Professional practice

“An amazing advocate… not just fantastic with the law… absolutely phenomenal in court” Daniel Oudkerk QC has a broad-based trial and advisory practice. He has appeared as the lead advocate at every level in Court (Commercial Court, Chancery Division, Queen’s Bench Division, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court) and in arbitration. A “skilled tactician and a formidable cross-examiner” he is recognised as a leading silk in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Employment Litigation.

Daniel has been instructed in many of the most significant commercial employment disputes of recent years including: Egon Zehnder v Tillman SC (2019) the first employee competition case in 100 years to reach the Supreme Court; Gruber & Ors v AIG the former employees’ $100m contractual claim in the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal (2016-20); and the landmark Tullett Prebon v BGC team move litigation in the QBD and Court of Appeal. He is routinely instructed in heavy City employment litigation. Chambers & Partners notes his “amazing work on team moves” describing him as “the voice of reason in high-octane disputes”. “He works hard and has swagger that breeds confidence; leads the charge of the next generation stars of the Bar.”

A serious performer who is very easy to work with, very commercial and really smart” his commercial practice includes high profile disputes across a diverse range of sectors from the football sponsorship dispute New Balance v Liverpool FC [2019] EWHC 2837 (Comm) to Capco’s fintech fraud claim for £200m relating to block chain banking platforms. He acted for the successful claimant against the Russian oligarch founders of ENRC for damages under an oral contract and in the subsequent fraud proceedings (Stein v Chodiev and Ors [2015] EWHC 1428 (Comm)) and for the asset manager Henderson in a dispute over the transfer of a £1bn fund which considered the legal status of an Open Ended Investment Company (Henderson v Pease [2019] EWCA Civ 158). He appeared for the interdealer broker TP-ICAP in a dispute arising out of the acquisition of a global broking business. Much of Daniel’s work involves claims governed by foreign law, urgent applications for injunctive relief and expedited trials. Chambers & Partners (Commercial Dispute Resolution) says he has “a great ability to read cases, and is vastly experienced, giving direct advice and setting out his position well. He has impressive control of the courtroom, and knows when to intervene.” “A great strategist able to see the big picture, he inspires confidence in clients and is a real team player.” “He’s not afraid to get stuck into the nitty-gritty.”  Who’s Who Legal recommends Daniel in banking fintech (amongst other areas).

He co-edits International Employment Disputes, Oudkerk & Rogers (Sweet & Maxwell).

 

What others say

The Directories 2020

“A serious performer who is very easy to work with, very commercial and really smart.” Commercial Dispute Resolution, Chambers UK Bar

“Strategic, pragmatic and technically exceptional.” “Super smart, really good with clients and creates a very reassuring sense of control in a case.” Employment, Chambers UK Bar

“Works hard and has swagger that breeds confidence; leads the charge of the next generation stars of the Bar.” Employment, The Legal 500 2020

The Directories 2019

“Has a great ability to read cases, and is vastly experienced, giving direct advice and setting out his position well. He has impressive control of the courtroom, and knows when to intervene.” Commercial Dispute Resolution, Chambers UK Bar

“Incredibly assured, thoughtful and good fun to work with.” Employment, Chambers UK Bar

“A true star of the restrictive covenant world.” Employment, The Legal 500 2019

The Directories 2018

“A great strategist able to see the big picture, he inspires confidence in clients and is a real team player. He’s not afraid to get stuck into the nitty-gritty.” Chambers UK Bar 2018, Commercial Dispute Resolution

“Dan is one of the leaders in the field for restrictive covenant work and a real master of the topic. He is also very good to work with. He’s responsive, easily accessible and commercial. He identifies the issues quickly, thinks strategically and knows what clients want.” Chambers UK Bar 2018, Employment

The Directories 2017

“He inspires confidence in the client and has a very clear vision of how a case should be run. The confidence that he oozed held us together.” Chambers UK Bar 2017, Commercial Dispute Resolution.

“A class act and an excellent strategist, who has a real sense of how a case will develop.” The Legal 500 2017 Employment

“He is a very able advocate and has a good courtroom manner. He is extremely bright and is the voice of reason in high-octane disputes.” Chambers UK Bar 2017, Employment

The Directories 2016

“You definitely want him on your side. He is experienced, measured, a skilled tactician and a formidable cross-examiner. He has the confidence of the court, is very assured and has the knack of coming up with common-sense points.” Chambers UK Bar 2016, Commercial Dispute Resolution.

