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David Sawtell MCIArb

  • Construction  

    Construction

    David has a busy construction law practice, encompassing all kinds of infrastructure, construction, energy and development disputes. He is regularly involved in large scale, legally complex adjudications.

    He is also instructed in respect of commercial disputes related to construction operations, including insolvency, investment and development agreements, option agreements, and company law disputes.

    He is a practical advisor who enjoys working closely with his clients in litigation and adjudication. At the same time, he excels in legally complex situations, especially in developing areas of the law. He has particular expertise in cases involving unjust enrichment, disputes over causation, remedies and quantum, tortious property damage involving aspects of real property law, Wrotham Park damages, and the rule in Pallant v Morgan.

    In 2017 David completed the MSc in Construction Law and Dispute Resolution at King's College, London, achieving a Distinction. He was awarded prizes for the best overall graduate, best dissertation, the best performance in the second-year examinations, and best performance in the Module AL construction technology examination.

    David has experience of advising in respect of, settling proceeds and appearing before the Dubai International Financial Centre courts. He is registered in Part II of the DIFC Courts’ Register of legal practitioners as having rights of audience. He has particular expertise in cases involving conflicts of law and contractual disputes in this jurisdiction.

    He has considerable expertise in respect of a number of forms of alternative dispute resolution. He is regularly instructed in respect of construction adjudication disputes. He has successfully settled a number of claims at mediation. He is also instructed in respect of arbitrations arising from property and infrastructure disputes. He has also represented clients at joint settlement meetings. David is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

    David’s recent work includes the following:

    • TCC trial in respect of a quantum meruit arising out of a residential development and option agreement dispute
    • Adjudication in respect of major engineering infrastructure project
    • Claims arising from significant delay in major hotel project, leading to adjudication
    • Drafting JCT and NEC3 contracts for major groundworks
    • Claims arising from defective construction of innovative glass structure
    • Claims arising out of a FIDIC Silver Book EPC project
    • Water damage to commercial and residential property arising out of a defective sluice
    • Delay claim arising from the refurbishment of residential premises, with issues as to whether there was a completed JCT contract
    • Defects claim arising out of a large-scale farm conversion
    • Supply and fitting of defective fixtures
    • Supply of stone and materials with allegations that it is not fit for purpose, resulting in trial
    • Claim by a subcontractor arising from a substantial development
    • Planning in respect of modifications to residential premises
    • Representing a major UK distribution company in respect of a claim arising out of wayleaves
    • International sale of large scale plant

    News & Resources

    Using computer technology to assist e-disclosure…

    Using computer technology to assist with e-disclosure has always promised to reduce time and cost. For some years, computer software has been available to assist with the review process and now finally it is making an appearance in the UK.

    4th October 2016 Read more
  • Commercial  

    Commercial

    As part of his general commercial practice, David has extensive experience in a wide range of civil areas. He appears regularly in the High Court (particularly the Chancery Division) as well as in the Companies Court and Bankruptcy Court; he regularly conducts multi track and fast track county court trials.

    He has experience of drafting and appearing in interim applications for injunctions, freezing injunctions, search orders, delivery-up, and disclosure.

    David is also instructed to settle pleadings as well as other documents, such as shareholders agreements and investment agreements.

    His work regularly exposes him to complicated procedural issues such as res judicata, summary judgment applications and costs disputes. He is also regularly involved in disputes arising out of indemnities and guarantees. David is frequently instructed in cases involving franchise agreements.

    David has experience of advising in respect of, settling proceeds and appearing before the Dubai International Financial Centre courts. He is registered in Part II of the DIFC Courts’ Register of legal practitioners as having rights of audience. He has particular expertise in cases involving conflicts of law and contractual disputes in this jurisdiction. His recent experience includes a dispute arising out of an aircraft leasing agency agreement and for the return of sums held by a fiduciary.

    He has considerable expertise in respect of a number of forms of alternative dispute resolution. He is regularly instructed in respect of construction adjudication disputes. He has successfully settled a number of claims at mediation. He is also instructed in respect of arbitrations arising from property and infrastructure disputes. He has also represented clients at joint settlement meetings. David is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

    Commercial litigation: David's practices across a wide spectrum of commercial and civil litigation fields. He is often instructed in cases where dishonesty or fraud is alleged.

