David de Jéhan

Called 1988


David is a multi-lingual barrister and mediator specialising in commercial and construction litigation, complex family finance disputes and Judicial Review representing both claimants and defendants.

He has an excellent eye for detail, clarity of thought and a realistic approach to problem solving for his clients, combined with excellent client skills, making him ideally suited for unusual and difficult cases. He is a robust and highly-respected advocate and negotiator and is an accredited Mediator.

David enjoys working with a wide range of clients to support them with challenging issues arising from business and company contract law, intellectual property, directorships, shareholders, company share valuations, taxation and trusts (including offshore tax arrangements), partnership law and defamation. He has significant experience in construction and engineering contracts and litigation.

With over 33 years’ experience as a barrister, his wider experience includes complex family finance disputes on divorce, pre-nuptial agreements and trusts, the interface between business and family life, farms and farming partnerships. As clients are increasingly working internationally, he is often called upon to use his fluency in Italian, Spanish and French to help resolve issues in foreign jurisdictions.

In today’s evolving and transparent world, he is also supporting more clients with the issues which arise in judicial review related to human rights (with an interest in claims arising from the provision of medical services, secure environments, deportation, use of force), clinical and professional negligence, HSE prosecutions and fraud (civil and criminal), environmental law. He has a particular niche in claims against public authorities, especially in relation to the Use of Force, Clinical Negligence in the secure environment sector, prisons/prisoner claims, IRCs, local authorities, the NHS, often involving Human Rights claims and public policy issues. He has appeared in a large number of inquests before juries arising out of deaths in Hospitals and in public/private sector works. A large part of his practice includes understating technical issues and Expert Witness reports when dealing with medical, engineering and other technical issues. He has been instructed in many H&S prosecutions.

Mediator Services

David qualified as a Mediator with the ADRg in July 2011 having completed their specialist course in May of that year. He brings awareness, clarity of thought, empathy, realism and robust common-sense to resolving disputes in mediations. He is comfortable dealing with (sometimes complex) corporate structures, SPAs and varied business vehicles (partnerships, JVAs and investment arrangements), commercial agreements and accounts/accounting records. David is also comfortable dealing with disputes which include evidence from Expert Witnesses/Expert Witness Reports.

The mediations David has been involved with have been wide-ranging and largely been business/customer related disputes and disputes with substantial commercial aspects; most reached settlement on the day.

Areas of Expertise

Contact David de Jéhan


Representing both claimants and defendants in a wide range of claims, including Local Authorities, Schools, complex Clinical Negligence (for both Claimants and Defendants); gas escapes, accidents during school supervised activities, holiday and travel claims (including an exploding boat at sea), prisoner claims, Cost capping applications.

Many cases are now argued, debated and resolved at Joint Settlement Meetings where a clear reasoned approach is necessary to secure a good settlement for the Client. Training to become an Accredited Mediator has widened and strengthened the range of skills available to deploy in negotiations.

David is an accredited Commercial and Civil Mediator (ADRg) as well as a trainer for the Advocacy Training Council (teaching advocacy skills to practicing Barristers)

Specialises in:

• Catastrophic injury claims – head injury, spinal injury, amputation;

• Prisons and Prisoner Litigation – including the provision of medical services;

• Clinical Negligence, including Dentists and Opticians;

• Human Rights in Clinical Negligence and personal injury;

• Sports, Travel and Adventure Activity Litigation – skiing, boarding, mountaineering, parachuting, football and rugby including failed equipment both for claimants and defendants (companies, instructors, coaches and guides); gyms
• Liability of schools and pupils claims in relation to educational visits, sports field accidents and extra-curricular activity injuries. Gymnasium and instructors in relation to fitness training claims as well as in claims against instructors;
• Nervous Shock;
• Health and Safety Law – David forms part of Chambers’ specialist team of Health and Safety barristers.
• Gas escapes, poisoning and explosions.
Recent Notable Cases
Use of Force by public and private agencies; including Use of Force aboard aircrafts; in prisons, secure environments, including mental health/psychiatric secure facilities, Hospitals
Client multiple injuries contracts Norovirus; course of anti-biotic therapy having to be discontinued, with real possibility of amputations becoming necessary; Provisional Damages claim;
Fatal/Secondary Victims
Explosion in gas fired industrial catering oven; representing manufacturer in relation to challenges to original design specifications; pursuing original engineering technical calculations and drawings and liaising with Expert Engineering Witness in relation to current viability/compliance with modern Regulations;

Representing both claimants and defendants in a wide range of claims, including complex Clinical Negligence (for both Claimants and Defendants), David also deals with clinical negligence cases involving ophthalmic diseases, dentists and opticians.

