Year of call: 2003
E: dsimpson@3vb.com

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SeniorJuniorsPMs@3vb.com

David specialises in complex and high value litigation in the fields of banking, financial services, civil fraud, commercial disputes and energy. He has been described by commentators as “a standout barrister”, “a really outstanding senior junior” and “a star in banking litigation”.

David has acted in some of the most high-profile banking cases of recent years. Significant results have included the successful defence of a major Swiss bank in a series of high value mis-selling claims, judgment for the lead claimant bank in the multi-billion dollar Algosaibi litigation and securing declarations on issues of private international law for the Argentine Exchange Bondholders. He has also appeared in two of the leading recent authorities on the law of restitution in the context of mistaken payments.

David has acted in commercial disputes arising from a broad range of industries including commodities, minerals, pharmaceuticals, engineering, insurance and reinsurance. He has extensive experience of complex financial products including retail derivatives, interest rate swaps, structured products, CDOs, contracts for differences, tax schemes, FX forwards, collective investment schemes, trade finance and Islamic financial products. Many of his cases have involved conflict of laws issues, interlocutory relief and allegations of fraud. He also has a developing practice in energy and natural resources.

David is recognised as a leading junior in the field of financial services. He has worked extensively with regulatory bodies at home and abroad including the Financial Services Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Dubai FSA and the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority. He recently acted as the lead draftsman on a project to prepare the regulations and rules required to establish the Astana International Financial Centre.

David speaks fluent French and conversational Arabic.

Before coming to the Bar David worked for the Busoga Trust, a charity which installs clean water sources in rural Uganda.


“One of the leading banking juniors with great industry knowledge.”

Legal 500 UK 2014

“He’s fantastically analytical and always brings a cool, calm head to any situation; he’s a really outstanding senior junior.”

Chambers & Partners UK 2016

“A star in banking litigation.” (Legal 500 UK 2015)

David’s practice covers disputes in all areas of banking law. He has extensive experience in private, retail and investment banking, sovereign debt, trade finance, corporate finance and secured lending. He has acted in numerous cases involving allegations of fraud and complex issues of restitution. Much of his practice has an international element.

Private Banking

Abdullah v Credit Suisse (UK) Ltd (2017): Acting for Credit Suisse in defending a €33m claim arising out of the sale of index-linked notes. Instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Judgment awaited.

Arizona Investment Holdings v Standard Chartered Bank plc (2015): Acting for Standard Chartered in defending a claim in which it was alleged that the bank had conducted inadequate due diligence into the activities of Bernie Madoff before recommending an investment in a Madoff feeder fund. The claim settled on the eve of trial. Instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Navitech Hellas SA v. Credit Suisse (UK) Ltd (2014): Acting for Credit Suisse in defending a $34m claim brought by the private investment company of a Greek shipping magnate. Led by Adrian Beltrami QC. Instructed by Allen & Overy LLP.

Tsovolos v Credit Suisse (UK) Ltd (2014): Acting for Credit Suisse in defending a claim under section 150 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 arising out of the sale of a structured note issued by Lehman Brothers Inc. The claim was struck out. Instructed by Gibson & Co.

Basma Al Sulaiman v Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Limited [2013] EWHC 400 (Comm): Acting for Credit Suisse in defending a $37m claim arising from the Claimant’s failure to meet a $10m margin call in October 2008 when falls in the value of 23 structured notes resulted in a breach of the loan-to-value covenant under a related lending facility. The Claimant alleged that the notes had been mis-sold and that she had been inadequately warned as to the possible consequences of leveraging her investments. Cooke J, dismissing the claim, held that an adequate explanation of the effect of leverage need not include an estimate of the size of potential margin calls and that the failure to meet the margin call broke the chain of causation between any breach of duty and the loss suffered. Led by Adrian Beltrami QC. Instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Gestmin SGPS SA v Credit Suisse (UK) Ltd [2013] EWHC 3560 (Comm): Acting for Credit Suisse in defending a claim for damages arising out of the sale of a high-risk investment by way of private placement. Leggatt J dismissed the claim and considered (obiter) the date at which a claimant’s loss should be assessed where it has delayed in selling allegedly mis-sold investments. Led by Adrian Beltrami QC. Instructed by Gibson & Co.

