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 judicial reviews on the powers of public sector bodies.  Recent work includes public inquiries (IICSA), regulatory cases on schools and care homes and judicial reviews on access to services. He regularly acts in the Court of Protection where recent work includes final hearings, in particular on cases concerning sexual relations and marriage.  Recent work includes amputation, child birth, feeding and covert treatment. He is regularly 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.

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, Natasha Southgate and Alicia Lutumba.

“Very thorough and very calm.”
The Legal 500

Treatment withdrawal: Should a child’s parents or the court decide?
David Lawson writes for the Solicitors Journal on the principles behind the best interests test.
Click here for David’s article

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, about access to treatment 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, 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.


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.


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 – contributor, in particular to Feeding and Funding Medical Treatment
  • 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.


David adopts and adheres to the provisions of the 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

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