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David Orbaum

Year of call:
Leeds University, BA History (2:1)
College of Law, London, BVC Bar Exams Part 1 and 2
Leeds Metropolitan University, Solicitors’ Final Exams
Pupil at Westminster Bank (now Sovereign) Chambers, supervised by Lionel Scott and His Honour Judge Hoffman
Member of Westminster Bank Chambers
Requalified & admitted to the roll as a solicitor
Higher Court Advocate (criminal)
High Court Advocate (all courts)
Returned to the Bar and rejoined Sovereign Chambers CPS Level 3 prosecutor
Sovereign Chambers becomes Park Square Barristers

Ranked in Tier 1 for Family and Children Law – The Legal 500 (2018)

“A confident advocate who is liked by his clients.” – The Legal 500 (2018)

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

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

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

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.

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 for local authorities involving potentially dangerous parties to care proceedings, and acts for potentially dangerous parties themselves where others have been reluctant to act.

Crossover with crime

He has a clear understanding of issues affecting the crossover between the criminal and family jurisdictions, particularly in relation to disclosure. In the recent past 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 mean that David relates confidently and effectively to the people he represents, regardless of their background.

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


David conducts seminars, lectures and local-authority training in relation to disclosure between criminal and family proceedings, and on matters relating to public law children matters in general.

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.

Contact David’s clerks

Claudine Cooper on 0113 202 8604

Paul Foster on 0113 213 5209

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