Recent Notable Cases

Failure to diagnose fracture of the cervical spine after sporting injury; vertebra united in unsatisfactory position; complex questions of causation and future “lost chances”;

Mis-diagnosis/failure to treat substantial soft tissue injury leading to complex surgical repair; complex issues about failure to challenge mis-diagnosis/failure to seek other opinion; questions of contribution proceedings against Hospital and other healthcare professionals

Failure to diagnose/act by “out-of-hours” medical service (private sector) provider resulting in death of a child from perforated gangrenous appendix with marked peritonitis – duty of care and referral to General Practitioner/Hospital

Failure to refer to funding panel for consideration of individual funding of treatment plan

Complex questions about the provision of care by private medical providers and overlap of duties, triaging and referrals (and failures to refer) to Consultants and Hospitals for investigation and specialist treatment; provision of mental health treatment and counselling support; contractual relationships, delegated responsibilities and cross-liabilities;

Prescription, dispensing and use of pharmaceuticals and drugs; care and management for withdrawal from illicit drug use, prescription of replacement therapies and appropriate drug ‘scripts’ or ‘protocols’, detoxification (both voluntary and compulsory)

Gender Dysphoria and Reassignment – failure to provide appropriate psychotherapy and rights to have access to appropriate preparatory regime and treatment; failure to refer for consideration of funding of treatment plan

Contamination of samples and false positive results

Human Rights aspects of medical care and provision of particular medication or treatment

David has extensive experience in all areas of commercial work with particular interest in commercial contract and intellectual property. Recently involved in an international commercial mediation in relation to a specialist construction/engineering failure. Formerly editor of European Patent Decisions (Sweet and Maxwell), the standard text for litigation before the EPO.

David is an accredited Commercial and Civil Mediator (ADRg) as well as a trainer for the Advocacy Training Council (teaching advocacy skills to practicing Barristers)

Commercial Law

Sales and Purchase Agreements and warranties: enforcement, litigation and advisory work; Insurance Law (policies, indemnity and avoidance), Commercial Finance broking agreements, specialist contracts: drafting and enforcing IP Licences, Web-Site terms and conditions and Privacy Policies; Company Law including shareholder agreements, Directors’ Liabilities, minority shareholders rights; general commercial contracts, consumer contract law as well as Commercial/Civil fraud and related commercial litigation, asset tracing, Competition Law.

Intellectual Property

Drafting IP licensing agreements, enforcing and protecting IP rights, passing off and internet law/revocation actions. His case load includes breach of copyright and enforcement of Trade Mark/passing-off litigation.

Formerly editor and contributor to European Patent Decisions, Sweet & Maxwell loose-leaf publications.

Partnerships, JVAs and other business structures

Partnership disputes, dissolution, distribution; Drafting and advising on partnership agreements; restrictive covenants; accounting, asset valuation and tracing.

Professional Negligence

David has extensive and lengthy experience advising in actions against all the major professions: including Medical profession, solicitors, accountants, engineers, architects, surveyors and veterinary surgeons.

Health and Safety and Environmental and Regulatory Enforcement

Environmental law, particularly involving the food, chemical and waste industries.

Escapes of waste from landfill sites, unlawful tipping, pollution of rivers, explosions at a national munitions manufacturer, explosions at a gas works, major motorway incidents as well as more commonly caused fatality and serious injury cases.

Commercial Fraud and Confiscation

Asset tracing, freezing injunctions, Proceeds of Crime and money laundering.

TOLATA96 and I(PFD)A75 claims DPA,

David’s practice in financial work extends to complex cohabitation disputes between unmarried couples under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (‘TOLATA’), as well as applications under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975.

