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David Roberts

Senior associate solicitor

David Roberts is a senior associate solicitor in the international department.

Corporate accountability Diesel emissions claims Group claims Human rights International

David is a senior associate solicitor in the international department, specialising in international human rights and environmental claims against multinational companies and claims against the British Government.

David presently assists Daniel Leader with firm’s corporate accountability case work and is the lead solicitor on the Camellia Plc Kenya case.

Legal expertise

Since joining Leigh Day, David has assisted on number of different matters, including:

  • The Ivory Coast claims, Leigh Day successfully represented 30,000 claimants from Cote d’Ivoire against an oil trader which allegedly dumped toxic waste in the country’s commercial capital, Abidjan.
  • The Mau Mau claims, Leigh Day successfully represented 5,228 Kenyan victims of colonial torture who alleged that they were subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment at the hands of the British colonial administration during the Kenya Emergency in the 1950’s.
  • Extraordinary Rendition, Leigh Day successfully represented Binyam Mohamed in civil proceedings against the British Security Services, Foreign Office and Home Office for alleged complicity in his extraordinary rendition and torture by the US.
  • Iraqi civilian claims, Leigh Day has settled over 300 claims, and continues to bring further claims, on behalf of Iraqi civilians against the British Ministry of Defence for alleged assaults, unlawful detention, inhuman and degrading treatment, torture and executions by British forces in Iraq between 2003 and 2009.
  • The Bodo claims, Leigh Day successfully resolved a claim against Shell Petroleum on behalf of 15,000 Nigerian fishermen and women for the environmental damage suffered by their community as a result of two large oil spills.
  • Gemfields, Leigh Day successfully resolved the claims of 273 Mozambicans who alleged that they, or their relatives, were the victims of serious human rights abuses at or around Montepuez Ruby Mining Limitada’s (MRM’s) mine in northern Mozambique (a joint venture in which Gemfields is the majority stakeholder).

David was heavily involved in the Mau Mau claims, working closely with Martyn Day and Daniel Leader during both the first and second preliminary hearings. David also formed part of the team that led Leigh Day’s investigations in Kenya in 2012 and 2013.

David formed part of the Iraqi Civilian Litigation Team that took the lead cases to trial in June/July 2016 and March/April 2017. In the December 2017 Judgment the Court held that the Ministry of Defence implemented a flawed and unlawful approach to the detention of civilians during the Iraq war, breaching not only the Human Rights Act but also the Geneva Conventions. The Court also ruled that British soldiers subjected Iraqi civilians to inhuman and degrading treatment.

David joined Leigh Day in 2009 as a paralegal in the international department. As a trainee at the firm, David undertook his first seat with Frances Swaine in the human rights department and then returned to the International Department to undertake his second seat with Martyn Day and Sapna Malik.

Prior to joining Leigh Day, David interned at WWF-UK. David studied Biodiversity Conservation and Management at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology and completed an LLM in Environmental Law and Policy at the University of Kent.

News and cases

News Article
International International abuse International human rights International litigation

Settlement of claims against Camellia Plc of allegations of serious human rights abuses in Kenya

News Article
Tea plantation

Unilever's Kenyan tea workers appeal to the UK Supreme Court

Over 200 Kenyan nationals are currently seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court over a legal claim that the London-based corporate giant, Unilever Plc, failed to protect them from the foreseeable risk of ethnic violence on a Unilever tea plantation in 2007/08.

News Article
High Court
Human Rights MOD Torture detention

High Court finds MoD breached the Geneva Conventions during the Iraq War

A High Court judge today ruled the MoD unlawfully detained civilians during the Iraq war, breaching the Human Rights Act and the Geneva Conventions

Case Study
Kenyan clients outside the High Court
International Human rights Torture

The Mau Mau claims

Leigh Day acted on behalf of 5,000 Kenyan nationals who were subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment at the hands of the British colonial administration during the Kenya Emergency in the 1950s.