David Burns

David Burns

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms


David Burns is a partner specialising in property and commercial litigation from the firm’s West End office in Baker Street, London. He is recommended in the 2020 Legal 500 as 'a charming yet aggressive litigator' and 'an expert in preemption rights, in particular for those in mixed use sites', and in 2019 as 'tactically very astute'. 

David has developed a particular expertise in the field of enfranchisement including high value residential lease extensions under the Leasehold Reform and Urban Development Act 1993.

David has a unique combination of experience. In addition to his property and commercial litigation experience, David has higher rights of audience and has appeared as advocate and successfully secured acquittals in several jury trials in the Crown Court.

He also has experience in dealing with property matters in the context of insolvency as well as cross border disputes involving high value HMRC cash seizures and freezing orders and restrictions of UK bank accounts.

David has advised clients in relation to high value disputes in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. David has advised international companies based in Dubai in relation to arbitration disputes subject to the Dubai International Finance Centre Courts.

Some of David’s work is set out below.

Property Litigation

David’s clients include substantial investment companies holding portfolios of freehold properties, residents' associations, charities and individual flat owners.

He is regularly instructed in contentious lease-renewal proceedings under the 1954 Act, forfeiture and applications for relief, as well as disputes arising out of rent arrears, disrepair, and substantial dilapidations claims. He has obtained outstanding results in complex commercial forfeiture actions in the past.  

David advises both landlords and tenants on all aspects of their relationship and has considerable experience advising on property matters in the context of insolvency. David has advised a large group of leaseholders in relation to the insolvency of several companies in the student accommodation sector.

advises developers in relation to right to light issues and pre-emption rights in relation to mixed use sites.  He has been successful in securing vacant possession so that his developer clients can proceed with their redevelopment intentions.

David has experience of acting for a property development company and its directors in respect of a high value claim by the NHBC against the directors under the terms of the NHBC indemnity policy. By litigating the case in a robust and thorough manner David was able to secure a very favourable outcome for his clients.

A skilled negotiator, David also represents clients in mediations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

David is a member of the Property Litigation Association.

Enfranchisement and Lease extensions

David heads up the firm’s contentious leasehold enfranchisement department at Ronald Fletcher Baker. He has extensive experience advising landlords and leaseholders on matters involving high-value central London properties and complex collective enfranchisements of blocks of flats under the enfranchisement provisions of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 and the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993.

This includes matters relating to:

    • Individual lease extensions - how individuals can extend the lease of their flats
    • Collective enfranchisement - how Leaseholders acting together can acquire their freehold
    • Absent Landlord acquisitions– how leaseholders can acquire their freehold where the landlord is missing.
    • Right of First Refusal – the Freeholder’s obligation to offer the freehold to Leaseholders
    • Right to Manage – how Leaseholders can take over the management of their building.

Commercial Litigation

David often assists clients in matters of alleged fraud, VAT evasion and money laundering as well as disputes arising out of commercial contracts and partnership disputes.

David is experienced in litigating against financial institutions and banks in relation to the closure or restriction of bank accounts. He has extensive experience of dealing with restraint orders made on bank accounts and cash seizures under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

David successfully represented a client in recovering over £600,000 which had been the subject of restraint orders and cash seizures by the HMRC. The case was complex and involved several jurisdictions. David undertook a thorough analysis of the allegations against his client, gathered and presented detailed evidence in response and was able to successfully rebut the allegations which ultimately led to the HMRC fully discharging the restraint orders and cash seizures.


David Burns' Recommendations

'An expert in preemption rights, in particular for those in mixed use sites’ - The Legal 500 2020 

'Tactically very astute' – The Legal 500 2019 

‘A charming yet aggressive litigator’ – The Legal 500 2017 

'Exceptional solution focused solicitor with a sharp eye for detail. David takes complicated matters and makes them work for you'

Rudi Ramdarshan, David Burns and Jonathan Roberts jointly head the 'technically minded, very responsive and strategic' team at Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP, which routinely acts for financial institutions, high-net-worth individuals and corporate investors in development-related disputes, including rights to light and right of way issues as well as vacant possession actions, alongside contentious matters pertaining to lease extensions, general enfranchisement and insolvency scenarios - The Legal 500 2020. 

The group has a ‘loyal group of major landlord clients’ and has ‘a particularly strong grip on commercial land and tenant related issues’. Partners Rudi Ramdarshan, David Burns and Jonathan Roberts jointly lead the practice which has core strengths in dilapidations, tenancy renewals, construction disputes, rights to light and enfranchisement. The ‘tactically very astute’ Ramdarshan and Burns ‘work around the clock to maintain an ever-increasing practice’. - The Legal 500 2019 

Our Partners

John O'Callaghan

j.ocallaghan@rfblegal.co.uk John qualified as a solicitor in 1983 and has been a partner in the firm since 1990. John has a broad base of experience in the law with many longstanding client connections, and is a Recommended Lawyer in the 2019 Legal 500, singled out as 'a real expert in the field who knows his game'.

