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David Gaskell was a solicitor with a practice in Red Lion Street, and a colleague of Deirdre Barlow's at Weatherfield Town Hall. In January 1990, upon encountering a distressed Deirdre in a stairwell at the town hall, David gave her some friendly advice over her separation from Ken. When Deirdre complained that she didn't know where she stood, he asked her to see him at his practice for an official consultation. There, he advised her to claim her entitlement from Ken as a lump sum rather than maintenance.