Zaki & Ors v Credit Suisse (UK) Ltd (2011): Acting for Credit Suisse in defending a $70m claim arising out of the sale of ten structured notes. Teare J dismissed the claim on the grounds that even though one of the notes was unsuitable for the Claimants, they would have purchased them anyway, regardless of any advice provided by the bank. The case also considered the relevance of failures of process in claims based on “unsuitability”. The judgement was upheld by the Court of Appeal. Led by Adrian Beltrami QC. Instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

Varveris v Credit Suisse (2010): Acting for Credit Suisse in defending a claim for damages arising out of the sale of structured notes, including notes issued by Lehman Brothers. Led by Jonathan Nash QC. Instructed by Gibson & Co.

Credit Suisse (UK) Ltd v Tisun Investments (2008):  Instructed in November 2008 to recover a shortfall arising from the close-out of an investment account following a failure to meet a margin call. Led by Ali Malek QC. Instructed by Gibson & Co.

Retail Banking

Interest rate swaps litigation (2015-2017): Acting for Lloyds Bank plc, HSBC, Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank in defending claims for damages and consequential losses arising from the sale of interest rate hedging products. Instructed variously by Hogan Lovells LLP, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer LLP and Addleshaw Goddard LLP.

Investment Banking

UBS v Elisa Oyg: Acting for UBS in defending a claim brought by a Finish telecoms company relating to the structuring of synthetic CDOs. Instructed by Mayer Brown LLP.

Preparing pleadings in a claim in the Companies Court following the rejection by the administrators of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) of a proof of debt in relation to a claim arising from the purchase of CDOs. The case involved allegations that the CDOs had been designed to fail. Instructed by Fieldfisher.

VTB & Ors v RBS: Instructed in interpleader proceedings in the Chancery Division relating to the operation of an escrow facility in respect of a substantial corporate re-organisation. Instructed by Charles Fussell & Co LLP.

Advising a bond trader in relation to a potential claim against a broker arising out of the improper allocation of trading orders. Instructed by Humphries Kerstetter LLP.

Sovereign Debt

Knighthead Master Fund LP & Ors v The Bank of New York Mellon & Anor [2014] EWHC 3662 (Ch) and [2015] EWHC 270 (Ch): Acting for a group of hedge funds, including George Sorros’s Quantum Partners LP, in proceedings arising from an injunction issued by the Court of the Southern District of New York restraining the Republic of Argentina from making payment under certain Euro-denominated Exchange Bonds unless it concurrently, or in advance, paid all sums outstanding to the Holdout Creditors. Richards J made a declaration to the effect that the sum of €225m transferred by the Republic into an account maintained by the Defendant at Banco  Central  de  la  Republicá Argentina was held on trust by the Defendant and that such trust was governed by English law. Led by Mark Hapgood QC and David Quest QC. Instructed by Reynolds Porter Chamberlain

Trade Finance

British Arab Commercial Bank & Others v Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Company & Others: Acting for the lead Claimant bank in litigation which ultimately involved 118 banks bringing claims totalling around $9 billion. BACB’s claim arose from a guarantee linked to a murabaha trade finance facility intended to provide working capital to AHAB’s business. The Defendant raised defences based upon forgery and an alleged fraud said to have been committed by Maan al Sanea. BACB brought alternative claims in deceit and in restitution on the basis that AHAB was, in any event, primarily liable for the conduct of Mr Al Sanea. During interlocutory proceedings BACB obtained orders for the disclosure of Arabic language documents which ultimately proved decisive. BACB also obtained a third party disclosure order requiring the Wikimedia Foundation in California to disclose information identifying the person who had edited a page on Wikipedia relating to a member of the Algosaibi family to remove reference to a failed banking operation in Bahrain. AHAB abandoned their defence after the openings and consented to judgment and indemnity costs. Led by Greg Mitchell QC. Instructed by Stephenson Harwood LLP.

Pan Afric: Acting for a leading Ugandan coffee trader in 3 parallel sets of tripartite international arbitral proceedings (under the LCIA, ICC and Swiss Rules respectively) arising out of an alleged US$40m fraud in relation to coffee beans in Kampala, Uganda. Led by Matthew Hardwick QC. Instructed by Goodman Derrick LLP.

