Dean Armstrong QC is a highly experienced practitioner specialising in Commercial Litigation; Cyber, Data & Technology law; Fraud Regulation and Investigations.
Dean is currently instructed in four high profile worldwide class action cases, was an advisor to those involved in the ‘Cash for Honours’ inquiry and the Leveson inquiry, and was counsel in cases arising from the collapse of the News of the World newspaper. In addition, he is currently instructed in a number of multi million pound commercial disputes.
Dean has a City background, having been employed by blue chip corporates and major City Solicitors and has advised on mergers and acquisitions, directors and shareholders rights and obligations, and set up the regulatory regime for a major multi-national. Dean has extensive commercial experience having served on the board of several companies and the combination of expertise in law and experience in business is a powerful combination when analysing and advising on corporate issues. He is joint head of chambers at the 36 Group.
Dean is considered a leading authority in the UK on Cyber law, with a growing reputation in all areas of the subject. He is co-author of Cyber Security Law and Practice, an authoritative and thorough textbook in the fast-developing world of technology. This popular work has recently been updated and expanded upon in a second edition. He is also co-author of the first legal textbook written by counsel on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: The International Legal and Regulatory Challenges, which has been well received across the world. Last year saw the publication of Cyber Litigation: The Legal Principles, and Cyber Risk and Insurance is on the point of being published. He has also contributed chapters to other publications.
Dean has previously assisted the Law Commission on draft legislation and has recently drafted worldwide travel rules on the treatment of virtual assets.
Dean advises international banks, large financial institutions, blue chip companies and major players in the not for profit sector. He is an expert in areas such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the impact of Brexit on data regulation, and how international firms should manage data across the world including the increasingly complex area of international data transfer rules.
"An accomplished silk who has real-world commercial experience garnered in the City of London. Sources applaud him for his superior client service, mastery of the facts in a case, and effective advocacy. He is experienced in cases with significant international elements.
Very able, incredibly well prepared and someone with an encyclopaedic knowledge of any case he's instructed in; he's a very effective advocate and very good with clients. – Chambers & Partners 2019
"Canny, commercial, tactical and smart." – Chambers & Partners 2020
"Dean Armstrong is fast reaching the point where there will be no one above him at all" – Managing Partner
Very able, incredibly well prepared and someone with an encyclopaedic knowledge of any case he's instructed in; he's a very effective advocate and very good with clients.
His style in front of a jury is very appealing.
Recent work: Acted for a defendant in a large private prosecution involving an alleged fraud on DAS, a German insurance company."
Dean is a leading authority in the UK on cyber law, with a growing reputation in all areas of the subject. He has advised international banks, large financial institutions, blue chip companies, and major institutions in the not-for-profit sector.
He is co-author of Cyber Security Law and Practice (Lexis Nexis: 2017), an authoritative and thorough textbook. He is also co-author of the first legal textbook written by counsel on distributed ledgers and cryptocurrencies: Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: International Legal and Regulatory Challenges (Bloomsbury Professional: 2019) which has been well received globally. Dean has recently co-authored two books on cyber litigation and cyber risks and insurance: Cyber Litigation: The Legal Principles (Bloomsbury Professional: 2020) and Cyber Risks and Insurance: The Legal Principles (Bloomsbury Professional: 2021).
He is an expert on blockchain, smart contracts, ICO, data breach, sensitive personal data, GDPR, international data protection legislation and facial recognition. Dean is consulted by clients on the impact of Brexit on data regulation and how international firms should manage data across the world – including the increasingly complex area of international data transfer rules.
Current and Recent Assignments
- Advising a technology company with a globally patented algorithm particularly suited to resolving smart contract disputes on the blockchain. The company is planning to float on the full market either later this year or early next and Dean provides continued advice on all cyber, commercial and contractual matters. The company has widespread international connections and Dean liaises with governments, major international organisations, financial institutions and blue-chip companies on its behalf.
- Advising on a major new initiative involving professional athletes regarding the abuse of performance and tracking data. The prospective defendants are major international corporations and Dean is leading the action which will involve the establishment of a new data asset class.
- Advising on the establishment of various international cryptocurrency placements, this has involved consideration of the UK regulatory regime in relation to cryptocurrency and the division of functions across different jurisdictions.
- Successful representation of a health care employee who was being investigated for breach of data protection legislation involving the alleged disclosure of sensitive personal data in patient records. As a result of the approach, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) did not pursue the allegation.
- Advising on a facial recognition scheme involving the notification of individuals suspected of wrongdoing by retail outlets. Notwithstanding the adverse judgements affecting other facial recognition schemes, the client continues to run its scheme successfully, having been granted approval from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), following Dean’s advice.
- Advising the promoters of an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) who had raised millions of dollars but without having the necessary regulatory approvals. Dean took the client through the next steps, assisting them with remedial action and helping them to work with the authorities to seek proper regulation.
- Advising a business official who was subject of a breach of GDPR by HMRC on the best course of action.
Fraud, Regulation and Investigations
Dean has been at the forefront of some of the most significant cases in this arena over the past 20 years and has been instructed in some of the most complex and high profile cases.
- Freezing injunctions and ancillary relief
- Committal applications for contempt of court
- Breach of trust
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Corruption in commercial contracts
- Misappropriation of company assets
- Investment schemes
- Directors disqualification hearings
- FCA hearings and investigations
Commercial Dispute Resolution
Dean is a highly experienced commercial advocate, he has a city background, having been employed by blue chip corporates and major City Solicitors and has advised on mergers and acquisitions, directors and shareholders rights and obligations, and set up the regulatory regime for a major multinational.
- International & Offshore
- Company & Partnership
- Civil Fraud & Asset Recovery
- Cyber Risks and Insurance: The Legal Principles – Bloomsbury Professional 2021.
- Cyber Litigation: The Legal Principles – Bloomsbury Professional 2020.
- Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: International Legal and Regulatory Challenges – Bloomsbury Professional 2019.
- Cyber Security: Law and Practice First Edition. LexisNexis 2017
- Cyber Security: Law and Practice, Second edition. LexisNexis 2019
- The next frontier for cyber litigation. New Law Journal 2019
- Telegraph – Data Now as Important a Commodity as Oil, Leading QC Says
- The Global Legal Post - The Sovereignty of Data
Appointments and Memberships
MA ( Cantab)
Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
Called to the Bar 1985
Queens Counsel 2014