David McIlroy

Practice overview

David is Head of Chambers at Forum Chambers. He specialises in banking and financial services law, commercial law, and professional negligence. His combination of experience and insight enables him to identify persuasive arguments and to see where the law might be developed in the future. David is Visiting Professor in Banking Law at Queen Mary University of London.

Clerk details

clerks@forumchambers.com 

cfagan@forumchambers.com

020 3735 8070

 

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Banking (UK)

David acts and advises across the full range of financial services disputes and banking transactions, but with a particular focus on the business sector. David has dealt with hundreds of claims of financial mis-selling.  David is as comfortable advising in respect of a commercial loan, a mortgage or a guarantee as he is analysing the financial services rules contained in the FCA and PRA Handbooks. David has particular expertise in claims relating to LIBOR manipulation and the manipulation of other benchmarks, in relation to claims about negligent financial advice, and in claims relating to complex financial products. David also advises debtors in cases where there has been an unfair credit relationship, economic duress, or other abusive practices by a bank or other lender.

David has particular expertise in in relation to claims about negligent financial advice, claims relating to complex financial products, claims relating to the manipulation of LIBOR and other benchmarks. David also advises debtors in cases where there has been an unfair credit relationship, economic duress, or other abusive practices by a bank or other lender. In addition, David acts on behalf of fintech businesses subject to investigation by the financial services regulators.

Recent and ongoing cases:

  • Scarborough Group v BOS: multi-million pound claim against BOS for manipulation of LIBOR (2020)
  • Acting for claims who have entered into unregulated collective investment schemes (UCIS) in relation to property in the UK and abroad
  • Advising lenders on the enforceability of security.
  • Standish v RBS [2019] EWHC 1125 (QB): Claim by shareholders that RBS GRG and West Register had conspired to expropriate their shares.
  • Financial Conduct Authority v Allied Wallet Ltd [2019] 8 WLUK 141: application by FCA for the appointment of a Provisional Liquidator over a fintech company
  • Claims against Lloyds Banking Group related to the Impaired Assets Office of BOS/ HBOS at Reading and elsewhere.
  • Claims against secondary lender for disguising loans as lease finance transactions, undue influence and other malpractice.
  • BOS v Noel Edmonds: counterclaim by celebrity in respect of loss of business as a result of fraud by dishonest banker.
  • Deane, Murphy, Savage and Wilcox v Coutts & Co [2018] EWHC 1657 (Ch): claims by footballers for investment advice given in breach of fiduciary duty.
  • R (Mazarona Properties Ltd) v Financial Ombudsman Service [2017] EWHC 1135 (Admin): Judicial review of the Financial Ombudsman Service’s refusal to consider a complaint about the conduct of the Interest Rate Swap Redress Scheme by a bank.
  • Blackwater Services Ltd v West Bromwich Commercial Ltd [2016] EWHC 3083 (Ch): Interpretation of a market disruption clause in a loan agreement
  • Advising victims of the fraud at HBOS Reading in their submissions to the Foskett Panel

Financial Services Regulation

David regularly advises on questions relating to financial services regulation, including issues relating to the EU and in developing areas such as cryptocurrency, fintech, open banking and payment services. David is a fluent French speaker and holds a Master’s Degree in EU law from a French University. David frequently advises on questions of EU law, foreign laws, conflicts of laws and in relation to Brexit. David has acted as an expert for the EU on the laws in Albania governing banking and money laundering.

Recent and Ongoing Cases:

  • Asking foreign banks as to their post-Brexit obligations under the TP regime.
  • Advising private banks which wish to enter into mortgages secured on land in the UK as to the UK’s regulatory frontier and conduct of business rules.
  • FCA v Allied Wallet Ltd [2019] EWHC 2808 (Ch): Acting for e-money and payment services provider in FCA’s application to wind up the company
  • Advising Egyptian borrowers and guarantors as to their liabilities under commercial financing agreements and hedging agreements which are subject to English law.

Advising foreign banks on consumer protection legislation in England and Gibraltar

 

Banking (EU)

David is a fluent French speaker and holds a Master’s Degree in EU law from a French University. David frequently advises on questions of EU law and also regularly advises foreign banks which wish to sell financial services in the UK. David advises regularly on cases connected to Ireland.

David regularly acts on cases which involve conflicts of laws and analysis of foreign laws, and he has acted as an expert for the EU on the laws in Albania governing banking and money laundering.

