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UK-Bar Guide

Planning — London (Bar)

Band 1

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

The leading set at the Planning Bar for development work, Landmark Chambers is singled out for its deep roster of top-quality silks and juniors at all levels of experience. Its barristers are routinely involved in significant judicial reviews, planning inquiries and High Court actions, and routinely handle the most intricate and high-profile cases in the country. Members of the set have been instructed in big-ticket matters arising from transport, energy and public sector initiatives, most notably the promotion of the ongoing HS2 rail project.

Client service: "The team at Landmark, from the reception staff to the junior clerks and beyond, are always extremely helpful, approachable and responsible – whatever the query, request or concern. Someone is always on hand and available to assist where needed." "Supported by an excellent group of clerks under the leadership of Jay Fullilove, this set provides an excellent all-round service with a healthy client focus."

SILKS

Christopher Katkowski QC
Universally regarded as a leading silk, Christopher Katkowski QC is a planning specialist with a remarkable track record of success at inquiry or in judicial review. Clients and peers, who speak warmly and at length of his creativity, sound judgement and concise advice, assert that he remains a leader at the Bar for complex planning cases.
Strengths: "He is the top dog for retail-related planning work. He's got penetrating insight into the legal and commercial positions of the client, is no-nonsense and highly effective." "Top of the field, he's a brilliant QC who is able to explain and simplify complex legal matters. He's also excellent with clients."
Recent work: Acted for Scotch Corner Richmond in its promotion of a large retail scheme at Scotch Corner in North Yorkshire and its successful application for planning permission for the development.

Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC
A planning specialist for more than 30 years, he has handled a remarkable range of disputes and schemes, including some of the most significant cases in infrastructure, retail, office and residential development. He is also a mediator and examiner of neighbourhood plans.
Strengths: "He is simply the best. He fights with intellect, rather than bluster, and is always our recommended barrister of choice." "He's absolutely outstanding. He has a very deep knowledge and understanding of the planning system and the law, a very forensic approach to cases and the ability to spot critical issues and drive a case forward on the basis of those issues."
Recent work: Represented Hopkins Homes in the prominent case of Suffolk Coastal District Council & Hopkins Homes v Secretary of State, a leading authority on the appropriate interpretation of paragraph 49 of the National Planning Policy Framework. The case was heard in the Supreme Court in February 2017.

Daniel Kolinsky QC
An impressively experienced advocate who has handled a broad variety of cases in the High Court and Court of Appeal. He often acts on behalf of London authorities, as well as NGOs, developers and individual claimants, and is well versed in the complexities of affordable housing and other local government matters. He is further highly regarded for his work in all matters pertaining to ratings.
Strengths: "He is an extremely talented junior QC, who is very astute, articulate and knowledgeable." "He's absolutely excellent on complex matters with multiple issues and witnesses. Great with local authorities and very good on important viability cases, he inspires confidence."
Recent work: Successfully defended the Mayor of London against a challenge to his decision to act as planning authority in lieu of a local council in order to grant planning permission for a major regeneration project in Tower Hamlets.

Christopher Boyle QC
Has more than two decades of experience in town and country planning, including expertise in cases concerning environmental considerations, compulsory purchase and infrastructure projects. He primarily represents landowners, developers and promoters of large residential developments, regenerations and infrastructure schemes.
Strengths: "He's one of the best in the market. His public inquiry advocacy is second to none, and he's also very good in the High Court. Clients love him, inspectors love him, judges love him. He has an incredible ability to get everyone on side and his cross-examination technique is first class."
Recent work: Acted for the Earl of Derby in respect of a 400-dwelling residential scheme in Newmarket. The scheme was vigorously opposed by racing interests.

David Elvin QC
Known for putting his outstanding intellect to work on complicated cases that often involve specialist planning criteria. Compulsory purchase matters, environmental impacts on planning and deep knowledge of EU law make up just part of his repertoire. He has worked on some of the most significant and trying infrastructure cases in the country over the last several years.
Strengths: "He is probably the most authoritative lawyer on comprehensive planning and related issues, particularly when they involve EU law issues or the interaction with other legislation. He's cerebral and is equally effective in court and at public inquiries." "He is a 'tour de force' of the Planning Bar. He is incredibly bright, thorough in his approach to any matter, and an extremely effective and accomplished advocate."
Recent work: Successfully defended West Berkshire Council against a challenge to elements of a significant regeneration scheme in Newbury, which the claimant sought to overturn on the basis of best value and public procurement concerns.

