Administrative Law or Judicial Review
Coroners or Inquests
David was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2006. He has been a member of the GLSNI panel since 2012 (Panel “A” since 2019). He has represented Government bodies including the Secretary of State / NIO, PSNI, MOD, PPS, HMRC, HSENI, Transport NI, NI Prison Service and many of the local Departments. He is also a member of the Coroners’ Panel and the DLS Panel (Medical Negligence & Inquests).
He has specialised in public inquiries. He is currently acting as Lead Counsel to the Department of Health in the Urology Services Inquiry. He has previously acted on behalf of the acting Head of the Civil Service in the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Inquiry and on behalf of the Department of Justice in the Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA). He acted as Junior Counsel to the Public Inquiry into Hyponatraemia-Related Deaths in Northern Ireland.
He has a keen interest in cases involving issues of clinical negligence and personal injury. He acts on behalf of Trusts, PSNI and various Government departments in defending claims against public authorities, including cases involving medical negligence, unlawful arrest, false imprisonment, discrimination, cases under the Roads Order, employer’s liability, claims by prisoners and noise-induced hearing loss.
In coronial inquests, he has acted on behalf of the Coroner in numerous inquests, involving issues ranging from deaths following medical treatment, drug overdoses, stillbirth, teenage suicide and road traffic accidents.
2005; M.A. (Hons), University of Cambridge
2006; Certificate of Professional Legal Studies (Distinction)
2006 - present; Member of the Bar of Northern Ireland
2012 - present; Member of the Bar of Ireland
2012 – present; Member of the Government Legal Services Civil Panel
2016 - present: Member of the Coroners Panel of Counsel
2019 - present; Member of the Directorate of Legal Services Panel (Medical Negligence & Inquests)
2016 – present; Secretary of the Personal Injuries Bar Association
2010 - 2013; Junior Counsel, Inquiry into Hyponatraemia-Related Deaths
2008 - 2010; Chairman of the Young Bar Association
2012; International Academy of Trial Lawyers – Delegate, Ireland Programme
Member of the Personal Injuries Bar Association of Northern Ireland
Member of the Judicial Review Bar Association of Northern Ireland
Member of the Commercial Bar Association
2019; Technical Consultant to the Judicial Studies Board Committee
List of significant cases of which David has had conduct over the last year:
Urology Services Inquiry: Lead Counsel for Department of Health in this public inquiry. Involved review of voluminous documentation, advising on disclosure, consultation with witnesses, drafting directions, attendance at hearing and delivery of oral submissions.
Leo Norney Inquest: Acted for MOD in legacy inquest. Involved advices on disclosure including PII, consultation with witnesses, attendance at hearing and drafting closing submissions.
Rosa Keenan Inquest: Acted for the Coroner in this inquest investigating a complex post-partum death. Case involved multiple obstetric and anaesthetic expert witnesses. Questioning assisted the Coroner greatly in her findings.
John McHugh Inquest: Acting for the Coroner in this inquest investigating a death following tongue surgery. Case involves multiple oral and maxillofacial surgical witnesses. Case ongoing.
Fejzula Inquest: Acted for the Coroner in this inquest investigating the deaths of 3 people in an RTC.
Esther McGookin v DFI: Acted for DFI as sole Counsel defending High Court personal injury case. Successfully argued that Department’s maintenance system was reasonable.
Marley v PSNI/MOD: Acting for PSNI/MOD in this High Court case in which the Plaintiff alleges collusion by state agencies in the death of Mr Marley in the 1980s. Case ongoing.
Robert Duffy; in re leave to apply for judicial review  NIQB 47: Acted for SOSNI in JR leave hearing. Successfully argued that the issuing of an extradition warrant for the Applicant from ROI was valid.
Patrick Fitzsimmons JR: Acted for SOSNI in JR regarding provision of historical internment records under DPA 1998. Case resolved on terms in the middle of hearing.
William Bannon JR: Acted for SOSNI in JR leave hearing in which the Applicant challenged the making of an Interim Custody Order in 1973, leading to his internment. Judgment on leave awaited.
