Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Derrick Dale QCCall Date: 1990 | Silk Date: 2010

Derrick Dale QC is a widely experienced commercial advocate – described as having “a natural authority in the court room”. He specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration, in both a domestic and an international context, instructed as lead counsel or sitting as an appointed arbitrator.

Derrick’s knowledge and experience covers multiple practice areas, principally: banking and finance, commercial disputes, insurance, professional negligence, civil fraud, and asset tracing. His expertise also covers financial services, insolvency and restructuring, regulatory and corporate crime. He is frequently instructed in cases requiring urgent injunctions, freezing and search orders and he is well versed in conducting group litigation.

Since 2004, Derrick has been the joint editor of the damages section in ‘Simpson on Professional Negligence’. He is a Bencher of Middle Temple and has also been a member of the Bar Standards Board (Rule Committee).

Derrick is profiled in the Legal 500, Legal Experts and Chambers for commercial litigation, insurance/reinsurance and professional negligence work.

In the 2019 directories, Derrick has been described as follows:

  • “Gives us exactly what we need in terms of legal, tactical and commercial input in order to put our client in the strongest position.”  (Chambers and Partners 2020)
  • “He has a natural authority in the courtroom.”  (Chambers and Partners 2020)
  • A star banking silk.” (Legal 500 2019)
  • Exceptionally charming and on the ball, he also has a good way with clients.” (Legal 500 2019)
  • “An obvious choice for complex commercial and insurance and reinsurance disputes.” (Legal 500 2019)
  • He has excellent judgement.” (Legal 500 2019)

Areas of Expertise

  • Banking & finance
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Financial services
  • Fraud: civil
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • International arbitration
  • Media, entertainment & sport
  • Offshore
  • Professional discipline
  • Professional negligence


Derrick is a recommended silk in the following areas:


  • Banking & finance
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Professional negligence


Some recent quotations from the directories:

  • “Gives us exactly what we need in terms of legal, tactical and commercial input in order to put our client in the strongest position.” “He has a natural authority in the courtroom.”  (Chambers and Partners 2018)
  • “Technically creative, enthusiastic and very much onside with clients interests.” (Banking and Finance, Legal 500)
  • An excellent lawyer, who is very bright and immensely calm under pressure.” (Commercial Litigation, Legal 500)
  • Extremely thorough in his approach.” (Professional Negligence, Legal 500)
  • “Charming and confident, great with clients, and quick to grasp complex issues and identify commercial solutions. He also has excellent drafting skills.” “Exceptionally hard-working and good with clients. A persuasive advocate.” (Banking & Finance, Chambers and Partners 2016)
  •  “He is good on paper and good with clients, and knows how to be commercial, tactical and sensible.” “He is very practical, very user-friendly and really bright.” (Commercial Dispute Resolution, Chambers    and Partners 2016)
  •  “Very good with clients – able to understand the client and really relate to them.” “Very effective   and reasonable and a good commercial player.” (Professional Negligence, Chambers and Partners 2016)
  •  “Very responsive, very client-friendly and completely unflappable.” (Banking & Finance, Chambers and   Partners 2014)
  • “He is bright and I would trust him with a cherished client.” (Professional Negligence, Chambers and  Partners 2014)
  • “Derrick is brilliant. He’s a perceptive and strong performer.”  (Commercial Dispute Resolution,  Chambers and Partners 2014)
  • “Exceptionally hard-working and good with clients, he’s a persuasive advocate.” (Commercial Dispute Resolution, Chambers and Partners 2014)


  • MA First Class, Cambridge University
  • LLM Harvard Law School
  • New York Bar

Appointments, memberships, prizes

  • LCIA Arbitrator
  • Member of COMBAR
  • British Association for Sport and Law
  • Associate Member of CIArb

Recent practice

Banking & finance

  • Calyon & FGIC v IKB: A $1 bn action brought by FGIC and Calyon against the German Bank in which it is alleged that IKB wrongly diverted profits from one segment of its business to another in order to induce investors to invest in the Rhineland programme and other banks to provide liquidity facilities.
  • O’Driscoll v IBRC: Acting for IBRC in respect of mis-selling/misrepresentation claims against the bank brought by investors in respect of their introduction to an investment in Somerston, the property/hotel chain.
  • BOS v Pickenham Estates Ltd: Acting for BOS in a complex claim to realise the security where the bank’s legal rights were allegedly subject to: (i) certain beneficial interests of the investors, and; (ii) rights of subrogation.
  • The Bird Group v Barclays Bank: A dispute involving swaps mis-selling and the alleged rigging of Libor by Barclays Bank. Derrick has advised and acted in various swap mis-selling cases.
  • Investors v ANZ: Acting for an extensive group of Chilean and Mexican investors in group litigation bringing a mis-selling claim against ANZ Bank in London.
  • Deutsche Bank v APBW: DB suit against Taiwanese telecommunications company for breach of a Credit Agreement and counterclaim by Taiwanese Company that DB knowingly participated in a fraud committed by the Chairman of the companies. Court of Appeal found that under Brussels Regulation DB could also bring alternative claims against the Taiwanese companies for restitution and misrepresentation.
  • Mahonia v WestLB: A dispute between JP Morgan Chase and WestLB as to whether JPMorgan Chase had conspired with Enron to obtain a letter of credit from WestLB in support of a disguised loan in the form of three swaps from JP Morgan Chase to Mahonia, a special purpose vehicle incorporated in Jersey.

