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David Sears QC

Call 1984 • QC 2003

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

Professional Liability

David has been listed for a number of years in both Legal 500 and Chambers as a leader in the field of professional negligence where he has been said to be: ‘an able and very approachable silk’; ‘excellent and incredibly hard working, reliability itself, he handles a seriously heavy case-load’; ‘he always retains his good humour despite the weight of work that lands on his desk’ and ‘absolutely brilliant, a great advocate and a tenacious fighter’.

For over 25 years he has specialised in professional negligence claims, acting both for claimants and also for defendants and their indemnity insurers. Consistent with his widely-recognised work in construction law, a large part of his professional negligence practice has involved cases concerning claims made against building professionals, including engineers, architects, design contractors and project managers.

However, since the start of his career at the Bar, he has also been involved in numerous cases concerning claims made against other professionals, including valuers, surveyors, solicitors, insurance brokers, accountants and auditors.

Construction Professionals

David has a great deal of experience in the professional negligence field, acting both for claimants and also defendants and their indemnity insurers in relation to claims brought against the whole range of construction industry professionals including engineers, architects, design contractors and project managers.


David has acted for both claimants and defendants in a number of cases involving claims against lawyers, including claims arising from drafting transaction documents, mismanaging their professional practices, mortgage fraud and the negligent conduct of litigation. He has also prosecuted cases against barristers on behalf of the Bar Council/Bar Standards Board.

Selected Cases

Construction Professionals

  • Acted in behalf of the successful respondent in a much publicised appeal in which the Court of Appeal held that an architect who had provided her services gratuitously to her neighbours nevertheless owed them a duty of care (Lejonvarn v Burgess [2017] EWCA Civ 254
  • Acting on behalf of the defendant architects (a joint venture between HOK Sport Limited and Foster & Partners Limited) in a potential claim for professional negligence in connection with the design and supervision for the construction of the new Wembley Stadium.
  • Acting on behalf of the employer in relation to a potential claim (valued at approximately £8 million) against the architects engaged to provide design consultancy services in connection with a project known as Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre.
  • Defending an architect against a £7 million claim for negligence in the design and supervision of the construction of a multi-storey car park.
  • Defending a £multi-million claim brought by the main contractor against the engineer for loss and damage suffered as a result of delay and disruption allegedly caused by the negligent design of a new viaduct on the A13.
  • Defending a claim made against the consulting engineer in respect of damage suffered as a result of ground movement caused by the excavation of a cutting at the foot of the hill during the construction of the A4042 near Newport in Wales.
  • Defending the M&E designers against a claim for the allegedly negligent design and supervision of new ventilation and comfort cooling at the University premises, including all associated mechanical, electrical and builder’s work in connection with the installation.
  • Acting for the Employer on its claim against the Architects and Project Managers for loss and damage allegedly suffered as a result of the mismanagement and negligent supervision of a construction project for a substantial new shopping centre in South London.
  • Acting on a claim brought by an architect for payment of his fees on the design of a new residential development on the site of the Marshall Street Baths in Westminster which has been met with a counterclaim for loss suffered as a result of the architect’s alleged negligence in the design.
  • Instructed on behalf of engineers to defend a claim brought for allegedly negligent design of the structural foundations of a major new business park in Essex
  • Instructed on behalf of the City Council in their £ multi-million claim against the architect for the negligent design of the roof of the new Aquatic Centre in Sunderland.


  • Acting on behalf of the Claimant on a claim for loss and damage (exceeding £50m) resulting from the Defendant solicitors’ negligence in drafting a contract for a new power station in China.
  • Advising on a potential claim made against solicitors arising out of the restructuring of a private company and the financial consequences.
  • Defending a claim made against solicitors (co-defendants with a firm of accountants) in respect of the preparation and drafting of a Share Prospectus
  • Acting for defendant solicitors in a claim for loss and damage arising out of their handling of various licensing applications.
  • Acting for defendant solicitors in a claim for loss and damage arising out negligent advice concerning a loan transaction.
  • Acting for defendant solicitors in a claim for loss and damage arising out of negligent advice concerning rights of way and planning matters.
  • Advising solicitors in relation to a claim for negligence in the conduct of litigation by allowing the limitation period to expire.
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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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