David Hoffman | Barrister | 4-5 Gray's inn square

David specialises in business and property work, primarily on the Northern Circuit. He is listed in the Legal 500 which for 2017 recommends him as ‘Very experienced across the spectrum of Chancery law.

He undertakes a broad range of business and property work, including contract drafting as well as litigation, and general commercial work such as insurance, construction, IT and e-commerce and professional negligence. His property practice includes property disputes, insolvency, trusts and wills and other general succession matters. He is also experienced working as a junior to QCs and as part of a team on larger or more complex matters.

David is qualified as an arbitrator and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is also a CEDR accredited mediator. He is an experienced advocate both in mediation and arbitration and has an excellent record of settling cases by ADR.


Areas of Experience


  • contract litigation including sale of goods and services
  • professional negligence
  • construction
  • insurance and banking
  • company disputes and partnerships
  • intellectual property: copyright, trademarks and passing off
  • drafting commercial contracts and standard terms

Some notable cases

  • Lavin v Hawayek (2017) setting aside default judgment; partnership dispute
  • Waterfall v HSBC (2008, HC) LTL 13/1/2009
    professional negligence in provision of financial services
  • Coupers Partnerships Ltd v Basarik (2007, CA) [2007] EWCA Civ 40
    contractual interpretation of a ratings agency contract and the condition upon which fee is due
  • T&N v Royal Sun Alliance (2003, HC, CA) [2003] EWHC 1016 (Ch)
    asbestos insurance case; CA – successful case management appeal, led by Christopher Moger QC and Jeffrey Terry.

Also acted in substantial commercial arbitrations which can’t be named for reasons of confidentiality, including as a junior to leading commercial silk Clive Freedman QC in particular regarding biotech contracts, other commercial contracts and partnership disputes.


David acts in a range of property matters ranging from neighbour disputes, through to commercial property and conveyancing.

  • land and real property
  • conveyancing disputes
  • landlord and tenant and housing
  • partnerships
  • breach of fiduciary duty and civil fraud
  • insolvency
  • equity and trusts
  • family provision, wills and succession

Some notable cases

Hitchen v Hitchen (2012)
series of successful contempt of court regarding partnership dispute.

Acacia Securities Ltd v Sukhram (2011)
freezing injunction, breach of fiduciary duty

Parker v Snyder (2004-5, HC)
civil fraud, led by Clive Freedman QC

David has also acted in a arbitrations which cannot be named for reasons of confidentiality, including as a junior to leading commercial silk Clive Freedman QC


Fellow Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

CEDR Exchange

Northern Circuit Commercial Bar Association

Society of Legal Scholars

European Circuit


Journal of Professional Negligence (2018) book review of Professor Jane Wright’s “Tort Law and Human Rights” (2nd edition).

Human Rights in the UK: An Introduction to the Human Rights Act 1998

David Hoffman and John Rowe QC (Pearson, 4th edition 2013).

“The authors have combined meticulous scholarship with an enviable ability to express matters, however complex, in clear and understandable terms” (Lord Saville of Newdigate, Foreword to 2nd Edition)

The Impact of the UK Human Rights Act on Private Law (editor; published: Cambridge 2011)

‘The chief glory of [the book] lies in its 12 substantive chapters on specific aspects of private law … David Hoffman gives himself three modest pages at the end to reflect on the book’s contents, expressing the hope as he says ‘that the discussion’ in it ‘can assist’ in the effective reception of the HRA into private law … He should be proud of what he has achieved here: a superb partnership between academics and practitioners, a volume very well presented by Cambridge – and an important contribution to legal understanding of the HRA.’ Conor Gearty, Public Law.

Arbitration Appeals

chapter co-written with Clive Freedman QC in ‘Civil Appeals’ edited by Michael Burton J, (Sweet & Maxwell, 2nd edition 2013)


“Their clerks are great, really helpful... They are thoroughly reliable and very pleasant to deal with”

Chambers & Partners