David is a specialist in international trade law and international commercial dispute resolution. Throughout his career he has developed particular experience of the oil and gas industry and has been involved in several substantial disputes arising from oil exploration projects. He also has extensive experience of joint ventures and construction and infrastructure projects, insurance and reinsurance disputes (particularly in the marine and energy sectors), commodities disputes and disputes involving carriage of goods,. He has been instructed in several cases involving State parties and in various matters involving public international law including claims arising under bilateral investment treaties and disputes involving issues of State Immunity before national courts.
David has particular expertise in the field of international arbitration and has represented clients in numerous arbitrations conducted under various international institutional rules and in ad hoc arbitrations including ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL, LMAA and ICSID. He was one of the first lawyers to conduct an Emergency Arbitration Procedure under the ICC Rules of Arbitration. He also has extensive experience of court proceedings ancillary to arbitration, including applications for interim relief and contested enforcement proceedings. In addition to counsel work David sits as an arbitrator and is appointed to the panel of arbitrators for LCIA (London) CIETAC (Beijing), SCIA (Shenzhen), C.A.A (Taipei) and THAC (Bangkok). He is also a Tribunal Member of the Hong Kong Board of Review (the Hong Kong tax appeals Tribunal).
David has a particular interest in international trade involving China and South East Asia. In the Middle East. He has previously held academic appointments at leading universities in the UK, UAE Hong Kong and PRC, where he was formerly Chair Professor of Law at Jiaotong University, Xi’an P.R.C.
David publishes regularly in the field of international trade law and international arbitration. He has been General Editor of International Arbitration Law Review (Sweet & Maxell) since 1999. He has also been co-author of Schmitthoff, the Law and Practice of International Trade Law (Sweet & Maxwell) since 2007. He regularly presents research at international academic and practitioner conferences and has been involved in various training projects for lawyers and commercial organisations in the field of international arbitration and dispute resolution.
David is a licenced advocate with the DIFC Court and the ADGM Court in the UAE and has experience of conducting significant cases in those courts. He is also a registered foreign lawyer in Hong Kong. He is licensed to represent clients directly under the direct access rules.
David has previously been listed as a “leader at the Bar” in the field of international arbitration by Chambers and Partners.
DIFC/ LCIA Oil Trading Arbitration and related Court Proceedings (2020/21)
Successfully represented a major international oil trading company in recovering US$25 million of fuel oil product which was subject to a number of competing claims. The case involved issues of fraud. Successfully obtained two world wide freezing orders from the DIFC Court against various parties. Successfully represented the client in DIFC/LCIA arbitration proceedings and in parallel proceedings in the DIFC Courts against related parties. The case also involved working with a team of UAE lawyers in coordinating proceedings in various Courts in the UAE, including a reference to the Joint Judicial Committee to resolve alleged conflicts of jurisdiction. (Instructed by Allen & Overy LLP)
UNCITRAL Oil Arbitration- Seat Houston
Successfully defended on behalf of an oil major a claim of over US$200,000,000, in international arbitration proceedings arising out of a Joint Venture oil exploration agreement. The arbitration was heard in Houston before an eminent panel of international arbitrators Drafted most of the submissions and procedural correspondence throughout the case and was given sole responsibility for the jurisdictional aspects of the dispute. Appeared as co- counsel in a team of English and American lawyers and performed about one third of the oral advocacy at the final hearing.
International Distribution Arbitration (LCIA)
Instructed as counsel by an English chemical company in a dispute with an Asian corporation (value $3.5million). The dispute settled following a two day mediation immediately prior to a scheduled two week hearing in Osaka.
Oil Trading Arbitration
Acted in US$15million case involving force majeure following the State seizure of assets belonging to a company related to Yukos oil. (LMAA arbitration)
Instructed as counsel for a French company in a dispute involving and fob contract for the sale of chemicals and the construction of independent inspection certificates. (LMAA arbitration).
