Portrait of David Walden-Smith

David Walden-Smith

Year of Call 1985

Professional Practice

David Walden-Smith is a financial remedies specialist with over 35 years experience at the Bar.  Described by Chambers & Partners as “just superb” and “a tremendous arbitrator”, most of his time is now spent sitting as a private judge.

Having been a qualified Family Arbitrator since the inception of the IFLA scheme in 2012, he has huge experience of conducting such hearings.  He was counsel in the Court of Appeal case of Haley v Haley [2021] 1 FLR 1429,  which affirmed the proposition that an Arbitral award in a financial remedies case is entirely akin to a decision of a Judge.

David also hears very many private FDRs and conducts Early Neutral Evaluations.

He is prepared to travel and conducts hearings in Chambers, at solicitor’s offices or elsewhere, according to the parties’ preference.  He is also entirely comfortable conducting hearings over Zoom, Teams or any other suitable medium.

His view of the privatised dispute resolution process is that, unlike a judge in court, with an over-busy list, he has the advantage of being able to pre-read in detail and to concentrate on just the one case.  This enables him to provide a bespoke service and a far more considered indication.

His experience is that solicitors and lay clients have found that the additional cost involved in the provision of a “private judge” – shared between the parties – to be extremely modest when compared with the overall expense of their litigation.  The advantage to the parties of a tribunal who is 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. Healso takes on Schedule 1 applications. Strengths: “He is extremely hands-on and has a good grasp of the case, which enables the parties to reach a settlement.” “He has a great eye for detail and gets to the heart of any case quickly and efficiently. He is fair,pragmatic, and robust when required.”
    Chambers and Partners 2021
    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

    • o Haley v Haley
      [2020] EWCA Civ 1369
    • Re L-W
      [2011] 1 FLR 1095
    • Re B
      [2008] 2 FLR 2060
    • Oxley v Hiscock
      [2004] 2 FLR 669
  • Personal Information

    David is married with two children.  His daughter is a specialist neuro-physiotherapist, and his son is a junior doctor.

    His leisure pursuits include photography, cycling and sailing.

Appointments

  • Family Arbitrator with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators,

Memberships

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