a 'Counsel to note'
Legal 500 2020

Overview

Daniel Hart is counsel in the London office of the global Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice, having joined Mayer Brown in 2001. He acts in complex and substantial banking, commercial, corporate and commercial agency disputes in a variety of industry sectors, typically with a significant cross-jurisdictional flavour.  He also advises on various discrete cross-border issues that arise in an international business context, when negotiating transactions as well as when matters turn contentious, and related global strategy.  He has considerable experience of litigating in the courts (High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court), and also of using various other methods of dispute resolution (including mediation, arbitration, "med-arb" and expert determination).

Daniel's wide-ranging practice includes the following:

Cross-border disputes and issues: Daniel has particular experience of acting in disputes involving an international element. He also focuses on complex cross-border issues which arise not only when a dispute emerges, but also at the time of contracting and when conducting international business more generally, and advises on associated global strategy. Those issues include: 

  • forum/jurisdiction, parallel proceedings and anti-suit injunctions;
  • choice of/ governing law;
  • international service of documents;
  • obtaining/ use of international evidence and related matters;
  • obtaining international interim/protective relief;
  • international enforcement of judgments and arbitration awards;
  • state immunity and other protections.

Examples of reported court judgments on such issues in matters on which Daniel has advised include:

  • Autoridad del Canal de Panamá v. Sacyr, S.A. and others [2017] EWHC 2228 (Comm): parallel English court proceedings and US (Miami) arbitrations – successful defence of an application for a stay of the English court proceedings;
  • Starlight Shipping Company v Allianz Marine & Aviation Versicherungs AG and others - In the matter of the "Alexandros T" [2013] UKSC 70, [2012] EWCA Civ 1714, [2011] EWHC 3381 (Comm): parallel court proceedings in England and Greece - successful defence of an application for a stay of the English proceedings;
  • Standard Bank plc v. Via Mat International Ltd and Via Mat International Hong Kong Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 490: successfully resisting a Hong Kong defendant's jurisdiction challenge, including by establishing on appeal that the claim against the English co-defendant had a real prospect of success;
  • UBS AG, London Branch and another v. Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig GmbH [2010] EWHC 2566 (Comm): parallel court proceedings in England and Germany – successful defence of application for a stay and challenge to jurisdiction of English court, including consideration of governing law issues and points of German law;
  • Mölnlycke Health Care v. BSN Medical Ltd [2010] EWCA Civ 988 (CA); [2009] EWHC 3370 (Pat): parallel court proceedings in England and Sweden - successful defence, at first instance and on appeal, of application to stay and/or decline jurisdiction;
  • Cinnamon European Structured Credit Master Fund v. Banco Commercial Português S.A. [2009] EWHC 3381 (Ch): successful defence of application contesting jurisdiction and/or seeking a stay of the English proceedings in favour of Portugal;
  • Aerotel v. WaveCrest Group Enterprises Ltd and others [2007] EWHC 104 (Pat): successful application for security for costs against an Israeli claimant, including consideration of international enforcement issues;
  • Hewden Tower Cranes Ltd v. Wolffkran GmbH [2007] EWHC 857 (TCC): successful defence of an application to contest jurisdiction of the English court.

Disputes involving banking transactions and commercial contracts: advising on disputes concerning complex banking transactions, and other commercial contract disputes in various other industry sectors including chemicals, telecoms, IT, pharmaceuticals, on-line betting, aviation, travel and sport. These involved various issues/allegations including: the interpretation and effect of contractual terms, capacity and authority to contract, agency, attribution of knowledge and vicarious liability, dishonest assistance with a breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation, deceit/fraud, negligence, causation, remoteness and quantum of loss, and various associated remedies (including damages, rescission, injunctions, declarations and specific performance).

Post-acquisition/investment disputes: advising on complex disputes arising following the acquisition/sale of businesses, companies and groups of companies (domestic and global) in various sectors including market research, pharmaceuticals, telecoms/IT, on-line financial services and the automobile industry. These have included claims for breach of contract, disputes in relation to completion statements, and claims for breach of warranty and/or misrepresentation.

Commercial agency disputes: advising on disputes concerning sales agency contracts, including in particular, claims on termination and the effect of the Commercial Agents Directive and implementing Regulations.

