David commenced legal practice in 1974. He is admitted to practise in Australia, England and Wales (Lincoln’s Inn), the Courts of the Dubai International Financial Centre, New York (as a Legal Consultant), the Singapore International Commercial Court, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1986.
He currently practises in Dubai, London, New York and Abu Dhabi (Outer Temple Chambers), Sydney (Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers) and Brisbane (Sir Harry Gibbs Chambers) and is an associate member of chambers in Auckland (Shortland Chambers) and Darwin (William Forster Chambers). He has acted for Commonwealth and State Governments as well as individuals and corporations. David was President of the Taxation Institute of Australia from 1993 to 1995, and of the Asia Oceania Tax Consultants’ Association from 1996 to 2000.
He has lectured at the University of Sydney for the Master of Taxation course, the University of Queensland for the Master of Laws course and served as an Adjunct Professor of the University of Queensland. He is the co-editor of the Oxford University Press Journal Trusts & Trustees.
He is Chairman of the STEP International Client Special Interest Group, a member of the STEP World Wide Council and various STEP Committees, a co-chair of the United Arab Emirates Chapter of the International Section of the New York State Bar Association, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Section, an Academician of The International Academy of Estate and Trust Law, a Member of the Middle East and North Africa Branch Committee of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (UK), a member of the Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers, a Freeman of the City of London and an Honorary Member of the Taxation Institute of Hong Kong.
David is listed in the Taxation Category in the Australian Financial Review/Best Lawyers review of the Australian Legal Profession in 2008 and all later years and in 2014 was the Tax Institute’s Chartered Tax Adviser of the Year. In 2010 he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun (with Gold Rays and Neck Ribbon) for his services to Australia-Japan relations. In 2012 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for, among other things, "service ... to taxation law and legal education."
Outside the law, he maintains his interest in his family's rural business, Russell Pastoral Company, and its flagship property, Jimbour.