Instruct Quentin

To instruct Quentin please contact our clerks on +44 (0)20 7842 5555 or email clerks@4pumpcourt.com.

Quentin Tannock has a broad commercial practice, combining legal excellence with practical business experience, particularly in the areas of commercial litigation, technology and IP, and with a strong focus on advocacy. Quentin is well regarded for his approachability, responsiveness, calmness and ability to communicate easily with clients and yet be tenacious when representing clients in a wide range of courts and tribunals.

Quentin has particular expertise and extensive experience in:

  • Commercial Litigation and Arbitration
  • Construction
  • Data Protection
  • Financial Services, Private Equity and Venture Capital
  • Intellectual Property
  • Shipping
  • Technology

While he offers much experience in all of Chambers’ areas of expertise, Quentin has a particular interest in taking on challenging, new work in a range of areas with a capacity to analyse and advise on cases quickly and authoritatively. Quentin is also happy to represent clients ranging in size from major multinational companies to SMEs.

Quentin acts and advises in complex and high-value litigations, arbitrations, mediations and expert determinations. He also routinely advises on non-contentious matters, including, in particular, on contracts, software licensing, data protection and confidential information.

Quentin contributes regularly to major publications on areas of law ranging from the GDPR and data protection to technology and shipping law.

Quentin was among those taking a particular early interest in remote hearings. He represented a party in one of the first major remotely conducted trials in the High Court, which was conducted before the Chancery Division. He is a member of the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR) sub-committee on remote hearings. Quentin also frequently acts and advises in relation to insurance coverage, in this respect his recent work includes a focus on business interruption (BI) cover in the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Quentin lectures on IP and business to master of science students at the University of Cambridge.

Background

Quentin’s background is in law and business, including forming his own patent research company, working in venture capital investments and providing IP-related strategy and policy advice to multinational corporations and international organisations. Prior to being called to the Bar in the UK, Quentin fulfilled a number of roles, reflecting his deeply held desire to continue to learn and to succeed in new ventures. Among other roles, Quentin qualified and practised as a solicitor, ran an Arbitration Centre in Africa and lectured in arbitration and mediation to final year law students, worked for the University of Cambridge (helping the university manage relationships with major corporations), and was an executive in a US-based venture capital company (making and managing VC investments in Europe and the US).

While in business, Quentin advised on international M&A deals, negotiated patent licence agreements and managed software development teams. In addition to having business experience in the UK and the US, Quentin has international business experience in China, Singapore, South Africa and South Korea.

Academically, Quentin holds a master’s in law from the University of Cambridge and was formerly a visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge Lauterpacht Centre, in the Faculty of Law, with a research focus on international commercial arbitration.

Quentin’s commercial work focuses on high-value, complex litigations and arbitrations.

Quentin’s broad practice with its focus including technology, intellectual property, construction and shipping law, combined with his international business experience, make him particularly well suited to advising and acting in complex commercial disputes.

Quentin’s instructions have included disputes involving exclusion of liability, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duties. He is regularly instructed on behalf of insurers, representing them in a wide range of disputes.  Quentin frequently advises in relation to the construction of insurance policies and insurance coverage.  He has, for example, advised in relation to business interruption insurance cover in the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK. He has also advised in the context of this pandemic in relation to a party invoking a force majeure clause in a services contract governed by English law.

Quentin is instructed to appear in a range of commercial matters including trials and applications hearings for injunctions, strike-out and summary judgment. His experience includes successfully securing an urgent injunction in the High Court, restraining breach of contract by a major multinational corporation. His work spans the telecoms, insurance, financial services, online gaming, logistics, electric vehicles and utilities sectors.

Quentin’s business experience includes venture capital investments and international M&A. His relevant experience includes avoiding and resolving disputes between investors, company shareholders, directors, staff and suppliers arising out of investment agreements and general commercial contracts, confidentiality and non-compete undertakings, employee contracts, and shareholder agreements, including the application of ‘bad leaver’ provisions.

Featured Commercial Litigation & Arbitration cases


Acting in a €15m+ breach of warranty dispute following the acquisition of a software development company.


