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

Twenty Essex
David Lewis KC photo

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 EssexDavid is incredibly bright, calm and collected on his feet, with razor-sharp attention to detail.’

London Bar > Commodities

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

David Lewis KCTwenty Essex ‘Very highly regarded by solicitors, David is encyclopaedically brilliant, authoritative and yet polite, and meticulously prepared.’

London Bar > Energy

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

David Lewis KCTwenty Essex ‘David has an outstanding intellect and is always available, courteous and excellent with clients.’

Twenty Essex has ‘some of the best and broadest expertise in international trade, shipping and insurance, whether amongst skills and juniors’, and those skills see members increasingly involved in complex and high-value matters in the energy sector, particularly the oil and gas market. Their work also encompasses LNG, mining, drill and rig disputes, and there is a growing volume of work arising from the renewable energy sector and issues related to climate change and energy transition. Members couple industry-specific knowledge with expertise in financial, fraud and contractual disputes, as well as engineering and construction both onshore and offshore. David Lewis KC is an increasingly prominent presence in energy disputes, frequently acting for large trading houses in matters concerning price reviews and supply contracts. Michael Ashcroft KC recently acted for BP Oil in a $20m Commercial Court claim, BP Oil International Ltd v Vega Petroleum Ltd and Dover Investments Ltd, concerning the return of payments for 211,387 barrels of Gulf of Suez Mix crude oil that was, according to BP, never delivered from the Ras El Ush field in Egypt. Wendy Miles KC, who is best known for climate change matters, is also heavily involved in oil and gas disputes.

London Bar > International arbitration: counsel

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

David Lewis KCTwenty Essex ‘David is incredibly thorough and meticulously prepared for every conference and every hearing. He has deep expertise in international trade matters. A team player who interacts wonderfully with lay and professional clients.’

London Bar > Commercial litigation

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 5

David Lewis KCTwenty Essex

Massively able and unflappable. Very measured advocacy.

Asia Pacific - The English Bar > Commercial

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

David Lewis KCTwenty Essex

Asia Pacific - The English Bar > Shipping and commodities

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

David Lewis KCTwenty EssexA silk with a very good nose for how a tribunal will react to an argument.’