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David Sheldon QC

Work 0131 226 5071
Compass Chambers (Compass Chambers)


David has extensive experience in a wide range of civil litigation. He has appeared in all the major Scottish courts and tribunals including the Supreme Court. His principal fields of practice include: contract and commercial law, insurance and reparation, planning and property, and public and administrative law. He has recently been instructed in a number of high-value construction, personal injury, and property damage claims and has appeared in the Lands Tribunal in Land Registration and disputed compensation cases. As standing junior counsel to the Scottish Executive (2002 to 2013) he provided advice and representation to the Scottish ministers in a number of complex and difficult public law cases, major public inquiries such as the Penrose Inquiry and the M74 extension PLI, pioneering proceeds of crime work, and complex stress at work cases. Recent notable cases include McKenna v O’Hare [2017] SAC (Civ) 16 (nuisance/property damage); Till v Tayside Public Transport [2017] CSOH 6 (reparation); Esso Petroleum Limited v Interlink M74 JV and others [2015] CSOH 21 (scope of delictual duties); Sustainable Shetland v Scottish Ministers [2015] UKSC 4 (planning and administrative law); Strang Steel v Scottish Ministers 2014 G.W.D. 40-729 (compulsory purchase compensation); Miller Homes Ltd v Keeper of the Registers of Scotland 2014 S.L.T. (Lands Tr) 79 (property law); Note for Directions in the Liquidation of Scottish Coal Co Ltd [2013] CSOH 124, [2013] CSIH 108 (environmental, company and constitutional law); Macdonald v Aberdeenshire Council 2014 SC 114; 2012 SLT 863 (delictual duties of roads authorities); UCB Ltd v Spooner Industries and another [2012] CSOH 111;[2013] CSOH 150 (property damage).


Called 1998; standing junior to the Scottish Executive 2002 to 2013; took silk in 2013. Ad Hoc Advocate Depute (2015 - ). Lecturer in Scots Law, University of Edinburgh 1990-98 (Associate Dean (Admissions) 1995-1997); legal assistant to the Scottish Law Commission 1987. Publications include: ‘Scots Criminal Law’ (Butterworths) 2nd Ed. 1998, with Prof RAA McCall Smith; ‘Evidence: Cases and Materials” (W. Green) 2nd Ed. 2002; sections in ‘Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia: The Laws of Scotland’ on the law of obligations and criminal law; sections in Lexis/Nexis ‘Court of Session Practice Manual’; articles for Scots Law Times, Journal of the Law Society of Scotland, Juridical Review, Edinburgh Law Review, and Criminal Law Review. David has spoken at a number of conferences on a variety of legal issues, and given a number of CPD seminars. He has taught in the National University of Lesotho, and audited courses at the University of California at Berkeley.


Conversational French, and basic understanding of German and Spanish.


Faculty of Advocates Civil Procedure Committee; Member Scottish Legal Board


Aberdeen (1987 Hons (First Class); 1988 Dip LP); Davidson & Garden prize for top student in year.

Scottish Bar

Property, construction and agriculture

Within: Property, construction and agriculture – Leading silks

David Sheldon QC - Compass Chambers β€˜His intellect compels the court to listen to him.’

Within: Property, construction and agriculture

David Sheldon QC is a key contact at Compass Chambers for high-value property damage disputes.

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