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® 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 specialises in trade mark and copyright matters generally, including furnishing opinions on the registrability of trade marks, filing and the prosecution of trade marks locally and abroad. Moreover, he also enjoys handling a broad spectrum of oppositions and contentious matters.
David 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 also contributed to the vision and strategy of the firm including the identification and implementation of marketing strategies. He enjoys the challenge of filing and prosecuting unconventional trade mark applications for example sound marks / jingles and olfactory marks (scent marks).
David has specific expertise and extensive 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, 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 , nutritional products, fashion, entertainment, 4x4, video game, horse racing, education, restaurant, food, craft beer, wine and whisky industries. In 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Managing Intellectual Property (MIP) in its Annual World IP Survey based on input from clients and other IP lawyers recognised David as a leading individual / IP Star, for trade mark litigation, prosecution, strategy and counselling. In 2020 World Trademark Review (WTR) - "the Definitive go-to resource for those seeking legal trademark expertise which identifies the leading lights in 70 jurisdictions" ranked David as a recommended top trade mark professional and leading individual for prosecution and strategic advice. 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.