    • Breach of trust / fiduciary duty
    • Property damage and loss of use
    • Contractual disputes (including misrepresentation and undue influence)
    • Guarantee / indemnity disputes
    • Factoring agreements
    • Conversion and trespass to goods
    • Supply of goods and services
    • Bailment
    • Partnership disputes
    • Drafting agreements

    Contractual and financial disputes: David is often involved in cases involving finance / brokers (especially for the purchase or development of land or construction), guarantee agreements and indemnity provisions, and disputes over insurance.

    Insolvency: David undertakes both personal and corporate insolvency matters. Recent instructions include acting on behalf of a Local Authority who resisted the annulment of a bankruptcy order on the grounds that the debtor lacked capacity at the time that the order was made; advising in respect of the effect of disclaimer arising from corporate and personal insolvency, and the resulting application for a vesting order; and retention of title clauses.

    • Setting aside statutory demands
    • Winding up petitions
    • Annulment proceedings

    Company disputes: he is often instructed to advise on and to appear in relation to company disputes and Companies Act applications.

    • Companies Act applications
    • Unfair prejudice applications
    • Shareholder disputes
    • Director disqualification

    Other civil litigation: David is also instructed in personal injury cases involving significant disputes as to liability, with complex issues of expert evidence and law. He has recently been led by a QC in a 5-day action involving complicated issues of epidemiological and medical scientific evidence in relation to the causation of industrial diseases.

    • Industrial disease
    • Health and safety
    • Sexual abuse
    • Harassment

    News & Resources

    Using computer technology to assist e-disclosure…

    Using computer technology to assist with e-disclosure has always promised to reduce time and cost. For some years, computer software has been available to assist with the review process and now finally it is making an appearance in the UK.

    4th October 2016 Read more

     

     

  • Property  

    Property

    David has extensive experience of a wide range of disputes involving property.

    His real property work includes mortgages / charges, orders for sale, easements / wayleaves, and trusts of land / beneficial interests. His landlord and tenant practice (both residential and commercial) includes possession, disrepair and dilapidations, leasehold enfranchisement, breach of covenant / forfeiture, and management and service disputes.

    He appears regularly in the Chancery Division, county courts, and the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) in respect of both residential leases and land registration. He is a member of the Chancery Bar Assocation.

    He is often instructed where there are conveyancing issues or where prospective purchasers require specialist advice on their potential rights against occupiers. David is also instructed in urgent cases involving applications for injunctive relief.

    In 2017, David’s book ‘A Practical Guide to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954: Commercial Tenancies’ co-authored with Richard Hayes was published by Law Brief Publishing. He has considerable experience of all aspects of commercial property disputes.

    David has particular expertise in cases involving all aspects of property development. He frequently advises on restrictive covenants, easements, boundary disputes and overage agreements, as well as the recovery of possession from commercial tenants. He is especially adept in issues involving aspects of planning law and the LTA 1954. He has also advised in respect of assets of community value under the Localism Act 2011, burial grounds, and compulsory purchase. David also has considerable expertise in construction law, making him especially well placed to advise in respect of disputes where there are crossover issues. He is also regularly instructed in respect of joint venture agreements, disputes where the equity in Pallant v Morgan arises, or where obligations and remedies arising from unjust enrichment or equity are live issues.

    He has considerable expertise in respect of a number of forms of alternative dispute resolution. He has successfully settled a number of property disputes at mediation. He is also instructed in respect of arbitrations arising from property and infrastructure disputes. He has also represented clients at joint settlement meetings. He is regularly instructed in respect of construction adjudication disputes. David is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

    Commercial property: David is regularly instructed in relation to commercial property of all kinds. He has particular expertise in cases involving Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.

