Martin Davies, Global Vice Chair of the firm’s Litigation & Trial Department, advises clients on a range of complex commercial disputes often centering on novel legal issues, including class actions, corporate and shareholder disputes, banking and financial litigation, and litigation involving the entertainment, sports, and media sectors.
An internationally renowned trial lawyer, Mr. Davies draws on more than two decades of experience advising many of the world’s leading corporations and financial institutions on their most significant and intricate disputes. He represents diverse clients from across industries, including corporations, banks, private equity firms, portfolio companies, and high net-worth individuals.
Mr. Davies regularly argues commercial disputes brought before key venues, including the High Court. He has earned a particular reputation for his work in collective and class actions in the UK, and is one of the few to have acted for both claimants and defendants, adeptly navigating the dynamics arising in shareholder and multi-party decision-making.
His successful track record in entertainment litigation includes breach of contract disputes involving major TV and radio broadcasters, sports clubs and agencies, and film production companies.
Mr. Davies also advises on public law issues, conducting judicial reviews for both applicants and regulators. He runs sensitive and high-stakes internal investigations on behalf of clients, including appearing before regulators.
- “Absolutely superb”
“Has incredible experience and is absolutely unflappable”
Chambers UK 2020
- “Very switched-on”
“Apart from him being bright and creative, he is also very enthusiastic, gregarious and friendly.”
Chambers Europe 2017
- “A brilliant litigator”
“Very level-headed and measured”
Chambers UK 2017
Mr. Davies’ experience includes advising:
Financial and Banking Litigation
- A major investment bank in both the High Court and Competition Appeals Tribunal in relation to alleged FX manipulation
- Legal & General, Standard Life, The Prudential, Aviva, and USS in their claims against RBS arising out of a 2008 £12 billion rights issue, resulting in the seminal s.90 FSMA case, one of the largest claims ever to go before the English Courts, setting precedent for dealing with the liability of issuers of securities*
- A majority of the senior secured noteholders of a £465 million notes issuance in relation to a potentially contentious restructuring of a high-profile restaurant
- A global investment bank on litigation aspects of renegotiation of a long-term technology contract covering all of the bank’s technology implementation and support
- A FTSE 100 company in the contentious restructuring of its loan and debt agreements*
- A European national railway company adverse to its bankers over a credit defeasance agreement*
- Various entities over potential recourse under FSMA adverse to the issuers of securities*
- A leading fund management company adverse to certain funds in relation to the disputed terms of the management agreement*
Entertainment, Sports, and Media
- Football clubs against sponsors in confidential arbitrations
- Sponsors in contractual claims against the FA in relation to the FA Cup
- Wimbledon Football Club in its successful ground from Wimbledon in South London to Milton Keynes; the Club’s initial application to the Football League was rejected and Mr. Davies acted in the subsequent FA arbitration to overturn the refusal and then in the FA constituted FA Commission of Inquiry resulting in permission being granted, a decision many say will never be repeated*
- An independent inquiry into phone voting irregularities at the British Comedy Awards (including presenting those findings to OFCOM) at the appointment of ITV*
- ITV and various Group companies for more than 20 years in relation to a number of different contractual and regulatory issues*
- The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) in the Copyright Tribunal reference that set the royalty rates for music downloads and streaming*
- Public Performance Limited (PPL):
> Adverse to one of the major TV and radio broadcasters in relation to both past royalties (dispute held before the courts) and future royalty rates (before the Copyright Tribunal)
> In relation to a reference relating to the appropriate royalty for music video channels*
- Acting both for and against Sports and other regulators, including the likes of The Football League, the RFU, and OFGEM, on a variety of disputes
- A leading internet service provider (ISP) in relation to potential challenges to certain tax treatments of that, and other, ISPs
- Affected parties to new legislation introduced in Guernsey and Sark and the potential avenues of challenge, as well as making such successful challenges
- The Post Office in relation to numerous matters arising from the decision to close post offices across the UK*
*Matter handled prior to joining the firm