Home Barristers David Mumford

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

DM CUK Global 2018

David Mumford QC

Call 2000
Silk 2016


David specialises in commercial and chancery litigation, with recognition in the directories in seven different practice areas. His practice includes general commercial / 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 High Court (particularly the Chancery Division and Commercial Court, and on appeal from them), in domestic and international arbitrations, and in proceedings before courts and tribunals abroad (including the BVI, where he is called).

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

Notable cases

Commercial disputes, business agreements, banking and finance

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

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

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

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.  David has similarly appeared in a number of other proceedings (in the Commercial Court and in LCIA, ICC and SIAC arbitrations) to enforce claims in debt and under commercial contracts, including F&I v Virosat, Piemonte v Samsung Heavy Industries, Rabobank v Shree Renunka Sugars and ARM v Roeslani

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

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

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

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

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

David has also acted in 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).

Civil fraud

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 and partnership

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)

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.  David has acted in 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

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

David has also acted in 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).


Convoy Collateral v Cho: freezing order proceedings in the BVI ancillary to a substantial fraud claim in Hong Kong. Now a 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

Professional and trustee negligence

Topping Chance v CCIF: audit negligence claims in relation to a food exporting business operating out of Honk 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): 6-month Commercial Court trial of the Equitable Life’s £3.3bn professional negligence and breach of directors’ duties claim against its former auditors, Appointed Actuary and Board.  David acted unled for Roy Ranson, the former MD and Appointed Actuary


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

Chancery Bar Association and COMBAR

MA (Oxon) First Class


Chambers UK, 2021

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)
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)
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)
"He is an extremely able advocate - incredibly hard-working and very, very good." (2021)
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)
"He's technically brilliant, very conscientious and passionate about his work." (2021)
"Very engaged and knows what he is doing. He provides exactly what the client wants and needs." (2021)

Legal 500, 2021

Fraud: Civil
"Very clever and hard working – covers all bases and ensures all cases are extremely well-prepared before trial." (2021)
Commercial Litigation
"A highly cerebral, thoughtful advisor, and a real asset on any team." (2021)
"An amazing advocate who can change the weather in a hearing." (2021)
"Highly cerebral, thoughtful advisor. A real asset on any team." (2021)

Chambers UK, 2020

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)
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)
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)
"Very bright and able." "His advice is very thoughtful." (2020)
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)
"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)
"He's great at working as part of a team, very diligent and a good tactical thinker." (2020)

Legal 500, 2020

"He is a first-rate lawyer and an astute litigator." (2020)
Fraud: Civil
"A first-rate lawyer and an astute litigator as well as a tenacious advocate." (2020)

Chambers UK, 2019

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

"He is an astute litigator who anticipates problems well in advance and devises winning solutions." (2019)
"Very astute and a safe pair of hands – he never lets solicitors down." (2019)

Chambers UK, 2018

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)
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)
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)
Fraud: Civil
"A relatively young silk but he is brilliant. One of the finest minds at the Bar at the moment." "Superb analysis." (2018)
"A lawyer with an outstanding legal mind, who is a very impressive strategist. On his feet, he is unflappable and very authoritative." (2018)
"His eye-wateringly quick reaction time and thoughtful, intelligent and strategic approach make him a dream to work with." (2018)
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, 2017

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)
Commercial Dispute Resolution
"Has a strong eye for detail coupled with an excellent strategic mind." "He is extremely bright, client-friendly and approachable." (2017)
Fraud: Civil
"He's very calm and authoritative." "He is a first-rate advocate whose written work is turned around with amazing speed." (2017)
"Very clear and efficient." "Hugely effective, he's no-nonsense and cuts through to the chase." (2017)
"Very pragmatic, practical and unflappable, and always in charge of the brief." (2017)
"He can take something very complicated and make it seem straightforward - he is great at getting to the heart of big, complex matters." (2017)
Art & Cultural Property Law
"He is a first-rate advocate and his written work is turned around with amazing speed." (2017)

Legal 500, 2017

Banking and Finance
"He is great to work with and always has time to consider your ideas." (2017)
Commercial Litigation
"A smart advocate and tactician with a disarming style." (2017)
Company and Partnership
"He is responsive and unerringly accurate in the quality of his advice." (2017)
"He provides sensible, pragmatic advice based on a detailed appreciation of the case." (2017)
Professional Negligence
"Thorough and very able." (2017)

Chambers UK, 2016

Star at the Bar

David Mumford is one of the Bar of England and Wales’ leading juniors. Sources laud his “excellent judgement, versatility and brilliant intellect” and praise him as “a very measured and effective advocate who knows the points to take.” He is the stand-out junior counsel at the commercial chancery Bar and sources are also quick to highlight his expertise in relation to banking and finance, general commercial and civil fraud disputes. He is a junior of choice for almost any high-profile case, and was recently instructed in BAT v Sequana, a claim for USD800 million to recover allegedly unlawful dividend payments. Market commentators struggle to find superlatives to do justice to this “extremely clever and excellent advocate with an amazing breadth of knowledge,” who is acknowledged as “the match of many silks.”