Rakeebah Rahim - Managing Partner

r.rahim@rfblegal.co.uk Rakeebah has been practising at the firm for over 25 years. As Managing Partner, she has been and remains instrumental in developing the firm’s strategic direction and embodies the firm’s core values.

Deniz Oguzkanli

d.oguzkanli@rfblegal.co.uk Deniz Oguzkanli heads the firms International Investment Department. He regularly acts for overseas investors in their commercial and residential deals and property transactions in the UK.

Sarah Hung

s.hung@rfblegal.co.uk Sarah Hung is a Real Estate lawyer and Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer for commercial property. She has extensive experience in commercial property with a particular focus on investment and development transactions and licensing work.

Rudi Ramdarshan

r.ramdarshan@rfblegal.co.uk Rudi Ramdarshan is a Partner and accredited mediator specialising in commercial and property litigation from the firm's West End office in Baker Street, London. He is recommended in both practice areas with the directory describing him as a 'formidable litigator', 'excellent tactician' and 'a walking encyclopedia of litigation knowledge'.

David Burns

d.burns@rfblegal.co.uk David Burns is a partner specialising in property and commercial litigation from the firm’s West End office in Baker Street, London.

Paul Cain

p.cain@rfblegal.co.uk Paul Cain is a Partner in the Real Estate department and has been a Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer for a number of years.

Rebecca Roberts

r.roberts@rfblegal.co.uk Rebecca is a Partner at the firm, practising at our London City offices. She specialises in Company and Commercial work and also has experience in the associated fields of Employment and Commercial Litigation. She is a Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer.

Afsheen Nasr

a.nasr@rfblegal.co.uk Afsheen Nasr is a Partner at Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP, with a particular expertise in Property, acting for individuals, businesses and financial institutions. She is a Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer.

Piers Desser

p.desser@rfblegal.co.uk Piers is an experienced Solicitor-Advocate specialising in Criminal Litigation. He is a Recommended Lawyer in the Legal 500 2019, leading the 'tenacious' Crime practice.

Mustafa Abbas

Mustafa Abbas Mustafa Abbas is a Partner based in the West End Office specialising in commercial and residential property matters.

Gerard Airey

Gerard Airey g.airey@rfblegal.co.uk Gerard qualified as a Solicitor in 2008 and from that point he practised employment law at one of the UK’s largest employment law firms for just under 11 years. He joined the firm as a Partner in the Employment Law department in 2019.

Devorah Ormonde

Devorah qualified as a solicitor in 2007 and joined the firm in 2019 as a Partner and head of the Private Client department.

Paul Stanley

Paul Stanley is a solicitor and Partner of the firm and works from the Manchester office.

Tamara Manojlovic

Tamara re-joined Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP as a Property Partner in November 2019 having been with the Firm previously for over 3 years.

Nishil Patel

Nishil Patel n.patel@rfblegal.co.uk Nishil is an established immigration solicitor with over 13 years’ experience advising with corporates, businesses and individuals with their immigration matters.

Our People

Olga Aleksandrova

Olga Aleksandrova Olga is a dual-qualified solicitor of England and Ukraine and works in the firm’s Corporate and Commercial Department based in the City office.

Yasaman Asaad

Yasaman Asaad y.asaad@rfblegal.co.uk Yasaman Asaad is a solicitor based in our West End office who specialises in residential and commercial property matters.

Adam Bowes

Adam Bowes a.bowes@rfblegal.co.uk Adam is an associate specialising in family law, based in the firm's City Office.

Chris O'Callaghan

Chris O'Callaghan c.ocallaghan@rfblegal.co.uk Chris joined the firm in 2011 and trained at the firm working in the private client, litigation, property and family departments.

Ezgi Cetin

e.cetin@rfblegal.co.uk Ezgi is a qualified Solicitor working in our Real Estate Department at our City Office.

Jonathan Chan

Jonathan Chan Jonathan Chan is a Solicitor based in the West End Office specialising in commercial and property litigation.

Ali Chouhdry

Ali Chouhdry a.chouhdry@rfblegal.co.uk Ali Chouhdry is a solicitor based in the firm’s West End Office specialising in Real Estate.

Traudi Chu

Traudi Chu t.chu@rfblegal.co.uk Traudi Chu is a solicitor based in our Old Street office who specialises in residential and commercial property matters.

Veena Devji

v.devji@rfblegal.co.uk Veena Devji is a Real Estate Solicitor in the Baker Street Office and has experience in a variety of commercial and residential property transactions.

Samantha Eaton

Samantha Eaton s.eaton@rfblegal.co.uk Samantha Eaton is a Solicitor in our Manchester Office and specialises in Real Estate.

Berivan Erdogan

Berivan Erdogan b.erdogan@rfblegal.co.uk Berivan Erdogan is a solicitor specialising in Property at the firm’s City Office.

Kate Farkins

Kate Farkins k.farkins@rfblegal.co.uk LinkedIn Kate is a Solicitor in the property team based at Old Street.