Recent and ongoing cases:

  • Advising on the introduction of Unexplained Wealth Orders into the law in Kosovo
  • Advising on cross-border issues relating to the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 and the Payment Services Regulations 2017.
  • Acting for investor given advice in Cyprus by an Appointed Representative of a UK firm.
  • Acting for Irish investors into a failed UK property development scheme.
  • Advising an Irish businessman in respect of claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and mis-selling against an Irish bank and its UK subsidiary
  • Advising foreign private banks which wish to enter into mortgages secured on land in the UK as to the UK’s regulatory frontier and the conduct of business rules which have to complied with in the event that their activities fall within the UK’s regulatory frontier.
  • Advising foreign banks on commercial financing agreements and hedging agreements which are subject to English law.
  • Acting in a claim by an Indian bank against a guarantor involving questions of Belgian law and Indian law.

Commercial Litigation

David deals with commercial disputes and transactions, including those which have a cross-border element. He is experienced in appearing as Counsel in international arbitrations. He also deals with complex shareholder disputes, particularly where there have been breaches of fiduciary duties or of financial services or money laundering laws. David brings a common sense approach to commercial litigation. He is able to devise strategies which reflect the client’s attitude to risk and maximise the outcomes in their case.

Recent and Ongoing cases:

  • Appearing as Co-Counsel in an arbitration in Singapore in a dispute between a cryptocurrency operator and its IT security provider
  • Acting in AA v Bitfinex in the first case where a worldwide freezing injunction was granted over Bitcoin
  • Acting for entrepreneurs in shareholder dispute with major PLC
  • Acting for minority shareholder in unfair prejudice petition
  • Acting for foreign bank in claim to recover foreign exchange from Travelex
  • Appearing in the Gibraltar Supreme Court in Magner v Royal Bank of Scotland on an application for inspection witness statements and exhibits under CPR 32.13

Financial Mis-selling

David has handled a wide range of claims where investors have been given financial advice which was negligent and/or in breach of fiduciary duty. He is able to identify a wide range of causes of action in tort and in equity and to advise on the liability of accessories to wrongdoing. David has also dealt with hundreds of claims of financial mis-selling. He specialises in claims relating to products governed by the ISDA Master Agreement including all types of interest rate hedging products including both vanilla and complex collars and swaps.

Recent and ongoing cases:

  • Acting on behalf of an individual given negligent financial advice in Cyprus by the Appointed Representative of a UK firm.
  • Claim on behalf of high net worth individual against private bank for negligent and unauthorised investments.
  • Deane, Murphy, Savage and Wilcox v Coutts & Co [2018] EWHC 1657 (Ch): claims by footballers arising out of investment advice to invest in a UCIS in Spanish property given in breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Acted on behalf of investor who was advised to invest in UCIS in Cape Verde and then to invest into the Connaught Income Fund.
  • Acted on behalf of investor who was advised by Merrill Lynch to invest in AIG’s Enhanced Fund.
  • Poulton Plaiz Ltd v Barclays Bank Plc [2015] EWHC 3667 (QB): Interest Rate Swap mis-selling claim.
  • Hundreds of swaps cases in which a small business was mis-sold an unsuitable interest rate swap or a fixed rate loan which contained an embedded swap.

Professional Negligence

David’s professional negligence practice relates to claims which have a banking or a commercial element. David is particularly adept at addressing complex questions of causation and loss. David frequently works with others at Forum to devise strategies for handling large numbers of claims for professional negligence relating to banking and finance. David has worked with Philip Currie and with Lloyd Maynard on class action cases relating to mortgage mis-selling, negligent conveyancing, and failed property developments.

 Recent and ongoing cases

  • Acting in a class action against solicitors for failing to protect the interests of foreign buyers purchasing properties off plan in the North of England.
  • Acting for a high net worth individual in a claim against accountants for negligent tax advice.
  • Acting against a solicitor for professional negligence in failing to address the tax consequences of a corporate takeover.
  • Acting in a claim against a quantity surveyor for professional negligence in project monitoring.
  • Right to Buy Litigation [2015] EWHC 1559 (Ch): Group litigation of claims forprofessional negligence against solicitors conducting conveyancing under the Right to Buy Scheme.

 

Insolvency

David is familiar with cases involving insolvency. In the context of claims for financial mis-selling and other professional negligence, he focuses on the ability to recover damages as well as establishing liability.

David is skilled at handling the interaction between financial services regulation and insolvency, particularly in cases involving applications to wind up a company on the just and equitable ground and in cases concerning the ring-fencing of customer assets.

