Themis Advocates

David F Ballantyne

Year of Call: 1992

David Ballantyne's experience is mainly in government legal work, having been the Attorney General in three separate countries: Tuvalu 1988-91, Turks & Caicos Islands 1992-98 and the Cayman Islands 1998-2003.

He became a legal adviser in 2003-04 at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, returning there from 2006-2010 as a legal consultant and then a senior legal consultant.

As a chief law officer, he dealt with constitutional and international issues. In Tuvalu, the reception of imperial laws was held to be ultra vires the constitution in a case he stated. He stopped the fraudulent printing of flawed Tuvalu stamps by litigation in London. By conducting a training needs analysis for 10 island states he devised a “learning by doing” programme for the South Pacific in his report Continuing Legal Education in the Pacific, adopted by the Pacific Islands Law Officers Meeting in 1991.

In Turks and Caicos, he introduced a Legal Profession law and a Proceeds of Crime law. In Cayman, he dealt with the OECD and FATF tax haven initiatives. With the OECD he developed a model treaty on which he based the UK/Cayman/USA Tax Information Exchange Agreement signed at Washington DC in 2001.

He reformed Cayman’s anti-money laundering regime, and argued successfully in the Cayman Court of Appeal that a judicial fetter on the prosecution of a bank for money laundering was invalid under the Constitution. In 2005 as an expert accredited to the IMF he assisted in drafting model anti-money laundering laws.

He engaged in maritime boundary negotiation for Tuvalu (with Fiji and France), for Turks & Caicos (Bahamas), and for Cayman (with Cuba, Jamaica, and Honduras), resolving the Cayman/Honduras delimitation by an adjusted median line. In Tuvalu, he agreed fisheries access with Japan, and air services with Fiji and the Marshall Islands. During the 1994 Haitian refugee crisis he negotiated with the US their proposal for a safe haven on Grand Turk, and later with Haiti an agreement to legalise or repatriate migrants.

At the FCO he drafted UN, EU and UK sanctions, pioneering maritime interdiction on the high seas for sanction breaches, with human rights safeguards. He also advised on overseas territories, on human resources including duty of care in hostile environments, and for DfID and DECC on HMG’s aid framework and climate change MOUs with the IMF and the World Bank.

David intends to concentrate on constitutional and public law.



Solicitor 1980 - 1988, Partner from1982

Attorney General of Tuvalu 1988 - 1991

Advocate 1992

Attorney General of Turks & Caicos Islands 1992 - 1998

Temporary Sheriff 1998

Attorney General of the Cayman Islands 1998 - 2003

Legal Adviser, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London 2003 - 2004

Legal Consultant, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London 2006 - 2008

Senior Legal Consultant, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London 2008 - 2010


R (Bancoult) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [2008] UKHL 61 (instructing agent)

Attorney General v Euro Bank Corporation, Evans and Robb Evans and Associates [2002 CILR 334]

Attorney-General of Tuvalu v. Philatelic Distribution Corporation [1990] 2 All ER [CA] 216 (plaintiff)

Case Stated in the High Court of Tuvalu: Patriation of Imperial Laws (Sir Gaven Donne) 1989, No. 4

Boyne v Grampian Regional Council, Aberdeen Sh. Ct. (Sh. Princ. Bell) April 14, 1983 unreported

Publications: “Continuing Legal Education in the Pacific”: Pacific Islands Law Officers Meeting, Wellington, New Zealand, 1991

General Information

  • LL.B. University of Aberdeen
  • Diploma in Business Management University of Strathclyde
  • Chartered IT Professional
  • Member of the British Computer Society