David Warner

Call: 1996

David is an experienced chancery and commercial litigator with particular expertise in property and landlord and tenant law, commercial litigation and administrative law. The main thrust of David’s practice is trial advocacy. Regular appearances in the High Court and the county courts, as well as in the Upper Tribunal and the First Tier Tribunal, have given David a real understanding of the skills required in these challenging environments and a reputation as a robust trial advocate. David has considerable experience of the Court of Appeal and other appellate courts.

The Legal 500 Guide 2022 describes him as “A first-class advocate who doesn’t mess around in the courtroom. His written advice is clear and unequivocal no matter how complex the matter. Clients appreciate his approachable manner coupled with his clear advice when he advises in conference. He is my go to for all complex property and commercial matters.”

In 2021 the Legal 500 said of David that he is “A formidable advocate in the courtroom who never wastes words or takes bad points.”

The Legal 500 2020 noted that “His pleadings are a joy to read and he is commanding in the courtroom” and that “Judges listen to this incredibly bright barrister.”

David Warner was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1996 having spent 5 years as an Army Officer.

He was appointed a Deputy District Judge in 2019 and a Recorder in 2020 and is an ADR Group accredited mediator.

He is a contributor to “The Law of Freedom of Information”, published by OUP.

  • Administrative Law

    Alongside his work in the chancery commercial field David has considerable experience as a  public lawyer, in particular in the area of homelessness and local authority housing. He is regularly instructed to appear in the Administrative Court on applications for Judicial Review. He acted for the claimants in the Judicial Review challenge in relation to the decision to close the Birmingham Wholesale markets and in connection with Poole Harbour Yacht Haven. David’s reputation in this field is reinforced by his regular appearances in the Court of Appeal in a number of important cases relating to the homeless. His track record in this area goes back many years and includes appearing in the Court of Appeal on a statutory incompatibility challenge under the Human Rights Act 1998. Most recently in this area, he has appeared in the case of Johnston v City of Westminster [2015] EWCA Civ 554.


  • Commercial

    David Warner also has a significant reputation in commercial litigation and insolvency. That  reputation has developed from frequent appearances in the Business and Property Courts in trials. Most recently, leading Kristina Lukacova of Monckton Chambers, he successfully defended the Secretary of State for Education at trial in UKLA v Secretary of State for Education [2018] EWHC 2915 (Comm), a £1m claim for alleged training fees and before the Court of Appeal [2020] EWCA Civ 370.  He also has experience of the Commercial Court, appearing in Global Currency Exchange Network Ltd v Osage 1 Ltd [2019] 1 WLR 5865.

    He acted for the claimant in Azure East Midlands Ltd v Manchester Airport Group Property Developments Ltd [2014] EWHC 1644 (TCC). In Murray Vernon Holdings Ltd v Hassall [2010] EWHC 7 (Ch) David helped defend a company director against allegations of breach of fiduciary duty in the sale of his shares to his fellow directors.

    David also appeared for the successful defendant in a BPC trial relating to internet telephony charges incurred as the result of fraudulent hacking: Frontier Systems Ltd (T/A Voiceflex) v FRIP [2014] BLR 563.

    David’s own experience as a company director helps him to provide relevant, accurate but above all commercially practical advice.

  • Insolvency

    Insolvency law is an area in which David also has significant experience. David’s specialist knowledge of this area led to him being instructed in the bankruptcy of members of UB40 and on behalf of the claimant in Hill v DEFRA [2006] 1 BCLC 601, a leading case on the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.

  • Real Property & Landlord and Tenant

    David’s property practice embraces the entire range of property related work. He is particularly well known for his expertise in relation to allegations of fraud in conveyancing transactions. He was instructed in behalf of the successful defendants in the leading case of Thorp v Abbotts [2015] EWHC 2142 (Ch) and in Byrne v Mullan [2017] EWHC 1387 (Ch).

    David also enjoys a formidable reputation in connection with boundary disputes having appeared in the Court of Appeal in the leading case of Parmar v Upton [2015] 2 P&CR 18. Property cases with a public law element are another area where David has particular experience. He represented the successful defendant in R(Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education) v Chief Executive of Skills Funding [2010] 3 EGLR 125, a £200m claim for FE college funding.

    David’s landlord and tenant practice covers both commercial and residential work and includes contested lease renewals, service charges and dilapidations claims. David is regularly instructed by landlords and tenants. He acted for the successful landlord in Picture Warehouse Ltd v Cornhill Investments Ltd [2008] 12 EG 98, an important case on renewal under the LTA 1954, and he represented the tenants’ association of a large residential development on their appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Kullar v Kingsoak Homes Ltd [2013] UKUT 15 (LC)).

  • Notable Cases
    • UK Learning Academy Ltd v Secretary of State for Education [2020]
    • Global Currency Exchange Network Ltd v Osage 1 Ltd [2019]
    • Byrne v Mullan [2017]
    • Parmar v Upton [2015]
    • Thorp v Abbotts [2015]
    • Johnston v City of Westminster [2015]
    • Hilary Kathryn Kirby v Marcus Heaney (Adverse possession) [2014]
    • Kullar & Anor v Kingsoak Homes Ltd [2013]
    • Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education, R (on the application of) v Learning and Skills Council [2010]
    • Murray Vernon Holdings Ltd v Hassall [2010]
    • The Picture Warehouse Ltd v Cornhill Investments Ltd. [2008]
    • Hill v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [2005]
    • Westminster City Council v Morris [2005]
    • Persey & Ors v Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs [2002]
  • Legal 500 2022