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Silk: 2006 | Call: 1983
David Reade QC


David is recognised as one of the Country’s leading silks in commercial litigation and employment law. He has appeared in many leading authorities.

His approach to work is reflected by the quotations which appear from his clients in Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. Legal 500 2019 describe David as "superb in court with a magnificent presence, engaging advocacy and great on paperwork""a very creative lateral thinker; extremely accessible and down to earth" and "fearless, clear, polished and empathetic". Chambers & Partners 2013 describe David as a "delightful guy who is very sharp-witted and highly approachable", "imaginative in his thinking" and his "courtroom performances are extremely smooth and authoritative" impressed sources say.

In the last two years the directories have quoted clients as saying of David that he was "clear, practical and extremely effective". A "robust and fearless presence”, "able to deal with really knotty issues”, "vivacious, bold and brilliant", "pleasingly straightforward” and "helpful in getting you out of a tight spot”.

He brings to his work experience across a broad spectrum of legal practice which has refined as his career has developed into his present fields of specialism. In dealing with clients he prides himself on being approachable and providing a service geared to the needs of the client for, as one of his clients said, "he is not a 'one size fits all' type of practitioner; he tailors his approach to each client and case with great meticulousness."

He is also an ADR qualified mediator.


    Commercial Litigation

David has extensive experience of Commercial Litigation in the Courts and in Arbitrations. He has experience of litigating issues embracing English Law and that of other jurisdictions for example he has acted in a number of claims in the Cayman Islands.

He has particular experience in litigating Company Law issues, particularly those associated with minority shareholder oppression, director’s duties and wider fiduciary duties. He has acted in partnership disputes, including limited liability partnerships. He has acted and advised a  number of leading law and accountancy firms on their own partnership issues.

He has experience of banking litigation particularly in the field of credit and debit cards and has acted for Barclays, Bank of Scotland and American Express in leading cases in the field.

Recent examples of his commercial work include successfully acting in the Chancery Division in a claim based upon the misuse of confidential information by a proposed joint venturer and for a group of shareholders in a claim which embraced director and minority shareholder issues and a challenge to the validity of a will.

He has wide experience of seeking injunctive relief  including freezing and search orders and injunctions based on the misuse of confidential information.

    Employment Law

David’s CV in this field includes his appearance in many of the leading cases in the field of employment law, both statutory and Common law.

In the Discrimination field he has extensive experience of acting both for claimants and respondents. By way of example he appeared in Barton v Investec on the burden of proof, in the House of Lords in Rhys Harper v Relaxion on post termination discrimination and in Sunderland City Council v Brennan on various issues in equal pay.

He has particular experience in post termination restrictive covenants, confidential information and injunctions. By way of example he appeared in TFI Derivatives Ltd v Morgan on non competition clauses, Pennwell Publishing v Ornstein on confidential information and databases and in Standard Life v Gorman on garden leave enforcement.

David has particular experience of TUPE having acted and advised in numerous transfers. Most recently he appeared in CWU v Royal Mail before the Court of Appeal on the issue of the information and consultation.

He has wide experience of collective issues including industrial action. He appeared for British Airways before the Court of Appeal in its injunction application against Unite. He also appeared for UK Coal against the NUM on collective redundancy consultation issues.


David has been advising on the TUPE issues for a major UK company acting for the Official Receiver.

David advised a leading merchant bank on the TUPE issues in connection with the Brexit transfer of staff to Germany.

David is one of the authors of Sweet and Maxwell on the Law of Transfers.

Below are some examples of leading cases on TUPE the David has been involved in:

    Pensions Law

David  has acted and advised on many pensions issues. He has successfully acted on claims both for and against Companies alleging "golden promise” pension arrangements, for example in Minter v Julius Baer.

He has advised and acted in claims based upon the proper construction of pension deeds, for example before the Court of Appeal on issues arising out of the Mirror Group pension scheme. He is able to bring his employment and commercial experience together to bridge the gap that can exist between pure pension issues and employment disputes. His broad legal experience includes acting on contentious trust issues.

He has advised a number of leading companies on issues arising out of the modification of their pension schemes and in particular on the closure of final salary pension schemes. This advice has embraced dealing with the collective consultation issues and the industrial relations consequences.

He has particular experience of the impact of TUPE on pensions and has acted in a number of cases involving "Beckman” issues under pension schemes post transfer.

    Industrial Action & Trade Union Recognition

David has acted in many industrial disputes, both for employers and unions. Most recently he appeared for BA in its injunction application against Unite to prevent industrial action by its cabin crew. He succeeded at first instance in a decision overturned by a majority in the Court of Appeal the following day.

He is able to act with speed and efficiency in seeking or resisting injunctive relief. His approachable and pragmatic nature means that he is committed to working as part of a team in a field where team work is critical to success.

He is one of the co authors of "The Law of Industrial Action and Trade Union Recognition" (2004) OUP and has acted and advised in many trade union recognition cases and is experienced at conducting cases before the CAC.

    Sports Law

David has experience of a wide variety of sports related ligation. He has advised and acted on a number of managerial issues in the world of football and has experience of contracts including achievement bonuses. On the wider commercial field he has experience of prize indemnity insurance in the field of sport.

He has additionally dealt with legal issues in a wide variety sports ranging from carriage driving to Karate. He has recently being acting against Chelsea PLC for a former senior employee.

David’s knowledge and experience of issues such as restrictive covenants, disciplinary proceedings, competition law and TUPE have all been brought to bear within the field of sports law. For example he acted in connection with the TUPE transfer of part of a Formula 1 team.