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Max Davis

Legal Director

Max specialises in complex disputes involving claims of civil fraud and asset recovery for high net worth individuals, entrepreneurs, liquidators and corporates. His practice has a particular focus on digital assets. 

max-davis

About

Max was part of the team that acted for the Claimants, at first instance and on appeal, in what the Chief Justice of the DIFC Court described as “one of the first cryptocurrency litigation disputes in the region and one of the few reported cases anywhere in the world which addresses issues such as safe transfer of cryptocurrency between buyer and seller and the obligations owed by a custodian of cryptocurrency”. That case focuses on the misappropriation of 300 Bitcoin and the client’s attempts to recover them. The case also considers interesting questions as to the legal status of different digital assets and the rights that attach to them, the rights and obligations of intermediaries, and the practical differences between the way the modern court system (and the professionals who operate within it) deals with these types of fraud claims. 

Max is a founder member of the Middle East chapter of the Crypto Fraud and Asset Recovery (CFAAR) network and co-author of the UAE chapter of the Law Review’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Review. He regularly speaks and writes on all aspects of digital asset law and regulation across the Middle East. 

In tandem, Max has a burgeoning practice in Public and Administrative Law disputes, with a specialism in Judicial Review. In this capacity, Max assists colleagues in a wide variety of sectors including competition, environmental and planning, foreign governments, immigration, pensions and tax, and public inquiries and inquests. He is an active member of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, the ACROSS Fraud Network and ALBA, the Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association.

Max’s practice is international and much of his case-load has a multi-jurisdictional element. As well as his home courts of the DIFC and ADGM in the Middle East and the High Court, Court of Appeal and Privy Council in England, Max has litigated as far afield as in the Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Tanzania and Singapore. He has extensive experience of complex multi-party LCIA arbitrations.

Max is admitted to practise in England and Wales and before the courts of the DIFC and ADGM in the United Arab Emirates.

Experience

  • Acting on behalf of a high net worth data centre entrepreneur in complex, multi-party High Court litigation and LCIA Arbitration spanning nearly a decade. The claims have involved freezing orders in Jersey under the Chabra jurisdiction, Norwich Pharmacal orders in the Isle of Man, applications for disclosure in Liechtenstein, as well as applications for contempt and extremely complex tracing and asset recovery analysis. 
  • Advising the Joint Liquidators of Cayman companies in a multi-billion pound dispute in the finance and banking sector currently in trial in the Cayman Islands. The dispute comprised allegations of fraud, forgery and the misappropriation of monies, institutionalised false accounting, claims for tracing and asset recovery through European and Middle Eastern jurisdictions and involved one of the most prominent and wealthy families in Saudi Arabia.
  • Advised Tanzanian company in respect of claims against a global financial institution, which claims proceeded simultaneously in four different jurisdictions, over a period of 15 years, for sums in excess of USD 150 million. The dispute encompassed a jurisdictional challenge that was determined by the English Court of Appeal, claims before ICSID, allegations of fraud and corruption within the Tanzanian Government and Judiciary, and a press campaign during the Tanzanian general elections that prompted statements from the British Ambassador.
  • Acting for a high net worth client in the banking and financial services sector in a landmark case before the ADGM Court which confirmed the ADGM Court’s approach to determining governing law and jurisdiction in commercial contracts that refer to the “laws of the UAE”.
  • Advising the client, Anthony Brown, pro bono in relation to Judicial Review which argued that the Windrush Compensation Scheme created by the UK Government is not fit for purpose.

Our thinking

  • Essential Intelligence – UAE Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery

    Sara Sheffield

    Insights

  • The Virtual Currency Regulation Review: UAE

    Sara Sheffield

    Insights

  • CDR - Essential Intelligence: Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery

    Sara Sheffield

    Insights

  • Digital Assets in 2022-23: Key Developments & Trend Spotting in the UK, Switzerland, the Middle East & Hong Kong

    Nick White

    Insights

  • Max Davis writes for City AM on how the UAE has established itself as a global front runner in the race to regulate digital assets

    Max Davis

    In The Press

  • HM Treasury's crypto consultation to inform 2023 regulatory reform in the UK

    Max Davis

    Quick Reads

  • The dawn of a new age in enforcement

    Max Davis

    Quick Reads

  • My Pro Bono Story

    Sarah Farrelly

    Insights

  • The Law Reviews - The Virtual Currency Regulation Review; Edition 5 - United Arab Emirates

    Sara Sheffield

    Insights

  • Minted: UK Treasury to produce NFT as Dubai Police release one for free

    Max Davis

    Quick Reads

  • Spring Statement 2022: Fighting fraud in the public sector to deliver £3.15 billion in savings and recover millions more

    Max Davis

    Quick Reads

  • And the debate rages on: Court of Appeal overturns decision that Govt was guilty of apparent bias in award of contract in breach of procurement rules

    Max Davis

    Quick Reads

  • Can't do right for doing wrong: Government acted unlawfully but outcome would not have been "substantially different" in JR PPE decision

    Max Davis

    Quick Reads

  • Proposed judicial review reform: "Chilling" or "Not terribly dangerous"?

    Max Davis

    Quick Reads

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