DPA, Privacy Law and Libel

David has experience in relation to claims in these fast-moving and developing areas of law; he most recently advised in a DPA by a well-known celebrity radio host and presenter, where disclosure was being resisted on the grounds that it amounted to a pre-litigation ‘fishing-expedition’; claim settled for suitable undertakings negotiated and agreed.

Recent Notable Cases

Advising on terms of proposed Franchise Agreements for national business services network owners; providing substantial re-drafts of suggested clauses and tailoring contract to needs of the business;

Advising in relation to product recall liabilities and recovery of losses from supplier of raw materials/machined parts; international engineering Client in oil exploration industry

Franchise litigation; fast-growing national fast food chain: breach of Trade Marks, breach of franchise agreements and Trade Mark Licence Agreements; injunctions proceedings; assessment of damages;

Non-disclosure/misrepresentation claim in relation to purchase of office services division of a national supplier; investigation of accounting basis for claims and non-performance of post-acquisition covenants;

BVI registered Companies Share Swap Agreement (SPVs in the BVI) relating to real property in Knightsbridge; complex claims of trust and equitable estoppels;

Drafting standard terms of business and privacy policy for on-line Insurer; proposing and assisting with web-site architecture

Technical (Mechanical Engineering) dispute about the construction of an offshore racing yacht mast after its catastrophic failure; the dispute included issues about the validity of FEA computational models, use of materials given the then state of knowledge and the valuation of the sponsorship value of the yacht; complex technical investigations and Expert Evidence; advising on investigations into causes of failure; very substantial claims for loss of value of media exposure; David argued the claim in Auckland, New Zealand under NZ Law;

Drafting standard terms of business for Commercial Finance Consultants; stepped fee structure, mutual assistance provisions, disclosure obligations and liaison terms;

Claim for recovery of indemnities paid under policy from Directors of company personally on basis that jointly liable for torts of Company and/or piercing corporate veil

Pursing Directors personally for recovery of liabilities met and contingent in relation to supply of materials with false/forged certificates of conformity; piercing corporate veil, personal joint liability for torts of Company; very substantial contingent liabilities on account of use of manufactured products/parts

SPA in relation to a private Hospital; the dispute was between the Venture Capitalist group and the Surgeons, Doctors and Managers at the Hospital and related to clinical/management decision-making; tax consequences of settlement options;

Dispute between commerical funders and Dentist partners in a group of newly established surgeries;

Dispute between Barristers over Chambers funds and contributions, withdrawals, borrowings and expenditure;

Dispute over development value of a cottage and garden sited on a possible new ‘business park’;

Construction contract; dispute between customer, architect, surveyor and builders, issues about certificates signed for work not done/done incorrectly, non-payment, failure to supervise, inadequate specifications;

Boundary dispute regarding encroaching trees/overhanging branches; the boundary was with the School;

Clinical computerised diagnostic-system failure leading to the inaccurate diagnosis of serious urgent condition; the failure to investigate the condition/symptoms further; one of the issues to be investigated was the interface between the computerised diagnostic tools and the practitioner taking the history from the patient;

Operation Plywood; a 4-month Prosecution of the officers and associates of a group of companies from which funds had been unlawfully removed and thereafter laundered through offshore accounts.

A-v-B; Chancery action seeking enforcement of IP Licence with cross claim for revocation of Patent

Claims against Prison Service and Prisoner Escort Company following rape be escaped prisoner – did negligence in failing to keep the prisoner secure (a known sexual offender) render the Defendants liable for his subsequent rape of the Claimant

Claim for failures to protect inmate from violence by other inmates; safeguarding and tensions with protected Human Rights;

Attempted suicide in Court building cells – temporary asphyxia resulting in severe brain damage

Claims against Valuers and Structural Engineers for failure to advise appropriately/inspect adequately/value in light of known or knowable defects

David represents private funded parties in cases involving Companies and businesses, assets held trusts within the UK and in overseas trusts, assets held abroad (including in offshore trusts), large pensions, third parties claiming beneficial interests in matrimonial assets, setting aside of sham bankruptcies designed to defeat the other spouse’s claim and applications to set-aside orders by reason of non-disclosure/concealment of assets. David has detailed knowledge and understanding of the application of Chancery principles within the Family Court. He has particular experience of cases where a large part of the asset base has arisen from a significant unequal contributions and ‘non-matrimonial’ property.

