Barrister Profile


Year of Call: 1999

QC: 2011

Main Areas of Practice

Administrative Law or Judicial Review
Human Rights


David completed his law degree at University College, Oxford, where he obtained a distinction in Law Moderations and a First Class Honours degree, having also been awarded a college scholarship, the Alan Urbach Prize for Jurisprudence and a University award (the Winter Williams Law Prize).

David completed his professional training at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queen’s University, Belfast, where he obtained a Certificate of Professional Legal Studies with distinction and was awarded the Sir Eoin Higgins Prize for the Top Bar Student and the Williamson Trust Fund Prize for the Highest Achiever in the Exit Examination.

He was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in Michaelmas Term 1999. David quickly established a successful practice in the field of public law and judicial review and in 2011, aged 34, David was appointed a Queen’s Counsel and called to the Inner Bar of Northern Ireland.


MA (Hons) Jurisprudence, First Class Honours, University College, Oxford.

Certificate in Professional Legal Studies with Distinction, Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queen’s University, Belfast.

LL.M (Human Rights and Discrimination Law), Queen’s University, Belfast.

2012; Appointed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland as an independent assessor to determine claims for compensation for miscarriage of justice pursuant to section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.


David practises principally in the area of constitutional, administrative and public law but also has considerable experience of the fields of planning and environmental law and public procurement. He also undertakes general civil and commercial litigation. David acts frequently both for and against the government and public authorities, and is on the Government Civil Panel of senior counsel eligible to represent government departments. He is also eligible to act as a special advocate and has appeared in this capacity, following appointment by the Advocate General for Northern Ireland, in a number of cases involving the use of closed material. David has experience of litigation in all of the higher courts in the Northern Irish legal system, appearing most frequently in the High Court of Justice but with regular appearances also in the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal, the House of Lords and now the United Kingdom Supreme Court.


In 2001 David was the Acting Editor of the Bulletin of Northern Ireland Law. He continued as a sub-editor of the Bulletin from that time until 2009.

David is co-author, with John Larkin QC, of Judicial Review in Northern Ireland: A Practitioner’s Guide; ISBN 13 9780853899150, 2007 SLS Legal Publications