Dirk Van Heck

Deputy Head of Chambers

Call date: 2001

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Dirk started his career as a pupil at a leading “commercial chancery” chambers, and had a broad practice as a young barrister. He then spent 3 years employed by a leading international law firm in the BVI, specialising in commercial and insolvency disputes, before returning to London as a barrister in 2012. 

Since then, Dirk has developed a substantial Public Direct Access practice, taking instructions directly from individuals and businesses, which led to his being one of the first barristers to qualify to act in a “dual capacity”, able to take on the role of solicitor as well as barrister. Being able to instruct other lawyers (including internationally) as a result, he is well placed to take the lead on a case.

Dirk has also taken up a consultancy contract with Swiss commercial disputes boutique, Gentium Law Group Sarl, for whom he does advocacy in the London Commercial Court and drafting for cases in the BVI Commercial Court.

The core of Dirk’s practice is business disputes and he has particular expertise in the following fields:

  • Commodities, shipping and trade;
  • Renewable energy;
  • Technology, media and telecommunications;
  • Banking and financial services;
  • Offshore structures and transactions;
  • Professional negligence;
  • Fraud;
  • Company law;
  • Trusts;
  • Debt recovery and insolvency;
  • Injunctions, Norwich Pharmacal orders and other equitable remedies;
  • Construction and the water industry;
  • Sports law.

Dirk also practices property and employment law, and is able to represent landlords and property developers in a full service capacity, including in respect of planning issues. He recently defended a major company in a class action based on the novel tort of age discrimination.

In addition to the traditional skills of a barrister and/or litigation solicitor, Dirk is able to offer contractual drafting and media consultancy services (having worked in UK politics for 3 years before commencing legal practice).


Reported Cases


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

(Civil Procedure/Banking & Finance/Contract:  defence to summary judgment application based on anticipatory breach of foreign exchange contract; whether to adjourn to permit defendant to adduce further evidence.)

A v B, UKEAT/025/13/DM

(Evidence/Practice and Procedure:  appeal to the Employment Appeal Ttribunal on admissibility of spent conviction for kerb crawling, in a discrimination case.)

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

(Restitution/Insolvency:  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

(Civil procedure/conflict of laws:  application to set aside leave to serve claim out of the jurisdiction.)

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

(Contract/insolvency:  construction of loan facility agreement.)

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

(Insolvency/contract:  effect of premature service of statutory demand in re futures contract.)

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

(Conflict of laws/insolvency:  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 

(Insolvency/funds:  distressed hedge fund; whether dispute over debt substantial.)

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

(Trusts of land:  whether a deed of transfer was subject to a constructive trust.)

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