Called to the Bar at Gray's Inn in 1971, David Wolchover did his pupillage at Cloisters, the famous set then headed by the radical silk and one-time maverick Labour M.P., John Platts-Mills QC. A founding member of the chambers of Sibghat Kadri (later QC) at 11 King's Bench Walk, Inner Temple, in 1973 David remained with Kadri until moving to the chambers of Ivor (later Lord) Richard QC at 11 South Square, Gray's Inn, in 1988. With the dissolution of that set he helped to form Lion Court and after a short spell as a sole practitioner returned there in 1999 as Head of Chambers. In the following years he presided over the move to 7 Bell Yard, the change of name, the purchase of the building and the set's continued expansion and development. On turning sixty in 2007 he left full-time practice but remained as joint Head until 2012. In 2013 the members of 7 Bell Yard moved to bigger premises at Goldsmith's Building in Inner Temple and became Church Court Chambers, where David remained a “door tenant” for some years. He is now once again a sole practitioner at Ridgeway Chambers .
At the Bar David Wolchover has always specialised in crime. Although his attitude on law reform is progressive, not to say in many respects radical, he is an ardent supporter of the independent Bar and the traditional system of barristers undertaking both prosecution and defence work. Like many of his generation, he only defends although he has absolutely nothing against prosecuting. It is just that he feels more comfortable in defence. It was the same when he played for his school First Eleven football team. "It's probably something deep-rooted in my psyche. It's the challenge of facing an attack by superior forces." In his sixties he is content to remain a humble junior - "not that I have much of a choice in the matter" - but he does think there is something rather silly about labelling a man of his age and experience a "junior," like an ageing thespian, he says, still aspiring to take on romantic leads. But he is no stranger to "top barristers' work," having led in murder and having defended in the Britannia Park trial, billed at one time as the longest criminal trial in English legal history ("I attribute the length – 18 months – to the prolixity of others," he says modestly). David is one of those few barristers who has managed to span the sometimes difficult divide between the rough-and-tumble of practitioner life at the coal face of criminal justice and the contemplative pursuit of academic writing, although he remains unaffiliated to any academic institution. In his time he has contributed a host of articles mainly on criminal law matters to a variety of law journals and a number of articles to leading national dailies, as well as finding time to produce several full length treatises. He is sole author of The Exclusion of Improperly Obtained Evidence (Barry Rose Publishers, 1986), lead author of Wolchover and Heaton-Armstrong on Confession Evidence (Sweet & Maxwell 1996), co-author with Neil Corre of Bail in Criminal Proceedings (2nd ed, Blackstone Press, 1999; 3rd ed, Oxford University Press 2004), contributing co-editor of Analysing Witness Testimony (Blackstone Press, 1999), sole author of Silence and Guilt: An assessment of case law on the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (Lion Court Lawyers, 2001), contributing co-editor of Witness Testimony: Psychological, Investigative and Evidential Perspectives (Oxford: OUP, 2006), and Witness Testimony in Sexual Cases: Evidential, Investigative and Scientific Perspectives (OUP, 2016). He also maintains on this website two book-length treatises and a third shorter treatise. An acknowledged expert on PACE, he has been instrumental through direct representation and through his writing in securing a number of important improvements to the Codes of Practice. He says that his proudest achievement is having co-authored the first detailed critique (in the New Law Journal ) of the Government's proposal to curtail the right to jury trial, the arguments in which were widely adopted ("without attribution needless to say," he says, wearily).
David is available for all levels of criminal defence briefs commensurate with his experience and call.