Acting in a £1.5M dispute concerning alleged repudiatory breach of contract.


Acting in an arbitration arising out of an explosion on a tanker.


Acting in an ICC arbitration as sole counsel, representing a Chinese-based exporter in a contractual dispute with a UK-based distributor.


Sole counsel in an ad hoc arbitration between a Polish manufacturer and its UK distributor.


Advising in relation to a dispute between an investment advisor and a customer concerning allegedly negligent advice.


Advising in relation to a dispute between shareholders in a major property investment company.


Acting for the petitioner in an unfair prejudice petition.

Quentin has experience in a wide range of construction disputes, advising and representing clients in litigation, adjudication and expert determination proceedings. His construction experience spans contractual and tortious disputes, acting for employers, main contractors, sub-contractors and professionals in relation to projects under both standard form contracts and bespoke arrangements. Quentin has also defended claims for delay and disruption, pursued and defended claims of professional negligence against architects, engineers and surveyors and brought and defended adjudications.

Quentin is very adept at dealing with engineering and technical cases and understanding underlying technical systems. Quentin’s extensive advanced materials and nanotechnology experience, dating from prior to his being called to the Bar, makes him well positioned to address complex engineering and design disputes.

Quentin has extensive experience in relation to confidentiality, privacy and personal data issues.

Quentin frequently advises corporations of all sizes in relation to compliance with UK data protection laws, with particular focus on artificial intelligence systems, the telecommunications industry and international data transfers.

Quentin draws on his considerable IT-related corporate experience to provide clients with clear, actionable and commercially focused advice in this rapidly developing area.  Quentin’s cross-practice experience in commercial, IP and technology work in particular make him well suited to understanding complex commercial deployments and to assisting clients appreciate legal and regulatory requirements and align compliance with their commercial objectives.

Quentin has co-authored a chapter on the law of artificial intelligence and data protection, to be published by Sweet & Maxwell in 2020.

Featured Data Protection cases


Advising a major international insurance and reinsurance company in relation to data protection agreements and international data transfers under the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018.


Advising a major telecommunications company in the context of both private network products and services and mobile products and services on the interplay between the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, the Electronic Communications Code and the GDPR.


Sole counsel acting for a major bank resisting claims alleging breaches of data protection legislation.


Sole counsel, defending a medical practice in a claim for damages arising from disclosure of personal information.


Advising a company developing and deploying an artificial intelligence system to deliver SaaS solutions to the recruitment industry in relation to compliance with data protection legislation and international data transfers.

Quentin has advised extensively on venture capital investments, start-up financing, M&A transactions and in relation to financial services more broadly. His experience includes advising on confidentiality agreements, non-compete undertakings and disputes arising out of employee contracts and shareholder agreements (including ‘drag-along/tag-along’ and ‘good/bad leaver’ provisions). He assisted in a major dispute in Guernsey between a hedge fund and its investors and in a separate dispute concerning alleged fraudulent misrepresentations. He has also advised and drafted pleadings in several disputes concerning breaches of fiduciary duties.

Quentin gained much experience working for a venture capital company and within angel and VC backed start-up companies.  He also led M&A activity, including selling the assets (including goodwill, software and data) of a UK company to a US purchaser.  These experiences give him valuable insights into the commercial realities for stakeholders.

Quentin’s background in business and the crossover between his commercial litigation and arbitration, technology, confidentiality and IP work make him particularly well suited to disputes between stakeholders in technology based companies and in venture capital and angel backed businesses.

Featured Financial Services, Private Equity and Venture Capital cases


Acting in a dispute between a Guernsey-based hedge fund and its investors.


Sole counsel, acting in a dispute between investors and an investee company concerning alleged fraudulent misrepresentations.


Advising in relation to a dispute between an investment advisor and a customer concerning allegedly negligent advice.


Sole counsel, securing an injunction preventing the transfer of shares pending resolution of a wider shareholder dispute.


Sole counsel, advising and acting in a dispute over ‘good/bad leaver’ provisions in a shareholders’ agreement.


