Call Date: 2001

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Dirk is an experienced lawyer who can carry out all the functions of solicitor as well as barrister (having a litigation extension to his practicing certificate), and regularly runs disputes from their inception to their conclusion. He previously worked in full time employment for a law firm overseas and currently undertakes consultancy work for an international law firm in the City, in addition to his independent practice as a barrister (direct access barristers).

Dirk Van Heck Deputy Head of Chambers Mercantile Barristers



Throughout his career, Dirk has been required to turn his hand to a variety of different areas, which has led to his having exceptionally broad experience and knowledge of the law.


In addition to his core areas of practice, namely the full range of commercial and chancery, he has significant experience of employment and planning law (including a reported case in each of those areas), personal injury, defamation and matrimonial law. He also has particular expertise in the law of the British Virgin Islands, having practised in that jurisdiction for 3 years, and has undertaken work of an offshore/international flavour ever since.



The breadth of Dirk’s practice has seen him carry out work for clients ranging from sovereign wealth funds and investment banks to private individuals, and from high profile cases such as Madoff funds litigation and the Grenfell Enquiry to small claims.


He is as comfortable with cross-jurisdictional work as with purely domestic, and is equally at home working in a team of lawyers as acting without any support. He can tailor his level of involvement in a case to a client’s requirements and is able to instruct other lawyers and/or agents as appropriate.



 MA (Cantab.) – First Class

‣ Postgraduate Diploma in Law (City University)

‣ Bar Vocational Course (Inns of Court School of Law) – Very Competent

‣ Jules Thorn & Astbury Scholar of the Middle Temple

‣ 2001 – Called to the Bar of England & Wales

‣ 2009 – Called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (British Virgin Islands)

‣ 2014 – Attained the right to conduct litigation



‣ Chancery Bar Association

‣ The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators


Share and Share Alike – article on trusts of land in Solicitors Journal (8 July 2008)

‣ Paying the Price – article on trusts of land in Legal Week (17 July 2008)


Company Law & Business

‣ World First (UK) Limited v Chemistree Homecare Limited [2014] EWCA 2840 (QB)

Defence to summary judgment application based on anticipatory breach of foreign exchange contract; whether to adjourn to permit defendant to adduce further evidence.


‣ Relfo Ltd (in Liquidation) v Varsani, [2012] EWHC 2168 (Ch); LTL 20/7/2012

Trial involving equitable tracing, knowing receipt and unjust enrichment


‣ Cukurova Finance International Limited & anr v Alfa Telecom Turkey Limited, HCVAP 2010/18 & 2010/24

Application for relief pending appeal to Privy Council: inherent jurisdiction of Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court to stay execution and make declaratory orders and/or grant or continue an injunction.


‣ Commercial Bank-Cameroun v Nixon Financial Group Limited, BVI Civil Appeal No. 5 of 2011

Application to set aside leave to serve claim out of the jurisdiction.


‣ Tarquin Ltd v Telltop Ltd, BVIHCV No. 279 of 2009

Construction of loan facility agreement.


‣ Pioneer Freight Futures Co Ltd v Map Marine Ltd, BVIHCV No. 308 of 2009

Effect of premature service of statutory demand vis-a-vis futures contract.


‣ Pioneer Freight Futures Co Ltd v Worldlink Shipping, Samoa, BVIHCV Nos. 135 & 152 of 2009

Proper jurisdiction for resolution of dispute over debt.


‣ Professional Offshore Opportunity Fund Ltd v Daiwa Securities and Banking (Europe) plc as Custodian for KBCZAF, BVIHCV No. 6 of 2009

Distressed hedge fund; whether dispute over debt substantial.

Property & Planning

‣ Peter Bowring & Anr v Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government & Anr [2015] EWHC 1027 (Admin)

Change of use from single dwelling house to house in multiple occupation


‣  Fowler v Barron [2008] EWCA Civ 377 (CA); LTL 23/4/2008; [2008] 2 FCR 1

Whether a deed of transfer was subject to a constructive trust


‣ A v B, UK EAT/025/13/DM

Appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal on admissibility of spent conviction for kerb crawling, in a discrimination case