    • Renewal and termination of tenancies protected by Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954
    • Break clauses and notices
    • Forfeiture and relief from forfeiture
    • Recovery of possession
    • Rent arrears
    • Dilapidations
    • Injunctions to protect the occupiers of commercial premises
    • Disputes arising from and advice in relation to the conveyancing of land

    Residential property: He is often involved in cases involving residential property, both leasehold and freehold.

    • Leasehold enfranchisement
    • Management of long leases (acting for both landlords and tenants)
    • Recovery of possession of leasehold land
    • Land Registry fraud
    • Disrepair
    • Breach of covenant

    Real property and land registration: David has a busy caseload involving real property disputes.

    • Adverse possession
    • Trespass
    • Boundary disputes
    • Easements
    • Wayleaves

    Mortgages and charges: David is often involved in cases involving the validity and priority of charges (both legal and equitable) and subsequent enforcement by possession / sale.

    Trusts of land and beneficial interests: David is often involved in matters where trusts of land or beneficial interests are involved.

    • Applications and claims involving the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996
    • Claims involving resulting or constructive trusts, often arising from failed investments
    • Drafting deeds of trust
    • Equitable remedies

    Housing: David is regularly instructed by both landlords and tenants in respect of housing law.

    • Disrepair
    • Wrongful eviction
    • Assured shorthold tenancies
    • Rent Act tenancies
    • Notices to quit and possession
    • Tenancy deposits

    Planning and use of land: David is instructed in respect of disputes arising out of the development and use of land.

    • Planning applications
    • Enforcement notices
    • Alcohol and gambling licensing

    News & Resources

    The Court of Appeal blows the whistle on fresh evidence on appeal in a Part II LTA 1954 case: Clear Call Ltd v Central London Investments Limited [2016] EWCA Civ 1231

    When a court is considering a tenant’s application for a grant of a new tenancy or a landlord’s opposition to the grant of such a tenancy under the provisions of Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, it is often deciding what terms will govern the future rather than considering what has happened in the past.

    8th December 2016 Read more

    More cranes on the London skyline, but for how long?

    The Deloitte Office Crane Survey for Winter 2016 makes for some very interesting post-Brexit reading. Construction momentum in London has slowed, with 40 new schemes starting over the past six months, compared with 51 in the previous survey.

    21st November 2016 Read more

     

  • Professional negligence  

    Professional negligence

    David is regularly instructed in respect of cases involving the alleged liability of professionals, especially where this relates to property development and insurance.

    He has particular expertise in cases involving solicitors (especially in respect of conveyancing or litigation), lettings agents, valuers and insurance brokers.

    News & Resources

    Using computer technology to assist e-disclosure…

    Using computer technology to assist with e-disclosure has always promised to reduce time and cost. For some years, computer software has been available to assist with the review process and now finally it is making an appearance in the UK.

    4th October 2016 Read more
  • Insolvency  

    Insolvency

    David is regularly involved in insolvency litigation arising out of both corporate and personal insolvency. In particular, he is regularly instructed in cases involving insolvency aspects of construction law, property or cross-border disputes. He appears regularly in the Chancery Division and the TCC, including the recent construction insolvency decision in Mulalley and Company Ltd v Regent Building Services Ltd [2017] EWHC 2962 (Ch). David is also regularly instructed in company law disputes. He completed the MSc in Construction Law at King’s College London in 2017, being awarded a Distinction along with a number of prizes, including awards for the best overall graduate and the best dissertation. Along with other members of Lamb Chambers, he has presented their Construction Insolvency Workshop 2018 to a number of leading national and international law firms such as Norton Rose Fulbright and Reed Smith.

    Examples of recent insolvency work

    • Advised a finance company on cross-border insolvency involving an international airline, with issues of mutual dealings, the anti-deprivation rule and conflict of laws.
    •  Successfully obtained an injunction against both a company and its former director from presenting a winding-up petition against a well-known UK contractor for debts allegedly arising out of construction contracts: Mulalley and Company Ltd v Regent Building Services Ltd [2017] EWHC 2962 (Ch).
    • Advised and represented a group of trustees of a charitable trust who were served with a statutory demand for £1.6m where the Attorney General intervened. The statutory demand was successfully set aside.
    • Acted for the liquidator in a claim against the former director of the insolvent company and an associated company in claim arising out of alleged wrongful trading, preferences and breach of fiduciary duty.
    • Acted on behalf of a Local Authority who resisted the annulment of a bankruptcy order on the grounds that the debtor lacked capacity at the time that the order was made.
    • Advised in respect of the effect of disclaimer arising from corporate and personal insolvency, and the resulting application for a vesting order in respect of residential property.
    • Advised in respect of a reservation of title clause arising out of the sale of fine wine.