“One of the best; he really gets stuck in, and has a fantastic tactical and technical brain.” The Legal 500 2016, Employment

“Very good on his feet and very punchy. A dynamic, feisty and highly astute litigator.” Chambers UK Bar 2016, Employment

The Directories 2015

He’s very user-friendly and very good at working in a team. He is strategically, commercially and legally very astute, and brilliant on his feet.” “Simplifies complex matters and knows how to get results.” Commercial Dispute Resolution Chambers UK Bar

A tenacious advocate who is never afraid to take new and innovative points.” The Legal 500 2015, Employment

 

 

 

Examples of recent cases

New Balance Athletics Inc v Liverpool FC [2019] EWHC 2837 (Comm) acting for New Balance in the Liverpool FC Sponsorship dispute.  The Commercial Court considered at a speedy trial a ‘matching provision’. The principal argument concerned the obligation of good faith in a relational contract and whether New Balance was in breach as regards a distribution obligation. The secondary issue concerned the exercise of a matching right.

JLT & Ors v Hyperion & Ors (2019-20) Leading Counsel for the claimants in a multimillion pound High Court claim arising out of the £4.3bn acquisition of JLT by Marsh & McLennan  (The Times 12 May 2019).

Egon Zehnder Ltd v Tillman [2019] UKSC 32, considered the application of restraint of trade principles in shareholder restraints, the proper approach to construction of covenants in restraint of trade, and the doctrine of severance. It was the first employee competition case to be considered by the House of Lords/Supreme Court in more than 100 years. Daniel was Leading Counsel for Ms Tillman in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and Chancery Division.

Henderson Administration Ltd v Pease [2019] EWCA Civ 158 acting for the successful appellant, Henderson, in a dispute about the transfer of a £1 billion fund under a scheme of arrangement. The Court of Appeal applied the general principle of English contract law that where an obligation can be performed in different ways it is ordinarily for the obligor to choose the method of performance. It held that Henderson had been entitled to choose to transfer the Henderson European Special Situations Fund to Mr Pease’s new asset management firm under a scheme of arrangement and that Mr Pease was liable to pay the fees due in the event of a transfer. The Court of Appeal also considered the legal status of a sub-fund within an Open-Ended Investment Company (OEIC).

Gruber Ors v AIG & Ors [2018] EWHC 3030 Comm, [2019] EWHC 1676 (Comm), and [2020] EWCA Civ 31. Described by Bloomberg as ‘one of the last great payday disputes’ Daniel acted for the claimants in the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal on contractual claims which turned on the construction of Connecticut law governed deferred compensation schemes. The amount subject to claims at trial was c.US$108 million. The Court also considered issues of alter ego liability and interference with contract under Delaware and Connecticut law.

Tullett Prebon v Morozov (2019 QB) Leading Counsel for the claimant IDB in a dispute arising out of its emerging markets desk.

Investec Bank Ltd v Muzinich & Co (2019 QB) Leading Counsel for the defendant investment firm Muzinich in a multi-million pound conspiracy claim.

Secarma & Ors v Denneny & Ors (2019 QB) instructed by the cybersecurity consultants Secarma as Leading Counsel for trial in a multimillion pound fintech sector team move litigation.

An international arbitration concerning LLP agreements (2019)

An arbitration concerning LLP profit distributions (2019)

Ideal Standard International SA v Herbert [2018] EWHC 3326 (Comm) Daniel acted for the successful claimants obtaining urgent injunctive relief from the Commercial Court under Section 44 of the Arbitration Act in a dispute under a shareholders agreement. He also acted in the subsequent arbitration.

Jefferies v Cantor Fitzgerald & Ors (2018-20) a claim for non-payment of monies following a cross-border team move executed simultaneously in Dubai, the US, Hong Kong and London. With proceedings in multiple jurisdictions and a FINRA arbitration in the US this is one of numerous international team move cases Daniel has handled in recent years.

Capital Markets Co v Tarver & Ors (2016 – 18) Ch.D acting for the claimant fintech company in this conspiracy claim relating to IP rights in blockchain banking platforms and the diversion of business opportunities in a claim for in excess of £200 million. Daniel also advised in the related arbitration.

