Stephanie David

Year of call:

+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“A brilliant lawyer with a real ability to find the kernel that is likely to win a case, she is going to be a star of the environmental Bar.”
The Legal 500 2021

Stephanie specialises in matters affecting health, sport and the environment. Her practice is extremely diverse varying from public interest litigation to serious medical treatment to private law disputes.

She has been ranked as a “rising star” in environmental law by The Legal 500; and has been instructed in leading cases in the field including as junior counsel to Nigel Pleming QC, Ben Jaffey QC and Catherine Dobson both in the High Court and Court of Appeal in the judicial review challenge to the third runway at Heathrow ([2019] EWHC 1070 (Admin) and [2020] EWCA Civ 214).

She holds degrees from the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics, where she was awarded the prize for the best mark in the LLM in Human Rights (2014).

She is a regular contributor to the Journal of Environmental Law, LawInSport and Sport Resolutions. She has peer reviewed for the Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Journal., and she is on the editorial team for the 39 Essex Chambers Court of Protection newsletter.

She is a member of Administrative Law Bar Association (“ALBA”), Women in Sports Law (“WiSL”), the Court of Protection Bar Association, and UK Environmental Law Association (“UKELA”).


Administrative & Public

Stephanie has a strong public law practice. Her focus is on matters relating to health (including Court of Protection), the environment, procurement and financial services, especially those cases with a human rights dimension. She is consistently junior to leaders in the field (including Jenni Richards QC, Fenella Morris QC, Vikram Sachdeva QC, Stephen Tromans QC, Ben Jaffey QC, Nigel Pleming QC and James Strachan QC).

She has a unique practice combining both public and private law so that she can advise clients in respect of (i) the best forum for their claim and (ii) damages claims following, or in parallel with, public law proceedings depending upon the client’s objectives. For example, she was instructed by Liberty and Bindmans, as junior counsel to Fenella Morris QC and Nicola Greaney, in the claims, brought by former residents of Winterbourne View, for damages under the HRA 1998. She is currently instructed on behalf of a number of children in respect of a claim for HRA damages raising important issues of medical ethics.

Recent matters include:

  • Junior counsel for the Good Law Project in their procurement challenge to the award of contracts for the manufacture and supply of rapid Covid-19 antibody tests; the case is being heard in the Technology and Construction Court and raises allegations of state aid and lack of transparency. There have also been a number of complex interlocutory matters, including in respect of (i) expert evidence; (ii) searches of private email and WhatsApp accounts held by the Secretary of State for Health ([2021] EWHC 2595 (TCC)) and (iii) costs of third party disclosure ([2021] EWHC 2783 (TCC)).
  • Sole counsel for the applicant trusts in the serious medical treatment case of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & Anr v (1) GW (by her litigation friend, the Official Solicitor) and (2) PW [2021] EWHC 2105 (Fam), concerning a 17-year-old, two treatment plans and the use of physical restraint.
  • Junior counsel to Victoria Butler-Cole QC in a case concerning the meaning of “care and treatment” in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and regulations made thereunder.
  • Advised the British Medical Association (“BMA”) in relation to Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”) during the coronavirus pandemic as junior counsel to Jenni Richards QC. She was also led by Jenni Richards QC for the BMA in judicial review proceedings brought by Drs Viz and Joshi relating to PPE guidance. The challenge raised novel arguments with respect to whether the defendants were under a positive obligation, pursuant to Articles 2 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”), to provide information regarding the risks associated with different types of PPE and to adopt a precautionary approach in circumstances of scientific uncertainty.
  • Instructed as sole counsel by a victim of trafficking in respect of her HRA damages claim.
  • Led by Vikram Sachdeva QC and Benjamin Tankel in respect of the Secretary of State for Health and NHS England’s failure to produce a national triage policy for the prioritisation of access to critical care resources during the coronavirus pandemic; the grounds of challenge alleged breach of statutory duties pursuant to the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and a violation of Article 8 of the ECHR (relying on R (Tracey) v Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust [2015] QB 543.
  • Junior counsel to Jenni Richards QC and Peter Mant in the Supreme Court case of PJ v Welsh Ministers [2019] 2 WLR 82 concerning whether the statutory power to impose conditions on a Community Treatment Order (CTO) under the Mental Health Act 1983 can include a deprivation of liberty; and more broadly, whether the framework for CTOs provides practical and effective protection for patients’ rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • As sole counsel she successfully represented the Electoral Commission in a claim for breach of contract and/or breach of statutory duty brought following the rejection of an application to register a political party.
  • As consultant counsel to the Financial Ombudsman Service (“FOS”), she provided advice on jurisdictional and other matters, for example, in relation to SIPP operators and contractual transfers of business (including transfers of liability under the Financial Services and Markets Act s.234B); and she now regularly acts for the FOS in relation to a variety of claims.
  • She was also previously seconded to the Care Quality Commission where she advised Inspectors on the Commission’s criminal enforcement powers and advised on judicial review challenges; and she is now regularly instructed by the CQC to defend judicial review proceedings.

