David Lister, Partner, Family

Personal Profile

David is a Partner in the Family department. He is a highly regarded family lawyer with close to 30 years' experience in all aspects of family law, with a particular emphasis on complex finance and property matters arising from the breakdown of relationships. David has significant experience in cases with an element of non-disclosure, making financial claims in England (where there is an overseas divorce) and taking steps in relation to the enforcement of orders. He regularly advises Russian clients on financial claims in divorce and separation and his financial work often involves multiple jurisdictions.

David undertakes applications in relation to children - for example, where they are to live, to be educated and any moves between countries.

He was instrumental in the reported case of M v M (three references in Key Experience). This case was, at the time of adjudication in 2013, believed to be the largest court awarded divorce financial settlement. The litigation established several legal principles and involved proceedings in several jurisdictions including: Belize, The British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, Switzerland and The Seychelles.

Chambers & Partners commend David as "an excellent lawyer who gets the best results for his clients without being aggressive". Legal 500 2015 describe David as a lawyer who "knows how to present a case to win it". In 2010 David was elected a fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He presents lectures to private banks, fellow lawyers and the medical professionals.

David is a member of our multi-disciplinary Luxury Assets Group, which advises individuals and businesses on the buying, selling, structuring and protection of luxury assets including motorcycles, classic cars and horses across the globe.

David is co-founder of City Saddles, the equine interest group for professionals across London. In 2018 David was appointed a trustee of the PDSA charity and also elected as a Governor of the International Academy of Family Lawyers.

Key Experience

Clients include entrepreneurs, City Professionals, estate owners, lawyers, members of the music industry, entrepreneurs, overseas individuals resident in London and finally those of independent means. His most recent reported cases include:

  • M v M [2013] EWHC 3372 (Fam) – Costs
  • M v M [2013] EWHC 2534 (Fam) – Principal Judgement – Award £54m
  • M v M [2011] 1 FLR 1773 (Interim Provision and Sanctions)
  • Murphy v Murphy [2009] EWCA Civ 1258
  • G v G (maintenance pending suit: legal costs) [2003] 2 FLR 71 Sears Tooth v Payne Hicks Beach [1997] 2 FLR 116
  • Masefield v Alexander [1995] 1 FLR 100 CA

Professional Memberships

Law Society; Resolution; Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

Career History

Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Partner, Sears Tooth
Assistant, Sears Tooth
Assistant, Gordon Dadds
Qualified, Butcher & Barlow (Bury)


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