David Berkley QC – Head of Commercial

David Berkley QC - Barrister at St John's Buildings

Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 0161 214 1500

Year of Silk: 1999

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   Top_tier_firms   TopRanked UKBar_16_barrister

“Has a diverse practice which encompasses commercial and chancery litigation. He also has extensive experience with banking and insolvency matters and entertainment law disputes.”

Strengths: “A calm, collected and measured barrister, he is an excellent orator and he fights his client’s corner.”

Recent work: “Acted in an interest rate hedging product case relating to a loan to a medical centre.” Chambers & Partners 2018

“His technical knowledge is exemplary.” Legal 500 2017

Barrister And Mediator

  • Educated at Manchester Jewish Grammar School
  • Gateshead Talmudical College and Manchester University
  • Commercial Litigation Assistant at Halliwell Landau 1978-1979
  • Appointed Deputy District Judge 1999
  • Appointed Recorder (Civil) 2000
  • Experience includes major Commercial Litigation; and Civil and Criminal Fraud trials
  • Interested in Music Litigation; Commercial Contract Litigation; Commercial Fraud Trials
  • Famous clients have included Gary Barlow of Take That!; Granada Television; Stone Roses Management and several Manchester Bands

David was interviewed on Sky News on 18 July 2018 in relation to privacy laws in light of Cliff Richard’s recent award for damages from the BBC.

Legal Directory Recommendations

“Has more than 20 years’ experience in chancery work. He is known for commercial property disputes, employment, professional negligence and regulatory law.”

Strengths: “A very nice chap; he is a very eloquent speaker with good advocacy skills” – Chambers & Partners 2017

“Highly experienced in banking and commercial litigation” – Legal 500 2016

“Has a strong commercial and chancery practice. He is experienced in company and commercial work as well as banking and insolvency matters. He also handles landlord and tenant and partnerships disputes and is an accredited mediator. ” – Chambers & Partners 2016

“An experienced mediator and commercial all-rounder.” – Legal 500 2015


  • Company and Commercial

    Particular Specialist Interests

    General Commercial Litigation: “Noted for his commerciality” in the Legal 500 (2008 Edition), this is the primary area of practice with an emphasis on major trial work.

    Music Litigation: David Berkley QC has developed a niche in this area. His famous clients have included Gary Barlow of Take That!; Granada Television; Stone Roses’ management; and several well-known Manchester bands.

    Other Activties

    Past Chairman of the Northern Circuit Commercial Bar Association and a Member of the Northern Chancery Bar Association.

    Frequent lecturer having conducted seminars in-house at Herbert Smith; Freshfields and other leading City firms. Has been closely associated with Nottingham Law School and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

    Reported/Important Cases

    In order to provide an indication of the range and depth of David Berkley QC’s practice, the following represents a summary of recent reported cases in which he has been instructed:

    Jervis v Harris [1996] Ch 195

    Barrett McKenzie & Co v Escada (UK) Ltd QBD 1st February 2001

    Rakusens Ltd v Baser Ambalaj Pastik Sanayi Ticaretas [2001] EWCA Civ.1820 (Court of Appeal)

    Burnett v Harper – Court of Appeal 4th May 2001

    J Barry v J Barry (Plant Hire) Ltd [2001] EQCA (Civ.614)

    Mark Blunden v Frogmore Investments Ltd [2002] EWCA (Civ.573) Court of Appeal, [2002] 29 Estates Gazette 153

    Coutts & Co v Clarke [2002] EWCA (Civ.943), Court of Appeal

    Hayes v Phonogram Ltd and Others [2002] EWHC 2062 (Ch) (Blackburne J)

    R v Independent Television Commission ex parte Boyd-Hunt [2002] EWHC 2296 Admin (Newman J)

    Russell v Finn [2003] EWCA Civ. 399 Court of Appeal

    Goldmile Properties Limited v Speiro Lechouritis [2003] EWCA Civ 49

    In re China Jazz Worldwide Plc v Secretary of State [2003] EWHC 2665, Patten J

    Halpern v Halpern [2006] EWHC 1728 Comm [2006] 3 AER 113

    Halpern v Halpern [2007] EWCA 603 (Comm) The Times 14th May 2006

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  • Banking, Finance and Insolvency

    Considerable expertise and experience in contentious security and receivership issues; civil and criminal fraud trials; directors’ disqualification work.

    Kumar v United Bank Ltd (QBD Commercial Court, Andrew Smith J) 22nd June 2001

    Retail Parks SA v JJB Sports Ltd SL Mercantile Court, Manchester Judge Hegarty 19th December 200

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  • Property and Private Client


    Frequently advises in and acts on behalf of professional clients in partnership disputes including those relating to solicitors and accountancy professional practices.

    Landlord and Tenant

    Considerable expertise and experience in commercial Landlord and Tenant matters and frequently advises property clients in relation to renewals and reviews.

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  • ADR and Mediation

    Qualified Mediator (College of Law credited) and willing to act as Arbitrator in commercial dispute. Member of the Commercial Law Panel of ADR Chambers.

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  • Sport, Media and Entertainment Law

    David has developed a niche in the area of Music Litigation. His famous clients have included Gary Barlow of Take That!; Granada Television; Stone Roses’ management; and several well-known Manchester bands. He has dealt with cases involving intellectual property, copyright and cases of a contractual nature.

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