehman Brothers as to the administrators’ liability to pay rent for the bank’s flagship Canary Wharf office
  • Numerous unfair prejudice and minority shareholder claims, including Re VK Com (unfair prejudice and breach of shareholder agreement claims arising from the alleged diversion of opportunities from the group owning the VKontake Russian social network), Re Northacre plc (derivative proceedings for breach of directors’ duties concerning an AIM-listed property development company), Rothschild v Bumi Plc (unfair prejudice proceedings brought by the well-known financier relating to alleged defalcations at the FTSE-listed mining conglomerate), Re Beck Group plc (unfair prejudice proceedings involving a group specialising in museum fit-outs) and Moher v Ashley (unfair prejudice and constructive trust claims in connection with the exploitation by Mike Ashley of the Lonsdale brand of sportswear)
  • Numerous other claims arising out of the breakdown of partnerships and joint ventures, particularly those engaged in property development, including Grainmarket Asset Management, Reuben v Ruimy, Newmarket Holdings v Confiance and Adler v Adler

Overview

David is called to the Bar in the British Virgin Islands and has acted in offshore disputes there, in the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Jersey, Guernsey and Singapore.  A lot of his offshore work is in fraud, company and trust disputes, as well as in the obtaining or resisting of interlocutory relief securing assets situated in one jurisdiction in aid of substantive proceedings in another.

Notable Cases

Notable cases include:

  • Convoy Collateral v Cho: freezing order proceedings in the BVI ancillary to a substantial fraud claim in Hong Kong. Now the leading Court of Appeal authority on whether freezing orders in aid of foreign proceedings can be served out of the jurisdiction
  • R&S Trust: claims before BVI Courts in relation to the alleged fabrication of a trust in order to seize control of a substantial Ukrainian business group from a deceased business partner
  • Re NWVF: proceedings in Gibraltar and the BVI relating to a fund holding assets associated with Boris Berezovsky and Badri Patarkatsishvili
  • Investec Trust (Guernsey) Ltd v Glenalla Properties Ltd: claims in Guernsey to recover the proceeds of loans made by the Icelandic bank Kaupthing to trust companies holding investments associated with the Tchenguiz brothers
  • Deutsche Bank (Nominees): advising Jersey trustee and nominee shareholders of a feeder fund in connection with exposures to the Madoff ponzi scheme fraud
  • In re St Paul’s Trust: claims arising out of trust investments in New York derivative instruments that ceased trading following the 2008 banking collapse
  • In re the Phi Settlement: proceedings seeking Court sanction for the division of a substantial Jersey trust
  • In re Baltic Partners Limited: unfair prejudice and derivative claims in the Royal Court of Jersey relating to investments in certain German properties
  • In re Internine and Intertraders Trusts: breach of trust proceedings in the Royal Court of Jersey relating to certain Saudi family trusts

Overview

David has extensive experience of litigating issues relating to insolvency and restructuring, particularly as they arise in the context of wider commercial disputes. 

Notable Cases

Notable cases include:

  • Tillman v Lloyds & Better Capital: claim in conspiracy by the former owner of Jaeger and Aquascutum against firms involved in the restructuring and rescue of the businesses
  • BTI v Sequana [2019] 1 BCLC 347, [2017] EWHC 1339 (Ch), [2017] EWHC 211 (Ch), [2016] EWHC 1686 (Ch): multi-million Euro claim to claw back allegedly unlawful dividend distributions in order to satisfy potential indemnity liabilities arising out of environmental contamination in the US.  Now the leading authority on directors’ duties in the zone of insolvency
  • Reyl & Cie SA v LK Bennett Group Ltd: claims under s.423 IA 1986 and in conspiracy arising out of the restructuring of the group owning and operating the well-known shoe and fashion retailer
  • Erste Group Bank v JSC VMZ Red October [2015] EWCA Civ 379, [2013] EWHC 2926 (Comm): successful defence (on jurisdiction grounds) of conspiracy and s.423 IA 1986 claims by an Austrian bank against state-owned Russian steel companies
  • Equitable Life v Ernst & Young, Bowley & Ors [2005] EWHC 722 (Comm): David acted unled for Roy Ranson, the former MD and Appointed Actuary of Equitable Life, at the trial of its £3.3bn professional negligence and breach of directors’ duties claim against its former auditors, Appointed Actuary and Board, arising out of the collapse of the Society

Overview

David has acted in a number of professional negligence claims, particularly defending auditors and financial services advisers in connection with commercial transactions. 