Instructed to advise a client in a long term charterparty dispute involving the carriage of coal. The case involved .the interaction of UK, Indian and Singapore law and various aspects of arbitration procedure relating to appointment of arbitrators. The substantive legal issues included the construction of the clauses relating to nomination of vessels and routes and the obligation to declare cargo, repudiation and fundamental breach of contract and aspects of damages law including the doctrine of minimum performance. The dispute also involved the impact of insolvency law on the arbitral process. (Instructed by Dentons London).
LCIA Arbitration London
Instructed to advise a Finnish Company in a dispute arising out of the construction of an oil and gas pipeline. The case involved performance guarantees and construction of a complex international joint venture contract. Claim valued at US$20million)
Instructed by an Indian Company in a long-running dispute with a large English multinational in relation to an infrastructure project in India. The claim involved parallel proceedings and disputes about jurisdiction. The dispute was successfully resolved pursuant to a mediation under the ICC rules of conciliation.
ICC Emergency Arbitrator Proceedings
Represented party in one of the first hearings under the new pre arbitral emergency procedure introduced in the ICC rules 2012. The application was for emergency interim relief in a case involving fraud in a commodities case.
UNCITRAL/ ICC Cases
Advising an investor in claims against a former Soviet Republic in relation to the cancellation of various construction projects. Advising on the conduct of 3 interrelated arbitration claims against States/ State entities and related parties. Counsel in the ICC proceedings. Counsel in pre-action negotiations in the BIT proceedings.
Representing a Chinese manufacturer in arbitration proceedings arising out of a long-term supply agreement. (Instructed by Dentons. Value US$ 18 million).
Instructed to represent a UAE client in ICC proceedings involving the construction and ownership of high value industrial plant (c$500million), the import and export of commodities to the UAE and various associated claims. Worked with a team of English and UAE lawyers. (instructed by Galadari law firm Dubai).
Advisory Work Generally
David is regularly instructed to advise on matters relating to private international law, jurisdiction and arbitration clauses and enforcement of judgments and awards in a range of contexts, specifically in relation to commercial contracts in the energy sector, sale and carriage of goods, joint ventures, media and telecommunications and commercial law. He is also frequently instructed to advise on procedural issues.
David regularly acts in commercial disputes. Recent and ongoing cases include:
DIFC Banking Case (current)
Representing an international bank in claims against borrowers, personal and corporate guarantors for US$304 million. The claims involve issues of jurisdiction, insolvency and the interaction of Dubai and DIFC law. This case also involves jurisdictional challenges and parallel proceedings, including a reference to the UAE Union Supreme Court to resolve an alleged conflict of jurisdiction. (Instructed by Allen & Overy LLP).
DIFC/ LCIA Oil Trading Arbitration and related Court Proceedings (2020/21)
Successfully represented a major international oil trading company in recovering US$25 million of fuel oil product which was subject to a number of competing claims. The case involved issues of fraud. Successfully obtained two world wide freezing orders from the DIFC Court against various parties. Successfully represented the client in DIFC/LCIA arbitration proceedings and in parallel proceedings in the DIFC Courts against related parties. The case also involved working with a team of UAE lawyers in coordinating proceedings in various Courts in the UAE, including a reference to the Joint Judicial Committee to resolve alleged conflicts of jurisdiction. (Instructed by Allen & Overy LLP).
FAL Oil v Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) (DIFC Court of First Instance 2021)
Successfully represented an international energy company in enforcing in the DIFC Courts an unsatisfied judgment from the Sharjah Courts for over US$300 million. Sole counsel in contested enforcement proceedings against a UAE public utility company. The case is a leading authority of DIFC Law on issues of state immunity, international jurisdiction and enforcement and the inter- Emirate enforcement of judgments. (Instructed by HFW).
KBC Aldini Capital Ltd v. (1) David Baazov (2) Canaccord Genuity Corp (DIFC Court of First Instance 2020)
Successfully represented a finance house in defending DIFC proceedings relating to equity commitment letters filed in support of a bid to acquire a global internet gaming company. (Claims valued at US$50 million. Instructed by Allen & Overy LLP).