Corporate and shareholder disputes: advising on corporate and shareholder disputes (including in relation to the rights of minority shareholders).

Spoken Languages

  • English

Experience

Advising/acting in relation to cross-border issues

  • Advising in relation to jurisdiction, parallel proceedings and associated issues, including the obtaining of anti-suit injunctions, conflicting judgments and collateral use of disclosed documents in other proceedings, and on issues of choice of/ governing law.
  • Advising upon and effecting service of English proceedings abroad in EU states, in Hague Convention countries and in other countries (such as Indonesia) through diplomatic channels, and also upon on States (both within the jurisdiction using an agreed method, and out of the jurisdiction via diplomatic channels).
  • Acting in conjunction with lawyers in various jurisdictions including EU countries such as Spain and Denmark, and other countries such as Australia, Canada and the US (e.g. in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Wilmington and Hartford), in relation to the obtaining/recording of oral and/or documentary evidence in England for use in foreign proceedings in a wide variety of disputes including banking and finance disputes, anti-trust claims, IP claims, claims for misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty, non-solicitation claims, claims concerning a real estate transaction and various investigatory proceedings. 
  • Advising on the potential for the obtaining and enforceability of domestic/worldwide interim relief in England or abroad in support of foreign or English court/arbitral proceedings. 
  • Advising existing and potential judgment creditors and judgment debtors in relation to the enforceability of foreign judgments/awards in England and of English judgments/awards abroad, including in respect of EU countries (such as France, Belgium, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden), EFTA countries such as Switzerland, and other countries such as Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, the British Virgin Islands, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Chile, China (including Hong Kong), Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, the Bailiwick of Jersey, Macau, the Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Oman, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
  • Advising on various issues of State immunity (from suit, as regards interim relief, and from enforcement).

