The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon
Work 0113 283 2500
12051 LEEDS

David Smedley

Work +44 (0)113 283 2525
Walker Morris LLP

Work Department



Partner and Head of Litigation and Employment


As Head of Employment, David has over 25 years experience in all aspects of employment and industrial relations work. In addition, he deals with a wide range of high value breach of contract and restrictive covenant claims. With his Employment Team he resolves a wide range of contentious issues as well as becoming involved in strategic HR planning for clients in a non-contentious context. David is also part of our Education Group and deals with all aspects of education law including admissions and exclusions issues and claims for judicial review. David was one of the few to successfully oppose an appeal against a schools decision to permanently exclude a pupil.

In a given case David will generally deal with all advocacy and is well known to ACAS and the Employment Tribunals. He is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and the Industrial Society and regularly contributes to publications (both specialist and general). Guidelines for Tribunals to deal with discrimination claims were handed down in David’s case of Netto Foodstores v Blaise Tchoula. David also acted in the recent high profile status case of Redcats (Brands) Limited v James.

David is Head of Litigation & Dispute Resolution and a member of the Firm’s Management Board (an elected post) for over a decade. David is heavily involved in the firm’s Annual Charity Children’s Calendar competition and together with Ashley Jackson, he judges the entries and hosts the award ceremony for the winning schools.

Yorkshire and the Humber: Human resources

Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire

Within: Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire

The 'timely, pragmatic and cost-effective' employment practice at Walker Morris LLP is 'keen to add value at every stage'. It acts for a broad range for international and national corporates, spanning from clients in retail, to those in the food and drink sector, to premier league football clubs such as Crystal Palace FC. The practice continues to act for Asda Stores and, with Andrew Rayment taking the lead, has advised on employment aspects of its acquisition of stores from the Co-op. Also in the retail sector, the team is instructed as sole legal advisor to Moss Bros Group and is currently assisting with both contentious and non-contentious matters. With a wealth of experience across the full-spectrum of employment matters, David Smedley heads up the practice and leads representation of Mexichem on all employment issues across the group's UK sites. Director Shakeel Dad is 'commercial, clear and focused on delivering a value-add service', and has recently secured instructions from Kraft Heinz and Safestyle plc. The team's high-profile client list also includes Caterpillar, Toyota, Starbuck and Arla.

[back to top]

Yorkshire and the Humber: Public sector


Within: Education

The education group at Walker Morris LLP is largely recognised for its experience representing clients in the further education sector as well as several universities. The practice is headed up by David Smedley and is instructed by Burnley College on its potential merger with Rossendale and Accrington College. In another work highlight, it is representing Leeds College of Building on construction, property and finance matters relating to its £13m development. Additionally, the practice has a growing cross-departmental schools team and advised several academies including multi-academy trusts on structures, education sector restrictions and legal requirements. The team also acted for a multi academy trust on employment matters including TUPE advice, contracts for teaching staff; a partnership agreement with the University of Hull; and an issue relating to the provider of transport services for students.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to