Acting in relation to a €15m+ breach of warranty dispute following the acquisition of a software development company.

Quentin’s intellectual property (IP) experience includes assisting clients resolve disputes over the ownership, exploitation and infringement of IP rights across a range of industry sectors including technology, financial services, insurance, logistics and consumer services. His experience spans patent in- and out-licensing agreements for companies, investors and universities, non-compete undertakings, reverse engineering and software licence, design right and copyright disputes, as well as advising on trademark infringements, passing off and misuse of confidential information. He also has extensive experience in relation to confidentiality, privacy and personal data issues.

Quentin has considerable experience besides his legal practice. Prior to being called to the Bar, his IP-related work included offering strategy and policy advice to some of the world’s largest companies and international organisations across a range of sectors, including energy, health, ICT and nanotechnology. Past major corporate clients include GlaxoSmithKline and Unilever. He co-authored patents, registered trademarks and negotiated the purchase and sale of software, patent and trademark assets (UK to US).

Quentin has also provided services to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), European Patent Office (EPO) and other international and governmental organisations.

Quentin continues to lecture master of science students at the University of Cambridge on IP and business. He has written and co-authored articles for Nature Materials, Nanoscale and other leading materials science publications.

Featured Intellectual Property cases


Advising in relation to software copyright infringement by Russian software developers of software produced by a well-known multinational.


Advising an ISP in relation to managing potential litigation risks arising from hosted content.


Securing injunctions in the High Court protecting a client’s IP and confidential information in a £1m+ dispute.


Assisting clients resolve various trademark, copyright and design right infringement claims.


Advising in relation to breach of copyright and IP licences in a £2m+ dispute.

Quentin has experience in a range of shipping matters, across admiralty (including collisions and apportionment of liability), commodities, shipbuilding and other areas.

Quentin’s shipping experience includes, for example, acting in disputes relating to hull mould manufacture and storage, demurrage claims, the purchase of a super yacht and a range of passenger transport-related matters, including a coroner’s inquest and claims arising from a refusal to board passengers.

Quentin is very adept at dealing with engineering and technical cases and understanding underlying technical systems. Quentin’s extensive advanced materials and nanotechnology experience, dating from prior to his being called to the Bar, makes him well suited to complex engineering and design disputes.

In 2016, Quentin was invited to begin to review and update Lexis PSL content concerning international and domestic carriage of goods by sea, land and air. Quentin’s updates each year since cover numerous topics, including: transport and title documents in international carriage of goods; bailment; exclusion of liability; bills of lading and sea waybills; the Hague-Visby Rules and charterparties, including voyage charters, time charters and bareboat charters, together with the incorporation of charterparty terms to bills of lading.

Quentin has also been invited to author Lexis PSL content on bailment. Quentin’s extensive Practice Note gives a working definition of bailment, discusses modern commercial bailment in numerous industry sectors and provides practical advice and pleading tips.

Featured Shipping cases


Acting in an arbitration arising out of an explosion on board a tanker.


Acting in an arbitration arising out of a fatal accident at sea.


Acting in a dispute arising out of defective maintenance work on a vessel.


Advising in relation to bills of lading and letters of indemnity.

Quentin has much experience in relation to software, networks and telecommunications. His experience spans confidential information, data protection and intellectual property licensing issues. He has experience in disputes arising out of IT project failures and IT systems integration issues across several sectors, including utilities and insurance.

Quentin’s experience includes assisting both suppliers and customers in relation to disputes arising out of outsourcing activities, software and IP licensing disputes and alleged copyright infringements. Quentin also pursues and defends claims relating to misrepresentation and professional negligence in the IT sector.

Quentin’s practical business background and cross-practice experience (including commercial, IP, confidentiality and data protection work) make Quentin particularly well suited to technology disputes that are of strategic and commercial importance to clients and raise multiple legal and regulatory issues.

Quentin draws on his considerable IT-related corporate experience when advising clients in technology cases to provide practical, commercially focused advice. His experience includes the acquisition and import of software systems and databases (US to UK), sale of software systems and data (UK to US), software as a service (SaaS), cloud computing (including AWS-hosted services) and mobile app development projects. He worked on contracts for major software development projects, including collaborative R&D projects, and he helped negotiate terms for private and public sector funding of IT-related collaborative R&D programmes.

