David N. Kay, OBE

david.kay dbr.com
Phone: (312) 569-1121 (312) 569-1121
Fax: (312) 569-3121


David N. Kay counsels and represents clients on international corporate transactions. He advises foreign companies and financial institutions on their operations in the U.S., from start-ups to global corporations with subsidiaries in the U.S. David also advises U.S. companies on their overseas operations, with specific emphasis in England, the European Union, the Middle East, Australia, India and China. He has traveled extensively and has lived and practiced law in England, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates where he worked in Dubai and became the resident partner of the Abu Dhabi office of a London-based law firm.

David served as chairman of the corporate department and on the operating committee of Gardner Carton & Douglas (prior to the merger with Drinker Biddle in 2007) and from 2012-2016 as a member of Drinker Biddle’s management committee. He is currently serving a second term on the compensation committee and is co-lead of the International Team.

He advises clients on corporate and commercial transactions, international arbitration and dispute resolution and sits as an arbitrator on international and domestic cases. David has written numerous articles and given speeches on the legal and commercial aspects of investing and doing business in Europe and the Middle East and has published a book "Trading with America, A Practical Guide."

David was called to the English bar as a Barrister in 1979. He has Chambers at Hogarth Chambers, 5 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn, London and is a member of the Honorable Society of Gray's Inn, London. He is the Honorary Legal Advisor to the British Consul-General in Chicago and is a founding member, director and chairman of The British-American Business Council, Chicago.



David’s corporate experience includes advising clients on the establishment of joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions and strategic alliances, corporate counselling, both domestic and international, distribution and agency agreements, intellectual property and licensing agreements.

In his role serving as U.S. outside counsel to foreign companies, David provides not only legal advice and counselling to his clients, but also helps them understand the cultural and business idiosyncrasies of their international operations both in the U.S. and overseas.

In his international and domestic arbitration practice, David has served as an arbitrator or tribunal chairman in many complex cases, multi-party international and domestic arbitrations including ad hoc arbitrations and those under the major international arbitration institutions including the American Arbitration Association, the International Center for Dispute Resolution, the London Court of International Arbitration and the International Chamber of Commerce.


Officer of the Order of the British Empire, awarded by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II

Honorary Doctor of Laws, Kingston University

Best Lawyers®,Corporate Law, International Arbitration - Commercial (2020)

Awards Methodology (www.drinkerbiddle.com/content/awards)

Officer of the Order of the British Empire

awarded by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II


Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • England and Wales


  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., 1989
  • Kingston University, England, B.A., Hons. Law, 1978


  • Honorable Society of Gray’s Inn, London
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Honorary Legal Adviser, British Consul-General in Chicago
  • The British-American Business Council, Chicago, Founding Member, Director, Chairman
  • London Court of International Arbitration
  • World Law Group (Past President)