Fryers & Hogg: Acted for SOSNI in these appeals to the Upper Tribunal against National Security Certificates signed by SOSNI. Case involved closed proceedings. Judgment awaited.
McCausland & Gilmore IPT: Acted for PSNI in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. Case settled.
Paul Holland v PSNI / Dolena Campbell v PSNI: Acted for PSNI in PII hearings before the County Court. PII was successfully upheld.
We The Man: Master Brian v PSNI: Acting for PSNI defending this High Court unlawful arrest case, in which the Plaintiff is a personal litigant. Successfully had the case remitted to the County Court.
Mary Dorrian v PSNI: Acted for PSNI defending unlawful arrest case at Coleraine County Court. Successfully argued that arrest was lawful – case dismissed.
Jacqueline Wilson v DFI: Acted for DFI defending personal injury case at Belfast County Court. Successfully argued that Department’s maintenance system was reasonable and Plaintiff’s evidence was unreliable.
Patrick McGowan Transport: Acted for SSHD at Derry County Court defending appeal against penalties imposed on the Appellant under the Immigration and Asylum Act. Penalties agreed between the parties.
Previous instructions have included:
Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Public Inquiry: Acted for the Head of the Civil Service. Involved review of voluminous documentation, advising on disclosure, consultation with witnesses, drafting directions, attendance at hearing, production of written submissions and delivery of oral submissions.
Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Public Inquiry: Acted for DOJ. Involved review of voluminous documentation, advising on disclosure, consultation with witnesses, attendance at hearing and production of written submissions.
Public Inquiry into Hyponatraemia-Related Deaths in Northern Ireland: Acted as Junior Counsel to the Inquiry. Preparation and examination of medically trained witnesses and expert witnesses in a variety of cases involving clinical and governance issues.
Michael Gallagher; in re leave to apply for judicial review  NIQB 85: Acted for SOSNI as part of multi-Counsel team in this High Court judicial review of the decision of SOSNI not to hold a Public Inquiry into the Omagh bombing. Involved closed material proceedings, drafting affidavits, skeleton arguments and written submissions.
Re: Deborah McGuinness: Acted for SOSNI. High Court judicial review of SRC’s jurisdiction to hear Michael Stone’s application for release. Involved oral and written submissions.
Neason Dynes v DFI  NIQB 81: Acted for DFI defending a High Court claim following an injury due to defective street lighting. Acted alone against Plaintiff Senior Counsel. Successfully argued that the Plaintiff had contributed to his own injury.
Karl Lee Morton Inquest: Acted for the Coroner in this inquest involving a stillborn child. Involved advising the Coroner and leading the questioning of medical expert witnesses.
Johnny Shields Inquest: Acting for the Coroner in this inquest involving the suicide of a schoolboy.
Gault/Whyte Inquest: Acted in this inquest for the driver of a car who knocked down and killed two teenagers in an accident.
Cullen Asbestos v Health & Safety Executive  NIIT 00205_16IT: Acted for HSENI in this appeal against a prohibition notice before the Industrial Tribunal. The Tribunal found in favour of HSENI. The Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal, which upheld the Tribunal’s finding.
Arkinson & Walsh v PSNI: Appeared on behalf of PSNI defending a County Court claim for unlawful search of Arlene Arkinson’s sister’s home by Police in 1995. 20 witnesses for the Defendants. Case involved PII material. Court found PSNI acted lawfully.
O’Hara v Belfast Health & Social Care Trust  NIQB 75: Acted as Junior Counsel on behalf of Inquiry Chairman. Application to seek disclosure of medical notes and records; balance of right to respect for private and family life under Art 8 ECHR and the public interest in having the records disclosed to further the Inquiry’s investigations. Application granted.
“Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases” (the “Green Book”) – Technical Consultant to the Judicial Studies Board Committee 2019
“Roads Order Cases and the Duty to Maintain” – Lecture, April 2016
“The County Court Checklist” – Lecture, February 2016
“Intellectual Property – How To Protect Your Ideas” – Lecture, February 2015
“Adverse Possession – Is Possession 9/10ths Of The Law?” – Lecture, November 2014
“Use of Medical Evidence in Litigation” – Lecture, May 2014