• Former Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales and retired High Court Judge, Sir David is today highly regarded for his advisory and consultancy services.


    Sir David Calvert-Smith returned to Chambers as an Honorary Member in 2013 after retiring from the High Court Bench. No longer practising as a barrister he provides bespoke and often high-profile advisory and consultancy services across the full spectrum of his vast experience. His work often involves an international element and is invariably highly confidential, involving public bodies and high-profile corporates.


    Since retirement from the Bench, Sir David has provided services as an independent investigator, expert witness, trainer and advisor, has given expert evidence in two international arbitrations as an expert witness, conducted a review of the Iraqi Historical Allegations Team (IHAT) for the Ministry of Defence, carried out an investigation on behalf of the IAAF, and conducted training for overseas judges in the conduct of terrorism trials. 

    Before becoming a High Court Judge, Sir David had an enviable career at the Bar. He has been Senior Treasury Counsel, Panelled Counsel to the SFO, Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

    As DPP, Sir David implemented the biggest structural change ever in a government department following the recommendations of the Glidewell Report and negotiated the transfer of the charging decision from the police to the CPS in all but the least serious offences.

    On his return to Chambers, after five years as the DPP, Sir David headed the Formal Investigation of the Commission for Racial Equality into racism within the Police Service of England and Wales.

    His career continued to involve high-profile appointments; whilst a member of Chambers, he occupied the position of Solicitor of Customs and Excise following the incumbent’s suspension until the appointment of David Green QC.

    Sir David Calvert-Smith recently led Kyan Pucks in an independent review of the manner in which the SFO handled its investigation into the Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation. For more, please see The Times and the Law Society Gazette.  

    Whilst a High Court Judge, Sir David was appointed significant responsibilities. He was in charge of the Terrorism List and also held the position of Presiding Judge of the South Eastern Circuit.

    At the conclusion of his time at the bench, Sir David became a Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey and subsequently Chairman of the Parole Board of England and Wales; he continues to hold this role today.

    Sir David is a non-Executive Chairman of Stephen Platt & Associates where he assists with post event analysis of governance, systems and control and human factor failings across industry sectors.



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    Notable Cases

    • Herald of Free Enterprise
    • Marchioness
    • Buncefield
    • Marconi 
    • Polly Peck (Part 1)
    • Iraqi sanctions
    • R v Botmeh & Alami
      The car bomb plot upon the Israeli Embassy in London.
    • R v Hindawi
      The attempted bombing of an El Al flight from London to Tel Avi.
    • R v Karim
      Tried as Mr Justice Calvert-Smith. A former BA software engineer was jailed for 30 years for plotting to blow up a plane.
    • R v Hanson
      Tried as judge. Murder of banker John Monckton.​
    • R v Tobin
      Tried as Mr Justice Calvert-Smith. Murderer of three women, two of whom he buried in the garden of his house.


    • 1981: Assistant Recorder; Appointed to DPP panel of counsel.
    • 1985: Head of the Bar Council team negotiating legal aid/prosecution fees; negotiated the first graduated fee scheme.
    • 1986: Recorder; Junior Treasury Counsel.
    • 1990: Educational and Training Committee of the Bar Council, latterly Vice-chairman.
    • 1991: Senior Treasury Counsel.
    • 1995-1997: First Senior Treasury Counsel; Vice Chairman Criminal Bar Association.
    • 1998: Chairman Criminal Bar Association.
    • 1998-2003: DPP.
    • 2003: Chaired Bar committee into Funding Entry to the Bar.
    • 2004-2005: Head of Formal Investigation of the Commission for Racial Equality into racism within the Police Service of England and Wales;
    • 2004-2005: Solicitor of Customs and Excise.
    • 2005-2012: High Court Judge (Queens Bench Division).
    • 2005-2012: Judge in charge of the Terrorism List.
    • 2006-2010: Presiding Judge of the South Eastern Circuit.
    • 2012-2017: Judge of Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey
    • 2012-2016: Chairman of the Parole Board of England and Wales


    • Sir David Calvert-Smith honoured with first NBCPA Sylvia Denman Award

      The National Black Crown Prosecution Association held its 19th annual conference on Friday 25th October, 2019.

    • Sir David Calvert-Smith conducts IAAF investigation into Lord Coe

      The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the international governing body for athletics, launched an investigation in September 2018 into allegations that its president, Lord Coe, had misled MPs over when he first heard about allegations of corruption and doping by Russian athletes.

    • Inquiry into the Iraq Historic Allegations Team ('IHAT'), led by Sir David Calvert-Smith, publishes report.

      The report reviewed the current practice and processes of the IHAT.  

    • JUSTICE Working Party - Complex Lengthy Trials, by David Calvert-Smith

      The Lord Chief Justice asked JUSTICE to investigate ways the length and complexity of trials could be reduced.

    • Sir David Calvert-Smith

      QEB Hollis Whiteman are delighted to welcome Sir David Calvert-Smith back to chambers.Sir David retired from the High Court Bench in September 2012 after a successful seven year period and prior to becoming a High Court Judge was previously the Director o...