David Northfield


Senior Associate, Fieldfisher


I am a Senior Associate in the public and regulatory group, specialising in regulatory and public law, and professional discipline. I advise a variety of public organisations and regulated private companies on their statutory and common law powers and duties, and frequently undertake advocacy and conduct investigations on behalf of regulatory authorities.  I qualified and practised at the criminal bar until 2009, before moving to the Treasury Solicitor's Department where I specialised in defending judicial review applications against government departments, as well as acting for them in proceedings relating to freedom of information. I joined Fieldfisher in 2011.

In addition to the advisory side of my practice, I have wide experience of conducting investigations and presenting cases before disciplinary tribunals, and have also advised a number of Royal Charter bodies on the scope of their duties and powers.  In addition to my work for public bodies, I continue to advise a number of large commercial clients in relation to matters as requests for third party disclosure in criminal proceedings, complaints to regulators, regulatory requirements in relation to commercial agreements and on general matters of public law.  I am ranked as an Associate to Watch in Professional Discipline by Chambers and Partners 2015.

I have acted in the High Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords/Supreme Court numerous times.  Notable cases include acting on behalf of the PCC for Avon & Somerset in an application for judicial review brought by the Chief Constable, acting for the Director of the SFO in a judicial review of the decision not to prosecute BAE in relation to bribery allegations, and acting for the Secretary of State for Education in defending judicial review proceedings in the Court of Appeal brought by Sharon Shoesmith arising out of the Baby P tragedy.

I advise clients on potential private criminal proceedings in regulatory, intellectual property and other criminal matters, and have published a number of pieces on practicalities around private criminal prosecutions.

In addition, I have written articles on matters relating to defamation, self-incrimination and privilege in regulatory proceedings that appeared in ARDL's Winter 2012 bulletin. I have delivered training sessions on these issues as well as on matters such as giving evidence and criminal procedure.  I currently edit the Public Regulatory Group's blog The Public Eye, providing news, analysis and updates on legislation and case law that affect our clients and the wider sector.  I am a member of the Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA) and the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers (ARDL).

Lexis®PSL Intellectual Property/Information Technology

About Lexis®PSL

Areas of Practice



Middle Temple (2005 call)
College of Law – Bar Vocational Course
Leeds Metropolitan University – Postgraduate Diploma in Law
University of Leeds – BA (Hons) Philosophy
Birkdale School, Sheffield (A levels and GCSEs)