David Russell KC

Year of Call:
1977 (Australia)
Year of Silk:
Direct Access:

David Russell KC 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), New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

He currently practises in Dubai, London, and Abu Dhabi (Outer Temple Chambers), Sydney (Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers) and Brisbane (Sir Harry Gibbs 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 was the Inaugural Chairman of the STEP International Client Special Interest Group, was Deputy Chair and a director of STEP and a member of its World Wide Council and various Committees, and is 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. In 2016 he chaired the DIFC’s Wealth Management Review Working Group.

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.” Since 2016, he has been recognised by Legal Week and The American Lawyer as part of the Private Client Global Elite.

Outside the law, he maintains his interest in his family’s rural business, Russell Pastoral Company, and its flagship property, Jimbour.


Notable Pensions cases

Rinehart v Rinehart

Australia’s long running trust dispute. David appeared for the trustee in the stages of the dispute where the tax treatment of the vesting of a discretionary trust was an issue.

Raftland Pty Ltd as trustee of the Raftland Trust v Commissioner of Taxation [2008] HCA 21

A significant case relating to Australia’s sham transaction doctrine so far as trusts were concerned.

Related updates

David Russell KC is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

"David is an outstanding barrister with a very strong reputation within the global legal community. He has in-depth knowledge and expertise in matters of common law and international taxation."

Middle East: The English Bar, Commercial, Legal 500 EMEA 2024

"David is an outstanding lawyer with an enormous reputation that goes beyond national boundaries. As such, he is very well connected within the international legal community. When working together on an assignment, David always manages to make sure matters are viewed from various perspectives."

Middle East - Commercial, Legal 500 2023

"A distinguished legal practitioner, with national and international recognition particularly in taxation law."

The Hon Warren Truss MP, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia

"A valued member of the UAE's private sector."

Sami Al Qamzi, Director-General, Department of Economic Development

"One of our leading international members."

The Chartered Institute of Taxation

To find out more, contact  Lexie Johnson on + 44 (0) 207 427 0801 or Dave Lovitt on +44 (0)207 353 6381 for a confidential discussion.

Our dedicated practice management team can help you identify the right barrister for your case.

Other Roles

  • Trusts & Trustees (Oxford University Press) Co-editor 2015 – present; Australian Correspondent, 2007 – 2014
  • Offshore Investment Australian Correspondent – 2009 – 2014
  • The University of Sydney Lecturer, Master of Taxation course 2008-2011
  • The University of Queensland Lecturer, Master of Business Administration Course  1985-1988; Lecturer, Master of Laws Course  1998-2002; Adjunct Professor 2001-2006; Advisory Board member, Australian Centre for Commerce and Tax  2002-2007
  • Griffith University Advisory Board Member, National Institute for Law, Ethics and Public Affairs 1996-1998; Board Member, Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance 1999-2006

  • French
  • Japanese
  • Russian
  • Arabic (basic)

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