Portrait of David Walden-Smith

David Walden-Smith

Year of Call 1985

Professional Practice

I have specialised in financial remedy cases for the last 15 years.  My practice encompasses cases of all sizes, including those which involve substantial assets, complex company valuations and those with trust and tax issues.
My reputation is for taking an eminently sensible, reasonable but, where necessary, forceful approach to financial remedy disputes.

Having started my professional life at the Criminal Bar, where I was involved in a trial almost every day, I was able to develop and hone the ability to uncover the truth through the cross-examination of lay witnesses and experts.

In addition to my financial remedy practice, I regularly act for parents in Schedule 1 financial claims and in other private law Children Act disputes.  I also receive instructions to draft pre and post-nuptial agreements.

I have been a qualified Family Arbitrator since 2012 and have regularly conducted arbitrations.  These have included several fully contested, inter-partes hearings at which the parties have each been represented by counsel.  I have also been involved in cases where the flexibility of the IFLA scheme has enabled the resolution of more limited issues by considering written submissions without the need for the attendance of the parties or the giving of evidence.

I also chair private FDRs (or Early Neutral Evaluations) either in Chambers or at such other venue as the parties may wish.  My experience enables me to provide the parties with clear guidance to facilitate the resolution of financial disputes.  Unlike a Judge with an over-busy list, I am able to pre-read in detail and to concentrate on just the one case.  This enables me to provide a bespoke service and a far more considered indication. 

Professional and lay clients have found that the additional cost involved in the provision of a “private judge” – shared as it is between them – to be extremely modest when compared with the overall expense of their litigation.  The advantage to the parties of a tribunal dedicated exclusively to their case is invaluable.

  • Recommendations

    Highly regarded family finance specialist with a strong expertise in matters involving complex company valuations, assets, trust and tax issues. "David Walden-Smith is just superb and is a tremendous arbitrator."
    Chambers and Partner 2020
    "His depth of preparation is second to none." "Extremely calm and thorough in his approach." "Very knowledgeable."
    Chambers and Partners 2019
  • Notable Cases

    • Oxley v Hiscock
      [2004] 2 FLR 669
    • Re B
      [2008] 2 FLR 2060
    • Re L-W
      [2011] 1 FLR 1095
  • Personal Information

    David is married with two teenage children. His leisure pursuits include photography and sailing.


  • Family Arbitrator with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators,


  • Family Law Bar Association
  • Institute of Family Law Arbitrators
  • Resolution