An LCIA arbitration in a restraint of trade dispute (2018)

ICAP v Berry & BGC [2017] EWHC 1321 QB acting for the successful claimant in this high profile IDB dispute. The defendants sought to establish that the share acquisition of a global IDB business was a TUPE transfer releasing brokers from their contracts. Daniel obtained interim injunctive relief and final injunctive relief at trial. The Court gave guidance on global share acquisitions and the impact of TUPE.

Tradition v Gamberoni & Ors [2017] EWHC 768 QB instructed by the claimant IDB Daniel enforced post-termination restraints at a speedy trial and obtained judgment for inducing breach of contract against the new employer.

Acheson v McAlpine & Ors QB (one of The Lawyer’s top 20 cases of 2016) QB instructed for several defendants in the high profile Construction Industry Vetting Information Group Litigation, a group action involving allegations of a conspiracy to ‘blacklist’, defamation and breaches of the DPA (see e.g. FT 9 May 2016).

Willis v JLT (2016) QB. acting for the defendants to this insurance industry claim for US$100m arising out of an alleged team move in the UK and the US.

Standard Chartered Bank v X & Ors (2016) acting for a senior Dubai banker in relation to regulatory, disciplinary and contractual issues governed by DIFC law.

Chodiev & Ors v Stein [2015] EWHC 1428 (Comm) fraud action in relation to a judgment for

US$30m brought by the oligarch founders of ENRC with related proceedings in Cyprus and France and an arbitration. Daniel acted for the defendant to the fraud claim which was successfully dismissed.

Gallagher v Ross & Ors (2015) QB. A claim for conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty arising out of the alleged diversion of maturing business opportunities and a team move in the insurance industry with cross claims arising out of surveillance. Daniel acted for the claimants who obtained interim relief (FT 27 March 2015) and recovered £20m under the subsequent settlement of the action (The Times 27 August 2015 ‘Towergate to pay £20m over poaching claim’).

Rokos v Brevan Howard (2015) instructed by the hedge fund, Brevan Howard, in this high profile Jersey law partnership dispute with a founding partner in the Jersey High Court relating to garden leave and other restrictions in a partnership agreement (FT 21 January 2015 ‘Brevan Howard settles dispute with star trader’).

Stein v Patokh Chodiev & Ors [2014] EWHC 1201 (Comm) acting for the successful claimant against the three oligarch founders of ENRC Plc. The claimant alleged an oral contract for fees and interest of approximately US$30m arising out of a syndicated loan and IPO. The oral contract was established following Daniel’s cross-examination of the oligarchs at trial. He also advised in relation to the related arbitration.

Pabani v ESS & Ors (EAT) instructed by the respondents in a high profile whistleblowing claim relating to a CIS country involving allegations of fraud. Daniel overturned both the ET’s decision to allow the whistleblowing claim to proceed and the separate decision to allow the Press access to certain documents (see Compass Group Plc v Guardian News and Media Ltd).

Anthony Allen -v- Cooperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank B.A. (2015) instructed for the claimant in a Commercial Court action relating to LIBOR litigation and criminal regulatory proceedings in the US.

Bahar v Lotus & DRB Hicom-Berhad (2014) (QB) acting for the former CEO of Lotus in a claim against Lotus and its parent DRB for a share of the enterprise value of Lotus together with substantial damages.

Woods Bagot v Arney & Ors (ChD 2014) instructed by the architects firm Woods Bagot in a breach of fiduciary duty/diversion of business opportunities claim.

BMS v Tiger Risk & Ors (2013) QB, instructed by Lloyds brokers BMS in an action for damages arising out of a team move.

ContiCap v GFI (Comm) (2013) acting for the Swiss IDB ContiCap in its CHF40m Commercial Court claim under the Swiss Unfair Competition Act against GFI for damages caused by a raid on its emerging markets business in Switzerland (one of The Lawyer’s top 20 cases of 2013).

Tullett Prebon v BGC [2011] EWCA Civ 13 acting for the successful claimant in this ground-breaking conspiracy/team move litigation. He was instructed throughout the 3 years of litigation from the first injunctions, through 3 months of liability and quantum trials and in the Court of Appeal (Maurice Kay, Hooper, Tomlinson LJJ) where the Court referred to his oral submissions as “devastating”.

Commercial dispute resolution

“A serious performer who is very easy to work with, very commercial and really smart.” Chambers & Partners 2019 – Commercial Dispute Resolution.