He has extensive experience of high value ancillary and financial relief cases, especially those involving companies, partnerships, “hidden wealth” and insolvency. David has extensive knowledge in commercial-related matters and works thoroughly through accounts, company records, corporate structures, valuations of assets, asset-tracing; he will draft shareholders agreements, partnership deeds and other agreements/vehicles to preserve and divide assets and income-streams.

His practice in financial work extends to complex cohabitation disputes between unmarried couples under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (‘TOLATA’), financial provision for children pursuant to Schedule 1 of the Children Act, as well as applications under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975.

David advises in writing and conference on all aspects of family property and finances, including on the terms of marital agreements, whether pre-nuptial (ante-nuptial), post-nuptial or separation agreements. He is approachable, understanding and gives clear advice on the law, evidence and the prospects of success.

He is fluent in French and Italian.

Recent Cases / Clients

Surgeon with international reputation based principally in Florida; Schedule 1 application for UK resident children after long co-habitation; offshore tax-haven investments; settlements into new offshore trusts for benefit of children; school-fees orders; purchase of property in UK on terms for future sale with ring-fenced funding provision;

Independent Financial Adviser and property developer; diversified financial instrument investment portfolio with mixed off-set securities; complex valuations of realiseable assets; post-relationship/after-acquired investments to be separated from matrimonial estate; preserved balanced investments post-hearing;

Property Developer and entrepreneur; very substantial portfolio of let and investment property principally in retirement home sector (over 140 properties) with complex lending/financing arrangements and valuations; very high quality of life; preservation of family home/provision of alternative housing here and abroad for spouse;

SME owners and Directors; long established family business in which both worked; preserve business going forward; drafting appropriate shareholder and share-purchase agreements; settling properties on children during negotiations but maintaining income streams; tax consequences of current arrangements had potential for a significant impact on prospects going forward;

International Airline Captain; foreign residence for tax purposes; long relationship; high quality of life; very substantial Pension investments for valuation with early retirement possibilities and impact of continued working; substantial post-separation investments into funds to segregate; anticipated significant inheritance to value and apportion;

Parties Spanish and Norwegian residents following separation; property in Spain; impact of changes in Spanish mortgage interest rate laws; substantial non-disclosure; impact of residential status on taxability of sources of income; foreign tax experts instructed; substantial undisclosed pensions discovered; concealed income and accounts; conduct.

Successful application to set aside a (final) Consent Order under Sharland/Rookcrof principles on the grounds that there had been concealment/material non-disclosure of assets before the Consent Order was made 9 months earlier; after the original order was made his Client discovered some evidence that a Bank account had a substantial undisclosed balance at the time of the order which had not been disclosed.


His practice in financial work extends to cohabitation disputes between unmarried couples under TOLATA, financial provision for children pursuant to Schedule 1 of the Children Act, and Inheritance (Provision for Dependants) Act applications.

David has extensive experience in public and administrative law claims, including a specialist knowledge of secure environment litigation (prisons, secure Hospitals, detention centres and immigration removal centres).

He has been involved in Human Rights claims, judicial review, inquests and civil claims arising from injury and death in police custody; prison; hospital; mental health units and other locations.

Recent Notable Cases

Human Rights and Medical Treatment claims:

Use of Force by public and private agencies; including Use of Force aboard aircrafts; in immigration detention and removal centres; use of restraints; in transport between facilities; personal searches and removal of items; privileges and administrative disciplinary processes and measures/punishments;

Prescription, dispensing and use of pharaceuticals and drugs; care and management for withdrawal from illicit drug use, prescription of replacement therapies and appropriate drug ‘scripts’ or ‘protocols’, detoxification (both voluntary and compulsory); inadequate prescription of pain-relieving medication; clinical decisions made in critical situations; demands for and misuse of prescribed medication; mandatory drug testing regimes; the effect of disciplinary processes and outcomes on parole board applications;

