David Lewis KC > Twenty Essex > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Twenty Essex

Work Department

  • Arbitration
  • Banking
  • Civil fraud
  • Conflicts of laws
  • Energy and natural resources
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • Mediation
  • Sale of goods
  • Shipbuilding
  • Shipping


David is a specialist advocate who took silk in 2014 at the age of 36. He has been described as a “meticulous and formidable silk who can cut through complex cases”.

He is experienced in a wide range of general commercial and private international law disputes, with an emphasis on energy and natural resources (including renewables), shipping and commodities, civil fraud and the conflict of laws. He also has a particular interest in crypto disputes.

David is renowned for his strategic instincts as to how judges and arbitrators think, his incisive intellect and his responsiveness. He is frequently involved in complex, high value, multi-jurisdictional disputes either leading a large team or working as co-counsel with foreign lawyers. He also has considerable experience of injunctive relief, in particular anti-suit and freezing injunctions.

A substantial amount of his work is in international arbitration. David has acted as lead counsel in arbitration hearings in London, Singapore (where he was based permanently from 2009 to 2010), Paris, Dubai and Hong Kong. He is regularly instructed on challenges to arbitration awards and disputes relating to their enforcement. He was nominated for ‘International Arbitration Silk of the Year 2019’ by The Legal 500.

In addition to appearances at all levels of the High Court (including the appellate courts), he is called to the Bar of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), registered to appear in the Singapore International Commercial Court (as a foreign lawyer) and in the DIFC Courts and has appeared (ad hoc) before the Courts of the Cayman Islands and Gibraltar.

He also accepts appointments as arbitrator, and has acted as arbitrator under various institutional rules and ad hoc. He also gives expert evidence on English law in foreign Court proceedings.



French (proficient)

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Shipping

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

David Lewis KCTwenty Essex ‘Simply fantastic – superb on jurisdiction.’

London Bar > Energy

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

David Lewis KCTwenty Essex ‘An accessible and very user-friendly silk who rolls up his sleeves and fights the client’s corner from the outset, he is superbly well-prepared, robust and persuasive.’

London Bar > International arbitration: counsel

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

David Lewis KCTwenty EssexExtremely clever and efficient, he is not phased by large amounts of material and cuts through it quickly to identify the key points. Superbly well-prepared and assiduous, he does not miss a point and identifies ones that nobody else has thought of. Great on his feet, strong and persuasive but with an easy manner that appeals to tribunals.’

London Bar > Commodities

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

David Lewis KCTwenty Essex ‘A commodities expert who is accessible and very user-friendly and who rolls up his sleeves and fights the client’s corner from the outset, whilst being alive to the commercial aspects of the dispute.’

London Bar > Commercial litigation

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 5

David Lewis KCTwenty EssexA smooth and charming advocate.

Asia Pacific - The English Bar > Commercial

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

David Lewis KCTwenty Essex

The ‘utterly brilliantTwenty Essex has grown significantly with its increased investment into the Asia Pacific region, where its members undertake practice areas such as commercial arbitration. The set continues to have Michael Ashcroft KC has vast experience within numerous jurisdictions such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea, with cases involving commercial contract disputes. Timothy Hill KC and David Lewis KC are other key names in the set for Asian work.

Asia Pacific - The English Bar > Shipping and commodities

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

David Lewis KCTwenty Essex  ‘David is able to dissect complicated issues and advise in a clear and concise manner. He is equally effective at communicating with tribunal and judges as well.’

Twenty Essex is well-regarded in Singapore for the work conducted in shipping and maritime issues such as letters of indemnity, unsafe port claims, enforcement of parent company guarantees, mis-delivery disputes and oil trading disputes. Timothy Young KC and Simon Milnes KC were against David Lewis KC and Alistair Wooder  in an arbitration concerning delay to platform supply vessels which pushed them past the deadline to comply with the new MARPOL standards in 2016.