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David Walker


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David is one of the country's most experienced and highly respected Employment Lawyers. He is "extremely diligent, professional and leaves no stone unturned" (Chambers Legal Directory 2021)

David has been accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as an employment law specialist for over 25 years and has been recognised as a leader in his field in Chambers Legal Directory since 1998. 

He is a trusted adviser to large private and public sector employers as well as growing SMEs in handling complex contentious and non-contentious matters.

He has appeared in or supervised the defence of all types of Employment Tribunal cases and represented employers in the EAT in Edinburgh and London, recently successfully defending an EAT appeal for a UK government department using Cloud Video Platform technology.

David conducted the first successful appeal by an employer to the Scottish EAT in an age discrimination claim and successfully appeared in defending various class actions for alleged breaches of the collective consultation rules on redundancy and under TUPE. In 2021 he acted for a major employer in the successful dismissal of nearly 6,000 age discrimination and equal pay claims.

He has also advised on interdict proceedings in the Court of Session. Where appropriate he promotes the use of mediation.

His advisory work is wide ranging focusing on strategic, high value or sensitive matters. This includes change management, whistle-blowing, discrimination, restrictive covenants, collective redundancies and insolvency related issues. He also has extensive experience in the drafting and negotiation of indemnities and warranties in business transfers involving TUPE.

David has a track record of dealing with difficult industrial relations disputes on behalf of employers.

During his long career he has acted for large Corporates, Insolvency Practitioners. Universities, Colleges , Government departments ,non departmental public bodies, local authorities, the third sector and Scottish Premier League football clubs.

He also advises executives on severance pay and their exit from the business.

He is a regular conference speaker on advanced level employment issues which in recent times has been online.

Business expertise

David has over 30 years' experience as an employment lawyer acting for corporates including plcs, the UK subsidiaries of foreign listed companies as well as large privately owned companies and SMEs.

His blue chip clients include one large US multinational for whom he has acted for over 20 years. 

As well as dealing with directors, senior HR professionals and line management he is regularly instructed by overseas in-house Counsel.

His sector experience has included financial services, manufacturing, energy, the media, construction, retail and sport. He has also acted for a number of Insolvency practitioners in administrations. 

He has an in-depth knowledge of dealing with TUPE both from the contentious and non-contentious angles having conducted the defence of several major Tribunals involving alleged breaches of the TUPE as well as being responsible for providing strategic advice and negotiating the employment terms of business transfers and outsourcings. He has spoken at several conferences for the legal profession on the subject.

For some corporate clients he will manage the provision of foreign employment law advice where that is required.

He recognises that the reputational impact of poor decision making can have potential significant implications that may not be obvious. For example discriminatory conduct can cause far greater problems if it inhibits an employer's ability to tender for commercial contracts. David promotes training as a key risk management strategy.

He advises on all types of employment and industrial related issues for employers and liaises with our Business Immigration team where such advice is required.

Commercial Real Estate expertise

David has over 25 years' experience dealing with the employment issues in high value commercial work. This includes advising on TUPE related issues in the sale or lease of commercial property involving Managing agents and  on-site employees such as security guards , cleaners etc. At Morton Fraser David has advised major plc clients as well as other clients on such issues. This has included negotiating TUPE provisions involving indemnities and warranties and providing written opinions on the likelihood of TUPE applying in specific scenarios.

Public Sector expertise

David is responsible for managing the delivery of the firm's employment law services to a number of key public sector clients. This includes a large portfolio of employment tribunal claims.

He also personally provides advice of a strategic , sensitive or complex nature for a number of Scottish public sector bodies dealing with in house legal teams, HR and senior management.

Where appropriate he will conduct employment tribunals and in 2021 successfully defended an appeal in the EAT for a UK Government department.

He also acts for non-departmental public bodies and local authorities.

David Is also responsible for the firms Education Unit having in-depth experience over many years advising Colleges and Universities. He recently successfully defended a University in an appeal to the EAT in a long running  case during the course of which he secured 3 awards of expenses against the Claimant

He is very much conscious of the high level of public scrutiny that may be relevant to a particular mater in addition to the close management of costs and detailed reporting in helping to manage large public sector contracts.

He is a regular conference speaker including a White Paper Conference for the Public Sector in London and in 2020 delivered online sessions to, amongst others, the Society of Local Authority Lawyers in Scotland and Holyrood Conferences.

Individuals and Families expertise

David has acted for senior employees including directors of listed companies in negotiating Settlement Agreements and exit packages. David has also acted for professional footballers and rugby players in disciplinary hearings before their professional bodies as well as advising Scottish Premier League footballers in player transfers.

What our clients and peers say: 

David Walker, who handles discrimination litigation as well as TUPE transfers …is ‘sharp, exacting and wise’.

Legal 500 2016

"David Walker has an enviable reputation in the field of employment law, and tackles both contentious and non-contentious matters for clients. He has complementary expertise in immigration and is adept at advising clients on issues where the two cross over."

Chambers & Partners 2016

"David Walker has accrued a wealth of expertise acting on Tier 2 applications. He is entrusted to guide the entry of key business personnel into the UK ."

Chambers & Partners 2016

"For many years now, Micron has benefitted from David Walker’s superb representation. David is a marvellous lawyer with great instincts, outstanding judgment and excellent client rapport. I also very much appreciate how responsive and thorough he is. Our business is lucky to have a legal adviser of his calibre assisting us."

Gregory C. Tollefson
Director of Labour and Employment, Legal Department, Micron Technology Inc. USA

"David has excellent employment Law knowledge and always listened to our needs. He was easy to work with leaving us confident of the advice given."

Leslie McIntosh
Executive and Non Executive Director of Financial Services, Millenium Associates AG

"Very experienced and professional."

Legal 500
Legal 500

"He has a great way of advising and explaining to those without legal backgrounds, and is also very commercially aware."

Chambers and Partners

David Walker is noted as ‘clear and practical’, primarily acting for large public and private sector employers.

Legal 500 2018/19

Clients comment: "He's very approachable, very professional and he's got a good, sound knowledge."

Chambers and Partners 2019

"The prompt and efficient manner in which he dealt with my case was very impressive."

Chambers and Partners 2020

‘David Walker was excellent in every respect. Highly recommend Morton and Fraser.‘ <.p>

Legal 500 2020/21

"He is extremely diligent and professional, and leaves no stone unturned."

Chambers and Partners 2021

Recent Content by David Walker

29 Jan 2021

Employee's trade union activity renders disciplinary sanction unlawful

Workers (and employees) have statutory protection from detriment on grounds related to trade union membership or activities.  
David Walker
27 Oct 2020

Late changes bolster Job Support Scheme before launch

UPDATE: An announcement on 5 November confirmed that CJRS is to be extended to March 2021 with both the Job Support Scheme and Job Retention Bonus...
David Hossack, David Walker


 Law Society Accredited Specialist