Kuwaiti Oil Tanker Company v Q, A and others.
Instructed on behalf of a state owned oil company in a dispute arising out of a US$130million fraud. Appeared as junior counsel in one aspect of the case in the House of Lords- reported at (2004) 1 AC 300 : (2003) 3 WLR 14 : (2003) 3 All ER 501 appeared and advised in various related proceedings including various international enforcement applications.
Thoresen (Bangkok) Ltd v Fathom Marine & Others
Instructed (whilst working for a year at a firm of city solicitors) on behalf of the successful shipowner in a ship sale and purchase dispute involving ships with a value of US$ 42million. Reported at  1 Lloyd’s Rep 622.
Rowan Gorilla V
Instructed (whilst working at a firm of city solicitors) on behalf of the successful reinsurer in respect of the unlawful failure to take delivery of an Oil Rig (Rowan Gorilla V).Reported at (2006) 1 Lloyds Rep 500.
Svenska v Government of Lithuania and Others
Instructed by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania to defend enforcement proceedings of an ICC arbitration award to the value of US$15million. The case arose from a dispute involving a Joint Venture oil exploration agreement entered into at the time of Lithuanian independence (the first such investment contract signed by that State). The defence involved the law of State Immunity and its interrelation with the law relating to the enforcement of arbitral awards. Instructed as part of an international team of lawyers working on parallel enforcement proceedings in England, Lithuania and Germany. Appeared as junior counsel in the English Commercial Court and Court of Appeal hearings and drafted the relevant submissions which were extensive and involved both English and international jurisprudence.
Reported both at first instance  1 Lloyds Rep page 181 and in the Court of Appeal . EWCA Civ 1529, (2007) 2 WLR 876,: (2007) 1 Lloyd’s Rep 193 : (2006) 2 CLC 797, (2007) QB .
Iraqi Sanctions Case
Advised in relation to an oil company being investigated in the US for potential breaches of the trade sanctions against Iraq following litigation in the UK and the associated disclosure. Worked as correspondent with US defence counsel in the conduct of US Federal Court regulatory proceedings.
Telecoms Dispute (CEDR Mediation)
Instructed by a major telecoms company in a multimillion pound dispute with a competitor over breach of confidence and data protection issues. Acted as counsel in CEDR mediation which led to successful resolution of dispute.
Worldwide Freezing Injunction
Obtained a world wide freezing order against an overseas company valued at over US$100,000,000.
Vercoe & Others v Rutland
A claim for £44million arising out of a corporate take over and floatation and a claim for breach of confidence and breach of contract.  EWHC 424 (Ch).
Pablo Star v Du
Represented a UAE telecoms company to challenge the jurisdiction of the English Courts. (instructed by Clyde & Co, Dubai).
Naraji v Shelbourne
Instructed as junior counsel in a professional negligence action against a US sports surgeon. Had responsibility for specific issues relating to jurisdiction and conflict of laws.  EWHC 3298.
Advising an overseas client as to its rights in a high value sales transaction which was embargoed by a foreign government by virtue of international sanctions and assisting with pre arbitral dispute resolution.
Advisory Work Generally
David is regularly instructed to advise on matters relating to private international law, jurisdiction and arbitration clauses and enforcement of judgments and awards in a range of contexts, specifically in relation to commercial contracts in the energy sector, sale and carriage of goods, joint ventures, media and telecommunications and commercial law. He is also frequently instructed to advise on procedural.
David Holloway is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.
"He is seriously clever and a true expert on matters of international trade, oil and gas and the procedure and tactics in high value international arbitration matters."
Middle East: The English Bar, Commercial, Legal 500 2021
Listed as a “leader at the Bar” in the field of international arbitration by Chambers and Partners, referred to his ability to “present complex technical information in a user friendly manner."
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