Human Rights aspects of medical care and provision of particular medication or treatment

Former Artic Warfare Instructor (RM) nad PTI wanted an above the knee amputation of a damaged leg/knee in order that he could fit a prosthesis and run/compete in an ultra-Marathon; Consultant Orthpaedic Surgeon refused to amputate a ‘good’ leg; proceedings drafted but Client then founhd someone who would perform the operation and I did not have to argue the claim before the Court

Patient who was booked in for reasonably serious surgery (non-elective); he had discovered that Canadian Surgeons performed the operation in a particular different way and wanted the UK Surgeons to follow the Canadian protocol. He was refusing to give his consent for the surgery if performed in the manner planned and was insistent on the alternative procedure. His surgeon was neutral about the procedure, but unsure as he had not performed the operation according to the Canadian protocol before (but did not object to following it). Again, drafted the proceedings but then the Trust relented, ‘farming’ his surgery out to a private Hospital paid for by the Trust (I believe that the same surgeon performed the operation at the private Hospital)

Prisons, Prisoner Law and Prisons medical care

Claims Including:

Gender Dysphoria and Reassignment – rights to have access to appropriate preparatory regime and treatment; failure to instigate appropriate psychotherapy; failure to prepare referral material for consideration by funding panel of individual funding for specialist treatment

Hand-overs of control of prisoners; liability for locations and interface between various agencies and spheres of responsibility;

Claim against Prison Service and Prison Escort Company following rape by escaped prisoner – did negligence in failing to keep the prisoner secure (a known sexual offender) render the Defendants liable for his subsequent rape of the Claimant

Vexatious and serial litigants; Applications for Civil Restraint Orders, strike our and Summary Judgment

Disclosure of sensitive and/or secret intelligence, information and documentation: PII applications in relation to relevant documentation and evidence;


David has expertise in inquests and public inquiries into deaths including:

Hospitals from failed surgeries, mis-diagnosis and failures to diagnose, administrative and management failures: secure mental health and psychiatric institutions, police station and immigration removal and detention centres, Police and prisons.

Healthcare and General Practitioners treatment

Workplace accidents: including trench collapses, insecure loading failures and unsafe systems of work

Road Traffic Accidents

Jury-Led Inquests

Human Rights Issues

High Profile Public Interest Cases

David qualified as a Mediator in July 2011. He has been practising in private practice, for Chambers, in London, Leeds and Newcastle since he was called to the Bar in 1988.

Since qualifying, David’s mediations have been wide-ranging and largely involved commercial disputes/disputes with substantial commercial aspects where nearly all have reached settlement.

David has grown an extensive practice as a Barrister with specialist interests in commercial and commercial contract law, intellectual property, human rights (specialising in secure environments, deportation, use of force and the provision of medical services), clinical and professional negligence, judicial review, financial provision in complex cases, company share valuations, Directorships and shareholder rights.

Legal 500 2021 - Tier 3 - - David is an extremely experienced and skilled barrister. Despite his impressive in-depth knowledge of the law and his meticulous eye for detail, his firm are firmly on the ground making him a favorite with clients. David is always on hand to talk through matters and his involvement with cases always proves invaluable from a strategic perspective. David is also a robust advocate who consistently gets results.

Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA) Health and Safety Lawyers Association (HSLA)

FI, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 1272 (09 October 2014) - Human Rights; The primary issue in the appeal was whether the use of control and restraint on persons being removed by aircraft from the United Kingdom is subject to a sufficient framework of safeguards to meet the requirements of Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights;

ODPL I - very large class action (Group Litigation Order made) alleging unlawful administration of a treatment regime for prisoners with opiate and poly-drug dependencies; infringements of Human Rights, unlawful policies and treatment protocols.

ODPL II - very large group action alleging negligent medical treatment in the failure to prescribe a particular class of drug and failure to provide appropriate symptomatic relief; Cost Capping applications;

A -v- S; claims arising out of a specialist engineering contract for light-weight material construction; foreign law clause as well as jurisdiction; complex issues of Expert Evidence and consequential losses.

