Mr David Smedley > Walker Morris LLP > Leeds, England > Lawyer Profile

Walker Morris LLP
33 Wellington Street

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.

Lawyer Rankings

Yorkshire and the Humber > Public sector > Education

David Smedley and Jules Harbage head the education group at Walker Morris LLP. The firm offers a full range of legal services to education institutions, covering corporate and commercial, governance, state aid, employment, pensions and real estate matters, advising on disputes, campus redevelopments and refurbishments and energy and energy efficiency contracts. The firm also handles academy conversions and construction advice, and is also increasing its focus on university work, acting for Leeds Arts University and Leeds Beckett University.

Yorkshire and the Humber > Employment > Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire

Walker Morris LLP’s employment practice has recently expanded its client roster, adding significant names in the sports, retail and manufacturing sectors. Practice head David Smedley is instructed on the full scope of contentious and non-contentious matters, while Andrew Rayment focuses on the food and drink sector, advising on immigration issues, restructurings, senior exits, furlough arrangements, corporate transactions and other HR governance issues. The team also handles large-scale tribunals concerning unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and discrimination claims; recent recruitment director Laura McLellan, who joined from Squire Patton Boggs, has added to this area of expertise.