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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, is a past managing partner, and currently chairs the firm's litigation group.
David practices almost entirely in civil litigation, focusing on complex commercial disputes, disability claims, media, insurance, 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 advises on defamation matters arising from social media. David is an officer on the board of the Canadian Bar Association's National Entertainment, Media and Communications Law Section, and represents Atlantic Canada on the board of Ad Idem / the Canadian Media Lawyers Association.
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 court in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, along with 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 is an active member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, the Canadian Bar Association, and Ad Idem / the Canadian Media Lawyers Association. David is recognized in the "Best Lawyers" poll for insurance law, media and dafamation law, and commercial leasing disputes. At home David volunteers as a Scouter with the 36th Halifax Scout Troop. He also performs on guitar and harmonica as a member of the firm's rock band, "The Goldilocks Effect."