Portrait of David Walden-Smith

David Walden-Smith

Year of Call 1985

Professional Practice

I am a specialist in financial remedy work.  My practice particularly involves cases with substantial assets, complex company valuations and those with trust and tax issues.

I have been a qualified Family Arbitrator since the inception of the IFLA scheme in 2012.  A significant amount of my time is now spent acting as a private judge.  I sit either as the Arbitrator – where I make a decision that is binding upon the parties - or as the Chair of a Private FDR.  In the latter case, my long experience enables me to provide the parties with clear and impartial guidance to facilitate the early resolution of financial disputes.

Unlike a judge in court, 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.

Solicitors and lay clients have found that the additional cost involved in the provision of a “private judge” – shared between the parties – is 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.

Although many private FDRs and Arbitrations take place in person, the limitations of 2020 have made it clear that these hearings remain very effective when conducted remotely.  Many argue that the fact that the parties do not need physically to be in the same space significantly reduces the emotional stress involved and positively assists resolution.

I am also a Resolution trained Mediator.

  • 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