Recent and ongoing cases:

  • Financial Conduct Authority v Allied Wallet Ltd [2019] 8 WLUK 141: application by FCA for the appointment of a Provisional Liquidator over a fintech company
  • Right to Buy Litigation [2015] EWHC 1559 (Ch): Group litigation of claims for professional negligence against solicitors conducting conveyancing under the Right to Buy Scheme where the mortgage brokers had ceased to trade

Qualifications

Diploma in French Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge
MA Law Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge
Maîtrise en Droit (International and European Law) Université de Toulouse I
PhD University of Wales

Scholarships and awards

Major Scholarship Inner Temple
Concours Annuel Université de Toulouse 1ère Mention – European Competition Law
Tapp Studentship Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge
George Long Prize for Roman Law Cambridge University
Squire Scholarship Cambridge University
Senior Scholarship Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge
McNair Law Prize Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge
Exhibition Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge

Professional bodies

  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Financial Services Lawyers Association
  • COMBAR
  • Professional Negligence Lawyers Association
  • Franco-British Lawyers Society

Professional development

David chairs conferences on Banking Litigation and Financial Mis-selling and delivers seminars on negligent financial advice, UCIS, and LIBOR manipulation.

Teaching

David is Visiting Professor in Banking Law at SOAS, University of London, where he delivers a course which critically examines financial services regulation and banking practices and asks: do the laws governing banking really benefit customers and serve the common good?

Practice overview

David is Head of Chambers at Forum Chambers. He specialises in banking and financial services law, commercial law, and professional negligence. His combination of experience and insight enables him to identify persuasive arguments and to see where the law might be developed in the future. David is Visiting Professor in Banking Law at Queen Mary University of London.

Clerk details

clerks@forumchambers.com 

cfagan@forumchambers.com

020 3735 8070

 

Banking (UK)

David acts and advises across the full range of financial services disputes and banking transactions, but with a particular focus on the business sector. David has dealt with hundreds of claims of financial mis-selling.  David is as comfortable advising in respect of a commercial loan, a mortgage or a guarantee as he is analysing the financial services rules contained in the FCA and PRA Handbooks. David has particular expertise in claims relating to LIBOR manipulation and the manipulation of other benchmarks, in relation to claims about negligent financial advice, and in claims relating to complex financial products. David also advises debtors in cases where there has been an unfair credit relationship, economic duress, or other abusive practices by a bank or other lender.

David has particular expertise in in relation to claims about negligent financial advice, claims relating to complex financial products, claims relating to the manipulation of LIBOR and other benchmarks. David also advises debtors in cases where there has been an unfair credit relationship, economic duress, or other abusive practices by a bank or other lender. In addition, David acts on behalf of fintech businesses subject to investigation by the financial services regulators.

Recent and ongoing cases:

  • Scarborough Group v BOS: multi-million pound claim against BOS for manipulation of LIBOR (2020)
  • Acting for claims who have entered into unregulated collective investment schemes (UCIS) in relation to property in the UK and abroad
  • Advising lenders on the enforceability of security.
  • Standish v RBS [2019] EWHC 1125 (QB): Claim by shareholders that RBS GRG and West Register had conspired to expropriate their shares.
  • Financial Conduct Authority v Allied Wallet Ltd [2019] 8 WLUK 141: application by FCA for the appointment of a Provisional Liquidator over a fintech company
  • Claims against Lloyds Banking Group related to the Impaired Assets Office of BOS/ HBOS at Reading and elsewhere.
  • Claims against secondary lender for disguising loans as lease finance transactions, undue influence and other malpractice.
  • BOS v Noel Edmonds: counterclaim by celebrity in respect of loss of business as a result of fraud by dishonest banker.
  • Deane, Murphy, Savage and Wilcox v Coutts & Co [2018] EWHC 1657 (Ch): claims by footballers for investment advice given in breach of fiduciary duty.
  • R (Mazarona Properties Ltd) v Financial Ombudsman Service [2017] EWHC 1135 (Admin): Judicial review of the Financial Ombudsman Service’s refusal to consider a complaint about the conduct of the Interest Rate Swap Redress Scheme by a bank.
  • Blackwater Services Ltd v West Bromwich Commercial Ltd [2016] EWHC 3083 (Ch): Interpretation of a market disruption clause in a loan agreement
  • Advising victims of the fraud at HBOS Reading in their submissions to the Foskett Panel

Financial Services Regulation

David regularly advises on questions relating to financial services regulation, including issues relating to the EU and in developing areas such as cryptocurrency, fintech, open banking and payment services. David is a fluent French speaker and holds a Master’s Degree in EU law from a French University. David frequently advises on questions of EU law, foreign laws, conflicts of laws and in relation to Brexit. David has acted as an expert for the EU on the laws in Albania governing banking and money laundering.