Notable Cases

Notable cases include:

  • Topping Chance v CCIF: audit negligence claims in relation to a food exporting business operating out of Hong Kong, China and the Bahamas
  • AngloStarlite v NCMF: audit and actuarial negligence claims in Hong Kong for in excess of HK$1 billion arising out of the collapse of a motor insurer
  • Makar v PricewaterhouseCoopers [2011] EWHC 3835 (Comm): striking out of an audit negligence claim by a director on the grounds of lack of a duty of care (and subsequent strike-out of related claims at [2012] EWHC 3681 (Comm))
  • Scottish & Newcastle plc v PricewaterhouseCoopers: professional negligence claim in relation to management consultancy advice given on the restructuring of the S&N distribution network
  • Gregson v HAE Trustees [2008] 2 BCLC 542: leading case on the availability of a “dog-leg” claim by beneficiaries of a trust directly against the directors of the trustee company in relation to management of the trust investments
  • Finlan v Eyton Morris Winfield (a firm) [2007] 4 All ER 143: professional negligence claim against corporate finance advisers and solicitors in connection with a management buy-in
  • Equitable Life v Ernst & Young, Bowley & Ors [2005] EWHC 722 (Comm): David acted unled for Roy Ranson, the former MD and Appointed Actuary of Equitable Life, at the trial of its £3.3bn professional negligence and breach of directors’ duties claim against its former auditors, Appointed Actuary and Board, arising out of the collapse of the Society.

Overview

David has acted for auction houses in a number of claims concerning alleged forgery of artworks, misrepresentations as to provenance and disputes over ownership. 

Directory quotes

Chambers UK
Chancery: Commercial

“Very good and commercially very switched on. Despite his standing, he also has a lot of time for juniors and pupils." "He is really, really bright, very analytical and highly impressive.” (2022)

Chambers UK
Fraud: Civil

“David is so articulate and has the ear of the court, making him capable of arguing the most difficult points. He can make any argument sound reasonable and is absolutely tremendous." "His written advocacy is superb and he's got a mind like a steel trap. He's a real intellectual with a brain the size of a planet and his submissions are wonderful. He's meticulous in his preparation.” (2022)

Chambers UK
Commercial Dispute Resolution

“Extremely able technically and someone who has an unusual ability to understand the clients' commercial objectives.” (2022)

 

Chambers UK
Offshore

“He's not only brilliantly clever but he's so nice to work with and collaborative.” (2022)

Chambers UK
Banking and Finance

“He is very calm, clear and a very good team player." "He is excellent.” (2022)

Chambers UK
Company

“He has a gift for understanding the client's commercial objectives.” (2022)

Chambers UK
Partnership

“Very calm and highly analytical, he gets the ear of the court." "An assured performer with a gentle advocacy style, who is very easy to work with.” (2022)

Legal 500 UK
Fraud: Civil

“A very considered and knowledgeable silk who knows how to run and win complex cases at trial.” (2022)

Legal 500 UK
Commercial Litigation

“An exceptionally measured and impressive advocate who commands the respect of the court.” (2022)

Legal 500 UK
Offshore

“An incredibly knowledgeable team player, he rolls up his sleeves to get into the meat and details and leads from the front.” (2022)

Legal 500 UK
Company

“Extremely calm and methodical in approach, David considers all aspects of a case at the outset.” (2022)

Chambers UK
Chancery: Commercial

“He very calm and measured - he's so sophisticated in his approach." "A very effective operator who truly knows the law. He can marshal the details of the case brilliantly and is a very, very safe pair of hands.” (2021)

Chambers UK
Fraud: Civil

“He is very bright and provides clear advice." "The quality of his written work is very high." "He is excellent - cool, calm and collected and always on top of the papers.” (2021)

Chambers UK
Commercial Dispute Resolution

“A popular choice in the commercial field, he's a very clever barrister with a wonderful advocacy style, who is a wonderful team player.” (2021)

Chambers UK
Offshore

“He is an extremely able advocate - incredibly hard-working and very, very good.” (2021)