Corporate Finance

Jafari-Fini v Skillglass Ltd & Ors [2006] EWHC 77 (Ch): Acting for the Defendant financier in a case relating to the takeover of the estate agents, Chestertons. The Court held that the Defendant was entitled under the terms of a Facility Agreement to serve a notice of default and a notice of demand where a “major default” had occurred before the expiry of the Certain Funds Period. The major default in question was the failure to disclose the existence of a £150,000 bribe paid to procure the waiver of a condition which provided that the offer to purchase relevant shares in Chestertons would not be declared unconditional until a level of acceptances of 90 per cent had been reached. The judgment was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal and is a leading authority on bribery and the imputation of knowledge. Led by John Odgers QC. Instructed by Pettman Smith.

Secured Lending

Mortgage Express v Eastbourne Financial Services and others: Preparing pleadings in a claim in deceit against fraudulent and negligent conveyancing solicitors, valuers and other individuals. The alleged fraud involved mortgages taken out on more than 500 properties in the South of England between 2005-2007. Led by Paul Lowenstein QC. Instructed by DWF LLP.

Clydesdale Bank plc v John Workman and others: Preparing pleadings in a claim in dishonest assistance relating to a mortgage fraud. Led by Adrian Beltrami QC. Instructed by Beale & Co.

Restitution / Mistaken Payments

O’Neil v Gale [2013] EWHC 644 (Ch) and [2013] EWCA Civ 1554: Acting for the Claimant in an important case as to the circumstances in which a defence of change of position is available to the recipient of a mistaken payment. The Claimant sought to recover sums paid through the Defendant’s bank account in the context of a fraudulent investment scheme operated by the Defendant’s husband. David Donaldson QC sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge held that the Claimant was entitled to restitution on the grounds of mistaken payment. The Court also found that the Defendant was not entitled to a defence of change of position, despite having paid the monies away, on the grounds that, in doing so, she had aided and abetted the carrying on of a collective investment scheme in criminal breach of section 19 of FSMA 2000. The Court of Appeal (Laws, Jackson, Vos LJJ) upheld the judgment at first instance, holding that the fact that the Defendant was unaware that she was acting in breach of FSMA was irrelevant to the availability of the defence of change of position. Instructed by Brett Wilson LLP.

Jones v Churcher & Anor [2009] 2 Lloyd's Rep 94:  Acting for Abbey National in a leading case as to the circumstances in which a bank will be deemed to have knowledge that a CHAPS payment has been made by mistake. HHJ Havelock Allen held that pursuant to arrangements between Abbey National and Citibank plc, whereby Citibank provided access to the Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS), Citibank was the agent of Abbey National for the purpose of sending and receiving SWIFT messages relating to CHAPS transfers. As a result receipt by Citibank of a message from the payer’s bank was receipt by Abbey National, even though onward transmission of that message to Abbey National was garbled. Instructed by DLA Piper.

Publications

Banking Litigation (4th Ed, 2017): contributor to chapter on Complex Lending Structures

Pagets Law of Banking (14th Ed., 2015): co-author of chapters on Banking Regulation and Retail Derivatives

Encyclopaedia of Banking Law (ed. Mr Justice Blair): author of chapter on Capital Adequacy

Documentary Credits, Jack, Malek & Quest (4th Ed; 2009): author of chapter on electronic documentary credits

Presentations

Interest Rate Swaps Update 2015 (presentation to Simmons & Simmons)

Introduction to Islamic Finance (presentations to Freshfields Bruckhaus Derringer and Lawrence Graham LLP)

Introduction to the Bribery Act 2010 (3rd Annual Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering Seminar, 2011 hosted by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency in Riyadh)

Countering Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (1st Annual Compliance and Anti-Money Laundering Seminar, 2009 hosted by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency in Riyadh)

David regularly acts in cases involving allegations of fraud, particularly in the field of banking. Notable cases include:

British Arab Commercial Bank & Others v Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Company & Others: Acting for the lead Claimant bank in litigation which ultimately involved 118 banks bringing claims totalling around $9 billion. BACB’s claim arose from a guarantee linked to a murabaha trade finance facility intended to provide working capital to AHAB’s business. The Defendant raised defences based upon forgery and an alleged fraud said to have been committed by Maan al Sanea. BACB brought alternative claims in deceit and in restitution on the basis that AHAB was, in any event, primarily liable for the conduct of Mr Al Sanea. During interlocutory proceedings BACB obtained orders for the disclosure of Arabic language documents which ultimately proved decisive. BACB also obtained a third party disclosure requiring the Wikimedia Foundation in California to disclose information identifying the person who had edited a page on Wikipedia relating to a member of the Algosaibi family to remove reference to a failed banking operation in Bahrain. AHAB abandoned their defence after the openings and consented to judgment and indemnity costs. Led by Greg Mitchell QC. Instructed by Stephenson Harwood LLP.

