David Walker

Glasgow Office
David is one of the country's most experienced and highly respected employment lawyers. He is 'excellent at communication and clearly identifies the legal issues with a solution based approach.' (Chambers Legal Directory 2021/22)

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.

Membership & Awards
Law Society of Scotland
Accredited Specialist

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.

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 & 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.