David Lawson

Call 2000


David is a public lawyer working with all public services, in particular education, health and care services. He advises and represents on individual rights to services and on the regulation and organisation of service provision. He has appeared in a number of leading cases in his areas of practice. Recent work includes judicial reviews on access to services, representation at public inquiries (IICSA) and regulatory cases on schools and care homes at First-tier and Upper Tribunal level.

He is instructed in all types of education law claim including special educational needs, disability and the full range of university issues, such as academic and disciplinary matters.
He regularly acts in the Court of Protection in particular on cases concerning personal relations and marriage. Recent medical work includes amputation, child birth, feeding and covert treatment.
Chambers & Partners notes he is “absolutely outstanding” and “achieves remarkable results… gives everything to his cases, and is always approachable and great to work with”.

David is clerked primarily by Lee Johnson, Clare Sabido, Jennifer Pooler and Emma Bell.

“Very thorough and very calm.”
The Legal 500

The Power to Quarantine and Coronavirus, Public Health and Coercive Powers
David Lawson writes for Public Law Today and New Law Journal
Click here for David’s article

Experience & Expertise

David has appeared in numerous reported cases and has a busy practice in a wide range of courts and tribunals. In addition to hearings he advises on access to services and the organisation 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 acknowledged as a leading practitioner in the field.
  • David has a thriving healthcare practice and writes extensively about access to healthcare, including the chapter on access to healthcare in Medical Treatment Decisions and the Law. Recent instructions include judicial reviews about which CCG is responsible for treatment, about access to treatment (continuing care and medication) and about closure of services.
  • 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, blood transfusions and anaesthetics. He co-wrote the chapter on feeding in Medical Treatment Decisions and the Law.

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.




David is consistently recommended by the legal directories as a leading junior. He is ranked in the Chambers UK Bar Guide for Education, Court of Protection 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:


  • Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law
    David co-authored chapter eight: Access to Healthcare – Funding in the fourth edition of the book Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law, edited by Christopher Johnston KC and Sophia Roper KC and written by 27 members of Serjeants’ Inn.
  • Education Law Monitor – past editor
  • Local Government Lawyer, Public Law Today, 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.


David adopts and adheres to the provisions of his privacy notice which can be accessed here.

Further Information

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.

Bar Council Membership No: 41350
Registered Name:
VAT Registration No: 848653876