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Senior Litigation Partner

David Burns


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David Burns is a Partner specialising in property and commercial litigation from the firm’s West End office in Baker Street, London. He is listed in the Legal 500 as a Next Generation Partner. David is described as ‘a charming yet aggressive litigator’ and as an individual who ‘has great technical knowledge but wears it very lightly so that the client feels they are just having a friendly chat but in fact are being expertly navigated through complex and dangerous waters’.  

David has extensive court experience in the High Court, County Court, and Property tribunals both at trial and in relation to interim applications.

David regularly provides advice on the full range of landlord and tenant issues including lease renewals, forfeiture actions, rent recovery, break notices, and dilapidations claims as well as real property issues such as rights of way, restrictive covenants, adverse possession, and ownership disputes.

David heads up the firm’s contentious leasehold enfranchisement department at Ronald Fletcher Baker and is described in the Legal 500 as ‘a go-to for advice on enfranchisement and residential lease extensions’. 

David regularly advises developers and portfolio owners on strategies for achieving vacant possession ahead of redevelopment. David has an in-depth understanding of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 and advises strategically on tenants’ rights of first refusal.

David is often instructed in a wide spectrum of commercial disputes including shareholders and company/partnership disputes, and contractual disputes, and he is experienced in litigating against financial institutions and banks in relation to the closure or restriction of bank accounts.

David is a member of the Property Litigation Association and a member of the Association of Lease Extension Practitioners. He is also a member of the London Irish Lawyers Association.

Outside of work David is a fitness enthusiast. David is also the Nogi British Open Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion of 2022.


Property Litigation:

Fairacres Developments Ltd and another v Mr. Douglas Drake – acted on behalf of the Claimants in securing a final injunction to prohibit the Defendant from trespassing on the Claimants’ land, together with damages and costs.

Hirani & Another v Samier & others – Acted on behalf of a business owner in relation to a 3-day trial in the Central London County Court which dealt with prescriptive easements, adverse possession, nuisance, and trespass.

DMRR Investments Limited v (1) Her Majesty’s Attorney General and others (Claim No CR-2021- 002267) – Successfully secured a vesting order under s.1017 of the Companies Act 2006 that a head lease is vested in the Claimant free from the Defendant’s interests.

Acted on behalf of a large property portfolio owner in successfully securing vacant possession of the commercial property in London so that the client can commence a large-scale mixed-use development comprised of multiple commercial units and 80 residential units with a GDV of approximately £50 million.

Acted for a hotel developer in relation to advising on boundary issues for a hotel development valued at £50 million.

Acted on behalf of an established restauranteur in South West London in relation to a multi-million-pound rent arrears claim.

Commercial Litigation

Acted in a multi-jurisdiction case regarding an alleged outstanding debt of circa $25,000,000USD involving freezing injunctions.

Acted on behalf of a large number of Claimants in a group action against a high street bank involving complex claims of discrimination and breach of Council Regulation (EC) No 2271/96.

Acted on behalf of a leading international broadcast studio in relation to a multimillion-pound dispute arising out of several loan agreements and guarantees.

Successfully represented a client in recovering over £600,000 which had been the subject of restraint orders and cash seizures by the HMRC.

Successfully acted on behalf of a high net worth individual in relation to a multi-million pound High Court dispute regarding the shareholding in several companies in the entertainment and leisure industry.

Successfully represented a client in recovering over £600,000 which had been the subject of restraint orders and cash seizures by the HMRC.

Successfully secured an injunction on behalf of a property development company to prevent the disposition of funds in breach of a joint venture agreement.


Acted on behalf of a group of more than 60 leaseholders in exercising their right of first refusal, with a liquidator having been appointed to deal with the previous freeholder’s assets.

Acted on behalf of both landlords and tenants in respect of hundreds of statutory residential lease extensions including cases where the premium has been in excess of £1million.

Acted on behalf of both landlords and tenants in respect of enfranchisement claims relating to blocks of flats and houses in Prime Central London and regionally.

Successfully acted for numerous clients in relation to claims for vesting orders where the landlord is absent or dissolved.

Advised and acted on behalf of clients in the First Tier, Upper Tribunal, and County Court in relation to enfranchisement, lease extension claims, and claims to appoint a manager under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987

Crown Court Jury Trial experience

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

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