Pan Afric: Acting for a leading Ugandan coffee trader in 3 parallel sets of tripartite international arbitral proceedings (under the LCIA, ICC and Swiss Rules respectively) arising out of an alleged US$40m fraud in relation to coffee beans in Kampala, Uganda. Led by Matthew Hardwick QC. Instructed by Goodman Derrick LLP.

Jafari-Fini v Skillglass Ltd & Ors [2006] EWHC 77 (Ch): Acting for the Defendant financier in a case relating to the takeover of the estate agents, Chestertons. The Court held that the Defendant was entitled under the terms of a Facility Agreement to serve a notice of default and a notice of demand where a “major default” had occurred before the expiry of the Certain Funds Period. The major default in question was the failure to disclose the existence of a £150,000 bribe paid to procure the waiver of a condition which provided that the offer to purchase relevant shares in Chestertons would not be declared unconditional until a level of acceptances of 90 per cent had been reached. The judgment was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal and is a leading authority on bribery and the imputation of knowledge. Led by John Odgers QC. Instructed by Pettman Smith.

Mortgage Express v Eastbourne Financial Services and others: Prepared pleadings in a claim in deceit against fraudulent and negligent conveyancing solicitors, valuers and other individuals. The alleged fraud involved mortgages taken out on more than 500 properties in the South of England between 2005-2007. Led by Paul Lowenstein QC. Instructed by DWF LLP.

Clydesdale Bank plc v John Workman and others: Prepared pleadings in a claim in dishonest assistance relating to a mortgage fraud. Led by Adrian Beltrami QC. Instructed by Beale & Co.

O’Neil v Gale [2013] EWHC 644 (Ch) and [2013] EWCA Civ 1554: Acting for the Claimant in an important case as to the circumstances in which a defence of change of position is available to the recipient of a mistaken payment. The Claimant sought to recover sums paid through the Defendant’s bank account in the context of a fraudulent investment scheme operated by the Defendant’s husband. David Donaldson QC sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge held that the Claimant was entitled to restitution on the grounds of mistaken payment. The Court also found that the Defendant was not entitled to a defence of change of position, despite having paid the monies away, on the grounds that, in doing so, she had aided and abetted the carrying on of a collective investment scheme in criminal breach of section 19 of FSMA 2000. The Court of Appeal (Laws, Jackson, Vos LJJ) upheld the judgment at first instance, holding that the fact that the Defendant was unaware that she was acting in breach of FSMA was irrelevant to the availability of the defence of change of position. Instructed by Brett Wilson LLP.

"Leading junior" (Legal 500 UK 2016)

Work with regulators

David has worked with financial services regulators in the UK, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan. Along with extensive knowledge of the UK and European regulatory regime, he has a deep understanding of the special legal issues arising from the creation of common law financial centres within civil law regimes.

Financial Conduct Authority, Bank of England

David was seconded to the General Counsel Division of the Financial Services Authority in 2004-5. He has since been instructed by the FSA, FCA and Bank of England in over a dozen insurance business transfers under Part VII of FSMA 2000.

Qatar Financial Centre

David was seconded to the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority in 2006-7. Based in Doha, he contributed to the drafting of rulebooks dealing with conduct of business and collective investment funds. Between 2011 and 2015, he was instructed by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority to draft a further suite of bespoke rulebooks covering the full gamut of commercial law, including: Arbitration Regulations, Insolvency Rules and Regulations, Companies Rules and Regulations, Foundations Rules and Regulations, Security Regulations, Single Family Office Rules and Regulations and Special Companies Rules and Regulations.

Dubai International Financial Centre

David appeared for the Dubai Financial Services Authority in an injunction application before the DIFC Court under which the regulator sought an order requiring a broker to hand over back up tapes. The application addressed key issues relating to the jurisdiction of the regulator to require regulated firms to take steps outside the physical area of the financial centre.

