David Orbaum

Year of call:



1976 - Leeds University, BA History (2:1)

1978 - College of Law, London, BVC Bar Exams Part 1 and 2

1982 - Leeds Metropolitan University, Solicitors’ Final Exams


1978 - Pupil at Westminster Bank (now Sovereign) Chambers, supervised by Lionel Scott and His Honour Judge Hoffman

1979 - Member of Westminster Bank Chambers

1983 - Requalified & admitted to the roll as a solicitor

1994 - Higher Court Advocate (criminal)

1996 - High Court Advocate (all courts)

2010 - Returned to the Bar and rejoined Sovereign Chambers CPS Level 3 prosecutor

2015 - Sovereign Chambers becomes Park Square Barristers

Ranked in Tier 1 for Family and Children Law – The Legal 500 (2024)

“David is a comprehensive advocate with a great eye for detail. He goes the extra mile for any client.” – The Legal 500 (2024)

“David is a formidable cross-examiner. He can unpick complexities in a case with ease. Measured and calm.” – The Legal 500 (2022)

“David has tremendous negotiation skills aided by a firm stance taken from the outset of discussion with other parties. There is no fear of David being compromised if it does not suit his position in the case.” – The Legal 500 (2021)

“A safe pair of hands with tremendous negotiation skills.” – The Legal 500 (2020)

“A confident advocate who is liked by his clients.” – The Legal 500 (2019)

“Very experienced in public law childcare proceedings.” – The Legal 500 (2017)

David Orbaum has practiced as a barrister and solicitor for over 30 years, with a busy mixed common-law practice including criminal, family and civil work. In recent years, he has specialised mostly in family law and has a comprehensive knowledge of the subject.

“Experienced in care cases and disputes with an international element.” – The Legal 500 (2016)

He specialises in all aspects of private and public children’s work in the family field, representing local authorities, parents and related parties, and children’s guardians. He takes on work involving potentially dangerous parties to care proceedings where others have been reluctant to act.

“Highly diligent, and a good communicator.” The Legal 500 (2015)

Crossover with crime

He has a clear understanding of issues affecting the crossover between the criminal and family jurisdictions. he acted as sole advocate (without a leader) for one of the parties in both the high-profile criminal and care proceedings arising out of a local kidnap investigation in Dewsbury, which attracted national media coverage.

International family cases

David has undertaken a number of cases involving difficult issues of international jurisdiction relating to children, divorce and nullity.


His many years in private practice as a solicitor enable David to relate confidently and effectively to the people he represents, regardless of their background.


David conducts seminars, lectures and training in relation to the cross over between criminal and family proceedings, and all aspects of public law children work.

Public Access

David Orbaum may accept Public Access work, where he can be instructed directly by a member of the public rather than a solicitor.

Notable cases

  • 2009 – Re SM – a high-profile child-care case involving kidnap on a West Yorkshire housing estate; acted without leading counsel for boyfriend of mother
  • 2013 – Re RM – acted with leader in complex child care case for father of child with complex injuries involving multi-disciplinary medical experts
  • 2014 – SK v AK – acted for wife in divorce/nullity with difficult issues of international jurisdiction
  • 2017 – Re NA, LA, Sa, SA and JA (Children)acted for father as leading junior in lengthy composite final hearing – very serious allegations of sexual abuse including rape and difficult issues in relation to children giving evidence.
  • 2018 – Re MA, BA, SA (Children)- acted for Mother complex issues re unexplained non accidental head injury and international element with potential placement of children with foreign nationals (Libyan)- multiple hearings from commencement of proceedings in 2016.
  • 2019 – Re CP,DP,DP,EP,LP and DP (Children)- Acted for Mother as leading junior in lengthy final composite hearing before high court judge with complex medical issues as to causation of serious injuries to genital area of child and difficult issues as to placement of 6 children with 4 children’s guardians.

Contact David’s clerks

Claudine Cooper on 0113 202 8604

Paul Foster on 0113 213 5209

Arnela Siranovic on 0113 213 5212

The Legal 500 2017 leading individual logo Legal 500 Leading individual 2019