Chambers UK
Banking and Finance

“I marvel at the elegance with which he presents extremely complicated cases." "A fantastic, creative barrister, dogged and very hard-working. He'll go very far for his clients.” (2021)

Chambers UK
Company

“He's technically brilliant, very conscientious and passionate about his work.” (2021)

Chambers UK
Partnership

“Very engaged and knows what he is doing. He provides exactly what the client wants and needs.” (2021)

Legal 500 UK
Fraud: Civil

“Very clever and hard working – covers all bases and ensures all cases are extremely well-prepared before trial.” (2021)

Legal 500 UK
Commercial Litigation

“A highly cerebral, thoughtful advisor, and a real asset on any team.” (2021)

Legal 500 UK
Offshore

“An amazing advocate who can change the weather in a hearing.” (2021)

Legal 500 UK
Company

“Highly cerebral, thoughtful advisor. A real asset on any team.” (2021)

Chambers UK
Chancery: Commercial

“He's absolutely excellent; a very clear thinker and a sensible adviser." "He's collaborative, great at working as part of a team, very diligent and a good tactical thinker.” (2020)

Chambers UK
Fraud: Civil

“An impressive advocate who is not afraid to tell you how it is." "Has a great brain and is an absolute pleasure to work with." "A tremendously cerebral barrister and an extremely clever person.” (2020)

Chambers UK
Commercial Dispute Resolution

“It's great to watch David Mumford work because he's so measured and calm; there's no drama, just forensic analysis, and he commands respect." "He's one of the cleverest around.” (2020)

Chambers UK
Offshore

“Very bright and able." "His advice is very thoughtful.” (2020)

Chambers UK
Banking and Finance

“Great at working as part of a team, he's very diligent and a good tactical thinker." "He is really good on his feet and a fine all-round advocate.” (2020)

Chambers UK
Company

“David's got a very good eye for the key points in a case and is a great advocate. He has a very understated but effective manner with judges.” (2020)

Chambers UK
Partnership

“He's great at working as part of a team, very diligent and a good tactical thinker.” (2020)

Legal 500 UK
Company

“He is a first-rate lawyer and an astute litigator.” (2020)

Legal 500 UK
Fraud: Civil

“A first-rate lawyer and an astute litigator as well as a tenacious advocate.” (2020)

Chambers UK
Banking and Finance

“Extremely bright, very hard-working and very articulate." "If you want someone with a great legal brain who just gets on with it and is a pleasure to work with, he's your guy.” (2019)

Chambers UK
Company

“He is an excellent advocate, who is client-friendly and approachable.” (2019)

Chambers UK
Partnership

“Excellent advocate who is client-friendly and approachable.” (2019)

Chambers UK
Chancery: Commercial

“Very calm as an advocate, he gives an air of assurance in court. He is bright, assured and effective." "A very cerebral advocate whose thoughtfulness comes across in his submissions.” (2019)

Chambers UK
Fraud: Civil

“Very measured in his approach. He has a great legal brain." "Easy to deal with and a smooth performer in front of a tribunal.” (2019)

Chambers UK
Commercial Dispute Resolution

“Has an excellent manner in addressing the court, and can see through the detail to get to the key points." "He has a strong eye for detail coupled with an excellent strategic view, and he's very user-friendly.” (2019)

Legal 500 UK
Company

“He is an astute litigator who anticipates problems well in advance and devises winning solutions.” (2019)

Legal 500 UK
Offshore

“Very astute and a safe pair of hands – he never lets solicitors down.” (2019)

Chambers UK
Banking and Finance

“Has an amazing breadth of knowledge, is extremely clever and is an excellent advocate." "He's very strong analytically and very good in court.” (2018)

Chambers UK
Chancery: Commercial

“Intellectually on a level above most people in this game." "In ten years' time, he'll be at the very pinnacle of the profession. He's a clever man, and his written work is so beautifully written it's incredible.” (2018)

Chambers UK
Commercial Dispute Resolution

“Has a strong eye for detail coupled with an excellent view on strategy." "Able to deal with the most complex cases, he has terrific client and courtroom skills.” (2018)

Chambers UK
Fraud: Civil

“A relatively young silk but he is brilliant. One of the finest minds at the Bar at the moment." "Superb analysis.” (2018)

