Nicholas Davidson KC

Call: 1974 | Silk: 1993 |

Nicholas Davidson KC is a commercial litigator, mediator and arbitrator.  One of the most experienced practitioners at the London bar, Legal 500 2022 describe him as “the very definition of a legal eagle.” And Chambers 2022 comment that he has “serious gravitas”.

Nicholas joined Hailsham Chambers in 2022 and brings a wealth of experience in his core practice areas of commercial litigation, professional liability and insurance and reinsurance. 

He always aims to combine a in-depth knowledge of the law with commercial awareness and is committed both to understanding and achieving his clients’ objectives.   

Nicholas has a keen interest in commercial matters.  He is involved not only in pure financial or interpretation litigation (a case of particular satisfaction to him was AIB Group (UK) plc v. Martin and Gold [2001] UKHL 63) but also in very tough business disputes.  In Ross River Ltd v Cambridge City Football Club [2007] EWHC 2115 Ch he acted for the Club in establishing that a transaction in relation to its ground had been affected by bribery and fraudulent misrepresentation.  He acted for Newcastle Airport in a high profile claim (settled the day before trial) against its former Chief Executive and the Estate of its Finance Director seeking to recoup in respect of multi-million bonuses which had become payable on a refinancing.

Nicholas has extensive experience, as advocate and arbitrator, of insurance law, especially professional indemnity insurance law, and the practical operation of policies, including dishonesty issues and the potentially vexing subjects of “notification” of circumstances and the composite nature of the insurance.

He frequently deals with issues relating to fraud exceptions and reimbursement claims based on dishonesty.  He is experienced in the procedures where dishonesty is under consideration, and has conducted “indemnity cons” and is familiar with issues as to the handling of subsequent arbitrations. 

Nicholas offers vast experience in the professional negligence sphere. He regularly takes on high-profile negligence cases arising from complicated issues such as corporate governance breakdown, institutional fraud and downturns in the property market. He has a particular flair for claims involving financial services professionals but also has an established reputation for cases relating to solicitors’ negligence. 

AIB (UK) PLC v Mark Redler (a firm) [2014] UKSC - solicitors: breach of trust

Newcastle International Airport v Eversheds [2014] P.N.L.R. [2013] EWCA Civ 1514 - solicitors’ liability in executive contract drafting; corporate governance)

UCB Home Loans Corporation Ltd v Soni [2013] EWCA Civ 62  - partnership: holding out

National Union of Mineworkers v Scargill [2012] EWHC 3750 (Ch) - corporate governance

Kidsons v Underwriters at Lloyd’s [2009] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 8 - professional indemnity insurance notification requirements

Ross River Ltd v Cambridge City Football Club Ltd [2008] 1 All ER 1004 - bribery and fraudulent misrepresentation; corporate governance

Numerous settled cases on investment management/advice

AIB Plc v Martin [2001] UKHL 63 [2002] 1WLR 94 - bank mortgage interpretation

Cave v Robinson Jarvis & Rolfe [2002] UKHL 18 [2003] 1 AC 384 - deliberate concealment

Medcalf v Mardell [2002] UKHL 27 [2003] 1 AC 320 - wasted costs

SEB Trygg Holding Aktiebolag v Manches and Others [2006] l Lloyd’s Rep 14 -participation in arbitration; universal succession

Quorum A/S v Schramm (Nos 1 & 2), [2001] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 249 and [2002] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 72 - fine art insurance

Bank of Credit and Commerce International SA v Aboody [1990] 1QB 921 - actual undue influence

Bristol and West Building Society v Fancy & Jackson [1997] 4 All ER 582 - solicitors’ breach of duty; causation and contributory negligence

National Home Loans Corporation Plc v Giffen, Couch & Archer [1998] 1 WLR 207 - scope of conveyancing solicitor’s duty to lender

Nissho Iwai Petroleum Co Inc v Cargill International SA [1993] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 80 - oil contracts, duty of co-operation

Wraith v Wraith [1997] 2 All ER 526 - legal aid; enforcing costs where solicitors at fault); Nationwide Building Society v Balmer Radmore [1999], PNLR 606

Nationwide Building Society v Thimbleby [1999] PNLR 733.

"He is wonderfully definitive with his advice, very user-friendly and has no issues handling difficult clients. He has serious gravitas" Chambers 2022

"A master of brevity, who sees the whole picture but doesn't miss the detail. The very definition of a legal eagle" Legal 500 2022

“A class act with tremendous presence and gravitas in court” Legal 500 2020

“an exceptional silk” Legal 500 2019

Someone who “produces masterpieces. The work, the detail, the focus that goes into it – it is outstanding; it blows me away” Chambers 2019

“You want him on your side and not on the other side” Chambers 2019

“His technical knowledge is first rate. He gets right into it himself, so he’s a great leader to work with, and brings tremendous enthusiasm” Chambers 2019

“He is very effective and has a sensible, smooth approach. He has gravitas and is able to lead in a way that lets some of the heat out of the situation” Chambers 2020

Appointments

  • Deputy High Court Judge (until 2021)  
  • Directions Judge, Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service
  • Pension Trustee, Inner Temple Defined Benefit Scheme

Memberships

  • Bar European Group
  • British Insurance Law Association
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Financial Services Law Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association (past Chairman)
  • Society for Computers and Law

Education

Cambridge University (Economics Part I, Law Part II)

ICO Data protection registration number: Z6653199

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