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David Leibowitz, Partner, Dispute Resolution

David Leibowitz


Personal Profile

David is a Partner in Dispute Resolution department. He is an insolvency litigation specialist.

David acts regularly for insolvency practitioners, trade creditors, directors, shareholders and foreign lawyers on both domestic and cross border insolvencies. He has extensive insolvency litigation experience, in particular in the context of the conduct of claims brought by and against officeholders, fraud cases, cases concerning validity of security, asset recovery, guarantees, director’s duties, office holders duties, transaction avoidance and disqualification proceedings. He has particular expertise in restructuring and insolvency assignments in the insurance and financial services industries and the interaction between FSMA and the Insolvency Act. David advises regularly on property insolvency issues including issues arising from CVAs and Restructuring Plans.  

David is a CEDR accredited mediator. He is a peer reviewer for Oxford University Press on restructuring and insolvency publications. David is on the Consulting Editorial Board for LexisNexis and is recognised by both Chambers and Legal 500 as a leading practitioner in insolvency law. David currently sits on the Insolvency Rules Committee, appointed by the Ministry of Justice.

Key Experience

  • Acting for Lebanese depositor in litigation opposite Bank of Beirut in connection with depositor's desire to have funds transferred out of Lebanon.
  • Acting for a claimant construction company in a £20m breach of contract/misrepresentation arbitration dispute with a house builder.
  • Acting for the CEO of P&O Ferries opposite the Insolvency Service in respect of a Companies Act investigation. 
  • Acting for companies within the Liberty Steel group of companies opposite Credit Suisse following the collapse of Greensill Capital.
  • Acting for Minor International Plc in its winning bid for the Corbin and King chain of restaurants (including the Wolseley and the Delaunay) following an auction by administrators.
  • Acting for Minor in Minor v Dymant (first case on the Insolvency Act Part 1A moratorium).
  • Acting for Bermudan company in a $74m Bermudan transaction at an undervalue claim relating to South African mining rights.
  • Acting for the administrators of Force India in the successful defence of a personal negligence claim against the administrators. The case concerned duties of administrators to bidders when running a sales process (Uralkali v Rowley [2020]).
  • Acting for BSGR (in administration) on multi - million-dollar mining arbitration dispute.
  • Acting for a syndicate of Thai Banks (owed £700m) re steel works in Redcar. Subsequent dealings with British Steel (in liquidation).
  • Acting for Joint Administrators of London Capital and Finance PLC in relation to their investigations into the loss of £237 million suffered by creditors hit by the company’s collapse.
  • Acting for Joint Liquidators of Patisserie Valerie group, in relation to their investigations into the group's collapse and potential claims against various third parties.
  • Advising landlord on the Virgin gyms restructuring plan.
  • Advising landlords on retail CVAs including Top Shop, Debenhams, BHS and others.
  • Advising secured creditors and landlords on enforcement rights in light of Covid CIGA restrictions.
  • Acting for Canadian monitor of Carillion on cross border insolvency issues.
  • Advising foreign national on right of Official Receiver to require his attendance at a public examination under s133IA.
  • Advising foreign national on Gibbs principle issues on cross border insolvency case.
  • Acting for Insolvency Service opposite Phil Shiner (solicitor) and his firm in respect of fraud on legal aid board.
  • Advising Insolvency Service as liquidator of Kids Company on trust issues resulting from government loan.
  • Glenn Maud in insolvency proceedings opposite Abu Dhabi Sovereign Wealth fund – dispute over distribution of proceeds of sale of Santander headquarters in Madrid valued at €3billion.
  • MF Global Inc (in bankruptcy) in €130m dispute opposite French clearing house.
  • Security Trustee in Eurosail case – Supreme Court case on meaning of balance sheet insolvency.
  • Landlords in Gamestation case – Court of Appeal case on scope of administration expenses.
  • Landlords opposite retail administrations and CVAs (e.g. BHS, Woolworths, Comet, HMV, Jessops, Borders).
  • Liquidators in unauthorised insurance cases where liquidation triggered by FCA following an FCA investigation. Cases include Digital Satellite and Whiteley Insurance Consultants. The Supreme Court decision in Digital Satellite is the leading case on the distinction between insurance and warranties.
  • Trustee in Bankruptcy in UK's largest Ponzi scheme (FCA v Pruthi and Others).
  • £300m swap mis-selling and LIBOR manipulation case for clearing bank.
  • Test case on COMI tourism for Bank of Ireland (O'Donnell).
  • Liquidators in £80m mortgage fraud on clearing banks.
  • Administrators in resisting injunction to prevent sale of £70m property.
  • Directors on World of Leather – leading case on disqualification (Uno Plc).

Articles and Publications

  • Co-author of chapter on "Administrations" in Tolleys.
  • Numerous articles in insolvency and banking publications.
  • Author of chapter in book on insolvency litigation in "ADR and Commercial Litigation" (the ADR Group).
  • Co- author of book entitled "Getting out of a Contract" (Gower).

Career History

Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Partner, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP
Solicitor, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP
Qualified Mediator, Centre for Dispute Resolution
College of Law (London), Law Society Finals
Exeter University, (LLB)(Hons)

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