• 2018-Present Director of International Business Development, Essex Court Chambers
  • 1980–2018 Senior Clerk & Head of Administration, Essex Court Chambers
  • 1977–1980 Senior Clerk, 17 Old Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn
  • 1976 Qualified as a member of The Institute of Barristers’ Clerks
  • 1971–1977 Junior Clerk, Gray’s Inn Chambers (Now 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square)

With a career in managing barristers’ chambers spanning almost 47 years, David Grief was one of the first generation of the modern Clerk and is now one of the most experienced in his field. As Director of International Business Development, David assists with the development of the international practices of all members of Chambers, as well as providing strategic support in targeted practice areas.

Major achievements include:

  • Managing the set as it emerged from a predominantly shipping practice to its current standing as a leading commercial set with a broad based domestic and international practice;
  • Being pivotal to the decision to physically expand chambers, to accommodate the growing number of tenants and the increase in areas of specialisation, so that chambers now occupies 5 adjacent buildings in Lincoln’s Inn Fields;
  • Pioneering marketing and business development in the profession and developing a strong reputation for client care;
  • 2011 – appointed Director of the International Dispute Resolution Centre.

David frequently travels, visiting jurisdictions of importance to Chambers and its clients. In the last two years he has organised business trips with members and sometimes clients to Australia, Bermuda, BVI, Cayman Islands, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New York, Washington, India, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Nigeria, Uganda and Zurich.

He is a regular writer and speaker on Bar management issues including being a keynote speaker at the inaugural conference of the New South Wales Barristers Clerks Association on international practice (2011).

He has held a private pilot’s license for over 40 years.


  • The Anglo-Australasian Lawyers Society
  • Member of the Panel of Arbitrators set up by the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks (IBC) along with the Professional Standards Department of the Bar
  • Member of the International Bar Association
  • Member of the London Court of International Arbitration
  • Member of the Legal Practice Management Association (LPMA)
  • London Maritime Arbitrators Association (Supporting Member)
  • Liveryman of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots
  • Freeman of the City of London from 1997
  • ICCA (International Council for Commercial Arbitration)
  • British Nigeria Law Forum


  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Chambers Bar Awards 2015


  • Contributed a chapter on International Development in: The Independent Bar: Insights into a Unique Business Model (Globe Law & Business; 1 edition (1 Mar. 2018))

What Others Say

  • “David Grief is a consummate clerk.” – Chambers & Partners 2016
  • “A man of legendary status in the clerking world who is vastly experienced.” – Chambers & Partners 2016
  • “At the top of his game as a roving ambassador for chambers’, and is ‘the best out there for client service.” – The Legal 500 2015