Astana International Financial Centre

In 2017 David was engaged by the Kazakh Ministry of Justice as lead draftsman in a project to develop a legal framework for the Astana International Financial Centre (the AIFC). In this capacity he was responsible for the drafting of both the high level framework legislation establishing the Centre and the regulator, as well as subordinate legislation facilitating the creation of a new investment exchange (Astana International Exchange) and the development of a capital market. David was also appointed to the Legal Advisory Council which is advising the AIFC authorities on the development of its general legal framework.

Instructions by authorised firms and their customers

David regularly advises authorised firms and their customers on compliance with UK and European financial services regulation. He has also acted in proceedings before both the FCA’s Regulatory Decisions Committee and the AIM Disciplinary Committee.

Representative instructions include:

  • Re [X] (2015): Appearing for an AIM listed mining company in regulatory proceedings before the AIM Disciplinary Committee (instructed by Hogan Lovells LLP).
  • Re Bank of Cyprus: Acting for Bank of Cyprus in an urgent banking business transfer pursuant to which the accounts of over 50,000 UK customers were transferred from Bank of Cyprus Public Company Limited, a Cypriot company, to Bank of Cyprus UK in order for them to enjoy protection under the Financial Services and Compensation Scheme. Led by John Odgers QC. Instructed by Reed Smith LLP.
  • Broderick & Another v Centaur Tipping Service Ltd: summary judgment on breach of the General Prohibition by unauthorised persons operating a collective investment scheme (instructed by Follett Stock).
  • Representing a debt counselling firm in proceedings before the FCA’s Regulatory Decisions Committee.
  • Advising an e-money provider on passporting a card operation into Spain.
  • Advising a pension fund on a possible claim in tort in relation to the construction of a custom share index.
  • Advising a bank on large exposure issues.
  • Advising an investment firm on the capital consequences of issuing new securities.

Publications

Blackstone's Guide to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (ed. Michael Blair QC), Second Edition 2009

David has acted in a wide range of commercial disputes. Representative instructions include:

EuroChem Volga-Kaliy LLC v IMR Management Services Limited & Ors (2015) – mining: pre-action disclosure application in relation to a $112m fraud claim relating to the construction of a potash mine in Siberia (instructed by Latham Watkins LLP).

Al Sagr National Insurance Co V Sc Generali Romania Asigurare Reasigurare (2015) – reinsurance: claim by UAE insurer for payments due under contract of facultative reinsurance; conflict of laws and limitation issues (instructed by Goodman Derrick).

Guerrero & Ors v Monterrico Metals Plc & Anor [2009] EWHC 2475 (QB) and [2010] EWHC 3228 (QB) – mining: freezing injunction restraining planned delisting from AIM; group action relating to a copper mine development in Peru (instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer).

Pan Afric – commodities: LCIA arbitration relating to a coffee processing business in Uganda (instructed by Goodman Derrick).

Konstructor v Alfred Knight – minerals: claim arising from analysis of tantalite in Burundi (instructed by Edwin Coe LLP).

Pfizer Ltd v Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co – pharmaceuticals: multi-billion Yen dispute over a licence to sell anti-hypertension medicine in Japan (instructed by Simmons & Simmons).

Stressed Structural v MacAlloy – engineering: technical dispute involving the construction of Hamad International Airport in Doha (instructed by DLA Piper).

Prestige Motors v AES – joint ventures: breach of JV agreement relating to a Land Rover dealership in Mali (instructed by Osborne Clarke).

Former partners of HLB Kidsons v Lockton – insurance: coverage litigation arising out of the sale of tax schemes (instructed by Streathers).

MRLS – reinsurance: coverage arbitration in respect of thoroughbred bloodstock losses arising in Kentucky.

Re [X] (2015) – representing AIM listed mining company in regulatory proceedings (instructed by Hogan Lovells LLP).

EuroChem Volga-Kaliy LLC v IMR Management Services Limited & Ors (2015) – mining: pre-action disclosure application in relation to a $112m fraud claim relating to the construction of a potash mine in Siberia (instructed by Latham Watkins LLP).

Guerrero & Ors v Monterrico Metals Plc & Anor [2009] EWHC 2475 (QB) and [2010 EWHC 3228 (QB) - mining: group action relating to a copper mine development in Peru (instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer).

Konstructor v Alfred Knight - minerals: claim arising from analysis of tantalite in Burundi (instructed by Edwin Coe LLP).

Presentations