Sir David Edward KCMG PC QC

Called to Bar:
Appointed to silk:
Practice areas:
MA (Oxon), LLD (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Napier), Dr iur hc (M√ľnster, Saarland), DUniv (Surrey) F.R.S.E
French (fluent)
Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan and Greek (working knowledge)
Dutch, Norwegian, Danish and Swedish (some knowledge)

Sir David Edward QC accepts appointments to sit as an arbitrator or mediator; his extensive experience (set out below) also makes him ideally suited to provide expert opinions on matters within his areas of expertise. 

Prior to his appointment to the Court of First Instance, Sir David appeared in a number of high profile cases both in the Scottish and English Court, and also in the European Court of Justice.  These cases included:

Proceedings before the European Court of Justice:

  • Represented C.C.B.E. in Case 155/79, A.M. & S. v Commission, [1982] E.C.R. 1575
  • Represented Commission in Case 270/80, Polydor v Harlequin Record Shops, [1982] E.C.R. 329
  • Represented I.B.M. in Case 60/81, I.B.M. v Commission, [1981] E.C.R. 1857
  • Represented U.K. Government in Case 12/86, Demirel, [1987] E.C.R. 3719

Proceedings before the House of Lords:

  • Cole Hamilton v Boyd, 1963 SC (HL) 1
  • O'Hanlon v Stein, 1965 SC (HL) 23
  • McKew v Holland & Hannen & Cubitts, 1965 SC (HL) 20
  • Jenkins v Allied Ironfounders, 1970 SC (HL) 37
  • Robertson v Turnbull, 1982 SC (HL) 1
  • Brown v Hamilton District Council, 1985 SC (HL) 1
  • Cormack v Crown Estate Commissioners, 1985 SC (HL) 80
  • Lister v Forth Dry Dock [1990] 1 AC 546

Professional Experience

Judicial appointments:

  • Judge of the Court of First Instance of the European Communities, 1989-1992
  • Judge of the Court of Justice of the European Communities, 1992-2004 
  • Part-time Judge of the Court of Session in Scotland 2004-2009
  • Judge of the Civil and Commercial Court at the Qatar Financial Centre in Doha 2011-

Professional appointments:

  • Member, Panel of Arbitrators, International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, 1981-1989, 2004-
  • Member of the ad hoc Committee considering Sempra Energy International v Argentine Republic (ICSID Case No. ARB/02/16) - Annulment Proceeding

Government appointments:

  • Member, British Council Scotland Advisory Committee 2007-
  • Member, Commission on Scottish Devolution 2008-09
  • Member, Commission on a Bill of Rights 2011-2012


  • Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (since 1995: Chairman since 2003)
  • Industry and Parliament Trust (since 1995)

Other appointments and fellowships:

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1990 (Royal Medallist 2005) 
  • Fellow of the Society of Writers to HM Signet (WS Society) 2008
  • Honorary President Scottish Arbitration Centre
  • Honorary Bencher, Gray’s Inn, London 1992
  • Honorary Fellow, University College, Oxford
  • Vice-President, British Institute of International and Comparative Law
  • Vice President, United Kingdom Association for European Law
  • Honorary President, Scottish Arbitration Centre
  • President, Franco-Scottish Society
  • Honorary President, Scottish Lawyers' European Group


  • Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael & St George 2004 (C.M.G. 1981)
  • Distinguished Cross, first class, Order of St Raymond of Penafort (Spain) 1979 [Orden de San Raimundo de Peñafort, Cruz Distinguida (Primera Clase)]
  • Privy Counsellor 2005
  • Officier de la Legion d’Honneur (France) 2012
  • Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France) 2012

Mediation and ADR

Sir David is a CEDR accredited and registered mediator.  His background in practice was in the personal injury, administrative, commercial, employment and planning fields, as well as European Community Law, before his appointment to the European Court of First Instance in 1989.  He was a Judge of the European Court of Justice from 1992 to 2004.   Following his distinguished career at the Court, Sir David served as a part-time Judge in the Inner House of the Court of Session (Scotland’s court of appeal in civil, commercial and public law matters).  He has been involved in a number of commercial mediations and arbitrations, drawing on his extensive knowledge of business practice.  He is a member of the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators.   Sir David is also a member of CEDR’s Distinguished Panel of Third-Party Neutrals, a panel of CEDR’s most senior dispute resolution experts.

Other relevant experience

Previous judicial and similar appointments:

  • Honorary Sheriff of the Sheriffdom of Tayside, Central and Fife at Perth (Scotland)
  • Chairman, Medical Appeal Tribunals (Scotland), 1985-89

Previous professional appointments:

  • Clerk of the Faculty of Advocates (Scotland), 1967-70
  • Treasurer of Faculty, 1970-77
  • President of the Consultative Committee (now Council) of the Bars & Law Societies of the E.C. (C.C.B.E.), 1978-80

Business experience:

  • Chairman, Continental Assets Trust plc, 1985-89
  • Director, Adam & Company Group plc, 1983-89
  • Director, The Harris Tweed Association Ltd, 1984-89

Previous appointments:

  • Trustee, National Library of Scotland, 1966-95
  • Honorary President, The David Hume Institute, 1993-95
  • President, The Johnson Society (Lichfield), 1995
  • President, Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club, 2001-02
  • Member, Law Advisory Committee, British Council, 1974-88
  • Member, Dunpark Committee on Judicial Review in Scotland, 1984
  • Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities, 1985 (European Union, 14th Report, Session 1984-85);  1986 (Mutual Recognition of Higher Education Diplomas, 22nd Report, Session 1985-86);  and 1987-88 (Staffing of the Community Institutions, 11th Report, Session 1987-88)
  • Trustee, Hopetoun House Preservation Trust (1987-97; Chairman 1987-91)
  • Trustee, Hopetoun Foundation 1995-2010
  • Chairman, Scottish Council of Independent Schools 2005-2010

University appointments include:

  • University of  Edinburgh: Salvesen Professor of European Institutions and Director of the Europa Institute 1985-89;  Honorary Professor 1990-2008; Professor Emeritus 2008
  • University of Oxford: Honorary Fellow, University College (since 1995); 
  • University of Cambridge: Member of Advisory Board, Centre for European Legal Studies
  • Board member of various Institutes at the Universities of Europa-Universitat Viadrine, Frankfurt-an-der-Oder;  Trier Academy of European Law; University of Durham;  Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat Munster  


Sir David has written extensively on legal issues arising in the European context – see

Other Information:

VAT registration number:  895156385

Photograph of Sir David Edward KCMG PC QC