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David Schmitz

David Schmitz has a varied Chancery and Commercial practice, with particular experience in property litigation and professional negligence cases involving property. In addition, he deals with trusts, landlord and tenant, pensions, insolvency, undue influence cases, cohabitation disputes, partnerships and charities matters.

He is a qualified mediator and has been a mediation coach for ADR Chambers.

From 2010 to 2014 he was a Borough Councillor in Haringey, London and served on the planning committee for three years.

He is currently on the panel which reviews applications made to the Bar Pro Bono Unit for assistance in litigation.


Recent matters include:

  • Acting for the purchaser of part of an estate where compliance with the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 was in issue and where one of the joint sellers was subject to an order made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Reported Cases:

  • Brightlingsea Haven Ltd v Morris [2009] 2 P & CR 169: Whether caravan site owner was precluded by proprietary estoppel from ending periodic tenancies by notice; whether the structures in question were caravans for the purposes of the relevant legislation.
  • HSBC Trust Co v Quinn [2007] All ER (D) 125 (Jul): Standard of proof where proprietary estoppel is alleged against deceased person; what is necessary in order to evidence intention that a document should take effect as a deed.
  • Ledger-Beadell v Peach [2007] 2 FLR 210: Claim against one cohabitant by the parents of the other for repayment of monies provided to buy a house for the couple. Claimants alleged monies were advanced as a loan; claim defended on basis that monies were subject to presumption of advancement or alternatively that they were held subject to constructive trust.
  • Abidogun v Frolan Health Care Ltd – [2001] All ER (D) 305 (Oct) (no entitlement to re-entry on forfeiture caused by denial of landlord’s title unless S 146 LPA notice is served).
  • CIBC Mortgages plc v Pitt [1994] 1 AC 200: Undue influence; constructive notice of the same by a mortgagee; requirements for rescinding a transaction where there has been actual undue influence.
  • Grant v Edwards [1986] Ch 638: Constructive trusts; co-ownership of house by co-habiting couple; significance of sole proprietor’s statements to cohabitant of his reasons for not putting property into joint names.


Reported Cases:

  • Harvey v Dunbar Assets PLC (No. 2) [2017] BPIR 450 (issue estoppel and res judicata applied by analogy to bankruptcy cases; the limits of promissory estoppel explored)
  • Harvey v Dunbar Assets PLC [2013] B.P.I.R. 722 (CA) (Does a contract of guarantee bind any of the signatories if some of the named prospective guarantors do not sign it?)
  • Krasner v Dennison [2001] Ch 76 (whether, absent statutory intervention, a bankrupt’s personal pension passes in its entirety to the trustee in bankruptcy)

Professional Negligence

Recent matters include:

  • Conducted and then settled successfully a damages claim against solicitors for failure to advise a purchaser who bought a parcel of development land which did not include the whole of the land which was required for an intended development. Causation, the date for the assessment of loss and the applicability of the SAAMCO case were all in issue.

General Commercial Chancery

Recent matters include:

  • Advising on jurisdiction and enforcement in a claim to be brought in England against one defendant domiciled in another EU state and against another defendant domiciled in a state which is subject to the Foreign Judgments etc. Act 1933.
  • Claim by litigation funder for monies allegedly due under funding agreement.

Private Client: Contentious

Recent matters include:

  • Advising on claims against trustees and estate agents arising from the sale of properties in the course of the re-settlement of a landed estate.

Private Client: Non-Contentious

Recent matters include:

  • Advising on application to enlarge trustees’ investment powers, where the statutory powers had been excluded in a home-made Will.
  • Represented a trustee of a pension scheme intervened in by the Pensions Regulator on grounds that it involved improper “liberation”.

Reported Case:

Leadenhall Independent Trustees Ltd v Welham and another [2004] All ER (D) 423 (Mar) (entitlement to pension scheme surplus)

Private Client: Contentious

Recent matters include:

  • Advising on claims against trustees and estate agents arising from the sale of properties in the course of the re-settlement of a landed estate.


  • BA, Syracuse University (USA)

Associations & Memberships

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Property Bar Association



For more information and advice

Call: +44 (0)20 7405 0758


Social links

David Schmitz is a self-employed, independent barrister whose practice is governed by the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales. He is registered with The Bar Standards Board [Bar Ref 16939] and is fully insured with the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund [BMIF Ref 2360/024] to provide legal services, please refer to the BMIF website for full details of the world-wide cover provided. He is registered for VAT under the reference 446971904.

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