Ben Frost

Ben Frost Ben Frost is a solicitor and accredited mediator in the firm’s commercial litigation and property litigation team at the West End office.

Matthew Groves

Matthew is a solicitor in our Commercial Real Estate department based in our West End office.

Maria Gul

Maria Gul m.gul@rfblegal.co.uk Maria is a solicitor specialising in property transactions at our Baker Street office. She deals with sales, purchases and leasehold matters on a daily basis and takes great pride in her work.

Olga Gutovska

Olga Gutovska O.Gutovska@RFBLegal.co.uk Olga Gutovska heads up the Europe, Middle East and Africa desk.

Maryann Ibeto

Maryann Ibeto m.ibeto@rfblegal.co.uk Maryann is a solicitor at the firm’s Manchester Office, working in the Property department predominantly dealing with residential conveyancing transactions.

Hillay Janebdar

Hillay Janebdar h.janebdar@rfblegal.co.uk Hillay Janebdar is an immigration solicitor based in the firm’s City Office.

Natasha Alev Keskin

Natasha Alev Keskin n.keskin@rfblegal.co.uk Natasha works in the firm’s Corporate and Commercial Department based in the City office. She is a qualified lawyer of the Istanbul Bar Association and is in the process of dual-qualifying in England & Wales.

Simon Lawrence

s.lawrence@rfblegal.co.uk Simon Lawrence is a 25 year qualified Commercial Property solicitor and a 2019 Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer.

Grace Lowry

Grace Lowry Grace is a solicitor specialising in Property.

Adebola Mayungbe

a.mayungbe@rfblegal.co.uk Adebola has practised at Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP since 2009 and specialises in serious and complex crime within the London area and surrounding counties.

Tanaz Nowrouzzadeh

Tanaz is a specialist commercial property lawyer and heads a Commercial Property team at Baker Street. She is experienced in acquisitions and disposals of commercial property, leases of retail, office and industrial units, licences, deeds, option agreements and refinancing.

Selda Ozcan

s.ozcan@rfblegal.co.uk Selda Ozcan joins the firm as an experienced property solicitor having been a Partner at a successful practice in North London.

Priya Patel

Priya Patel p.patel@rfblegal.co.uk Priya is a solicitor and Higher Court Advocate with over 18 years’ experience in Complex Fraud, Business Crime, Professional Discipline, Regulatory and Criminal Law cases.

Sally Richardson

Sally Richardson Sally Richardson is a specialist property solicitor based in our City Office.

Jonathan Roberts

j.roberts@rfblegal.co.uk Jonathan Roberts After obtaining a degree in Modern History at Oxford University, Jonathan joined the firm as an articled clerk in 1973. In 1976 he qualified as a solicitor and became a partner in 1982, and senior partner in 1989.

Patrick Trevor

Patrick Trevor p.trevor@rfblegal.co.uk Patrick Trevor is a solicitor in the firm’s commercial litigation and property litigation team based at the West End office which is recognised in the Legal 500 as being “technically minded, very responsive and strategic”.

Rokhsareh Vahid

Rokhsareh Vahid r.vahid@rfblegal.co.uk Direct dial: 0161 507 3658 Mobile: 0780 676 8401 Rokhsareh joined the firm in 2017 as a Sanctions and Banking Specialist. She assists Iranian individuals and companies in relation to all aspects of UK law as well as non-Iranians with their Iran-related matters.

Kristel Wan

Kristel Wan k.wan@rfblegal.co.uk Kristel is a solicitor at the firm’s Manchester office, working in the Property department principally dealing with residential conveyancing transactions.

Bik Wong

b.wong@rfblegal.co.uk Bik Wong is a Solicitor specialising in Family Law in the firm's City office.

Ran Yu

Ran Yu r.yu@rfblegal.co.uk Ran Yu is a solicitor in the Real Estate Department based at our City Office in London

City office

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP
326 Old Street
London EC1V 9DR

020 7613 1402

020 7613 2711  


West End office

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP
77A Baker Street
London W1U 6RF
DX: 42722 Oxford Circus North

020 7467 5757

020 7467 5758

Manchester office

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP
111 Piccadilly
Manchester M1 2HY

DX: 6967003 Manchester 94 M

0161 694 4404

0161 638 0930

Exeter office

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP
3rd Floor
The Senate
Southernhay Gardens
Exeter EX1 1UG

01392 715311

020 7613 2711

Istanbul Office

Ronald Fletcher Baker
Danismanlik Hizmetleri Avukatlik Ortakligi

Hakki Yeten Caddesii
Selenium Plaza, No:10 C
K:16, Fulya Sokak
Sisli, Istanbul.

07736 364222

Emergency number

07538 490647

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Company number OC345891

City office ID 512598
West End office ID 523362.
Manchester office ID 630156

V.A.T. registration number: 2206798 63VAT

"Partner" denotes a senior member of the LLP or an employee with the equivalent standing.

PII cover - QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited and others. For further details please contact Rakeebah Rahim

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Photography: Camilla Greenwell


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