David Allen QC is described by solicitors and clients as a “truly brilliant”, “top quality”, “heavyweight” commercial silk who is “regularly sought out for his formidable advocacy” as well as his “quick, clear and thoughtful advice.“
He is renowned as a strategist and tactician in commercial litigation and as a top echelon advocate who is “spectacular to watch on his feet” being “punchy, robust and assertive” whilst at the same time being “very engaging, very influential and highly persuasive.” His peers rate him highly and have said that he is a ‘one-off’ who “takes innovative points and hits upon cracking ideas that no one else has thought of.”
His expertise in commercial litigation is broad and deep. His clients include domestic and international corporations, oligarchs, shipping magnates and celebrity Olympic athletes. He has been lead counsel in some of the largest commercial law cases involving issues of agency, fraud, copyright, construction (including all aspects of engineering and design), libel, product liability, ship, oil rig and Super-Yacht disputes, commodities transactions, energy, insurance, professional liability, sale of goods, sporting disputes and Share Purchase Agreements.
Most of his cases are subject to English proper law but he is used to dealing with cases which are subject in whole or in part to foreign proper law (most recently Danish and Venezuelan law). He has frequently been asked to provide evidence to foreign courts on questions of English law. David has led other QCs as well as teams of junior barristers on larger cases and acts alone on smaller cases and when advising.
Some examples of recent cases include:
- LCIA arbitration: acting for Austrian listed company in $multi-million dispute with US software supplier
- French Court of Appeal: advising French Court on meaning of English law relating to termination of commercial agency agreement.
- Commercial Court: acting for US company against Nigerian interests securing English jurisdiction, obtaining Freezing Orders, securing Mandatory Injunctions, committing contemnors to prison for contempt of court and denying access to frozen funds in Switzerland for payment of legal costs.
- Commercial Court: acting for a well-known broker in claim against a well-known Super Yacht owner on sale.
- LMAA arbitration: successfully resisting Share Purchase Agreement claim by Russian companies against Ukrainian companies on the sale of steel plants.
- LCIA arbitration: successfully acting for Russian owner of Super Yacht in an action alleging breach of copyright and contract.
- Advising celebrity Olympic athlete on issues of libel and harassment
- Court of Appeal: successfully acting for traders regarding transshipment of cargo at sea
- LCIA arbitration: acting for listed company in $multi-billion dispute concerning oil and gas rights in the middle east
- Commercial Court: resisting action by fraudster for equitable compensation in consequence of improperly obtained Freezing Order
- LCIA arbitration acting for Saudi interests against South American state entity in dispute over offshore drilling contract.
- LCIA Arbitration: acting for Ukrainian interests in SPA case concerning a group factory sale.
David is a quadruple graduate and multiple academic and advocacy award winner. His science qualifications are a bonus in many cases and it is often said that he is someone who “offers extra value by virtue of the fact that he is not only a barrister but also someone with qualifications in material sciences and engineering.”
He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, is frequently appointed as an Arbitrator (sole and panel) and sat as a part-time Judge of the Crown Court for over a decade. His book with Professor Dignam on ‘Company Law and the Human Rights Act’ forms part of the basis of the United Nations Judicial Training Programme.