Daniel Oudkerk QC has a broad-based commercial practice which spans civil fraud, financial services & banking, contractual claims, and partnership and shareholder disputes. He has extensive experience of heavy conspiracy claims in the financial services sector with clients ranging from interdealer brokers, hedge funds, PE firms, Lloyds brokers and fintech companies to individuals. Significant cases include (1) acting for New Balance in its sponsorship dispute with Liverpool FC (New Balance Athletics Inc v Liverpool FC [2019] EWHC 2837 (Comm)); (2) acting for the claimants in a Commercial Court action for US$100m arising out of the $85 billion bail out of AIG (substantive law Delaware, Connecticut, New York and English law); (3) acting for Henderson, in a dispute about the transfer of a £1 billion fund under a scheme of arrangement (Henderson v Pease [2019] EWCA Civ 158); (4) appearing for the claimant against the three oligarch founders of ENRC in a Commercial Court trial on an oral contract relating an IPO and syndicated loan Chodiev & Ors v Stein [2015] EWHC 1201 and in the related fraud claim; (5) a high profile Jersey partnership dispute acting for leading European hedge fund Brevan Howard; and (6) lead Counsel for several defendants in the widely reported construction industry group ‘blacklisting’ litigation.

 

Arbitration & related court applications: recent arbitrations and arbitration related Court work include: Ideal Standard International SA v Herbert [2018] EWHC 3326 (Comm) an injunction over to an expedited arbitration; acting for a global management consultancy in a restraint of trade dispute (LCIA); an international LLP dispute (LCIA);  and an arbitration concerning LLP profit distributions (LCIA).

Banking & financial services: recommended in Banking – fintech by Who’s Who Legal, Daniel acts for a wide range of financial services clients and has extensive experience disputes involving interdealer brokers, FX desks and traders, private equity, hedge funds, asset managers, fintech companies and investment banks.

Civil fraud: Often instructed in cross-border conspiracy actions Daniel acted for  Capco in its £200m fraud claim against Thought Machine (blockchain banking platforms) and against the 3 oligarch founders of ENRC Plc in a fraud claim arising out of a Commercial Court trial on an oral contract.

Confidential information, breach of confidence, database rights, data protection: Daniel is routinely instructed in claims involving breach of confidence where injunctions are required to protect, preserve or recover confidential information or databases.

Conflict of laws & private international law: Daniel is often instructed in claims governed by foreign law or where jurisdiction issues arise. He has acted in numerous in cross-border conspiracy claims. He has a particular interest in international employee fraud claims and co-edits International Employment Disputes (Sweet & Maxwell).

Injunctions & interim relief: applications for urgent injunctive relief and speedy trials in all divisions of the High Court form a very substantial part of Daniel’s practice.

Partnership & LLP disputes, fiduciary duties, and shareholder disputes: Daniel is routinely instructed in significant partnership, shareholder relating to remuneration, good leaver/bad leaver provisions, carry, and restraint of trade issues. He has particular experience of competition disputes arising on partners/shareholders exiting a business both in arbitration and in the High Court. He is regularly instructed in claims involving breach of fiduciary duty.

Sports law: Daniel acted for New Balance in New Balance Athletics Inc v Liverpool FC [2019] EWHC 2837 (Comm) ‘matching provisions’ and good faith in a relational contracts.

Employment

The Directories say Daniel Oudkerk QC “works hard and has swagger that breeds confidence; leads the charge of the next generation stars of the Bar.”

Daniel’s employment practice focuses on heavy High Court litigation and arbitrations. He is routinely instructed in the major commercial employment litigation of the day. He brings to his employment work very extensive commercial expertise. Most of the employment disputes he is instructed in are very high value or will have a broader commercial or reputational dimension, for example, ancillary defamation claims, intellectual property claims, civil fraud, or regulatory issues. He has appeared as the lead advocate in many of the most significant cases in the commercial employment field in recent years including for example Egon Zehnder Ltd v Tillman in the Supreme Court, the AIG $100m bonus litigation, and the landmark Tullett Prebon litigation.

Confidential information, breach of confidence, database rights and data protection: he is routinely instructed in claims involving misuse of confidential information and breach of confidence and applications for urgent injunctive relief.

Cross-border employment disputes: Much of Daniel’s practice involves cross-border disputes see Gruber & Ors v AIG & Ors [2018] EWHC 3030 (Comm) and [2020] EWCA Civ 31 (substantive law Delaware, Connecticut, New York and English law); Jefferies v Cantor Fitzgerald & Ors (New York, Hong Kong and English law) and Seaco v Buss Capital (Singapore and English law). He has extensive experience of claims involving the special jurisdictional rules governing employee defendants and co-edits International Employment Disputes (Sweet & Maxwell).

