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David Sears QC

Call 1984 • QC 2003

"Absolutely brilliant, a great advocate and a tenacious fighter."
(Legal 500)


David has significant experience in commercial work and commercial dispute resolution. Almost all his construction cases involve questions of contract interpretation, and many involve disputes concerning performance bonds, warranties and guarantees. His cases often raise issues of insolvency and administration. Most (if not all) of his cases concerning insurance disputes start life in the Commercial Court. He has a wide range of experience of all forms of ADR, including mediation, early neutral evaluation and expert determination.

Selected Cases

  • Advising Canary Wharf Contractors Plc on the terms of a performance bond and whether it could be enforced.
  • Advising a well know energy company in relation to a dispute with the owner of a windfarm site concerning the proper construction and effect of their agreement for calculating power output and revenue sharing
  • Advising a sub-contractor on the terms and effect of multiple warranties given to the employer and other sub-contractors in relation to the allegedly negligent design of a large shopping centre car park.
  • Acting for an insured architect in relation to his claim against insurers to be entitled to professional indemnity insurance cover.
  • Advising Nokia Corporation in connection with its dispute with Siemens AG arising out of the terms and implementation of a framework agreement for the takeover and maintenance of a mobile telecommunications network.
  • Acting for Carillion in its dispute with a cladding sub-contractor in which Carillion successfully claimed that it had been forced to pay £3.2m under economic duress from the sub-contractor.
  • Acting for a liquidator in a dispute with a contractor as to whether the company in liquidation could bring a claim in adjudication.
  • Advising an M&E subcontractor in connection with its claim for outstanding payments following the liquidation of Carillion and in particular its potential claim against the banks operating Carillion’s early payment scheme.
  • Acting for the funders in their bid to prevent an NHS Trust from terminating a PFI Contract in a dispute which turned on the proper construction of termination provisions in the PFI Contract and the Funding Agreement.
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  • MA Oxon
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Accredited mediator TECBAR and ADR Chambers
  • Accredited adjudicator TECBAR


  • Author of the chapter on Public Procurement in Emden’s Construction Law
  • Contributor to the section on Delay & Disruption, Liquidated Damages and Penalties in the 12th edition of Hudson’s Building and Engineering Contracts


“Provides strong, consistent and clear advice with a calm and thorough approach.”

Chambers & Partners 2018

“He is very approachable, very easy to deal with and a very straightforward barrister”

Chambers & Partners 2018

“Very clever, thoughtful, precise and unfailingly good humoured – in Court he is awesome”

Legal 500, 2018

“A calm, measured approach, he strikes a good balance between the details and big picture”

Legal 500, 2018

“A superb advocate”

Legal 500, 2018

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