David Lillywhite

Partner, Mediator, Collaborative Lawyer

About David

Qualifying into a large regional firm in 2005, David joined a Central London practice in 2008 before heading up the family law department at a commercial City firm in 2011. He joined Burgess Mee in October 2015 and was promoted to partner in April 2019, the first since the firm was started in 2013.

He was ranked as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ in both the 2022 and 2023 editions of The Legal 500. David is a trained collaborative lawyer and mediator with a busy alternative dispute resolution practice.  

David deals with all types of family law work including matrimonial finance (which often involves substantial assets or has an overseas element or trust interests) and provision for unmarried parents. His case load also involves pre-and post-nuptial agreements for individuals from all walks of life with a focus on sports personalities and their families.

He also has experience of complex private children matters with a keen interest in domestic and international relocation (both resisting applications and making them).

He has a burgeoning practice involving property disputes upon the end of cohabiting relationships and an interest in cases involving allegations of controlling and coercive behaviour against another party. As part of that work, David is also able to refer clients to a wide network of third-party experts to work with clients and help them begin to move on with their lives.

He also has a specialism in 'intervenor' cases involving third parties asserting an interest in matrimonial assets where he has acted for individuals both for and against the claims being made.

Clients have praised his accessible, responsive approach and his commitment to demystifying the process surrounding separation. David has been praised in the Legal 500 as “a calm and supportive presence in any case and to any client. His incisive and thoughtful advice will lead the most difficult cases to resolution.” and working "tirelessly for his clients [with] the patience of a saint". He is said to have “great judgement and [is] incredibly intelligent but also able to make appropriate demands of counsel without overwhelming them. A rare gem".

David is an active member of Resolution, the organisation of family practitioners focused on providing constructive, amicable solutions to separating couples.  He is involved with the organisation's Mentoring Scheme (he also mentors students at the University of Kent) and sits on the Innovation Committee.  He also volunteers at the Peckham Citizens Advice Bureau.

He has written for several industry publications including the Financial Remedies Journal and the Resolution Review and provided comment for national newspapers. He is the editor of the Burgess Mee insights section of our website.

Reported cases

A (A Child) (No.2) [2014] EWCC B52 (Fam)

Cazalet v Abu-Zalaf [2022] EWFC 119

DH v RH [2023] EWFC 111

Cazalet v Abu-Zalaf [2023] EWCA Civ 1065


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