Deferred remuneration, bonus litigation and share options: an “acknowledged leader in commercial employment law”  Daniel regularly deals with complex remuneration disputes and share schemes (often governed by foreign law). He has appeared in several of the leading cases: see e.g. Tullett Prebon v El-Hajalli [2008] IRLR 760 (enforcement of liquidated damages clause in a broker’s forward contract) and Imam Sadeque v BlueBay [2013] IRLR 344 (whether claw back of share options penal). He has advised on liquidated damages issues in numerous jurisdictions including Australia, Dubai Florida, Hong Kong,  and New York. He has considerable experience of the related regulatory issues under the FCA Remuneration Code.

Restrictive covenants, springboards and garden leave:  “Brilliant on restrictive covenants” and “a true star of the restrictive covenant world” urgent injunctive work has always made up a substantial part of Daniel’s practice from restrictive covenants through to springboard and garden leave injunctions. Daniel obtained the first reported ‘no-poach’ injunction in the Tullett litigation. In 2019, he appeared for Ms Tillman first employee restrictive covenant case to reach the Supreme Court in a hundred years, Egon Zehnder. In Tradition v Gamberoni & Ors [2017] EWHC 768 QB he successfully enforced post-termination restraints at a speedy trial (distinguishing the approach in Egon. Zehnder). In ICAP v Berry & BGC [2017] EWHC 638 QB, the leading case on the effect of a global share acquisition on garden leave, he successfully obtained interim and final injunctive relief. His arguments were adopted by Underhill J. in Patsystems Holdings Ltd v Neilly [2012] IRLR 979 when giving guidance on the general principles to be applied where contracts containing PTRs are renegotiated by the employer.

Team moves: Daniel is usually instructed in the ‘big ticket’ team moves of the day. In 2019 he acted (i) for JLT and Marsh & MacLennan in a number of multimillion pound team move actions; (ii) for the cybersecurity consultants Secarma in a multimillion pound poaching claim (as leading trial Counsel); and (iii) for investment firm, Muzinich, defending a multimillion pound team move action.  From 2017-20 he has acted for the financial services company Jefferies in relation to a cross-border team move executed simultaneously in Dubai, New York, Hong Kong and London with proceedings in the High Court and in arbitration.  He appeared for Tullett Prebon in the landmark team move litigation Tullett Prebon v BGC which set the legal framework for the subsequent team move cases over the decade. In 2015 he acted for the insurers Gallagher, recovering £20m in its high profile action against its former CEO and members of its senior management team. He has handled substantial team move litigation arising out of poaching operations in numerous jurisdictions including: Australia, Dubai, Germany, Hong Kong, New York, Singapore, Switzerland and the UK.  He has extensive experience of team moves with concurrent litigation or arbitration proceedings in more than one jurisdiction. His sector experience spans IDBs, fintech companies, insurers, hedge funds, architects, agronomists, shipping, city solicitors and asset managers. Chambers & Partners notes his “amazing work on team moves”.

Whistleblowing and Employment Tribunal claims: Daniel acts in high profile tribunal cases which raise significant reputational or regulatory risk.  He has acted in a number of fraud related whistleblowing claims, for example Pabani v ESS & Ors (EAT) overturned both the ET’s decision to allow the whistleblowing claim to proceed and the separate decision to allow press access to certain documents (see Compass Group Plc v Guardian News and Media Ltd). He acted for New Star in the much publicised Evershed v New Star ET litigation. He was instructed by Santander to deal with a series of appeals in the Court of Appeal, all of which were successfully disposed of – see Bascetta v Santander UK plc [2010] EWCA Civ 351 CA (Pill, Moore-Bick LJJ, Sir David Keene) and Radakovits v Abbey National plc [2009] EWCA Civ 1346, [2010] IRLR 307 (Mummery, Aikens, Elias LJJ).

Wrongful dismissal: Daniel has extensive experience of high value wrongful dismissal actions.

Trade unions and strike injunctions: Daniel has appeared for employers and trade unions on applications for strike injunctions and in collective bargaining disputes.

Career

2010 Appointed Queen’s Counsel
1992 Called to the Bar (Inner Temple)

Education

1991 Inns of Court School of Law
1990 LLB (Bristol)