Civil Liability and Clinical Negligence

Stephanie’s civil liability practice focusses on clinical negligence, sport, human rights and data protection claims. She has expertise in civil claims in matters relating to the health sector; and regularly advises on the intersection between clinical negligence and HRA claims; and appears at inquests. She has experience of various types of hearings, including costs and case management hearings, applications to strike out claims and applications for pre-action and specific disclosure.

Recent highlights include:

  • Junior counsel to William Norris QC representing the London Fire Commissioner in civil claims arising from the Grenfell Tower fire.
  • Led by Susan Rodway QC representing the claimants in the rugby union concussion litigation.
  • Successfully defended a General Practitioner in a claim brought for breach of the Data Protection Act 2018 and for breach of confidence.
  • Acting as sole counsel representing a victim of trafficking in her damages claim under the HRA.
  • Acted for a provider of an out of hours medical service in a clinical negligence claim.

Environmental & Planning

Stephanie has been ranked as a “rising star” in environmental law. She is regularly led by leaders in the field; and she contributes regularly to the Journal of Environmental Law.

Recent matters include:

  • Junior counsel to Richard Harwood QC in a judicial review challenge to a large development on the coast raising issues of flooding and interpretation of planning policy: R (Martin) v Folkestone and Hythe District Council [2020] EWHC 1614 (Admin).
  • Led by Nigel Pleming QC, Stephen Tromans QC, Ben Jaffey QC and Catherine Dobson in one of the largest public law environmental challenges: R (London Borough of Hillingdon and others) v Secretary of State for Transport [2019] EWHC 1070 (Admin)). The claim concerned the proposed third runway at Heathrow. She was instructed by the Mayor of London, Greenpeace and five local authorities.
  • Junior counsel to Stephen Tromans QC advising a Scandinavian company on water pollution offences under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and related regulations; and the approach under English law to sentencing of environmental offences, in the context of pollution of the sea.
  • Junior counsel to Daniel Stedman-Jones in successfully defending the decision of Milton Keynes Council to refuse planning permission for up to 250 houses at Linford Lakes in the open countryside, in an area rich in biodiversity and hosting a local nature reserve (APP/Y0435/W/17/3175391).
  • As sole counsel, she advised on a judicial review challenge to a reserved matters decision on the grounds inter alia of the local planning authority’s failure to properly assess the air quality impacts of the development, particularly on an air quality management area.
  • Junior counsel to Daniel Stedman-Jones advising a local authority on the merits of a fly-tipping prosecution, as well as on practice and procedure.
  • As sole counsel, she successfully resisted an application for judicial review brought on the ground inter alia of an alleged breach of Article 15 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.
  • Advising on an appeal of an enforcement notice in relation to alleged breaches of condition at a wood waste recycling plant.
  • Advising on whether a former cowshed on agricultural land constituted a “building” for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015/596.