David Forsdick QC
Has taken on a number of eye-catching planning cases in recent years, engaging with both housing and infrastructure matters of national importance and novel construction. Instructing solicitors enjoy his open and affable work dynamic. Forsdick is frequently engaged by local authorities, interest groups and other public bodies on affordable housing schemes, urban extensions and planning applications with environmental law elements.
Strengths: "He combines a vast range of experience, great intelligence and a broad understanding of planning law. He possesses great strength and forcefulness in cross-examination. Points are adroitly emphasised, and this inspires confidence that the client's case has been given the best possible chance before a decision-maker." "He cuts to the chase and gives advice that is pragmatic and commercial. He is a commanding presence as an advocate in the High Court."
Recent work: Acted for West Berkshire Council in its challenge to the government's ten-unit threshold and vacant building credit which form part of its affordable housing policy. The council won concessions from the Secretary of State after arguing that the policy was inconsistent with statutory requirements, failed to take into account material considerations and was the product of a flawed consultation process.

James Maurici QC
A respected advocate well equipped to act in a broad range of planning cases for developers and public entities. The long list of areas in which he is experienced includes advising on EU matters and state aid issues related to planning or compulsory purchase.
Strengths: "He is an intellectual powerhouse who brings calm reflection to complex planning matters. He is a fearsome advocate and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of green belt planning issues." "His broad range of experience is invaluable at public inquiries and he is able to combine deep knowledge, significant intellect, legal understanding and an appreciation of commercial realities. He is an excellent advocate in both oral and written situations, and becomes quickly and effortlessly immersed in the detail."
Recent work: Represented the Secretary of State for Transport in a judicial review by several London boroughs that sought to challenge the Government's decision to proceed with the third runway option at Heathrow Airport over other options for airport expansion in the South East.

Rupert Warren QC
A rising force in the planning field who is noted for his extensive advice regarding rewrites of the NPPF. He continues to advise the government on high-profile planning matters, and also to act for developers.
Strengths: "An excellent communicator with a commercial edge. He builds great rapport with clients and delivers very clear advice." "He's clear-thinking, client-friendly, approachable and accessible, as well as a very strategic thinker."
Recent work: Promoted a 600-unit residential scheme near Stansted on behalf of Land Securities, which was contested by the local authority and other developers.

Paul Brown QC
A skilled High Court and Court of Appeal advocate who has served in a number of government advisory roles. Paul is a former member of the Treasury A Panel and also contributed to the 2013 review of national planning policy. Recently, he has been involved in the high-profile London 'basement wars'.
Strengths: "He is an exceptional inquiry advocate, who is excellent with clients, extremely proactive, very commercial and on the ball." "He has an excellent reputation for acting for high net worth individuals engaged in high-value residential schemes in London."
Recent work: Represented landowning claimants in a public inquiry that sought to overturn Medway Council's refusal of planning permission for a 450-unit residential development in Hempstead, Kent.

Russell Harris QC
A barrister with over 30 years of experience, who handles major planning cases. He frequently acts on matters relating to significant regeneration projects, and is known for both his intellectual range and fierce advocacy.
Strengths: "A phenomenal advocate, who's very experienced, extremely hard-working, very astute and someone with a great rapport with clients." "He is the go-to barrister for complex London projects."
Recent work: Represented developers KCS in a planning inquiry relating to the controversial redevelopment of Newcombe House in Notting Hill, which is opposed by local residents.

Neil King QC
An experienced hand for both infrastructure and traditional planning cases. He is well versed in the minutiae of compulsory purchase, environmental and compensation law, and appears frequently at inquiries, at tribunals and in the higher courts.
Strengths: "He is excellent at presenting the most complex cases at public inquiries." "His understanding of compulsory purchase issues is unrivalled and he gives sound advice in a pithy and amusing way which is much appreciated by his clients."
Recent work: Promoted the CPO for the redevelopment of Ealing Filmworks on behalf of the local authority and Land Securities, with the goal of turning the site into a mixed-use scheme.

Neil Cameron QC
The joint head of Landmark Chambers, he comes highly recommended for his forensic and forthright style. His workload of planning and environmental cases has included enforcement notices, infrastructure, heritage issues and energy development. He often represents local authorities.
Strengths: "He is technically excellent - a great choice for the most difficult of legal issues." "Neil is impressively forensic in his analysis of issues and extremely efficient."
Recent work: Represented Orbital Shopping Park in a judicial review of a decision by Swindon Borough Council to issue liability and demand notices under its CIL authority. The case involved a challenge to the collecting authority's discretion to issue such notices on the basis of its determination that a developer was seeking to avoid CIL.

