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 practises in a wide range of general commercial and private international law disputes, with a particular emphasis on energy and natural resources, civil fraud and the conflict of laws.

A substantial amount of his work is in international arbitration. David has acted as lead counsel in arbitration hearings in numerous jurisdictions worldwide, including frequently in Singapore, where he was based permanently from 2009 to 2010.

He has also appeared before the courts of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), the Cayman Islands and Gibraltar.

David is renowned for his strategic instincts as to how judges and arbitrators think, his incisive intellect and his responsiveness.

He also accepts appointments as arbitrator, and has acted as arbitrator under various institutional rules and ad hoc.  


Year of call: 1999 (England and Wales); 2017 (British Virgin Islands)
Year of QC: 2014


French (proficient)


  • Arbitration Ireland
  • Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Dubai International Financial Centre: Registered Practitioner
  • Fraud Lawyers Association
  • ICC
  • LCIA
  • LMAA: Supporting Member
  • Scottish Arbitration Centre
  • Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration: Supporting Member
  • Singapore Institute of Arbitrators
  • Singapore International Commercial Court: Registered Foreign Lawyer


  • University of Oxford, St Edmund Hall: BA in Jurisprudence, First Class (1998)

Lawyer Rankings

Asia Pacific - The English Bar > Commercial

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

David Lewis QCTwenty EssexHe is unperturbable on his feet and can stand up to anyone.

An impressive set in international arbitration, international trade and commodities‘, Twenty Essex has a number of barristers experienced in commercial disputes in these sectors and beyond. Key names include energy sector expert David Lewis QC and Philip Edey QC , who frequently advises on disputes involving allegations of fraud, dishonesty, bribery and conspiracy. The ‘commercialNakul Dewan SA  is an Indian Senior Advocate with strong connections in Singapore.

Asia Pacific - The English Bar > Shipping and commodities

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

David Lewis QCTwenty Essex

He is unperturbable on his feet and a go-to barrister for all shipping and commodities disputes.

Offering great strength in depth’ in the shipping and commodities space, members of Twenty Essex, both silks and juniors, have the ‘sharpest legal minds’. Based in London and Singapore, the set has a strong reputation in handling ship and rig building construction disputes in both international arbitrations and the London courts. David Lewis QC is acting for the tenth defendant in an alleged commodities fraud, ED&F Man Capital Markets Ltd v Come Harvest Holdings Limited and others, in relation to forged warehouse receipts for consignments of nickel in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Elsewhere, Michael Ashcroft QC is leading Oliver Caplin on the matter of Trafigura Maritime Logistics Pte Ltd v Clearlake Shipping Pte Ltd, an interim application to obtain an injunction to compel performance of a maritime letter of indemnity, which questions the interpretation of the standard for International Group letter of indemnity.

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.