Quentin is a Society for Computers and Law Junior Lawyers’ Group committee member.

Featured Technology & Telecoms cases


Advising in relation to breach of software licences by a major telecoms multinational in a £1m+ dispute.


Advising a major international consultancy following the termination of contract by a multinational software provider.


Advising on the merits of a claim of software copyright infringement by Russian software developers in relation to software produced by a well-known multinational.


Advising an ISP in relation to managing potential litigation risks arising from hosted content.


Sole counsel, acting for an insurer in a dispute with a bespoke software solution provider.


Advising in relation to a £2M+ contractual dispute between a global telecoms provider and a multi-national software provider.


Sole counsel, acting for a multinational software provider in connection with an over-deployment dispute with a public sector organisation.


Acting in relation to a €15m+ breach of warranty dispute following the acquisition of a software development company.

Disciplinary tribunal hearings

Quentin has experience in disciplinary tribunal hearings. His work includes instructions in relation to proceedings of the Architects Registration Board Professional Conduct Committee, defending several charges of unacceptable professional conduct and serious professional incompetence.

Crime

Quentin has experience in criminal proceedings brought against corporate clients. His instructions include representing a FTSE 100 corporation in relation to numerous, summary only, criminal charges attracting potentially unlimited fines.

Featured Other cases


Acting for a petitioner in an unfair prejudice petition brought under s.994 of the Companies Act 2006.


Acting and advising as sole counsel in a £1.5m expert determination.

Intellectual Property Lectures at the University of Cambridge

For the third year running, Quentin Tannock has been invited to give a series of lectures on Intellectual Property (IP)...

AI and Data Protection: The ICO Guidance (1)

In a two part article for the Society of Computers and Law, Quentin Tannock surveys the Information Commissioner’s...

Podcast: The ICO perspective on AI and data protection with Simon McDougall

The latest episode of 4PC Podcast is brought to you by Quentin Tannock. Quentin talks with Simon McDougall,...

Podcast: Explaining Artificial Intelligence with Terry Bergin QC and Quentin Tannock

The third episode of 4PC Podcast is brought to you by Terry Bergin QC and Quentin Tannock. In this episode, Terry and...

Instruct Quentin

To instruct Quentin please contact our clerks on +44 (0)20 7842 5522 or email clerks@4pumpcourt.com.

  • Chapter on the law of artificial intelligence and data protection, Sweet & Maxwell. With R Sumroy (to be published in 2020).
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office Guidance on AI and Data Protection. Computers and Law. (October 2020).
  • Explaining Artificial Intelligence. Computers and Law. With T Bergen (August 2020).
  • Bailment. Lexis PSL Practice Note. (2017-2020).
  • International and domestic carriage of goods by sea, land and air; Charterparties; Bills of lading and sea waybills; The Hague-Visby Rules. Lexis PSL Practice Notes. With J Watthey (2016-2020).
  • Triple Point Technology, Inc. v PTT Public Company Limited: Case note. Society for Computers and Law. With J Schaffer-Goddard (2019).
  • AI: Changing Rules for a Changed World. Computers and Law. With T Bergin (June 2018).
  • “Where now for ‘appropriate technical and organisational measures’?” Global Data Review. With T Bergin (June 2018).
  • Science and technology roadmap for graphene, related two-dimensional crystals, and hybrid systems. Nanoscale, Volume 7, Pages 4,598-4,810 (2015).
  • Intellectual Property and its Role in the Generation and Diffusion of Green Technologies. World Trade Organisation (WTO), Presentation (2014).
  • Exploiting Carbon Flatland. Nature Materials, Volume 11, pages 2–5 (2012).
  • Climate Change Innovation and Partnership Models. World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Presentation (2011).
  • COMBAR
  • IPSOC
  • TECBAR
  • SCL (Society for Computers & Law)
  • SCL (Society of Construction Law)
  • LLM (Cantab)
  • LLB (Hons)

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