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David Sawtell

  • 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.

    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.

    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

    Matrimonial property and finance: David has significant experience of applications for a financial remedy arising out of divorce. He has appeared in the High Court and the Court of Appeal, as well extensively in the County Court, in cases involving high value property, overseas assets, and parallel Chancery Division proceedings. He has often been involved in cases involving third party ownership, intervenors and complicated issues of property and chancery law.

    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
  • Construction  

    Construction

    David has considerable expertise advising in relation to issues arising out of construction, property development and refurbishment, in respect of both commercial and residential premises and engineering projects. He is also instructed in related professional negligence actions.

    He is also instructed in cases where there are property-related disputes arising from the construction process, such as in nuisance or the Party Wall Act. David also advises in matters involving the financing and organisation of construction and property development, including company law disputes.

    David is a member of the Society of Construction Law and the Adjudication Society. He is currently reading for the MSc in Construction Law and Dispute Resolution at King’s College, London.

    David’s recent work includes advising and acting in respect of:

    • 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;
    • 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

Profile

David’s practice covers 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 general commercial 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 a robust advocate, with particular expertise in cases involving complicated points of law or expert evidence, or where fraud or dishonesty is alleged.

His work frequently has an international edge. Much of his work involves investments or projects involving parties from different jurisdictions. David is regularly instructed in cases involving conflict of laws issues. He has appeared in the Dubai International Financial Centre court.

David speaks regularly at seminars and conferences. He has recently been engaged by CLT, LawNet and Professional Courses. He also regularly gives seminars to lawyers on property, construction and commercial fields.

Selected notable cases:

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. He is currently engaged to write the forthcoming ‘A Practical Guide to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954’.

David is the principal author of the two commercial litigation units for the Level 4 higher apprenticeships in legal services. Unit 1 (Resolving a Commercial Dispute in England and Wales: Damar, 2014) and  Unit 2 (Tactics and Costs in Commercial Litigation) were published in 2014, and he was then engaged to update them.

He writes prolifically for leading practitioner journals, especially on property and commercial litigation issues. He also writes for Lamb Chambers on construction and property related 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)
  • McDonald: settling unanswered questions’, Solicitors Journal S.J. (2016) Vol.160 No.27 Page 32 with Erol Topal
  • '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)
  • 'Budget cuts', Commercial Litigation Journal, November/December 2015, 12-13 (costs budgeting)
  • ‘Take the money and don’t run’, Procurement and Outsourcing Journal (2015) Jul/Aug (application of good faith to the affirmation of a contract following a repudiatory breach)
  • 'Humble offerings' Commercial Litigation Journal (2015) No 61 May / June 2015 pages 3-5
  • ‘Budget cuts’, Commercial Litigation Journal Co. L.J. (2015) No.64 November/December Pages 12-13 (cost management and budgeting)
  • ‘Wrapped up in cotton?’, Commercial Litigation Journal (2015) No.63 September/October Pages 22-24 (good faith and affirming contracts after repudiatory breach)
  • ‘Humble offerings’, Commercial Litigation Journal Co. L.J. (2015) No.61 May/June Pages 3-5 (Part 36 offers)
  • ‘A Right Royal Dispute’ Commercial Litigation Journal (2015) No.60 March/April Pages 7-9
  • ‘Funding a losing battle’ Commercial Litigation Journal Co. L.J. (2014) No.58 November/December Pages 22-24 (the liability of off shore litigation funders for an order for non party orders for costs)
  • ‘Hot cross bun(ny)’ Commercial Litigation Journal Co. L.J. (2013) No.52 November/December (test for summary judgment applications)
  • ‘If at first you don’t succeed, don’t try again?’ Commercial Litigation Journal (2013) No.51 September/October (res judicata: issue and cause of action estoppel)
  • ‘Keeping the faith’ Commercial Litigation Journal (2013) No 51 September/October (contractual terms of good faith)
  • ‘Park Life’ Commercial Litigation Journal (2013) No 48 March/April (Wrotham Park damages)
  • ‘The Devil Is in the Detail: Pleading and Proving Allegations of Fraud’, PI Brief Update Law Journal, 16 February 2013
  • ‘Hold the cynicism’, New Law Journal, 11 January 2013, vol 163 No 7543 (evidential issues in fraudulent claims)
  • ‘An Unexpected Bill to Pay: Non-Party Costs Orders and Claims Management Companies’, PI Brief Update Law Journal, 16 November 2012
  • ‘Whose responsibility is it anyway? Duty to warn non-employees of criminal threats’, PI Brief Update Law Journal, 10 October 2012
  • ‘Lucky strike’, Commercial Litigation Journal (2012) No 44 July/August (Fairclough Homes v Summers [2012] UKSC 26 and striking out for abuse of process)
  • ‘Passing the buck’, Procurement and Outsourcing Journal (2012) No 6 May / June 2012 (non-delegable duties of care)
  • ‘Paying the price for leasehold disputes’, Solicitors Journal Vol 156 No 16 (24 April 2012)
  • ‘Look before you leap’, Commercial Litigation Journal (2011) No 40 November / December 2011 (on the law of the assumption of risk)
  • ‘Playing with Fire: meeting suspicious claims head-on’, Commercial Litigation Journal (2011) No 38 July / August 2011
  • ‘Telling a tall story’, Butterworths Civil Costs Newsletter, June 2011, p5 (costs implications of fraudulent claims)
  • ‘My big fat fraudulent claim’, New Law Journal, 29 April 2011, vol 161 No 7463, pp573-4

Further information

Public access

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

Qualifications

  • 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

  • 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


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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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