Richard Drabble QC
A strong advocate in court work of all levels. Sources highlight the energy and intellectual firepower he brings to instructions on behalf of developers and local authorities. He also takes on international cases, and has particular experience of appearing before the European courts.
Strengths: "One of the best at the administrative law Bar. He's a very understated but very effective advocate in court," who "has a formidable brain."
Recent work: Acted for the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in a Court of Appeal action that overturned a High Court ruling that challenged the government's new affordable housing policy.

Rhodri Price Lewis QC
Known for his successes in village green cases and for a practice that focuses on a core of environmental planning matters, including energy, transport, waste and mineral work. He is an infrastructure specialist and also more than capable of handling traditional development cases.
Strengths: "Very flexible and very experienced, he's the voice of authority." "Excellent on his feet and someone who instantly gets to grips with the issues."

Reuben Taylor QC
A robust junior silk with a highly regarded High Court practice that sees him instructed in a number of high-profile cases. His areas of excellence include infrastructure matters, CPO and compensation work, and cases with a strong environmental flavour to them. He has niche expertise in dealing with noise, air quality, road traffic and other technical environmental concerns.
Strengths: "He is a wonderfully bright barrister, who gets to grips with complex cases rapidly, and gives beautifully concise advice in the most relaxed and approachable manner." "He is a pleasure to deal with and very able at developing creative solutions to potentially difficult commercial situations. Major regeneration advice is a forte of his."
Recent work: Represented developer Bloor Homes in the Court of Appeal, defending the grant of planning permission for a 150-home development in Leicestershire. At issue was the interpretation of the National Policy Planning Framework as it concerns housing need.

John Hobson QC
Worked as a solicitor in private practice and for local authorities before being called to the Bar. In silk, he has extensive experience of appearing on behalf of local government and the Mayor of London's office in relation to significant planning cases. Hobson also holds the distinction of having a seat on several panels and committees of importance to the sector, and is Special Adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee reviewing Northern Irish planning law.
Strengths: "He is extremely calm and perceptive. He gets to the issues quickly and efficiently, which clients appreciate."
Recent work: Successfully resisted a planning appeal by a developer over Durham County Council's refusal of planning permission for a large residential development in the village of Lanchester.

John Litton QC
A QC with multi-jurisdictional experience, having been admitted to the Hong Kong Bar and the Supreme Courts of the Eastern Caribbean and Northern Ireland. His practice sees him handling a wide range of cases, including those relating to country planning, compulsory purchase and highways law.
Strengths: "He is very, very astute, focused on the real commercial issues and a real problem solver." "He is a very effective advocate, particularly in inquiries."

Sasha White QC
An incredibly active silk who is frequently instructed on behalf of the largest names in retail and residential development. He garners high praise from his instructing solicitors and is particularly noteworthy for his frequent appearances in public inquiries.
Strengths: "He has the admirable expertise and knowledge you would expect in a QC of his experience, and combines this with excellent judgement." "He is extremely knowledgeable, has a brilliant mind, is a pleasure to work with, and is able to communicate complicated points in a succinct and easily understood style."
Recent work: Acted for North Yorkshire County Council defending a High Court action brought by Friends of the Earth, challenging its decision to award the first grant of planning permission for fracking in the UK.

Matthew Reed QC
A new silk who excels in a wide range of cases, including appeals at all levels, enforcement matters and the promotion of or objection to development in the residential, retail and industrial sectors. His work for both government bodies and private corporations has earned him an excellent profile in the market.
Strengths: "He is a strong advocate who relates well to clients." "A brilliant new silk, he's great on the detail and always well prepared."
Recent work: Represented Herefordshire Council in a Court of Appeal case in which the appellant argued that the council had ignored heritage considerations on a planning issue. The key point of the case was whether, when deciding what constituted substantial harm to a listed building, it was necessary to take mitigating factors into account.

Timothy Corner QC
Regarded as one of the strongest QCs in the planning arena. He sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Administrative Court, as well as on a plethora of advisory panels. He is frequently instructed in critical appeals and reviews, both for and against challengers to high-profile developments.
Strengths: "He's very intelligent in his approach, extremely client-focused and possesses excellent advocacy skills." "He is a very impressive CPO barrister, who is excellent at corralling the client's case and presenting it at inquiry."