Financial Services

Stephanie has a particular interest in financial regulation.  She was consultant counsel to the Financial Ombudsman Service, where she provided advice on jurisdictional and other matters, such as SIPP operators, contractual transfers of business (including transfers of liability under the Financial Services and Markets Act s.234B). She was also instructed as junior counsel to James Strachan QC in responding to an appeal brought by Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Ltd, challenging the decision of Jacobs J ([2018] EWHC 2878 (Admin)), which considered the regulatory duties on Self-Invested Personal Pensions (“SIPP”) provider and administrator.

Commercial, & International Arbitration

Stephanie has experience across both domestic and international commercial matters; and is uniquely placed to advise on the intersection between commercial disputes and public law matters.

Relevant matters include:

  • Sole counsel in an ad hoc arbitration relating to dispute arising from a service-level agreement.
  • Junior counsel assisting Adrian Hughes QC in advising on the effect of an agreement between parties as to the price for varied work in an architect’s instruction and other matters arising from a construction contract (including notice requirements).
  • Advising a Premier League football club on a sponsorship agreement.
  • Junior counsel toJames Strachan QC in responding to an appeal brought by Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Ltd, challenging the decision of Jacobs J ([2018] EWHC 2878 (Admin)), which considered the regulatory duties on Self-Invested Personal Pension (“SIPP”) providers and administrators.
  • As junior counsel assisting, Adam Robb QC and a team of barristers in Seadrill Ghana Operations Ltd v Tullow Ghana Ltd [2018] EWHC 1640 (Comm) considering whether a provisional measure issued by ITLOS in Case No 23 between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire was a force majeure within the contract for a deepwater drilling unit.
  • Advising on the interpretation of Civil Aviation Authority guidance on hydraulic hoses, within the domestic and EU regulatory scheme.
  • Junior counsel to Marion Smith QC advising on advance payment bonds and autonomous guarantees.
  • Junior counsel assisting Adrian Hughes QC on a multi-million dollar arbitration in Hong Kong arising from a construction dispute.
  • As sole counsel, she successfully applied to strike out a Defence and have judgment entered for the Claimant for unpaid sums of nearly £45,000 due under a contract.
  • As sole counsel, she represented an airline in defending a claim brought under Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, 28 May 1999 and Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.
  • Junior counsel to Jennie Thelen, advising a university on a breach of contract claim arising from their cancellation of a Bachelor degree course.
  • Advising on auditor liability arising from accounts for a financial institution in the Caribbean.
  • As sole counsel, she represented an employer in a claim arising from breach of a contract of employment turning on the oral variation of notice period.


Stephanie specialises in matters relating to health focussing on public law, commercial disputes (including procurement), Court of Protection and clinical negligence (as detailed above). She is consistently junior to leaders in the sector across the range of practice areas (including Jenni Richards QC, Fenella Morris QC, Vikram Sachdeva QC, William Norris QC, Susan Rodway QC).


Stephanie’s expertise in sport covers commercial disputes (such as sponsorship contracts, investment decisions and eSports) and regulatory matters (including doping and safeguarding). She is on the Sport Resolutions Pro Bono Panel and is regularly instructed through the National Safeguarding Pilot assisting a number of National Governing Bodies and independent investigators.

Recent highlights include:

  • As sole counsel, she advised a national governing body in respect of UK Sport’s Paris Olympic Games investment decision.
  • She advised and represented a national level rugby player in relation to an anti-doping rule violation of evasion sample collection and the interpretation of the World Rugby Regulations and the Rugby Football Union’s Regulations.
  • Advising a number of investigators into safeguarding allegations in relation to data protection and arbitral proceedings.
  • Advising a horse trainer in relation to allegations of doping contrary to the British Horseracing Authority’s Rules of Racing.
  • As sole counsel, representing an Olympic gold medallist in anti-doping proceedings.
  • Drafted successful responses on behalf of two athletes in relation to doping allegations: one served with notice by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) of an apparent Domestic Testing Pool filing failure and the other, who had been designated for inclusion in the UKAD National Registered Testing Pool, concerning an allegation of missed test.
  • Being selected to be part of an ad hoc panel providing advice and representation to athletes and officials at the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships.

She has also acted as an arbitral secretary for Sport Resolution and The FA regulatory commissions. She regularly writes on sports law.


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