David Sheldon KC

Year of Call 1998 Year of Silk 2013

"Distils complex facts and law to provide comprehensive analysis and advice." - Legal 500

David has appeared in the Supreme Court, the Privy Council, and all of the main Scottish courts and tribunals including the Commercial Court. His principal areas of practice include contract and commercial cases, personal injury and general reparation (including property and environmental damage cases), land law, and public and administrative law.

His practice as a Senior has focused on high value property damage cases, personal injury, construction, professional negligence, and planning and environmental law. He is also now a trained mediator and has acted as an expert witness on Scots law in English PI cases.

He has extensive experience in lengthy planning PLIs such as that in relation to the M74 Extension, and public inquiries such as the Stockline and Penrose inquiries. He is presently acting as Senior Counsel to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry and has conducted a number of FAIs in areas as diverse as clinical negligence and health and safety in the oil industry.

Before coming to the Bar he was Associate Dean at Edinburgh University Law School, and is the author of a number of legal text books and journal articles. He was a Standing Junior to the Scottish Government from 2002 to 2013 and has provided advice and representation to the Scottish Ministers in a wide range of public and private law matters. He took silk in 2013.

Representative Cases


JXJ v Province of Great Britain of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools [2020] EWHC 1914 (QB) (and see also LM v DG’s Executor 2020 SLT (Sh Ct) 11)

C v Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland 2018 SLT 1275; 2019 SLT 875;

McKenna v O'Hare [2017] SAC (Civ) 16

Till v Tayside Public Transport Co Ltd [2017] CSOH 6

Esso Petroleum Ltd v Scottish Ministers [2016] CSOH 15

Strang Steel v Scottish Ministers 2014 G.W.D. 40-729

Sustainable Shetland v Scottish Ministers [2013] CSOH 158, [2014] CSIH 60; [2015] UKSC 4

Note for Directions in the Liquidation of Scottish Coal Co Ltd [2013] CSOH 124, [2013] CSIH 108


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  • Compass Chambers
    Parliament House
    EH1 1RF