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Clyde & Co LLP

Work 020 7876 5000
Fax 020 7876 5120
Aberdeen, Abu Dhabi, Atlanta, Beijing, Brisbane, Cape Town and 43 more

David Bennet

Work +44 (0) 20 7876 5482
Clyde & Co LLP


David is a Senior Equity Partner specialising in major cross-border litigation and arbitration, particularly in the oil and gas, trading and shipping sectors.

His clients include oil companies, offshore contractors, traders and insurers, and he is CRM for TOTAL, Apache and a number of offshore drilling companies and vessel owners.


Having obtained a scholarship in law at Cambridge, David qualified as a solicitor with another firm in 1991‎ and spent three years in the Middle East building a litigation practice. He joined Clydes in 1997 and became a partner in 2001.


  • David has spent much of‎ 2015/16 fighting an UNCITRAL arbitration involving USD half billion claims for a rig owner unable to recover dayrate from a state-owned oil company which has advanced a series of spurious claims and interlocutory actions to delay Award.
  • Acting in major LCIA arbitration (set down for 6 weeks) involving a rig supplied with significant defects in virtually every system, in which the drilling contract was terminated, and where we successfully obtained offer of settlement at several times the contractual limit.
  • Acting for an oil company in an expedited ICC arbitration involving the rights of a participant in a JOA to obtain information confidential to the Kurdish Government and protected under the PSC wording.


David is co-head of the firm's Oil and Gas Group, sits on the Executive of the Marine and International Trade Department, and was formerly on the firm's Global Management Board (including during the negotiation and delivery of the successful merger with Barlows).‎ He has previously acted for a number of years on the Board of the Aden Container Terminal.

London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Oil and gas

Within: Oil and gas

Clyde & Co LLP’s oil and gas practice has an extensive track record in high-value, cross-border disputes and transactional matters, and acts for a heavyweight client roster that includes Total, Glencore and Scottish Power. The firm has a particularly strong profile in emerging markets work; in a highlight matter, Clare Hatcher is advising West African Gas, which is jointly owned by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Sahara Energy Resource on the development of an LNG import terminal at the port of Tema in Ghana, which involves advising on construction contracts for dredging works at the port and the installation of a pipeline from the terminal to the delivery point. Other key figures on the emerging markets front include Michael Wachtel and Philip Mace, who have extensive experience in Africa-related oil and gas matters; Benjamin Knowles, who handles disputes with a Middle East flavour; and Peter Hirst, for Latin America-related mandates. David Bennett jointly heads the team with Wachtel and is a highly-respected figure in oil and gas disputes. Also recommended are Paul Lowrie, who was recently promoted to partner and focuses on energy insurance matters, namely offshore oil and gas disputes; David Leckie, who regularly acts for operators and contractors on oil and gas disputes; and Richard Power.

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London: Transport


Within: Leading individuals

David Bennet - Clyde & Co LLP

Within: Shipping

Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘expert’ department handles a range of shipping mandates for shipowners, charterers, traders, offshore energy groups and insurers, ports and terminals, shipbuilders, salvors and banks and brokers. It is acting for the Alpine Eternity and its liability insurers Britannia P&I Club on a casualty case resulting from a collision with an Iranian-owned oil rig, and represented the charterers Containerships Denizcilik and its insurers in an indemnity claim against the owners of the Yusuf Gusuf Cepnioglu and its P&I insurers following the grounding and total loss of the vessel in Greece. It also advising VIS Insurance on a cargo contamination case. The ‘well-respected’ team includes Andrew Preston, who handles charterparty and bill of lading disputes; Simon Jackson, who specialises in shipping dispute resolution, as well as marine and energy insurance; cargo casualty head Jai Sharma; disputes specialist Andrew Nicholas; the ‘brilliant’ Edward Mills-Webb; Nick Austin, who handles shipping and trading disputes; Elizabeth Turnbull, who is noted for contractual disputes; Simon Culhane; and the ‘very responsive’ Irvine Marr. Other recommended individuals include Hatty Sumption, Martin Hall, John Leonida, David Bennet (who specialises in dispute resolution and international arbitration), Rob Collins, and legal director Bethan Bradley. In 2016 Christopher Pratts joined from Waltons & Morse, and Fanos Theophani joined from MFB.

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South East: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Within: Commercial litigation: Kent, Surrey and Sussex

The commercial litigation practice at Clyde & Co LLP works closely with the firm’s London office to represent clients in litigation at the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. It is well-versed in alternative forms of dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation. The team represented PetroSaudi in a major dispute with PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, following PDVSA’s refusal to pay for the client’s drilling rig when it was refused re-entry to Venezuela; the team successfully overturned the High Court judgment at the appeal stage. It also acted for AmTrust in a dispute with Trust Risk Group (TRG) concerning a €2.9bn breach of trust claim brought by TRG over AmTrust’s position as sole distributor of TRG’s $500m Italian medical malpractice insurance business, which involved obtaining a freezing injunction and international arbitration proceedings. Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa, Apache and Carphone Warehouse are also clients. The practice is headed by experienced arbitrator David Bennet and Tim Foley, who has expertise in breach of covenant and asset management disputes. They are ably supported by Chris Burdett who ‘is one of the best litigators around: strategic, calm, practical and highly intelligent’, according to one client; and Mark Walsh, an international arbitration and energy sector specialist.

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South East: Transport


Within: Shipping

Housing a team of 15, the marine practice at Clyde & Co LLP in Guildford deals with cargo, casualty, charterparty, dispute resolution and international arbitration matters, in addition to general employment and immigration issues. In terms of cargo, the lawyers alongside key partner Jai Sharma – who specialises in cargo casualty – handle logistics and contentious matters involving bills of lading, issues with quality or quantity, contamination and letters of indemnity. Accredited mediator Martin Hall leads the marine casualty sub-practice, focusing on collisions, crisis management, recoveries, salvage, unseaworthiness, fires and explosions, grounding, total loss, personal injury claims as well as wreck removal and deep sea recovery projects. Nick Greensmith and technical director John Reed are other names to note in this area. In dispute resolution, the team has particular expertise in arbitration; David Bennet handles marine, international trading and oil and gas related disputes.

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