Practice Overview

David has a wide ranging practice covering many different aspects of law. He is particularly strong in the areas of construction, energy, professional negligence, public international law, general commercial work and contract.

He has a keen interest in international commercial arbitration and has practical experience of various forms of alternative dispute resolution including arbitration, adjudication and mediation. He also has specialist knowledge and experience in international commercial Law, and commercial mediation.

In addition to having those particular interests, David has a busy and wide ranging domestic practice at all levels in the fields of land law, trusts and commercial law on both sides of the Border and has a real expertise in cross-border elements in cases and disputes.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb), and holds "Chartered" status. He has lectured in Arbitration in the Universities of Dundee, Dubai and Aberdeen and has been peer appointed as an arbitrator onto many international panels including the Chairman's Panel of Arbitrators:  

David has appeared before all the courts in Scotland as an Advocate (called 1999). He has also appeared before the Supreme Court of the Eastern Caribbean in Montserrat. He was also called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2016.

Since 2012, he has held the position of Director of Training and Education in the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland, being responsible for the training of "intrants" on the Faculty's nine month training programme.

Reported Cases (Scotland)

  • Alex Lawrie Factors Ltd v Mitchell Engineering Ltd 2001 S.L.T. (Sh Ct) 93 (leading authority on the rights of the common debtor in an assignation between cedent and assignee)
  • Bibby Factors Limited v. Brady 2002 CSOH 23, (Interpretation of a commercial contract "all sums" guarantee)
  • Trygort (No2) Limited v. UK Home Finance Ltd & George Wimpey UK Ltd. 17th November 2006 Commercial Court Glasgow: Interpretation of Commercial Lease Break Option Clause in respect of Spent Breaches and Valid Operation of Option
  • Gregor Shore Limited v. Manclark December 2006 Civil Court Reports, Edinburgh Sheriff Court: Enforcement of domestic Missives.
  • Ness Heritable Limited v. JHP Securities Limited, Stirling Sheriff Court June 2007 (Consequences of Settling Disputed Dilapidations Claim in respect of Commercial Tenancy by Tender (Anglice Part 36 Order) and failure on part of Defenders to move for expenses at point of Minute of Acceptance of Tender.
  • Gregor Shore v. Wilson Edinburgh Sheriff Court June 2008 (Failures of defenders to obtemper contractual obligations under Missives for sale of Property)
  • Robertson Bros v. Scotia Haddington Sheriff Court, Construction Dispute in connection with fabrication and installation of steelwork in Construction Project. (April 2009 and ongoing)
  • Angus v. DDR Piling Operations Limited, Glasgow Sheriff Court (Commercial Court) Claim in Nuisance against Piling Operators on Adjoining Property May 2009)
  • Turnbull v. Royal & Sun Alliance plc, Court of Session, (October 2009), Claim for Indemnity and Payment against Insurer in respect of Co-Insured's Negligence
  • Free Church of Scotland v General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland2005 1 S.C. 396 per Lady Paton, [Junior Counsel in 4 week Debate in respect of seceding non-Establishment Church] Led by James McNeill QC.
  • McKie v. MacRae 2006 SLT 46 per Lord Glennie [Junior Counsel in Debate on Novel Question of Competency of Dismissal For Delay - Scotland's First Striking Out Case: Reclaimed to the Inner House] Led by James Campbell QC.
  • Trustees of Cawdor Discretionary Trust v. Mackay (Land Court) 12 Sept 2005. Novel Point arising from the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2006, Led by Stuart Nicol, Advocate
  • Superdrug Stores Plc v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd 2005 S.L.T. (Sh Ct) 105 (for Pursuers, anglice Plaintiffs) and First Division 27 Jan 2006. [Application under the Tenancy of Shops (Scotland) Act 1949 application to the Sheriff.] Glasgow Sheriff Court: Commercial Lease Break Option Construction. Led by Stuart Nicol, Advocate.
  • Superdrug Stores Plc v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd 2006 SC 365 (as above, appealed to Inner House of the Court of Session, successful appeal, Lord President dissenting) Led by Dean of Faculty, Richard Keen QC
  • Trygort (No2) Limited v. UK Home Finance Ltd & George Wimpey UK Ltd. Appeal to Inner House of Court of Session Led by Dean of Faculty, Richard Keen QC
  • Coleman v. Loutitt 2008 Civil Jury Trial Set down for May 2008 in respect of a young man's very serious head injury. Sum sued for £1.1million. Case compromised. Led by Andrew Smith QC.
  • Simpson v. Mallison 2008, Court of Session July 2008 Action in connection with Head Injury and Claims arising from Loss of Farming Business. Led by Alan Dewar QC

Reported Cases (International)

  • International Pairs Limited v. (1) The Government of Montserrat & others, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Montserrat 2014. (MINIHCV2009/0002). I represented an English Registered Company in an action for payment against the Government of Montserrat. Trial over 2days, Montserrat.


  • In the matter of a DIFC Arbitration. (2011-13) Arbitration claim for an Iranian Client against US Client raising complex issues relating to a Sandanavian Shareholders Agreement with Arbitration provisions. Role of OFAC in supervising US client resiling from Agreement.
  • In the matter of an ICC Arbitration, (2013-14),  ICC Case Number: 18644/FM/MHM Defence and Counterclaim for $13.5m against Turkish Sub-Contractor Claims of $4.5m in respect of a very large railway infrastructure project in Istanbul with Full Hearing over 2 weeks in November 2013. Success in Final Award (2014).
  • In the matter of an Arbitration under the Arbitration Act 1996 (2015) conducted under the ICE Arbitration Procedure between B Borough Council and HG Limited. The Claim was for £150K in respect of failure of design of coastal defences. I was appointed and selected as Counsel to the arbitration to advise on a key procedural point relating to a highly contentious issue about the formation and formulation of the claimant's claim.


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