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Cambridge Centre for Property Law

David is a practising barrister, specialising in construction and property law.


David specialises in substantial construction and property disputes, as well as commercial dispute resolution. He is frequently instructed in cases involving the development and use of land, buildings and property, as well as matters involving serious commercial, insolvency and company law issues. His work frequently has an international edge, involving cross border and overseas transactions and disputes.

His clients appreciate his robust advocacy allied to his practical and user-friendly manner. His work is typically legally complex.

In 2017 David completed the MSc in Construction Law and Dispute Resolution at King’s College, London, achieving a Distinction. He was awarded prizes for the best overall graduate, best dissertation, the best performance in the second-year examinations, and best performance in the Module AL construction technology examination. David is currently undertaking a part time PhD at the University of Cambridge, researching the taxonomic interface between construction law and property law.

David is regularly instructed in disputes in the High Court (including the TCC, the Chancery Division, the Queen’s Bench Division and the Companies Court) and the Court of Appeal. He is also regularly involved in construction disputes referred to adjudication or arbitration. He is adept in different forms of alternative dispute resolution, regularly representing clients in mediations and joint settlement meetings: he is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

David speaks regularly at seminars and conferences on both construction and property law. He is also frequently published in leading practitioners’ journals. In 2017, along with Richard Hayes, he wrote ‘A Practical Guide to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954: Commercial Tenancies’ (published by Law Brief Publishing), placing a particular emphasis on the development aspects of commercial property.

 David  Sawtell
Available for consultancy



Latest news

Mistakes, mispleading and overreaching: understanding title registration and correcting the register

17 March 2022

A discussion of the challenging case of Knight v Fernley , and what it means for our understanding of title by registration under the Land Registration Act 2002 has been published in the latest volume of the Jounral of Property, Planning and Environmental Law (currently on line only until later this quarter). It can be...

MSPL Conference 2022

3 February 2022

Registration for the 2022 Modern Studies in Property Law conference is now open. The conference will be held at St John’s College, Oxford from Tuesday 29th March to Thursday 31st March 2022. On the final day of the conference, the MSPL Postgraduate Conference will be held in the same location. Further information about the...

Report on Housing Possession Cases in the Covid-19 Pandemic

3 February 2022

Lisa Whitehouse, Professor of Property Law, Policy and Practice at the University of Southampton ( ), has published her report on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in housing possession cases in England and Wales. The research, generously funded by the Economic and Social Research Council...