Commercial dispute resolution

  • Bibby v Nisa and DHL: acting for DHL in a £74m claim brought for alleged breach of confidence, conspiracy and an account of profits in respect of the transitioning of warehouse/logistic services from one service provider to another.
  • Harmsworth v Polestar: Acting in a series contractual disputes between the Daily Mail and its printers involving the construction of the terms of printing agreements and when and how the agreement could be terminated and technical issues relating to the quality of the print copy supplied to the printers and the problems associated with the printing process.
  • Deminor Recovery v BP: Advising on claims arising from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
  • Calyon & FGIC v IKB: An action brought by FGIC and Calyon against the German Bank in which it is alleged that IKB wrongly diverted profits from one segment of its business to another in order to induce investors to invest in the Rhineland programme and other banks to provide liquidity facilities.
  • Amiri Capital v Rassmal Investments Ltd: A large dispute between the owners and investors of a development of the Nash facade terrace Portland Place on the agreed terms between the parties.
  • BDT v John Lewis: A dispute between John Lewis and a supplier over a travel business contract and tendering process.

EU and Competition

  • WH Newson v IMI and Rangemaster: Acting for Aga in a contribution claim brought by members of a cartel against Aga arising out of an EU Commission decision and advising on a follow on claim for conspiracy to injure Aga indirectly arising from the conduct of members of the cartel against Aga.
  • Sintesi & Ricerca S.p.A v Royal Dutch Shell and others: Acting for 3rd party in respect of the claims for compensation for unlawful agreements and concerted practices infringing Article 81(1) of EC Treaty.
  • Ineos v Huntsman: A large commercial dispute between two chemical companies involving extensive construction issues in respect of numerous agreements and claim that such agreements were in breach of Competition Acts and EU treaties.

Financial services

  • New Media v Capita Fiduciary Group:  Acting for Capita in a claim brought by New Media for fraudulent conduct and breach of contract/duty in relation to the performance of their duties in allegedly preferring the interests of one partner/shareholder over another and the failure to disclose information to the other partner/shareholder.
  • Investors v ANZ: Acting for an extensive group of Chilean and Mexican investors in group litigation bringing a misspelling claim against ANZ Bank in London.
  • Re FCA investigation of investment house: Acting for and advising an investment house in respect of the activities of an allegedly fraudulent broker/employee.

Fraud: civil

  • Standard Bank v EFAD and others [2014] EWHC 1834: an action brought by Standard Bank alleging deceit, conspiracy and procuring breach of contract on the part of two employees of EFAD in obtaining a loan on its behalf from Standard Bank.
  • Samara v MBI & Partners [2014] EWHC 563 QB: acting for MBI in defending a claim brought by an employee alleged by MBI to be a fraudulent claim in circumstances where MBI had allowed a default judgment to be entered against it and had failed to raise its fraud defence when seeking to set aside the default judgment.
  • Project Walnut: acting for an investment house in a series of investor claims brought about by the fraudulent activities of a self-employed stockbroker acting under the umbrella of the investment house.
  • Markel and QBE v SGC and others: A 6 week trial acting for the insurer QBE bringing a claim against its former brokers, SGC, and other individuals, who had been under-declaring the size of the book written and not accounting to QBE for premium. QBE were successful. Appeal successfully dismissed.
  • Trebisol Sud Quest and Soldefi v Berkley Finance Limited: acting for Trebisol in relation to the recovery of monies advanced in respect of a bogus investment scheme.
  • Strive Shipping Corporation v Hellenic Mutual War Risks Association (Bermuda) Ltd, the Grecia Express: A case concerning the alleged scuttling of an Greek passenger ferry by its owner, involving an important analysis of marine perils, policy coverage, the burden of proof in cases of malicious acts and scuttling or barratry, the scope of moral hazard as regards the duty of disclosure and the duty of good faith.


