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Chambers of Gavin Mansfield QC

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David Reade QC

Work 020 7797 8600
Littleton Chambers (Chambers of Gavin Mansfield QC)


Barrister specialising in commercial, employment and sport.

Employment: all areas of both contentious and non-contentious employment law (including EU Law). David has appeared in numerous leading decisions in the field, including Barton v Investec, Hounga v Allen, NUM v UK Coal, Brennan v Sunderland, Rhys-Harper v Relaxion, Rutherford v Harvest Town Circle, Foley v Post Office, Chestertons v Nurmohamed and Mencap v Tomlinson-Blake. David has appeared as an advocate at all levels from Tribunal to the Supreme Court and before the CJEU. He successfully acted for the employers before the CJEU in the collective redundancy case arising out of the collapse of Woolworths. He has particular experience of urgent injunctive relief, including search orders, freezing orders and anti suit injunctions. He has appeared in a number of leading cases in the field including Ashcroft v National Theatre (interim specific performance) QBE v Dymoke (springboard injunctions), TFS Derivatives v Morgan (restrictive covenants), Pennwell v Ornstein (confidential data and database misuse) and Standard Life v Gorman (garden leave injunctions). David has extensive experience of TUPE and collective redundancy claims; his appellant cases include Kavanagh v Crystal Palace, Solectron v Roper, SNR Denton v Kirwin and CWU v Royal Mail. He has acted in many protected disclosure cases including in the Court of Appeal in the cases of Day v HEE and Chestertons v Nurmohamed. His practice includes collective labour law issues, acting for both Trade Unions and employers. He acted for British Airways before the Court of Appeal in the industrial action by its’ cabin crew. His collective work has included advising and acting on recognition issues and in cases involving the restraint of industrial action. He successfully judicially reviewed the CAC on its recognition decision against Boots PLC and defended that review in the Court of Appeal. He acted for Uber in the litigation on the status of drivers and has advised and acted for others in the sector. Recent work has seen him advising on national minimum wage and holiday pay issues, particularly in the care sector; he appeared for Mencap in the Court of Appeal. He has experience of pension and share option claims and has advised various companies on the pension and employment issues arising out of changes to final salary pension schemes. He has successfully judicially reviewed the Pensions Regulator on the issue of the transnational application of auto enrolment.

Commercial litigation: (including banking, financial services, insolvency and consumer credit). He has wide commercial experience including freezing and search orders. His work in this field includes extensive experience of partnership disputes and LLP disputes. He has acted on and advised on numerous minority shareholder oppression claims. He has particular experience of litigation involving the sale of complex derivative and interest swap products; acting in Hockin v RBS one of the largest miss-sold derivative claims. He additionally had experience of commercial property based litigation successfully appearing in 2017 before the Supreme Court on an appeal on the correct basis for the assessment of business rates.

 Sport: David has wide experience of sport litigation, including FA tribunals. Recent work includes acting for Sunderland FC in the defence of commission claims by a former director and advising the club on various football issues. Acting for Bristol RFC in connection with the recruitment by the RFU of Steve Borthwick. He has experience in acting in FA arbitrations.



Called 1983; Middle Temple; QC 2006; appointed Bencher of Middle Temple 2008; mediator 2006; lectured law before entering practice; former editor of ‘Employment Law and Litigation’; frequent writer and lecturer on employment issues. Publications of note: co-author of OUP’s ‘The law of Industrial Action and Trade Union Recognition’ (2011); contributor to Sweet and Maxwell’s ‘The Transfer of Undertakings’; co-author of ‘The Guide to the Equality Act’; co-editor of ‘Blackstone’s Employment Law’.


COMBAR; Employment Law Association; Employment Bar Association; Industrial Law Society; Professional Negligence Bar Association; British Association for Sport and the Law; associate American Bar Association; International Bar Association. Association of Partnership Lawyers.


Birmingham University (LLB).


Anything competitive; music; trustee of the London on Library.

London Bar

Commercial litigation

Within: Leading Silks

David Read QC - Littleton Chambers ‘ Absolutely superb all-round specialist. ’

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Company and partnership

Within: Partnership - Leading silks

David Reade QC - Littleton Chambers ‘ He does not shy away from untested areas of law and is the person to go to if you want to really push the envelope on legal thinking. ’

Within: Company and partnership

Littleton Chambers is 'an impressive set with a good mix of top QCs and very talented juniors'. In terms of partnership law instructions, members have particular expertise in team moves and partner exits relating to firms of solicitors and other professional services firms. In one representative instruction, David Reade QC is acting in Cardiff City Football Club v Mr Isaac for the claimant in minority shareholder proceedings.

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Within: Leading Silks

David Reade QC - Littleton Chambers ‘ One of the leading members of the employment Bar; a strong team player, helpful, inventive, innovative and highly capable. ’

Within: Employment

Littleton Chambers is 'a first-rate employment law set' with 'strength and depth of experience from juniors through to leaders in their field' and 'is viewed as the go-to set for complex employment-related work', particularly business protection and restrictive covenants, as well as 'sector specialisms such as sports law and professional disciplinary cases'. In one highlighted instruction, Gavin Mansfield QC acted for insurance broker Arthur J Gallagher in a major team move between sector rivals, successfully obtaining an interim springboard injunction. In a case with reportedly £400m at stake for the care sector, David Reade QC represents the charity in Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake, a Court of Appeal test case which concerns if on-call care workers are entitled to be paid the minimum wage while sleeping on site - Unison's appeal will be heard by the Supreme Court in February 2020.

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Within: Leading Silks

David Reade QC - Littleton Chambers ‘ He represents athletes in high-profile labour law matters. ’

Within: Sport

Littleton Chambers has a particular strength at the interface of sports and employment law. David Reade QC and Lydia Banerjee represented former Great Britain cyclist Jess Varnish in an employment tribunal case over alleged sex discrimination, with many issues turning around the status of funded athletes as employees; an appeal is planned. Turning to governance issues, John Mehrzad chaired an independent review into the governance of the British Equestrian Federation, the umbrella body for most equine sports other than horse racing.

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