David was in private practice as a lawyer for over thirty years. He handled a range of commercial work, with a particular – but not exclusive – focus on the following areas.
Energy and construction
- Offshore and onshore procurement, design, fabrication, engineering, construction and consultancy
- The building, operation, repair and refit of ships and drilling units (including semi-submersible and jack-up rigs and drillships), FPSOs and vessels engaged in the processing, storage or carriage of LNG and other oil & gas services
- Charterparties (including Supplytime), new building, drilling and offshore service contracts, including knock-for-knock indemnities
- Accidents to offshore units
- Coverage and claims under marine and energy insurance policies, including Builders’ Risks and CAR
- Shipbuilding and repair
- Charterparties for conventional and specialised ships
- All aspects of carriage of goods by sea
- Marine insurance
- Ship sale and purchase
As a solicitor, David’s clients included:
- Shipowners, charterers, P&I clubs, underwriters and cargo interests, yacht owners and insurers
- Builders, buyers or insurers of conventional ships, cruise ships, military vessels (including frigates and submarines), drilling rigs, floating production units and other specialist vessels
- Leading offshore drilling and other oil & gas service contractors and consultants, operators and other oil & gas companies
- Employers, clients and consultants in the construction sector
His practice had a particular focus on Europe, the US Gulf, the Asia Pacific region (including Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia and Japan) and the Middle East.
David’s approach towards mediation draws on both his experience as a solicitor in private practice, when he was involved in numerous mediations as a party representative, and his expertise as a business coach. Being both a CEDR-accredited mediator and a graduate of the Meyler Campbell Business Coach Programme (as accredited by the Solicitors Regulation Authority), he can use his coaching skills to assist in understanding the parties’ positions and working with them to promote settlement
Examples of Recent Cases as Arbitrator
- Chairman of a tribunal of three arbitrators on a dispute arising from the termination of a shipbuilding contract, involving technical issues as to the main engine and propeller. (LMAA Terms.)
- Dispute relating to a consultancy contract in the offshore oil & gas industry, including allegations of fraud. (Tribunal of three.)
- President of a tribunal of three arbitrators in an ICC arbitration under a contract for international sale of goods following a general average incident.
- Arbitration under engineering, production and installation contracts for vessels for the oil and gas industry, relating to alleged delay and disruption, additional work and alleged wrongful termination. (Tribunal of three.)
- Sole arbitrator in a dispute for alleged non-performance of a superyacht charter. (LMAA Terms.)
- ICC arbitration between a contractor and sub-contractor, in relation to VORs and various alleged breaches, in connection with the design, engineering and construction of an FPU. (Tribunal of three.)
- Claims and counterclaims for freight, demurrage and alleged deviation under a voyage charterparty. (Tribunal of two.)
- Multi-party disputes under a charterparty and bills of lading arising from fire in a cargo. (Tribunal of three, LMAA Terms.)
- Sole arbitrator in related ICC arbitrations arising from logistics contracts for distribution of goods in Asia.
- Disputes as to the existence and validity of an MoA for the sale of a vessel, jurisdiction of the arbitrators and quantum of damages. (Tribunal of three.)
- Dispute between an oil company and an offshore contractor as to suspension of work and alleged breaches of a drilling contract. (Tribunal of three.)
Chambers & Partners Guide
Below are extracts from the independent Chambers & Partners guide, referring to David’s former practice as a solicitor.
- “David Steward is well regarded for his team management abilities and sound judgement. He is also highly respected for his work in the offshore and upstream industry.”
- “David Steward, adept at both the contentious and non-contentious aspects of offshore energy, is a particular specialist when it comes to heavy construction and engineering disputes.”
- “Offshore oil and gas expert David Steward is praised for the ‘vast breadth of his expertise,’ which sees him advising on specialised areas such as drilling units, FPSOs and rigs and charter party disputes in the oil and gas sector.”
- “’Extremely highly regarded,’ David Steward handles a mixture of dispute resolution and energy insurance cases, managing issues such as drilling accidents and charter party disputes. He also wins praise for his ‘absolutely superb client management.’”
- “He is ‘very thorough and understands the direction the market is moving in.’”
- “David Steward is experienced in contentious offshore oil and gas matters, and a number of clients said they ‘go to him for specialist advice.’”