Chambers UK
Company

“A lawyer with an outstanding legal mind, who is a very impressive strategist. On his feet, he is unflappable and very authoritative.” (2018)

Chambers UK
Partnership

“His eye-wateringly quick reaction time and thoughtful, intelligent and strategic approach make him a dream to work with.” (2018)

Chambers UK
Art & Cultural Property Law

“He is brilliant at everything he turns his hand to." "Great at getting to the heart of issues when handling big complex matters and also great with the clients. He tells them things in a way they can understand rather than blinding them with technical analysis.” (2018)

Chambers UK
Chancery: Commercial

“He is just superb and it is unsurprising that he has taken silk - he is going to be a fantastic QC." "Extraordinary.” (2017)

Chambers UK
Commercial Dispute Resolution

“Has a strong eye for detail coupled with an excellent strategic mind." "He is extremely bright, client-friendly and approachable.” (2017)

Chambers UK
Fraud: Civil

“He's very calm and authoritative." "He is a first-rate advocate whose written work is turned around with amazing speed.” (2017)

Chambers UK
Company

“Very clear and efficient." "Hugely effective, he's no-nonsense and cuts through to the chase.” (2017)

Chambers UK
Partnership

“Very pragmatic, practical and unflappable, and always in charge of the brief.” (2017)

Chambers UK
Offshore

“He can take something very complicated and make it seem straightforward - he is great at getting to the heart of big, complex matters.” (2017)

Chambers UK
Art & Cultural Property Law

“He is a first-rate advocate and his written work is turned around with amazing speed.” (2017)

Legal 500 UK
Banking and Finance

“He is great to work with and always has time to consider your ideas.” (2017)

Legal 500 UK
Commercial Litigation

“A smart advocate and tactician with a disarming style.” (2017)

Legal 500 UK
Company & Partnership

“He is responsive and unerringly accurate in the quality of his advice.” (2017)

Legal 500 UK
Fraud: Civil

“He provides sensible, pragmatic advice based on a detailed appreciation of the case.” (2017)

Legal 500 UK
Professional Negligence

“Thorough and very able.” (2017)

Memberships

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • COMBAR

Qualifications

  • MA (Oxon) First Class
  • Dip Law 

Awards 

  • Chancery Junior of the Year at Chambers Bar Awards 2012

Publications 

 clerks@maitlandchambers.com                                                                  

  +44 (0)20 7406 1200

David Mumford QC

Call: 2000 | Silk: 2016

dmumford@maitlandchambers.com

“Very good and commercially very switched on. Despite his standing, he also has a lot of time for juniors and pupils." "He is really, really bright, very analytical and highly impressive.” (2022)

Chambers UK

Chancery: Commercial

Overview

David specialises in commercial and chancery litigation, including contractual disputes, civil fraud, banking & finance, company & partnership, professional negligence, and claims against trustees and other fiduciaries. He acts as advocate and adviser in proceedings before the English courts, in domestic and international arbitrations, and in proceedings abroad.

David is recommended in the directories in seven different practice areas. Before taking silk, he was the only junior at the Bar to be ranked in the ‘Stars at the Bar’ section of Chambers UK. In 2007 David was featured by the Times as a 'Future Star of the Bar' and in 2012 he was awarded 'Chancery Junior of the Year' at the Chambers Bar Awards. He was shortlisted the following year for ‘Commercial Dispute Resolution Junior of the Year’. In 2014 he was included in the Chambers Bar 100, a listing of the top 100 UK barristers.

David has been involved in a number of the largest and most high-profile commercial disputes of the last 15 years. He successfully represented Roy Ranson, the former Managing Director and Appointed Actuary of Equitable Life, at the trial of the £3.3bn action brought against the Society’s auditors and board as a result of its collapse. He then spent several years acting for the defendant fund managers in the Beresovsky litigation, involving claims in relation to alleged misappropriations of investments made with the prominent Georgian tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvilli running to hundreds of millions of dollars.

More recently, David has appeared in the s.90A FSMA shareholder claims against Tesco plc arising out of its 2014 accounting scandal, the dispute between UC Rusal plc, Roman Abramovich and Vladimir Potanin about their respective stakes in Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s largest mining company, and the €600m dividend claw-back claims in BTI v Sequana, now the leading authority on directors’ duties in the zone of insolvency.