Recent and Ongoing Cases:

  • Asking foreign banks as to their post-Brexit obligations under the TP regime.
  • Advising private banks which wish to enter into mortgages secured on land in the UK as to the UK’s regulatory frontier and conduct of business rules.
  • FCA v Allied Wallet Ltd [2019] EWHC 2808 (Ch): Acting for e-money and payment services provider in FCA’s application to wind up the company
  • Advising Egyptian borrowers and guarantors as to their liabilities under commercial financing agreements and hedging agreements which are subject to English law.

Advising foreign banks on consumer protection legislation in England and Gibraltar

 

Banking (EU)

David is a fluent French speaker and holds a Master’s Degree in EU law from a French University. David frequently advises on questions of EU law and also regularly advises foreign banks which wish to sell financial services in the UK. David advises regularly on cases connected to Ireland.

David regularly acts on cases which involve conflicts of laws and analysis of foreign laws, and he has acted as an expert for the EU on the laws in Albania governing banking and money laundering.

Recent and ongoing cases:

  • Advising on the introduction of Unexplained Wealth Orders into the law in Kosovo
  • Advising on cross-border issues relating to the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 and the Payment Services Regulations 2017.
  • Acting for investor given advice in Cyprus by an Appointed Representative of a UK firm.
  • Acting for Irish investors into a failed UK property development scheme.
  • Advising an Irish businessman in respect of claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and mis-selling against an Irish bank and its UK subsidiary
  • Advising foreign private banks which wish to enter into mortgages secured on land in the UK as to the UK’s regulatory frontier and the conduct of business rules which have to complied with in the event that their activities fall within the UK’s regulatory frontier.
  • Advising foreign banks on commercial financing agreements and hedging agreements which are subject to English law.
  • Acting in a claim by an Indian bank against a guarantor involving questions of Belgian law and Indian law.

Commercial Litigation

David deals with commercial disputes and transactions, including those which have a cross-border element. He is experienced in appearing as Counsel in international arbitrations. He also deals with complex shareholder disputes, particularly where there have been breaches of fiduciary duties or of financial services or money laundering laws. David brings a common sense approach to commercial litigation. He is able to devise strategies which reflect the client’s attitude to risk and maximise the outcomes in their case.

Recent and Ongoing cases:

  • Appearing as Co-Counsel in an arbitration in Singapore in a dispute between a cryptocurrency operator and its IT security provider
  • Acting in AA v Bitfinex in the first case where a worldwide freezing injunction was granted over Bitcoin
  • Acting for entrepreneurs in shareholder dispute with major PLC
  • Acting for minority shareholder in unfair prejudice petition
  • Acting for foreign bank in claim to recover foreign exchange from Travelex
  • Appearing in the Gibraltar Supreme Court in Magner v Royal Bank of Scotland on an application for inspection witness statements and exhibits under CPR 32.13

Financial Mis-selling

David has handled a wide range of claims where investors have been given financial advice which was negligent and/or in breach of fiduciary duty. He is able to identify a wide range of causes of action in tort and in equity and to advise on the liability of accessories to wrongdoing. David has also dealt with hundreds of claims of financial mis-selling. He specialises in claims relating to products governed by the ISDA Master Agreement including all types of interest rate hedging products including both vanilla and complex collars and swaps.

Recent and ongoing cases:

  • Acting on behalf of an individual given negligent financial advice in Cyprus by the Appointed Representative of a UK firm.
  • Claim on behalf of high net worth individual against private bank for negligent and unauthorised investments.
  • Deane, Murphy, Savage and Wilcox v Coutts & Co [2018] EWHC 1657 (Ch): claims by footballers arising out of investment advice to invest in a UCIS in Spanish property given in breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Acted on behalf of investor who was advised to invest in UCIS in Cape Verde and then to invest into the Connaught Income Fund.
  • Acted on behalf of investor who was advised by Merrill Lynch to invest in AIG’s Enhanced Fund.
  • Poulton Plaiz Ltd v Barclays Bank Plc [2015] EWHC 3667 (QB): Interest Rate Swap mis-selling claim.
  • Hundreds of swaps cases in which a small business was mis-sold an unsuitable interest rate swap or a fixed rate loan which contained an embedded swap.