Richardson v Butcher [2010] EWHC 214 (QB) - catastrophic injuries road traffic accident

Operation Plywood; a 4 month Prosecution of the officers and associates of a group of companies from which funds had been unlawfully removed and thereafter laundered through offshore accounts.

A -v- B; Chancery action seeking enforcement of IP licence with cross claim for revocation of Patent.

HSE -v- ABP (1) and (2), HSE prosecutions following fatalities at the Port of Hull.

R -v- Wanless; an international bank guarantee and advance fee fraud.

Chittock -v- Woodbridge School [2002] EWCA Civ 915, (CA), claim by pupil against school for ski trip accident, extent and nature of duty defined and explained.

McGarvey v Eve NCI Ltd & Anor [2002] EWCA Civ 374 (26 February 2002); duties of employer when employee is under control and direction of Client using Client's work equipment

Re G., G. -v- Mirror Group Newspapers PLC, disclosure by newspaper of confidential records of child in care.

CLAIRE LOUISE HUTCHINSON V LEEDS HEALTH AUTHORITY (2000) Bennett J. - A Breach of duty occured where a failure to call in a surgical team to investigate a highly abnormal bowel dysfunction in a patient who was very ill resulted in a colostomy operation which proper investigation might have avoided. Inquest into death of Brian Marsh at Rampton Special Hospital,

R -v- Leeds Crown Court Exp Whitehead (No.1), The Times, Sept 16, 1998. CL 1998/1084 (QBD, Div Court), extension of CTL and circumstances in which it is lawful,

UPS Ltd. -v- Lewis, The Independent, Feb 23, 1998, CL 1998/369, (CA) (Civ Div) (Kennedy LJ, Millet LJ), Abuse of process, small claims; application to High Court for summary judgment, order refusing unlawful, Scott -v- Wakefield AHA [1997] 8 Med.L.R. 341 (CA), Clinical Negligence, causation, liability of Ophthalmic Surgeons for failed laser treatment in diabetic patient.

Atkinson -v- Lord (Listing Officer) [1997] R.A. 413 (CA), Council tax, valuation; whether the whol composite hereditament had to be valued before the value of the dwelling portion could be ascertained; statutory interpretation; what was the assessable value of farm houses;

Atkinson -v- Cumbria Valuation Tribunal (1997) 74 P.&C.R. 280, [1996] R.A. 422, [1996] E.G.C.S. 117 (QBD) DPP -v- Cotcher & Cotcher [1993] C.O.D. 181, defining the scope and extent of the objective test for Affray,

Birtwistle v MOD, largest value claim brought in the M.o.D pregnancy dismissal litigation

Complain, Complain, Complain...Judges without teeth? - the new FPR in practice" - practice and costs in the Family Court - leading practitioners group Leeds and Newcastle Effective Management of Clinical Negligent claims in the Private Prison setting - London to special interest group and leaders in the field of secure environment litigation "Misrepresentation Rediscovered - The most important recent judicial contribution to facilitating settlements?' - Sharland - 2016 "RETREAT! - Nervous Shock and the Secondary Victim of Clinical Negligence" - 9th of November, 2015 "DO YOU? I DO! SIGN HERE...Pre-Nuptial Agreements in the post Radmacher era 12 Suggestions for Drafting enforceable Agreements" - Lecture to leading professionals in Family Finance litigation "Informed Consent to Medical Treatment: Unexplored Avenues? Thoughts for future Client claims" - AvMA NW Meeting 19th March 2013 'Recent Developments in the Law of Nervous Shock'. 'Recent Developments in public liability law', NYCC Founding Member of the Joint Professionals Forum Lectures, at which members of various professions are brought together to discuss pertinent legal and professional topics. Developments in the law relating to the liability of Chartered Surveyors. 'Civil implications and pitfalls of POCA for the Regulated Sector'; lecture to professionals as well as Regulatory and Security Officers of High Street Banks and Building Societies. 'Corporate Manslaughter; proposed new offences and a Case Study', October 2003. Speaker at JPIL Conference on Teachers' Responsibility: 'Beyond the Classroom', the liability of teachers and schools for injuries suffered by children off school premises, National Child Injury SIG of APIL.

LLB (Hons), LLM (Commercial Law), Bristol University