Our Advocates

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David Bartos

David Bartos

David Bartos has extensive advocacy experience in the area of property, commercial and trust, succession and executry litigation. He is recommended in the current edition of the Legal 500 (2013) for commercial litigation, professional negligence, property and trusts: the ''always thorough'' David Bartos provides advice that is ''decisive, well presented and comprehensible'''; Property Specialist David Bartos is ''approachable and always available for supplementary enquiries'''. Recent editions of the Legal 500 have described him as 'meticulous in his wide practice' and recommended him for his arbitration practice. The 2010 edition notes that 'he has a strong junior practice and recently co-authored a standard work on the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010'.


Professional Information:

Year of Call: 1993
Devil Masters: Richard S. Keen Q.C.; Gordon R. Steele Q.C.; Sheriff William Dunlop
Qualifications: L.L.B. (Hons) (First Class) University of Edinburgh; Dip.L.P. University of Edinburgh; Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators


David qualified as a solicitor in 1990 during his traineeship with Bishop and Robertson Chalmers (now Brodies). Thereafter he was Legal Assistant to the Lord President of the Court of Session (then Lord Hope of Craighead) during which he gained experience of legislative drafting.

Aside from advocacy, David's other interest is in arbitration.  He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and has acted as an arbitrator (arbiter).  He is available to accept appointments as arbitrator in any dispute in any of the areas in which he specialises.  David is co-author of the first commentary on the Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010 published by W. Green

In his property practice he has acted for clients in disputes over missives, boundary and access disputes, discharge of real burdens, obtaining compensation for compulsory purchase, council house applications to buy, opposition to rectification of the Land Register, and fraudulent non-disclosure in a sale of property. He has acted in professional negligence claims involving solicitors, a surveyor and architectural technician.

In addition he has an extensive advisory practice covering all aspects of property and related contract law and practice including advising on missives, servitudes and public rights of way, repossessions under standard securities (including Islamic mortgages), liferents, nuisance, and council tax. In intellectual property he has advised on enforcement of trademarks and logos.

In landlord and tenant matters he has experience of actions of irritancy, removing, seeking keep-open orders, declarators of agricultural lease and damages for dilapidations as well as advice across the whole range of occupiers' rights and liabilities. David sits as a chairman of the tribunal committees of the Private Rented Housing Panel. 

In commercial matters he has acted for purchasers and sellers of goods ranging from medical equipment through concrete blocks to scaffolding parts, for borrowers and lenders of money, in hire purchase disputes, for partners in dissolution of partnerships and shareholders in dissolution of small companies, including relief for unfairly prejudicial conduct.  He has acted in agency and public procurement disputes. David specialises in interpretation of contracts.  In insolvency situations he has acted in reduction of gratuitous alienations, recall of sequestrations and claims against directors and by creditors in sequestrations and

In his executry and trust practice David has acted for disappointed beneficiaries challenging wills, seeking to prove the tenor of wills, seeking count reckoning and payment, declarators of trust and constructive trust  and the removal of executors. He has represented a client in seeking judicial review of a local authority decision on care costs. He has acted for judicial factors in their appointment and discharge. Not least in this area he has given many opinions on the meaning of wills and trust deeds and issues such as vesting.  David is a founding member and Chairman of TrustBar (The Trusts Fiduciaries and Executries Bar Group).

Away from work David has two children and enjoys running to keep fit, pilates for flexibility, and ski-ing for sheer pleasure. One day, when time allows he will return to hill-walking. He is also interested in history and travel.


  • Arbitration (Scotland) Act 2010, a commentary by Professor Fraser Davidson, Hew Dundas and David Bartos (co-author), published June 2010
  • Legal Error Appeals : The First Shoot Appears" Dec 2011 CIArb Scottish Branch Newsletter (and on his website www.davidbartos.co.uk
  • Old Wine in New Bottles : Common Good in the 21st Century" 2012 S.L.T. (News) 233 (and on his website)
  • "Advance to Free Parking" : Scottish Law Gazette, December 2007 (and on his website)
  • "Double Yellow or Single Yellow": the right to park after Moncrieff v. Jamieson 2006 S.L.T. (News) 9
  • "Real Burdens : their effect on development" : Greens' Property Law Bulletin 1997
  • Greens' Annotated Rules of the Court of Session 1994 - Co-annotator

David provides talks regularly to firms of solicitors on the law in which he practices. He has also acted as an arbitrator in the Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna and Hong Kong and has provided assistance to the University of Edinburgh team.


  • Chairperson to the Private Rented Housing Panel:  January 2011 to date.
  • Standing Junior Counsel to the Department of Work and Pensions: 2000 to date.
  • Chairman of TrustBar (The Trusts Fiduciaries and Executries Bar Group) 2012 to date. 
  • President, Glasgow Juridical Society 1993
  • Member of Faculty of Advocates Dispute Resolution Service (FDRS)

Recent Cases:

These include:

  • Arbitration Application No.1 of 2013  [2014] CSOH 83 , 9 May 2014
  • Scott v. McKandie, c.14 November 2012, Aberdeen sheriff court (unreported) (interpretation of contract)
  • Johnston's Trustee v. Baird [2012] CSOH 117 (whether trust or contractual relationship and adequacy of consideration for bankrupt's alienation)
  • Rennie v. Cullen House Gardens Ltd (Lands Tribunal for Scotland) LTS/TC/2011/09 (whether real burden should be varied for development in a historic listed building complex)
  • Hardie v. Morrison & Ferris, 2011 Kirkcaldy sheriff court (10 July 2012 affirming 5 October 2011) (undue delay in prosecution of partnership claim sisted for c. 10 yrs)
  • Hill v. Stewart Milne Group [2011] CSIH 50 (penalty clauses in contracts)
  • Smyth v. Rafferty [2011] CSIH 27 (interim interdict against wrongful distribution of estate; beneficiary's entitlement to property rather than sale proceeds)
  • Hamilton v. Nairn [2010] CSIH 77; 2011 S.C. 49 (access across road verge)
  • Forbo-Nairn v. Murrayfield Properties [2009] CSIH 94 (construction and interpretation of missives)
  • Park, Petitioners 2009 S.L.T. 871 (whether faxed missives are binding)
  • Connell v. Hart [2008] CSIH 67 (construction and interpretation of missives)
  • Lightways (Contractors) Ltd v. North Ayrshire Council 2008 S.L.T. 690 (public works procurement, whether breach of regulations, entitlement to interim remedy)
  • Yaxley v. Morrison and Others 2007 S.L.T. 756 (rectification of servitude in Land Register)

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