David is recommended in Chambers UK in the following fields: Chancery: Commercial (Band 2); Fraud: Civil (Band 3); Commercial Dispute Resolution (Band 3); Banking & Finance (Band 3); Company (Band 3); Offshore (Band 3); and Partnership (Band 2). He is recommended in The Legal 500 for: Commercial Litigation; Company; Fraud: Civil and Offshore.  David is also recommended in Chambers Global for Commercial Dispute Resolution; Commercial Chancery Dispute Resolution & Offshore (Bar).

David read Greats at Oxford and completed the Diploma in Law at City University. He was a Mansfield Scholar and then a Denning Scholar of Lincoln’s Inn, winning the Buchanan Prize for 2000. At Bar School he won the Croner CCH Company Law Prize and the Scarman Scholarship, for coming top of his year.

David is called to the Bar in the British Virgin Islands.

David is co-editor (with Thomas Grant QC) of the Sweet and Maxwell publication Civil Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure.

Memberships

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • COMBAR

Qualifications

  • MA (Oxon) First Class
  • Dip Law 

Awards 

  • Chancery Junior of the Year at Chambers Bar Awards 2012

Publications 

Commercial Disputes

Much of David’s practice comprises commercial litigation, including claims under business agreements (warranty and indemnity claims under share or business sale agreements being a staple), claims for breaches of fiduciary and other duties owed in connection with commercial arrangements (for example, in joint ventures), claims for fraud in the commercial arena and claims for the infringement of shareholder and other investor rights. 

Notable cases include:

  • Travelport v Wex [2020] EWHC 1960 (Comm): dispute about the applicability to the Covid-19 pandemic of a “Material Adverse Effect” clause in an agreement for the US$1.7bn acquisition of a travel payments business
  • SL Claimants, Omers, Manning & Napier v Tesco plc [2020] EWHC 2106 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 3312 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 3315 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 2858 (Ch): claims in fraud under s.90A FSMA brought by various institutional investors against the well-known retailer in relation to the accounting scandal which broke in 2014
  • UC Rusal plc v Crispian Investments Ltd [2018] EWHC 2415 (Comm): successful claim to prevent Roman Abramovich selling down his $1bn stake in Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s largest mining company
  • Guardian News & Media v Rubicon Project: defending a provider of online advertising services from claims by the well-known newspaper that it had taken undisclosed commissions
  • Cepia HK v The Character Group [2016] EWHC 3133 (Comm): successful defence of claims to enforce an option to acquire shares in a distributor of well-known toy brands
  • Berezovsky v Abramovich, Hine & Ors [2012] EWHC 2463 (Comm), [2011] EWHC 1776 (Ch), [2011] EWHC 1716 (Ch), [2010] EWHC 2044 (Ch): two related multi-billion pound proceedings arising out of an alleged investment joint venture, in which David represented the former fund managers
  • Masri v Consolidated Contractors International Company SAL [2011] EWHC 1780 (Comm): successful defence (on jurisdiction grounds) of conspiracy and procurement of breach of contract claims arising out of the alleged non-payment of judgment debts exceeding US$75 million
  • In re the Buncefield Incident (2009) 2 Lloyd's Rep 1: claims in the Commercial Court in negligence, nuisance and Rylands v Fletcher arising out of the explosion at the Buncefield oil terminal
  • Numerous warranty and indemnity claims arising out of business and share sale agreements, including Cabot v Faccenda Investments (warranty claims relating to the sale of a debt recovery business), Lyondell Basell v Shell Petroleum NV (claims under an environmental contamination indemnity following the sale of a number of petrochemical facilities), Infinity Invest v Caffe Nero (claims to recover escrow monies held following the sale of part of the well-known coffee chain), Ageas (UK) Ltd v Kwik-Fit (GB) Ltd [2013] EWHC 3261 (QB) (warranty claims concerning the accounting treatment of a debt purchase facility) and Telekom Slovenije v Cosmote (warranty claims relating to the sale of one of Macedonia’s largest mobile telecoms operators)

Banking & Financial Services

David has acted in a range of banking and finance related matters, both in the High Court and in domestic and international arbitrations, including complex debt recovery actions, enforcement of securities, disputes over securitisations and bond issues, and the financing of government contracts.  

