Professional information

  • 2021: Appointed Standing Junior to the Advocate General for Scotland
  • 2021: Called to the Bar
  • 2020-2021: Devil, Faculty Scholarship. Devilmasters: Dan Byrne, Paul Reid and Niall McCluskey
  • 2016-2020: Anderson Strathern – Trainee solicitor and latterly as solicitor
  • 2015-2016: Parliamentary Assistant, Scottish Parliament
  • 2011-2016 University of Edinburgh: LLB (Hons), First Class (2015); Diploma in Professional Legal Practice, Distinction (2016)
  • Academic prizes: Marion Simmons QC Memorial Essay Prize, Second Place (2018); Oxford University Press Prize – Best performance in third year of the LLB (2014)
Professional experience

David was called to the Bar in 2021 as a Faculty Scholar. During his period of devilling, David gained experience in a variety of public law matters, including immigration, housing law, prison law and human rights cases. He was also involved in a number of commercial disputes and clinical negligence actions.

Shortly after calling, David was appointed as a Standing Junior to the Advocate General for Scotland. In that role he provides advice and representation to the UK Government across a wide range of public law dispute, including those involving complex issues in relation to human rights. He also frequently acts for local authorities and statutory bodies, as well as petitioners.

As a solicitor, David worked in the Healthcare, Public and Regulatory team at Anderson Strathern. David worked on a wide variety of public law matters and has substantial experience of judicial review and statutory appeals to the Court of Session. He also maintained a busy practice of medical negligence and personal injury work and assisted with property and construction disputes.

David has a specialist interest in professional disciplinary law. As a solicitor he regularly appeared either as Case Presenter or for the defence before the General Teaching Council for Scotland, Scottish Social Services Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council.

David is also heavily involved in legal education. He tutors in EU Law at the University of Edinburgh and previously sat on the Law Society of Scotland’s Education and Training Committee. He has published articles on human rights, public law, property law and civil procedure in a variety of academic journals.

Notable cases

David’s specialist area of expertise is professional regulation, having previously acted for the General Teaching Council for Scotland, Scottish Social Services Council, General Medical Council and General Dental Council, as a solicitor. He also has experience in many aspects of public law and clinical negligence.

Professional liability and regulation

  • McLaggan v Scottish Social Services Council [2020] SC DUN25. Appeal against temporary restriction order on grounds of legitimate expectation (appearing as solicitor).
  • AD v General Teaching Council for Scotland 2019 SC 463. When malice can be inferred in the context of professional conduct (solicitor instructing counsel).
  • General Medical Council v Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service 2019 SLT 24. First Scottish appeal by the GMC against sanction of a doctor accused of sexual misconduct (solicitor instructing counsel).
  • As a solicitor David acted for the General Medical Council in the first Scottish applications to the court under s. 35A Medical Act 1983 for recovery of evidence required for fitness to practise investigations.

Public and administrative law

  • RM and SB as the Guardians of PKM v Greater Glasgow Health Board, 2021, Unreported. Appeal to the Inner House regarding the validity of a do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation notice in respect of an adult with incapacity.
  • Equality and Human Rights Commission v Greater Glasgow Health Board and others. Judicial review challenging the Art. 5 compliance of the placement of elderly residents in locked dementia units. Settled prior to a conclusive hearing (solicitor instructing counsel).
  • DK v Investigating Committee of the General Dental Council [2018] CSOH 99. Judicial review regarding the effect of the transitional provisions in the General Dental Council (Fitness to Practise) (Amendment) Rules Order of Council on an investigation which was subject to a previous judicial review (solicitor instructing counsel).

Clinical liability

  • David is instructed by health boards and medical indemnity insurers in complex medical negligence cases. As a solicitor David also acted for pursuers in a variety of clinical negligence claims including fatal cases, birth damages cases and those involving failures to diagnose catastrophic illnesses.
Select publications
  • Mapping the Limits of Wightman: Abundance Investment Ltd v Scottish Ministers and Competence in Judicial Review, 2020 Scots Law Times (20) 123
  • Give Me Liberty or Give Me an ECHR-compliant Lockdown! 2020 Journal of the Law Society of Scotland (May)
  • Permission to Appeal in Wightman: A Question of Principle as Well as Procedure, 2019 Edinburgh Law Review 23 (2) 272
  • Detention in the Community? 2019 Journal of the Law Society of Scotland (May)
  • Constitutional Importance and Permission for Judicial Review in the Court of Session: Wightman v Advocate General 2019 Public Law 9
  • Can Mum and Dad Know Best? 2019 Journal of the Law Society of Scotland (Feb)
  • The Supervisory Jurisdiction and Constitutional Adjudication: Wightman v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 2018 Juridical Review 299
  • The Public Interest as a Means of Preserving the Charismatic Authority of the Professions (ARDL Marion Simmons QC Essay Competition, Second Place)
  • Human Rights May Not Plug the Gap, 2018 Journal of the Law Society of Scotland (May)
  • A Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Recovery: An Invitation to Delay to Pay? 2018 Scots Law Times (5) 13
  • Extradition, State Assurance and Article 3, (with Dominic Scullion) 2017 Journal of the Law Society of Scotland (August)
  • Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? The Opportunities and Democratic Legitimacy of the Post-Osborn Human Rights Debate, 2016 Juridical Review 83
  • See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil: Good Faith and the Transfer of Corporeal Property in Scots Law, 2016 Edinburgh Student Law Review 3(1) 3