Professional Negligence

David’s professional negligence practice relates to claims which have a banking or a commercial element. David is particularly adept at addressing complex questions of causation and loss. David frequently works with others at Forum to devise strategies for handling large numbers of claims for professional negligence relating to banking and finance. David has worked with Philip Currie and with Lloyd Maynard on class action cases relating to mortgage mis-selling, negligent conveyancing, and failed property developments.

 Recent and ongoing cases

  • Acting in a class action against solicitors for failing to protect the interests of foreign buyers purchasing properties off plan in the North of England.
  • Acting for a high net worth individual in a claim against accountants for negligent tax advice.
  • Acting against a solicitor for professional negligence in failing to address the tax consequences of a corporate takeover.
  • Acting in a claim against a quantity surveyor for professional negligence in project monitoring.
  • Right to Buy Litigation [2015] EWHC 1559 (Ch): Group litigation of claims forprofessional negligence against solicitors conducting conveyancing under the Right to Buy Scheme.

 

Insolvency

David is familiar with cases involving insolvency. In the context of claims for financial mis-selling and other professional negligence, he focuses on the ability to recover damages as well as establishing liability.

David is skilled at handling the interaction between financial services regulation and insolvency, particularly in cases involving applications to wind up a company on the just and equitable ground and in cases concerning the ring-fencing of customer assets.

Recent and ongoing cases:

  • Financial Conduct Authority v Allied Wallet Ltd [2019] 8 WLUK 141: application by FCA for the appointment of a Provisional Liquidator over a fintech company
  • Right to Buy Litigation [2015] EWHC 1559 (Ch): Group litigation of claims for professional negligence against solicitors conducting conveyancing under the Right to Buy Scheme where the mortgage brokers had ceased to trade

Recommendations

“He is a super chap who is very committed to clients and highly pragmatic in his approach.”

“He has very detailed knowledge of his subject and comes back to you very quickly.”

Chambers and Partners 2020

 

“His command of detail is outstanding and his knowledge of the law exemplary. He is a robust warrior who inspires confidence in clients.”

“Thorough and tactical, he’s great to work with.”

Chambers and Partners 2018

Qualifications

  • Diploma in French Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge
  • MA Law Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge
  • Maîtrise en Droit (International and European Law) Université de Toulouse I
  • PhD University of Wales

Scholarships and awards

  • Major Scholarship Inner Temple
  • Concours Annuel Université de Toulouse 1ère Mention – European Competition Law
  • Tapp Studentship Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge
  • George Long Prize for Roman Law Cambridge University
  • Squire Scholarship Cambridge University
  • Senior Scholarship Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge
  • McNair Law Prize Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge
  • Exhibition Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge

Professional bodies

  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Financial Services Lawyers Association
  • COMBAR
  • Professional Negligence Lawyers Association
  • Franco-British Lawyers Society

Professional development

David chairs conferences on Banking Litigation and Financial Mis-selling and delivers seminars on negligent financial advice, UCIS, and LIBOR manipulation.

Teaching

David is Visiting Professor in Banking Law at SOAS, University of London, where he delivers a course which critically examines financial services regulation and banking practices and asks: do the laws governing banking really benefit customers and serve the common good?

  • Recent and ongoing cases
    He is a super chap who is very committed to clients and highly pragmatic in his approach. Chambers and Partners, 2020
    • Judicial review of the Financial Ombudsman Service’s refusal to consider a complaint about the conduct of the FCA Redress Scheme for IRHPs by a bank .
    • Hundreds of swaps cases in which a small business was mis-sold an unsuitable interest rate swap or a fixed rate loan which contained an embedded swap.
    • Claims against RBS arising out of GRG and Property Participation Agreements.
    • Claim that a building society failed to activate a market disruption clause properly.
    • Multi-million pound shareholder dispute.
    • Advising footballers who invested in a UCIS in Spanish property.
    • Advising foreign private banks which wish to enter into mortgages secured on land in the UK as to the UK’s regulatory frontier and the conduct of business rules which have to complied with in the event that their activities fall within the UK’s regulatory frontier.
    • Advising foreign banks on commercial financing agreements and hedging agreements which are subject to English law.
    • Advised investor who was advised to invest in UCIS in Cape Verde and then to invest into the Connaught Income Fund.
    • Advised investor who was advised by Merrill Lynch to invest in AIG’s Enhanced Fund.
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