    News & Resources

Profile

David specialises in property, construction and commercial chancery work. He is frequently instructed in cases involving the development and use of land, buildings and property, as well as disputes involving serious commercial, insolvency and company law issues. He also has extensive experience of advising and drafting in professional negligence related proceedings in areas related to his core practice.

His clients appreciate his practical and approachable manner. He is, at the same time, a robust advocate with formidable experience of serious trials and interlocutory applications. His work is frequently legally complex, involving rapidly developing areas of the law such as unjust enrichment and equitable remedies in commercial disputes.

In 2017 David completed the MSc in Construction Law and Dispute Resolution at King's College, London, achieving a Distinction. He was awarded prizes for the best overall graduate, best dissertation, the best performance in the second-year examinations, and best performance in the Module AL construction technology examination.

David is regularly instructed in disputes in the High Court (including the TCC, the Chancery Division, the Queen’s Bench Division and the Companies Court), and serious multi-track disputes in the County Court. He is also regularly involved in construction disputes referred to adjudication. His work frequently has an international edge, involving cross border and overseas transactions and disputes.

David has experience of advising in respect of, settling proceeds and appearing before the Dubai International Financial Centre courts. He is registered in Part II of the DIFC Courts’ Register of legal practitioners as having rights of audience. He has particular expertise in cases involving conflicts of law and contractual disputes in this jurisdiction. His recent experience includes a dispute arising out of an aircraft leasing agency agreement and for the return of sums held by a fiduciary.

He has considerable expertise in respect of a number of forms of alternative dispute resolution. He is regularly instructed in respect of construction adjudication disputes. He has successfully settled a number of claims at mediation. He is also instructed in respect of arbitrations arising from property and infrastructure disputes. He has also represented clients at joint settlement meetings. David is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

David speaks regularly at seminars and conferences. He has recently been engaged by CLT, MBL, LawNet and Professional Courses. He is also frequently published in leading practitioners’ journals. In 2017, along with Richard Hayes, he wrote ‘A Practical Guide to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954: Commercial Tenancies’ (published by Law Brief Publishing), placing a particular emphasis on the development aspects of commercial property.

Selected notable cases:

Mulalley and Company Ltd v Regent Building Services Ltd and another [2017] EWHC 2962 (Ch), [2017] All ER (D) 200 (Nov) – injunction restraining both a company and an individual from presenting a winding up petition based on disputed construction debts.

Pinisetty v Manikonda [2017] EWHC 838 (QB), [2017] All ER (D) 98 (Apr) – appeal on the question of level of certainty required for imposition of constructive trust to complete defective property transaction

Bichay v Bassaly (2016, Chancery Division) – three-day trial in the Chancery Division of proprietary estoppel and unpaid vendor’s lien involving alleged partnership involving financial transactions in California.

Ramanathan v Rudra [2016] EWHC 1062 (Ch) – issues of Pallant v Morgan equity, delay and laches arising from a property investment in the 1990s

Director of Border Revenue v F Lohmann GMBH [2016] UKFTT 185 (TC) – seizure of trailer unit passing across international borders and whether it should be restored

Trustees for the Methodist Church Purposes v Church Motor Company (Bromley CC, 2015) – 3 day trial arising out of the LTA 1954, including planning considerations

Carcillo v Great Western Allotment Association (FTT (Property Chamber), 2015) – at a trial of the applicant’s claim for adverse possession

Malialis v Malialis [2012] EWCA Civ 1748; [2013] 2 FLR 1216; [2013] Fam Law 390 – the effect of delay between trial and the handing down judgment in a case involving off shore assets and foreign registered companies.

