David Joseph KC

David joined Essex Court Chambers in 1985, took silk in 2003. He acts as a barrister, advocate and arbitrator. He is a member of the Bars of England and Wales and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. He has also been called ad hoc to argue cases before the Court of Appeal in Singapore and the Court of Appeal and Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong.

David accepts arbitral appointments under all major rules (LCIA, ICC, SIAC, UNCITRAL and other ad hoc arbitrations) in London and overseas. His arbitration practice covers a wide range of work from joint ventures, shareholder disputes, mobile telephones, satellite television insurance, reinsurance, aerospace, mining, construction and shipbuilding.  He has also advised and acted in a series of investment treaty disputes and LMAA arbitrations both as Counsel and arbitrator.  David is highly ranked in all directories as both arbitrator and Counsel.

He is well-recognised not only in the English courts but across the common law world as a leading authority in the twin fields of international arbitration and jurisdiction disputes. He is consistently recommended in the top tier of each of the UK, Singapore and global directories in the field of international arbitration.  He is also recommended in commercial litigation, general insurance and aerospace. In 2013 he was chosen as Silk of the Year in International Commercial Arbitration by both Chambers Directory and the Legal 500. He was also short-listed by Chambers Directory in this category in 2012,  2017 and most recently in 2021.  He has also acted and appeared as Counsel in complex and lengthy leading cases in his fields of specialism.

What Others Say

Chambers UK Bar 2023, International Arbitration: General Commercial & Insurance

“He’s a very charming opponent, and his legal analysis is spot on.”

“He has a deep understanding of how to work successfully over the long term with foreign lawyers, taking into account different cultures.”

Chambers UK Bar 2022, International Arbitration: General Commercial & Insurance

“He is extremely experienced and well known. He is a great name for a difficult case.” “He’s very engaged and familiarises himself with the case well before a hearing.”

The Legal 500 2022, Commercial Litigation

“Extremely knowledgeable in the area of jurisdiction and also arbitration-related litigation; he really gets into the detail of a case. He is thoughtful, imaginative and full of energy and a highly persuasive advocate.”

The Legal 500 2022, International Arbitration: General Commercial & Insurance

“Completely on top of the facts and his cross-examination was highly effective. His understanding of private international law is unmatched.”

The Legal 500 2021, Commercial Litigation 

“Commercial and sensible, sound and practical judgment and a pleasure to work with”

The Legal 500 2021, International Arbitration: General

“Very detail-focused, sharp and proactive, and he is a real authority on private international law”

Arbitration and Related Court Applications

He has acted and appeared as Counsel and co–counsel in well over 100 complex and lengthy LCIA, ICC, UNCITRAL, SIAC, KLIAC and other international ad hoc  arbitrations in London, Paris and Singapore and in other major arbitration venues around the world. He has also acted in numerous disputes concerning the enforcement of awards around the world under the New York Convention. This work covers a wide range of disputes. A number of these disputes have involved claims in excess of a billion dollars and many of these claims are the largest of their type to have been brought in arbitration. In particular:

  • A wide variety of joint venture disputes, buyout agreements, company valuation disputes; preemption rights; shareholder agreements; IPO obligations and disputes; exclusivity and restrictive covenants; breaches of warranty in sale of business/shares.
  • Mobile telecoms (joint venture disputes, flotations and software and hardware disputes). He has acted for leading mobile telephone companies in Singapore, Malaysia and India.
  • Satellite television, direct to home television tv and other joint venture disputes.
  • Satellite procurement and launch contracts, ground satellite systems; transponder utilisation agreements; tax indemnity provisions, defence system technology and insurance disputes – see separate section below.
  • A wide range of insurance coverage disputes, including Bermuda form disputes with particular reference to the US pharmaceutical industry, medical implants; credit default insurance, industrial explosions and savings and loans.
  • Oil and gas – long term supply agreements; LNG and chemical supply contracts; farm out contracts, exploration agreements.
  • Mining and energy sector – see separate section below
    Airline leases, engine manufacture, maintenance and booking systems.
  • Long term licence and distribution agreements in particular in Europe, Far East and India.
  • Internet retail and gaming.
  • Construction, infrastructure and development projects (in particular hotels and power plants).
  • Shipbuilding, and ship-repair. Disputes concerning breach of warranty/ fitness for purpose, liquidated damages, delayed delivery, application of extension of time provisions for delivery, application of indemnity provisions, indemnity claims against sub-contractors, disputed claims for misrepresentation and collateral contract, exemption clauses (Stewart Gill v Horatio Myers), termination provisions, repudiation, expert determination and provisional measures (see further below).
  • Jack up rigs (AV1) semi-submersibles (Super Scorpio II), drill ships, off-shore storage vessels, traditional commercial shipbuilding disputes.
  • All aspects of reinsurance and insurance broking.
  • Investment treaty cases, has acted for a number of investors in the protection of their investment under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties.

In addition he has successfully acted in a series of arbitration applications for interim measures of protection before arbitrators including; anti suit injunctions; interim preservation of status of directors; preservation and production of e-disclosure.

He has also successfully acted in arbitrations determining the interface between matters properly the subject of expert determination and properly the subject of arbitration.

He has also acted as counsel in numerous LMAA arbitrations covering a wide range of, shipping and cargo related disputes and shipbuilding, ship-sale.

He has also acted as arbitrator (variously as sole, party appointed, and chairman) in a number of ICC, LCIA, LMAA and ad hoc arbitrations in London and other leading centres for international arbitration. He is listed on the major institutional panels such as ICC, LCIA and SIAC.

He is the author of Jurisdiction and Arbitration Agreements and their Enforcement (2nd Ed Sweet & Maxwell, November 2010). He has spoken at numerous seminars and conferences on many aspects of international arbitration practice but in particular the enforcement of awards and antisuit injunction.


1984: Bar Finals London
1983: Law Society Finals, College of Law, Lancaster Gate
1982: BA (Hons) (Law), Pembroke College, University of Cambridge
1978: St Paul’s School, London