Notable cases include: 

  • Qatar v Banque Havilland [2020] EWHC 1248 (Comm): claims in conspiracy arising out of an alleged international scheme to manipulate the value of Qatari currency and bonds
  • Various banks v D & Ors: LCIA arbitration claims to enforce complex debt and security instruments against emerging market borrowers alleging frustration due to military unrest
  • Canary Wharf Finance II v Deutsche Trustee Co [2016] EWHC 100 (Comm): dispute over redemption premia payable under notes issued as part of the securitisation of the Canary Wharf estate
  • Erste Group Bank v JSC VMZ Red October [2015] EWCA Civ 379, [2013] EWHC 2926 (Comm): successful defence (on jurisdiction grounds) of conspiracy and s.423 IA 1986 claims by an Austrian bank against state-owned Russian steel companies
  • CHC Scotia v RBPIL: defending Royal Bank of Scotland in claims resulting from the failure of a consortium to secure a government contract for the provision of helicopter search and rescue services
  • Cinnamon European Structured Credit Master Fund v BCP SA [2009] EWHC 3381: jurisdiction challenge and contractual claims in connection with the securitisation of a €1.5bn portfolio of Portuguese mortgages
  • A number of other claims (in the Commercial Court and in LCIA, ICC and SIAC arbitrations) to enforce debts and amounts due under commercial contracts, including F&I v VirosatPiemonte v Samsung Heavy Industries, Rabobank v Shree Renunka Sugars and ARM v Roeslani

Civil Fraud & Asset Recovery

David is co-editor of a leading textbook on Civil Fraud (Civil Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure, Sweet & Maxwell) and has appeared in many leading fraud cases in the commercial context.  He has experience in bringing and defending claims in deceit, conspiracy, bribery, breach of fiduciary duty and statutory frauds (e.g. s.90A FSMA and s.423 IA 1986), as well as in obtaining and resisting the interlocutory relief that is so often decisive in such claims (freezing orders, search orders etc.). 

Notable cases include:

  • SL Claimants, Omers, Manning & Napier v Tesco plc [2020] EWHC 2106 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 3312 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 3315 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 2858 (Ch): claims in fraud under s.90A FSMA brought by various institutional investors against the well-known retailer in relation to the accounting scandal which broke in 2014
  • Qatar v Banque Havilland [2020] EWHC 1248 (Comm): claims in conspiracy arising out of an alleged international scheme to manipulate the value of Qatari currency and bonds
  • Conway v Eze: [2018] EWHC 29 (Ch), [2018] EWHC 1569 (Ch): claim to set aside a contract to acquire a high value London residence on the grounds of bribery
  • State Bank of India v Mallya & Ors: David acted for companies allegedly holding assets for the prominent entrepreneur (behind Kingfisher and the Force India F1 team) in relation to various “Chabra” orders obtained against them
  • Asia Resource Minerals plc: David acted for the FTSE-listed mining conglomerate in a number of matters arising out of alleged financial irregularities and misappropriations, including a successful SIAC arbitration
  • OSL v BCG: defending brokers against dishonest assistance claims brought by a Russian private bank defrauded by certain of its employees
  • Ikon International v Ikon Finance: Commercial Court and arbitration proceedings concerning alleged frauds and diversions of profits in a foreign exchange trading joint venture
  • MWP v Sinclair [2012] EWHC 2560 (Comm): conspiracy and dishonest assistance claims brought against third parties allegedly implicated in the diversion of corporate opportunities from a Kazakh firm concerned in natural resources transactions
  • ITS Ltd v Pitt Capital Partners Ltd: claims in conspiracy and dishonest assistance arising out of the alleged fraudulent misapplication of £52 million from certain UK pension schemes
  • Jennington International Inc v Assaubayev [2010] EWHC 2351 (Ch): US$500 million fraud action brought by a Russian gold mining conglomerate concerning the sale of a gold mining business in Kazakhstan
  • Cadogan Petroleum plc v Tolley: fraud, conspiracy and dishonest assistance claims by a listed petroleum company against its former CEO and others for alleged bribery in connection with transactions in Ukraine
  • Fifth Street Owner Corp v Rolin: deceit and restitutionary claims brought by a group of US property holding companies against a property advisor for $46 million worth of allegedly false invoices
  • Stirling Mortimer Global Property Fund Ltd v ELS: claims in fraud, contract and dishonest assistance arising out of the misappropriation from a solicitor’s client account of €10 million deposited by a global property investment fund
  • Marlwood v Kozeny [2008] EWHC 1538 (Comm): fraud and conspiracy claims advanced by AIG and other investors in respect of a scheme to invest in Azeri privatisation options