  • Sul America v Enesa: Acting for insurers in respect of a large insurance claim concerning the delay in start up of a construction of hydro-electricity plant in Brazil arising out of riots and the burning down of the worker’s facilities.
  • Godiva v Travelers: acting for the insurers, Travelers, in respect of large aggregation claim arising out of the alleged participation in mortgage fraud of a partner in the firm of Willmett.
  • An insurer v another insurer:An Arbitration between two insurers as to which insurer was liable for losses falling between two years.
  • Coverage issues: regularly acting for insurers in respect of coverage issues in respect of the conduct of directors, solicitors and other professionals

International arbitration

  • U&M v KCM: A dispute between a Zambian mine operator and a Zambian mine owner, leading to 4 arbitral awards and 4 court challenges before the Commercial Court. These raised points of law in the areas of (i) whether an arbitral award with a “show cause” provision is sufficiently certain (KCM v U&M [2014] EWHC 2374); (ii) the circumstances in which the English Court will grant a worldwide freezing injunction notwithstanding the existence of an exclusive enforcement jurisdiction clause in favour of the Zambian courts (U&M v KCM [2014] EWHC 3250); (iii) the test as to when a party making a court challenge to the arbitral award should be required to pay as security the full amount due under the award as a condition of making the challenge to the award; (KCM v U&M [2014] EWHC 2145.
  • A Mexican distributor v A Greek publisher: An arbitration between a Greek publisher and a Mexican distributor relating to the allegedly wrongful termination of a distribution agreement.
  • A coverholder dispute: acting in relation to dispute between an insurer and cover holder relating to the terms of provisional and final payment obligations for profit commission.
  • An insurer v another: An arbitration between two insurers as to which insurer was liable for losses falling between two years.
  • Another v A Law Firm: An arbitration between a magic circle firm and a former client in which the question was whether a solicitor who had previously acted under a joint retainer for 2 clients, could at the end of the joint retainer act for one of the former clients against the other in other proceedings relating to the same subject matter.
  • Hellenic Mutual War Risk Association v Sea Trade Maritime “The Athena”: An arbitration concerning the exercise of the discretion by the Association to pay a claim involving extensive jurisdictional challenges to the jurisdiction of the arbitrators.

Professional negligence

  • Langsam v Beachcrofts: A 5 week professional action brought a former client against Beachcrofts alleging that Beachcrofts let him settle his claim against his former accountants (Hacker Young) at an undervalue. Judgment of Court of Appeal awaited.
  • Levi Roots v Simons Muirhead & Burton: Acting for the firm and insurers on a wasted costs application against SMB arising out of the unsuccessful claim brought by Mr Bailey against Levi Roots concerning the commercial rights over Reggae Reggae sauce and whether the recipe was disclosed confidentially by Mr Bailey to Levi Roots.
  • Cabvision v Hills and a barrister: A professional negligence action brought by Cabvision against the solicitors and barristers in respect of an unsuccessful action brought by Cabvision against FMS, the arrangers of a tax scheme.
  • Parker v Freeth cartwright: A professional negligence action brought against Freeth cartwright for allegedly failing to plead appropriate loss and heads of damage in a professional negligence claim against SJ Berwin.
  • Levicom v Linklaters: A 5 week professional negligence trial on behalf of Linklaters relating to a dispute under a shareholders’ agreement and subsequent arbitration
  • REO v Aberdeen & UBS: An action relating to the alleged failure of Aberdeen and UBS to advise on flotation the board of a company as to the inherent risks involved in split capital investment trusts and their propensity to systemic collapse by reason of their high gearing and cross holdings in other split capital companies.
  • Williams and McLaren v Linklaters and Baker & McKenzie: A dispute between two Formula One companies and their former legal advisers as to the drafting of an agreement with SLEC, a trust company set up by Bernie Ecclestone.
  • The Football League v Edge Ellison: An action brought by the Football League against its former legal advisers in respect of the alleged failure of Edge Ellison to seek and obtain a guarantee from the parent companies of OnDigital to support OnDigital’s payment obligations under its tv rights contract with the Football League

Regulatory and Disciplinary 

Derrick has experience of undertaking investigative and defence work for financial institutions, law firms and individuals in respect of complaints made or threatened to the regulators and advising with regards to their ongoing regulatory/risk compliance obligations. Much of this work is highly confidential. In particular, in recent years this includes:

  • Acting for a large financial institution and assisting on initial investigation and the drafting of reports in respect of compliance and compensation arising out of the fraudulent activities of a dishonest employee.
  • Acting for one of big four accountancy firms in respect of the obligation to report misconduct to regulator in respect of evidence given in court by a partner.
  • Advising a Jersey investment house on duty to report to the regulator having acted for two clients and knowingly preferred the instructions of one.
  • Advising law firm on risks and regulatory implications of findings made in High Court professional negligence proceedings.
  • Advising law firm as to how to handle complaints made to the regulator about the conduct of the firm and senior individuals within it whilst litigation ongoing.
  • Acting for an individual solicitor in respect of allegations of dishonesty, his position within firm and SDT proceedings.

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