David has two significant roles in the firm. He is the Managing Principal and Head of the firms burgeoning and highly regarded trade mark practice and has been with de Chalains IP® since inception. Having graduated from the University of Natal with degrees in arts and law in 1991, he subsequently obtained his Masters of Law degree in intellectual property law at the University of South Africa. David qualified as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa at Spoor & Fisher, a well-known firm specialising in IP matters and has lectured at several institutions in South Africa on intellectual property law and commercial law.
He relishes challenges by taking on difficult so called “No Win” cases and prosecuting unconventional trade mark applications through to registration with aplomb. Moreover, David handles a broad spectrum of oppositions and contentious matters and has honed his craft culminating in 25 years worth of hands-on experience in the trade mark arena focused primarily on dispensing considered strategic advice, prosecuting, enforcing and litigating trade mark matters in SA and throughout Africa. Clients value his incisive "laser-sharp" focus and welcome his adroit, prompt attention to their matters with a knack of responding quickly yet thoroughly to complicated queries in a "down to earth" and straight forward manner which is understandable, practical and devoid of "sugar-coating". Quirky and unconventional in a "good way" clients and peers say David is "a rare find" - "highly knowledgeable" and an "efficient practitioner" who "exceeds any and all expectations."
He has also been involved in rebranding programmes, trade mark portfolio reviews and large filing programmes throughout the African continent. This is borne out by the numerous successful audits and due diligences he has conducted for listed corporates with large trade mark portfolios.
David has considerable expertise and a wealth of experience in the protection and enforcement of trade mark portfolios owned by International Sports Teams, Supporters Clubs and Championships for example The British and Irish Lions, Rugby World Cup, The Ineos Grenadiers, Manchester United, The Barmy Army, US Open (tennis), Giant (bicycles), 6 Nations Rugby and the world famous St Andrews Links Golf Course, recognised as “THE HOME OF GOLF”. He also acts for a number of prominent clients in the sports products, protein powders, energy drinks , collagen products, fashion, entertainment, 4x4, video game, horse racing, education, restaurant, food, craft beer, wine and whisky industries.
Among his accolades, David has from 2016 – 2023 been recognized by MIP in it’s Annual World IP survey based on input from clients and other IP Lawyers (Peers) as a leading individual/”IP Star” for trade mark litigation, prosecution strategy and counselling. Moreover from February 2020 - 2023, World Trademark Review WTR 1000, “the defining go-to resource for those seeking legal trade mark expertise which identifies leading lights in 70 jurisdictions” ranked David as one of the world’s recommended/ leading trade mark professionals.
He is also an overseas member of The Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (C.I.T.M.A) based in London which aims to protect the interests of all proprietors of Trade Marks. Outside of the office David enjoys travel, reading, cycling, rugby, cricket, boxing and tennis (not in any particular order). David is married to Heléne and has two boys named Andrew and Daniel.