Company, Partnerships & LLPs

Company and partnership disputes form a substantial part of David’s practice, particularly as they arise in the commercial context.  He has acted in such disputes in litigation and arbitration, both domestically and abroad.  Such work includes unfair prejudice claims and other shareholder disputes, claims for breach of directors’ duties, claims for frauds on creditors or minorities and partnership dissolution actions.  He has also acted in a number of disputes involving joint ventures.

Notable cases include:

  • BTI v Sequana [2019] 1 BCLC 347, [2017] EWHC 1339 (Ch), [2017] EWHC 211 (Ch), [2016] EWHC 1686 (Ch): multi-million Euro claim to claw back allegedly unlawful dividend distributions in order to satisfy potential indemnity liabilities arising out of environmental contamination in the US.  Now the leading authority on directors’ duties in the zone of insolvency
  • Asturion Fondation v Alibrahim [2020] 1 WLR 1627, [2019] EWHC 274 (Ch): claim by a vehicle holding assets of the Saudi royal family to set aside a transfer for want of authority on the part of one of its board members; now the leading authority on “warehousing” abuse of process
  • Reyl & Cie SA v LK Bennett Group Ltd: claims under s.423 IA 1986 and in conspiracy arising out of the restructuring of the group owning and operating the well-known shoe and fashion retailer
  • Re SAB Miller: advice in connection with the US$121bn takeover of SAB Miller by AB InBev (the largest ever in the brewing industry)
  • Berezovsky v Abramovich, Hine & Ors [2012] EWHC 2463 (Comm), [2011] EWHC 1776 (Ch), [2011] EWHC 1716 (Ch), [2010] EWHC 2044 (Ch): two related multi-billion pound proceedings arising out of an alleged investment joint venture, in which David represented the former fund managers
  • Boghani v Nathoo [2011] 2 BCLC 704: dissolution action concerning a branded hotel partnership, with a leading decision on the application of s.38 of the Partnership Act 1890. 
  • Heron Quays v Administrators of Lehman Brothers Ltd: dispute in the administration of Lehman Brothers as to the administrators’ liability to pay rent for the bank’s flagship Canary Wharf office
  • Numerous unfair prejudice and minority shareholder claims, including Re VK Com (unfair prejudice and breach of shareholder agreement claims arising from the alleged diversion of opportunities from the group owning the VKontake Russian social network), Re Northacre plc (derivative proceedings for breach of directors’ duties concerning an AIM-listed property development company), Rothschild v Bumi Plc (unfair prejudice proceedings brought by the well-known financier relating to alleged defalcations at the FTSE-listed mining conglomerate), Re Beck Group plc (unfair prejudice proceedings involving a group specialising in museum fit-outs) and Moher v Ashley (unfair prejudice and constructive trust claims in connection with the exploitation by Mike Ashley of the Lonsdale brand of sportswear)
  • Numerous other claims arising out of the breakdown of partnerships and joint ventures, particularly those engaged in property development, including Grainmarket Asset Management, Reuben v Ruimy, Newmarket Holdings v Confiance and Adler v Adler

International & Offshore

David is called to the Bar in the British Virgin Islands and has acted in offshore disputes there, in the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Jersey, Guernsey and Singapore.  A lot of his offshore work is in fraud, company and trust disputes, as well as in the obtaining or resisting of interlocutory relief securing assets situated in one jurisdiction in aid of substantive proceedings in another.

