Our Team



Consultant Barrister

Practice Areas

  • Commercial litigation

Dirk van Heck is Gentium’s consultant barrister and specialises in commercial litigation. Having been a London-based barrister for most of his career, Dirk spent the Great Recession employed full-time in the Litigation and Insolvency Department of Maples and Calder in the British Virgin Islands, where he learned to undertake the functions of a solicitor and also completed an internship in the Cayman Islands. He now combines the roles of barrister and solicitor, being one of only a small number of English barristers with the right to practice in a “dual capacity”.

Bar Admissions

Bar of England & Wales
Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (British Virgin Islands)


Bar Vocational Course, Inns of Court School of Law, London, 2001
Postgraduate Diploma in Law, City University, London, 2000
M.A./B.A. University of Cambridge (First Class honours) 1999

After holding three scholarships at Charterhouse, one of England’s leading public schools, Dirk went on to read History at Trinity College Cambridge. He took a first class degree and was awarded a Senior Scholarship, as well as the Hooper Declamation Prize and the James Webb Prize for the History of Ideas.

Dirk undertook his Diploma in Law at City University, London, where he was a finalist in the University “mooting” competition, adjudicated upon by Lord Hoffman, and finished his academic career at the Inns of Court School of Law. He is also a Jules Thorn and Astbury scholar of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple.

Selection of reported cases

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

A v B, UKEAT/025/13/DM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Representative Experience

  • Acting for a pharmaceutical parallel imports business in a dispute regarding foreign exchange hedging transactions;
  • Obtaining an emergency injunction for an online trading company to prevent a former director from replicating the business for a rival;
  • Defending allegations of money laundering and knowing receipt for the fourth parties in a high-value fraud case;
  • Acting for a Swiss bank in a dispute regarding breaches of confidentiality by a former employee;
  • Defending the holder of a bank account in Singapore from an attempt to trace misappropriated funds into the account;
  • Defending an Hong Kong-based futures trading company from insolvency proceedings by having multiple statutory demands set aside;
  • Acting in the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal in a high-value dispute between a Russian private equity group and a Turkish industrial conglomerate regarding a telecommunications network;
  • Advising multiple blue chip clients with exposure to BVI funds affected by the Madoff fraud.

Other Experience

In addition to his commercial litigation practice, Dirk has high level experience of trusts, property and employment law. In his third year of practice, he succeeded in an appeal in the English Court of Appeal which became a leading case on trusts of land whilst, more recently, he has acted in reported cases on planning and employment law. Dirk has also represented a company in a class action based on the novel tort of age discrimination at trial and at two levels of appeal.