David completed undergraduate studies at McMaster University before receiving his law degree from Dalhousie in 1997. He has been with Burchells LLP and its predecessors ever since, and serves as one of the firm’s two managing partners.
David practices almost entirely in civil litigation, focusing on complex commercial disputes, disability claims, media, commercial tenancies and estate litigation.
For disability insurance providers David advises on entitlement to benefits, subrogation and recovery of overpayments. He regularly attends and presents at conferences on long term disability for lawyers, claims managers and human resources directors across Canada. He also has extensive experience litigating the nuances of CGL and other complex, ad hoc insurance products.
In the commercial sphere David acts for landlords and developers in transactional and leasehold disputes, advising on such issues as distraint, preservation of landlords’ rights, and collection. Since 2014 he has been ranked among the “Best Lawyers in Canada” in the field of commercial leasing litigation, and in 2018 was voted "Lawyer of the Year" in this field.
In defamation and media law, David regularly acts for media organizations in all aspects of publication. This includes providing pre-publication and pre-broadcast reviews for newspapers, magazines, book publishers, websites and television, representing the media on matters involving access to information, criminal publication bans and in the defence of defamation claims. He also acts for individuals advancing or defending defamation claims, including those arising from social media.
In wills and estates David offers sensitive assistance to executors and personal representatives working through complex administrations, beneficiaries mounting challenges to unfair distributions, clients facing guardianship, powers of attorney and trusteeship disputes, and capacity, undue influence, will interpretation and validity issues.
David has appeared before all levels of Nova Scotia court, the Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal and many administrative tribunals. He also has extensive experience with alternative dispute resolution and mediation, and recommends these avenues whenever appropriate.
He holds membership in the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, the Canadian Bar Association, and Ad Idem / the Canadian Media Lawyers Association. David is past-chair of the CBA Nova Scotia’s Legislation and Law Reform Committee and the organizing committee for the 2011 Canadian Legal Congress in Halifax. At home David volunteers as a Scouter with the 36th Halifax Scout Troop. He brings his blues harp and guitar to the firm’s annual participation in the March of Dimes Battle of the Bands.