Notable cases include:

  • Convoy Collateral v Cho: freezing order proceedings in the BVI ancillary to a substantial fraud claim in Hong Kong. Now the leading Court of Appeal authority on whether freezing orders in aid of foreign proceedings can be served out of the jurisdiction
  • R&S Trust: claims before BVI Courts in relation to the alleged fabrication of a trust in order to seize control of a substantial Ukrainian business group from a deceased business partner
  • Re NWVF: proceedings in Gibraltar and the BVI relating to a fund holding assets associated with Boris Berezovsky and Badri Patarkatsishvili
  • Investec Trust (Guernsey) Ltd v Glenalla Properties Ltd: claims in Guernsey to recover the proceeds of loans made by the Icelandic bank Kaupthing to trust companies holding investments associated with the Tchenguiz brothers
  • Deutsche Bank (Nominees): advising Jersey trustee and nominee shareholders of a feeder fund in connection with exposures to the Madoff ponzi scheme fraud
  • In re St Paul’s Trust: claims arising out of trust investments in New York derivative instruments that ceased trading following the 2008 banking collapse
  • In re the Phi Settlement: proceedings seeking Court sanction for the division of a substantial Jersey trust
  • In re Baltic Partners Limited: unfair prejudice and derivative claims in the Royal Court of Jersey relating to investments in certain German properties
  • In re Internine and Intertraders Trusts: breach of trust proceedings in the Royal Court of Jersey relating to certain Saudi family trusts

Insolvency & Restructuring

David has extensive experience of litigating issues relating to insolvency and restructuring, particularly as they arise in the context of wider commercial disputes. 

Notable cases include:

  • Tillman v Lloyds & Better Capital: claim in conspiracy by the former owner of Jaeger and Aquascutum against firms involved in the restructuring and rescue of the businesses
  • BTI v Sequana [2019] 1 BCLC 347, [2017] EWHC 1339 (Ch), [2017] EWHC 211 (Ch), [2016] EWHC 1686 (Ch): multi-million Euro claim to claw back allegedly unlawful dividend distributions in order to satisfy potential indemnity liabilities arising out of environmental contamination in the US.  Now the leading authority on directors’ duties in the zone of insolvency
  • Reyl & Cie SA v LK Bennett Group Ltd: claims under s.423 IA 1986 and in conspiracy arising out of the restructuring of the group owning and operating the well-known shoe and fashion retailer
  • Erste Group Bank v JSC VMZ Red October [2015] EWCA Civ 379, [2013] EWHC 2926 (Comm): successful defence (on jurisdiction grounds) of conspiracy and s.423 IA 1986 claims by an Austrian bank against state-owned Russian steel companies
  • Equitable Life v Ernst & Young, Bowley & Ors [2005] EWHC 722 (Comm): David acted unled for Roy Ranson, the former MD and Appointed Actuary of Equitable Life, at the trial of its £3.3bn professional negligence and breach of directors’ duties claim against its former auditors, Appointed Actuary and Board, arising out of the collapse of the Society

Professional Negligence

David has acted in a number of professional negligence claims, particularly defending auditors and financial services advisers in connection with commercial transactions. 

Notable cases include:

  • Topping Chance v CCIF: audit negligence claims in relation to a food exporting business operating out of Hong Kong, China and the Bahamas
  • AngloStarlite v NCMF: audit and actuarial negligence claims in Hong Kong for in excess of HK$1 billion arising out of the collapse of a motor insurer
  • Makar v PricewaterhouseCoopers [2011] EWHC 3835 (Comm): striking out of an audit negligence claim by a director on the grounds of lack of a duty of care (and subsequent strike-out of related claims at [2012] EWHC 3681 (Comm))
  • Scottish & Newcastle plc v PricewaterhouseCoopers: professional negligence claim in relation to management consultancy advice given on the restructuring of the S&N distribution network
  • Gregson v HAE Trustees [2008] 2 BCLC 542: leading case on the availability of a “dog-leg” claim by beneficiaries of a trust directly against the directors of the trustee company in relation to management of the trust investments
  • Finlan v Eyton Morris Winfield (a firm) [2007] 4 All ER 143: professional negligence claim against corporate finance advisers and solicitors in connection with a management buy-in
  • Equitable Life v Ernst & Young, Bowley & Ors [2005] EWHC 722 (Comm): David acted unled for Roy Ranson, the former MD and Appointed Actuary of Equitable Life, at the trial of its £3.3bn professional negligence and breach of directors’ duties claim against its former auditors, Appointed Actuary and Board, arising out of the collapse of the Society.

Art

David has acted for auction houses in a number of claims concerning alleged forgery of artworks, misrepresentations as to provenance and disputes over ownership.