Conducting disputes and claims

  • Acting in conjunction with New York office to advise upon, and obtain expert evidence in relation to, issues of English law arising in US proceedings in connection with a substantial and complex banking and finance dispute, and obtaining (and resisting application to set aside) order to obtain testimony from UK witnesses for the purposes of those US proceedings. 
  • Advising on cross-border issues arising in connection with an arbitration in London and parallel court proceedings in Lebanon, including questions as regards the international enforcement of judgments, and successfully obtaining an anti-suit injunction in respect of the Lebanese proceedings.
  • Advising (with New York and Paris offices) in relation to the possible enforcement of a foreign judgment against a State in the US, the UK and/or France, and the potential for obtaining interim relief, including the applicable legal principles, mechanisms and procedure, and state immunity issues. 
  • Acting (with Frankfurt office) for an international bank in relation to considerable and complex cross-border multi-party disputes concerning various derivative transactions, including advising upon various cross-border issues arising: UBS AG (London Branch) & another v Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig GMBH [2017] EWCA Civ 1567; UBS AG (London Branch) & another v Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig GMBH [2014] EWHC 3615.
  • Acting for US and Netherlands entities in a dispute with an Israeli entities concerning a share purchase agreement and involving parallel court proceedings in England and Israel, and advising on various cross-border issues arising including jurisdiction, governing law, and the international enforcement of judgments, including making a successful application to add claims to the English proceedings so as to widen their scope and include claims for breach of a jurisdiction clause.
  • Acting (with Hong Kong office) for a Hong Kong entity in a claim under a guarantee against an Indonesian entity, including advising on various cross-border issues (such as jurisdiction, possible parallel proceedings, governing law, international service, the potential for seeking interim relief and international enforcement) and associated strategy, and including effecting service through diplomatic channels in Indonesia.
  • Acting (with US offices and Taiwanese lawyers) for a large Netherlands corporation in relation to the enforcement of a substantial Taiwanese judgment in England (and/or the US) and associated strategy, including obtaining permission to serve proceedings out of the jurisdiction, advising on possible methods of service, and taking interim protective steps.
  • Acting pro bono for an NGO in an international dispute so as to obtain payment of outstanding funding tranches, and thus enable the continued operation of a charitable project designed to secure the rights of indigenous communities with a view to ensuring the long-term protection of rainforests.
  • Advising one of the world's leading providers of financial and market data in relation to an intricate web of disputes with a contract counterparty in relation to a network and IT outsourcing agreement. 
  • Acting for a Cayman fund in relation to claim against a Portuguese bank in connection with a securitisation, in particular successfully defending a challenge to the jurisdiction of the English Courts: Cinnamon European Structured Credit Master Fund v. Banco Commercial Português S.A. [2009] EWHC 3381 (Ch). 
  • Acting (with Frankfurt office) in substantial and complex claims made following an international corporate acquisition. The proceedings included disputes about the interpretation of contractual terms and issues of estoppel, and associated counterclaims for misrepresentation and breach of warranty. They necessarily involved working very closely with forensic accountants to analyse and present historic accounting data, including by creating an interactive financial model. 
  • Advising a large international chemicals company in a considerable and complex pricing dispute concerning an inter-connected suite of agreements for the mutual supply of goods and services, involving issues in respect of the meaning, effect and inter-relationship of contractual terms (which had evolved over time) and the operation of complex formulae. The proceedings required detailed forensic factual investigation, and the considerable involvement of accounting experts including the development and use of accounting analyses and models. 
  • Acting for a proprietary trading firm, in conjunction with New York office, in claims involving parallel proceedings in England and New York in relation to alleged agreements between US and Swiss parties concerning the provision of trading technology solutions. 
  • Acting in a breach of warranty/misrepresentation claim following investment in a company in the on-line retail financial services sector. 
  • Advising one of the world's largest suppliers of consumer goods in a dispute concerning alleged breaches of, and termination of, an agreement concerning the development of a product. 
  • Advising on a post-acquisition dispute in the automobile industry. 
  • Advising (with Paris office) in relation to a dispute concerning remuneration for the provision of private equity fund investment placement services. 
  • Advising in relation to an alleged professional negligence audit claim. 
  • Advising on various claims (spanning various industry sectors) concerning agency supply contracts in various EU and non-EU jurisdictions, including claims for commissions and post-termination compensation. 
  • Advising strategically in order to secure, via English proceedings, the successful recovery of monies owed by an Asia-based defendant. 
  • Acting, together with Danish lawyers, for an airport in relation to claims against a Danish entity and its English parent (claims also involving issues of forum/jurisdiction, governing law and international enforcement). 
  • Acting for a global managed network and hosting company in a complex claim for breach of contract, breach of warranty and misrepresentation following the acquisition of a number of foreign companies in the telecoms/IT sector, including working with Dutch and English accounting experts. 
  • Acting in a series of post-acquisition disputes in the telecoms sector in claims concerning: 
    • alleged breaches of restrictive covenants and other economic torts (including obtaining interlocutory injunctions and a subsequent damages claim); 
    • contractual claims (including obtaining an urgent "without notice" freezing injunction).
  • Advising a substantial international chemicals corporation in relation to various contractual issues concerning a web of chemicals supply contracts. 
  • Acting in relation to various complex shareholders' disputes. 
  • Acting for one of the world's leading telecommunications companies in relation to disputes concerning a large IT outsourcing contract. 
  • Advising in relation to the obtaining of evidence in England for the purposes of a US death row case. 
  • Defending a claim for breach of warranty and misrepresentation following a business sale in the food industry. 
  • Acting for a time share operator in relation to obtaining injunctive relief to restrain a competitor's use of confidential information. 
  • Acting for a domestic football club in relation to a number of inter-related disputes with a footballers' agent - including contractual claims, an employment claim and a mini-trial in respect of garnishee (third party debt order) proceedings. 
  • Acting in a contractual claim, and subsequent international enforcement proceedings, against a Portuguese football club. 
  • Acting in claims and international enforcement proceedings which concerned negotiable financial instruments and raised issues of sovereign immunity. 
  • Acting for a large corporate entity in an arbitration, and a subsequent related mediation, in considerable contractual disputes in the utilities sector. 
  • Acting in a claim for a "springboard" injunction to restrain individuals from competing with an entities' business for a specified period and from using its confidential information. 
  • Advising in relation to freezing orders, bankruptcy petitions, individual voluntary arrangements and other related claims in a high-profile matter. 
  • Resisting a claim for an injunction for nuisance threatened against a large construction company. 
  • Various possession proceedings and the eviction of travellers and protesters from business parks and factory premises.

Education

The College of Law, York

Bristol University, Law

Admissions

  • England and Wales

Court

  • Solicitor Advocate with Higher Rights of Audience (Civil)
  • A counsel to note - Legal 500 2020.