Vaseeharan and AKV Garages (UK) Ltd v Uthayranjan [2010] EWHC 1083 (Ch) - recovery of allegedly misappropriated funds from the former manager of fuel service station business

Publications

David is heavily involved in practitioner texts and journals. Along with Richard Hayes, he is the author of ‘A Practical Guide to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954: Commercial Tenancies’, published by Law Brief Publishing in 2017. David is the principal author of the two commercial litigation units for the Level 4 higher apprenticeships in legal services. He writes prolifically for leading practitioner journals. Some of his recent articles in the last few years include:

  • ‘Constructive Trusts: More than words?’ Trusts and Estates Law and Tax Journal: July/August 2017
  • ‘Let me know before you go’ (2017) 71 Co LJ 11-13 (use of notification injunctions in commercial litigation)
  • ‘Planning the Use it Yourself’, Estates Gazette, 21 January 2017, 69 (co-authored with Alice Lane) (LTA 1954, section 30(1)(g) and planning issues)
  • ‘Partitions and vacant possession’, Solicitors Journal S.J. (2016) Vol.160 No.40 with Erol Topal
  • ‘A binary breakthrough’, Commercial Litigation Journal (2016) No.69 September/October 6-7 (use of predictive coding to assist e-disclosure)
  • ‘An air of finality’, Commercial Litigation Journal (2016) No.68 July/August 3-5 (attempts to bypass settlement disputes)
  • 'Injunctions: holding the balance', Procurement & Outsourcing Journal, May/June 2016 (recent trends in commercial interim injunctions)
  • 'Clear Skies? Comparing Arnold v Britton Rainy Sky SA v Koomin Bank' Procurement & Outsourcing Journal, November/December 2015, 5-7 (interpretation of contracts)

Further information

Public access

David is willing to undertake work on a public access basis.

Qualifications

  • 2017      MSc Construction Law and Dispute Resolution, King’s College London (Distinction)
  • 2005      Called to the Bar (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • 2004-5   Inns of Court School of Law, Bar Vocational Course (very competent)
  • 2003-4   City University, Post-graduate diploma in law (commendation)
  • 2002-3   Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, MPhil in Medieval History (distinguished performance)
  • 1999-02 Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, MA (Hons) in History (Part I: First, Part II: 2:1)

Awards

  • 2017: Society of Construction Law prize for best overall graduate MSc Construction Law;     Society of Construction Law prize for best dissertation; Kings College Construction Law       Association prize for best performance in the second-year exams
  • 2016: Bickerdike Allen award for best performance in Module AL in MSc Construction Law
  • 2005: Sunley Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • 2004: Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • 2002: AHRB scholarship in full for MPhil
  • 2001: Edward Lord North Scholarship (Peterhouse)

Memberships

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Society of Construction Law
  • Adjudication Society

Interests

Skiffing, rowing, and medieval and legal history.

News & Resources

The Court of Appeal blows the whistle on fresh evidence on appeal in a Part II LTA 1954 case: Clear Call Ltd v Central London Investments Limited [2016] EWCA Civ 1231

When a court is considering a tenant’s application for a grant of a new tenancy or a landlord’s opposition to the grant of such a tenancy under the provisions of Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, it is often deciding what terms will govern the future rather than considering what has happened in the past.

8th December 2016 Read more

More cranes on the London skyline, but for how long?

The Deloitte Office Crane Survey for Winter 2016 makes for some very interesting post-Brexit reading. Construction momentum in London has slowed, with 40 new schemes starting over the past six months, compared with 51 in the previous survey.

21st November 2016 Read more

Using computer technology to assist e-disclosure…

Using computer technology to assist with e-disclosure has always promised to reduce time and cost. For some years, computer software has been available to assist with the review process and now finally it is making an appearance in the UK.

4th October 2016 Read more
David Sawtell MCIArb


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Year of Call 2005

Email

davidsawtell@lambchambers.co.uk

Contact clerk

Cliff Alderson

020 7797 8303

VAT Reg No

948440695

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