“Very thorough and very calm.”
The Legal 500
Experience & Expertise
David has appeared in numerous reported cases considering key concepts in his areas of practice. He has a busy practice of trials and hearings in a wide range of courts and tribunals and is regularly involved in advising about the organisation, commissioning and regulation of provision. David is instructed by the major firms and public bodies in his field and consistently recognised in legal directories as a leading junior.
- David has appeared in many key education law cases at all levels. He has experience in all aspects of education law from nursery provision to post-graduate and individual rights to national policy. He is widely recognised as a leading practitioner in the field.
- David has a busy healthcare practice and writes extensively about access to healthcare. Recent instructions include judicial reviews about which CCG is responsible for treatment and about access to treatment, disputes between CCGs and primary care providers and care home closure disputes.
- He regularly appears in the Court of Protection. He has particular experience on questions of sexual relations and marriage. His medical treatment work includes covert treatment, birth and end of life issues, the borderline for diagnosing a minimally conscious state, blood transfusions and anaesthetics.
David has experience of a wide range of areas related to legal practice. He has recently spent several years as a part-time Ombudsman for the Financial Ombudsman Service. He has undertaken trial observation in Lesotho (environmental damage) and Turkey (language rights). He is a past editor of the Education Law Monitor and talks and writes extensively on his areas of practice.
CASES AND WORK OF NOTE
David has appeared in over 20 reported cases and his practice regularly involves complex legal questions. He has been told that several of these cases have already made their way onto university reading lists.
- R (Zahid) v University of Manchester  All ER (D) 105, considers the integration of judicial review claims against universities with complaints to the University ombudsman, the OIA.
- R (AC) v OIA  EWHC decides the interpretation of OIA rules about the extent of its jurisdiction.
- R (Gopikrishna) v OIA  ELR 190 the court considers the proper approach to errors by university panels.
- R (ota Mustafa) v OIA  ELR 446 decides on the meaning of the often contested phrase in higher education cases “academic judgement”.
- TW v ESCC  ELR 119 was the first appeal considering the Children and Families Act 2014 and the integration of social care and education for people over 19 with an EHC plan.
- TB v Essex County Council  ELR 46, considered the meaning of the word ‘school’ in the education acts.
- ML v Kent County Council  ELR 364, a leading case on the extent of reasonable adjustments required in public exams.
- The Independent Schools Council v The Charity Commission for England & Wales  2 WLR 100 was a prominent case deciding whether independent schools could continue to be charities. The court decided the meaning of the phrase ‘public benefit’ in Charity commission guidance.
Many of these cases are unreported disputes dealt with by mediation, tribunals or complaints processes. Reported cases include:
- R (ota Logan) v Havering  PTSR 603 is an Equality Act challenge to setting council tax for disabled people.
- R (ota Nyoni) v Secretary of State for Business  ELR 88 considers the entitlement to student finance.
- Draper v Lincolnshire CC  LGR 673, a “cuts case” considering the Localism Act 2011 and procurement and consultation questions.
- ML v Tonbridge  ELR 508 determined what happens to accrued claims when a school closes.
- R (ota Island Farm) v Bridgend CBC  LGR 19 concerns the limits on political considerations in local authority decision making
- Re: X  EWHC covert medical treatment
- X v A Local Authority  capacity in relation to sexual relations and marriage in the context of an FMPO involving injunctions and imprisonment of one party
- Re: Y  151 BMLR 232 withholding and withdrawing treatment
- Re: GW  EWCOP 20 capacity questions for a patient with Huntington’s disease
David is consistently recommended by the legal directories as a leading junior. He is ranked in the Chambers UK Bar Guide for both Education and Local Government.
Clients cited by Chambers and Partners state that he is “very good with clients, he is very thorough, and has a great success rate”
Other recent directory editorial has included the following:
in relation to legal issues:
- he has impressive drafting and advocacy abilities;
- he is skilful and creative in presenting difficult arguments;
- has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law;
- pragmatic in his approach, he is able and willing to argue difficult points of law; and
- one of his strengths is his confidence and knowledge of the law and procedure.
and providing a useful legal service:
- drives down to the detail of the case and its wider commercial implications quickly and concisely;
- he thinks through all angles; and
- he picks things up and gets to grips with them in a short timeframe.
- he is definitely a barrister who can think on his feet;
- he takes on the pressure of a difficult case whilst maintaining a calm and straightforward manner when addressing clients and colleagues;
- he is very approachable and inclusive; and
- approachable and has an easy manner.
and involvement of instructing solicitors
- he not only wants to present good arguments, but also genuinely welcomes the views of the instructing solicitor; and
- he is prepared to make time for tactical and strategic discussions with regard to the progress of litigation.
- he achieves remarkable results through a combination of his skill and his dedication; and
- he gives everything to his cases, and is always approachable and great to work with.
- Medical Treatment Decisions and the Law – contributor
- Education Law Monitor – past editor
- Local Government Lawyer, Education Law Journal and Health Service Journal – contributor
Ultimately law is about managing risk. Sometimes you have to leave key interests at risk but if you don’t have to it’s best not to. It’s usually sensible to narrow down what’s at stake.
“The best answers come from listening to the clients.”
Like many colleagues I act for claimants and defendants. It brings valuable insights – the most important of them – organisations are trying to do the right thing and never forget how much individuals have at stake. More than anything else acting for all parties to disputes is a constant barrier to cynicism and reminder of what works in the system.
The best ideas come from the clients. Sometimes clients – and even the lawyers – look to the lawyers for the answers. The best answers come from listening to the clients and then trying to work out how the answer they can see fits into the law or can be based in the facts the court may find.
For further details of David’s practice please click on the links to the left or contact a member of the clerking or client service team.
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