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 with a strong focus on advocacy, combining legal excellence with practical business experience, particularly in the areas of commercial litigation, construction and engineering, technology and IP.

Quentin acts and advises in complex and high-value litigations, arbitrations and mediations.

Quentin has particular expertise and extensive experience in:

  • Commercial Litigation and Arbitration
  • Construction and Engineering
  • Financial Services, Private Equity and Venture Capital
  • Intellectual Property
  • Shipping and International Trade
  • Technology

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. 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 a member of the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR) sub-committee on remote hearings and is a committee member of the Society for Computers and Law Junior Lawyers’ Group. Each year since 2018, he has delivered a series of lectures to master of science students at the University of Cambridge . Quentin also contributes regularly to major publications on areas of law ranging from the GDPR and data protection to technology law and shipping law.

Background

Quentin’s background is in law and business, including working in venture capital and forming his own patent research company, providing IP-related strategy and policy advice to multinational corporations and international organisations. Prior to being called to the Bar in the UK, among other roles, Quentin qualified and practised as a solicitor, ran an Arbitration Centre in Africa and lectured arbitration and mediation to final year law students. Quentin also worked for the University of Cambridge and was an executive in a US-based venture capital company, making and managing VC investments in Europe and the USA.

While in business, Quentin advised on international M&A deals, negotiated patent licence agreements and managed software development teams, gaining particular experience in the Energy, Health and Life Sciences and Advanced Materials sectors. 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 across a range of industry sectors including financial services, banking and insurance.

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 is instructed to appear in a range of commercial matters including trials and applications hearings for injunctions, strike-out and summary judgment. Quentin’s recent 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.  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 force majeure clauses in contracts governed by English law.

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 and Arbitration cases


Sole counsel acting in a £3m+ contractual dispute between a major multinational corporation and a former distribution partner of the corporation, involving allegations of breach of software copyright and fraudulent software licencing.


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


Sole counsel in a £1.5m dispute concerning alleged repudiatory breach of contract.


Sole counsel securing an injunction in the High Court protecting a client’s confidential information in a £1m+ dispute.


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


Sole counsel acting in an ICC arbitration, representing a Chinese-based exporter in a contractual dispute with a UK 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 advisory firm and a client of the firm 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.


Sole counsel acting for a group of companies in dispute with a former Director of the companies concerning breaches of fiduciary duties, misuse of confidential information and breaches of data protection law.  Making an interim injunction application and securing an award of the costs of the interim application for the companies.


Sole counsel in Armstead v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company Limited, an appeal heard over two days concerning the extent of liability in bailment and tort for damage to hired equipment.

Quentin has experience in a wide range of construction and engineering disputes, advising and representing clients in litigations, arbitrations and adjudications. Quentin enjoys working in a team on larger disputes and regularly handles disputes as sole counsel.

Quentin’s construction and engineering experience spans contractual and tortious disputes in a range of courts and tribunals. He acts for employers, main contractors, sub-contractors and consultants in relation to disputes arising from projects under both standard form and bespoke contracts. Quentin has extensive experience of construction adjudication. He has also pursued and defended claims of professional negligence against architects, engineers and surveyors.

Quentin is very adept at dealing with technically complex cases. His recent instructions include cases involving failures of complex steel structures, defective design and installation of intumescent fire stopping, composite material design defects and hydrocarbon storage failures resulting in explosions. Quentin is also able to draw on his extensive advanced materials, petrochemicals, renewable energy and health sector experience, dating from prior to his call to the Bar.

Featured Construction and Engineering cases


Acting for Rolls-Royce in a claim for £25m+ in damages in respect of significant structural defects identified post completion in a bespoke Rolls-Royce facility, together with related claims for delay and disruption.


Acting in a £2m+ arbitration, following explosions said to arise out of defective storage of hydrocarbons.


Instructed as junior counsel in an arbitration concerning the allegedly defective design of structural components made of composite materials, the failure of which resulted in a fatality.


Sole counsel in a dispute arising out of allegedly defective design and construction of an innovative roofing system for a major apartment block in central London.


Sole counsel in several adjudications, including adjudications brought in the context of company insolvencies.


Sole counsel in various disputes arising out of residential construction contracts, including defending claims concerning allegedly negligent and defective works.


Acting in claims against architects and other professionals in the context of construction projects.


Defending charges of unacceptable professional conduct and serious professional incompetence brought against an architect in proceedings before the Architects Registration Board Professional Conduct Committee.

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

Quentin 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 align legal and regulatory compliance with their commercial objectives.

Quentin co-authored a chapter on the law of artificial intelligence and data protection, 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.


Sole counsel acting for a group of companies in dispute with a former Director of the companies concerning misuse of confidential information and breaches of data protection law. Advising in relation to reporting to the ICO and future risk management strategies. Making an interim injunction application and securing an award of the costs of the interim application for the companies.

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 major 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.

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 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 advisory firm and a former client of the firm 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 with respect to trade mark infringement, 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


Sole counsel acting in a £3m+ contractual dispute between a major multinational corporation and a former distribution partner of the corporation, involving allegations of breach of software copyright and fraudulent software licencing.


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.


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


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


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


Sole counsel in Education International Services Limited and another v John Vahya Janoudi [2021] EWHC 888 (Comm), making an interim injunction application securing an order protecting clients’ confidential information and intellectual property together with an award of the costs of the interim application. Read case note.

Quentin has experience in a range of shipping and international trade 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 experience, dating from prior to his being called to the Bar, makes him well suited to complex engineering and design disputes in the shipping sector.

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 and International Trade cases


Acting in an arbitration concerning an explosion on board a tanker.


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


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


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


Sole counsel in Armstead v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company Limited, an appeal heard over two days concerning the extent of liability in bailment and tort for damage to hired equipment.

Quentin has much experience in technology and telecoms disputes, across a wide range of industry sectors. His experience spans disputes involving confidential information, data protection and intellectual property licensing issues. He has particular 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 cases


Sole counsel acting in a £3m+ contractual dispute between a major multinational corporation and a former distribution partner of the corporation, involving allegations of breach of software copyright and fraudulent software licencing.


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.


Sole counsel 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.


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

Other Jurisdictions

Quentin has particular experience of disputes concerning the Law of other Jurisdictions.  Quentin’s relevant experience spans the laws of Bermuda, California (USA), Guernsey, Republic of Cyprus, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He also has experience of disputes concerning English Ecclesiastical Law.

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.


Sole counsel in Armstead v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company Limited, an appeal heard over two days concerning the extent of liability in bailment and tort for damage to hired equipment.

SCL event: Making a Career of IT

Date: Thursday 23 September 2021Time: 5.30pm – 7pm, panel discussion followed by online networking and...

Misuse of confidential information

Barristers at 4 Pump Court frequently assist clients with securing interim injunctions, to protect clients’...

Armstead v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company Limited: Case Note

A recent decision in a lower court, now possibly on its way to the Court of Appeal, has opened up interesting legal...

Podcast: Bias and Discrimination in Artificial Intelligence

The latest episode of 4PC Podcast is brought to you by Quentin Tannock. Quentin talks with Minesh Tanna, Managing...

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 (December 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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