Timothy Mould QC
Has spent the last few years as one of the government's chosen counsel promoting the HS2 bill in the Parliamentary Select Committee, and has recently been engaged to lead the promotion of the HS2 Phase 2A bill through Parliament. He continues to manage a broad practice of planning cases, including those with environmental, ratings or community law elements.
Strengths: "He's enormously impressive. He's been extremely good at team leading, managing the parliamentary process and adapting his presenting skills accordingly." "He exhibits a high level of expertise, knows his papers in minute detail, has an excellent rapport with clients and is formidable on his feet."
Recent work: Promoting a Transport and Works Act Order that aims to secure the power to construct new rail sidings at a waste plant in Calvert, Buckinghamshire, as part of the wider HS2 railway construction project.

William Hicks QC
Has a strong history working on retail development schemes across the country, but also undertakes the full range of planning matters. He has three decades' experience of dealing with work involving transport, energy, housing and listed buildings, among others.
Strengths: "He has a fantastic command of the technical details, and cuts through any case in a clear and commercial way." "He's got a great ability to work around things, and is strong in his preparation in particular."
Recent work: Represented three large town centre developer clients at a public inquiry, opposing the massive expansion of Tollgate Colchester, a retail park outside the town.

Graeme Keen QC
An expert in both planning and environmental law whose experience ranges from local plan examinations through to major infrastructure projects. He also handles a number of cases relating to housing, retail and highways. Keen is frequently called upon to appear in compulsory purchase disputes and inquiries covering the full spectrum of planning law.
Strengths: "Very detail-oriented and gets on really well with clients and planning consultants. He produces very strong work and is both very commercially astute and a real problem solver." "A thoroughly pragmatic, intelligent and experienced individual able to effortlessly pull on case law from memory. He is very experienced in housing land supply issues and major housing appeals generally."
Recent work: Acted for Cheshire East Council at a week-long inquiry defending the refusal of planning permission for a large mixed-use development near Manchester International Airport. Issues in play included the effect of aircraft noise on future residents.

JUNIORS

Charles Banner
Takes on a wide variety of High Court, inquiry and advisory work for commercial and government clients. He is a member of the Attorney General's A Panel and engages with some of the government's most complex planning cases. Peers and clients alike rate him very highly for his performance.
Strengths: "One of the stars of the future at the Planning Bar, he's regularly operating across from leading silks already and is tremendously respected." "An exceptionally talented lawyer with very good cross-examination and presentation skills, he really knows how to get projects through the planning process. He stands out in the strong class of juniors he's in."
Recent work: Appeared unled in a two-week public inquiry on behalf of Persimmon Homes that challenged the refusal of planning permission for a proposed large-scale housing development. The scheme was opposed by Heritage England on the grounds that it was located too close to Berkeley Castle.

Guy Williams
Handles a practice that touches on all aspects of planning law, and has recently handled a number of inquiry appearances dealing with energy, infrastructure, housing and retail matters. He is also seasoned in statutory challenges and judicial reviews with local government involvement. He is sought after for his CPO expertise and sits on the advisory panel to Crossrail and TfL for such matters.
Strengths: "Guy Williams is particularly strong in relation to compulsory purchase compensation matters." "He grasps the issues very quickly, and provides clear, relevant and practical advice in a really pragmatic way. He is absolutely superb, and goes above and beyond what an advocate should do."
Recent work: Acted for clients Hammerson, Argent and the London Borough of Barnet in the promotion of two CPOs related to the delivery of a new mixed-use town centre at Brent Cross. The project includes an expansion of an existing shopping centre, a new 7,500-unit residential development and the delivery of related transport infrastructure.

Gwion Lewis
Boxes with some of the heavyweights of the planning world in public inquiries, judicial reviews and challenges to a diverse range of projects. He has a particular specialism in infrastructure advice, and is an expert in port-related development and energy projects. He is also qualified in Wales and edits the Wales segment of the Planning Encyclopaedia.
Strengths: "He possesses real mastery of the detail on very technical issues, and is a confident and effective advocate." "He is very precise in his legal arguments and very analytical and persuasive in his written submissions. He makes complicated cases look straightforward despite difficult points."
Recent work: Represented North Yorkshire County Council in a challenge to the grant of planning permission for beginning the production stage of the fracking process. The case turned on the interaction between the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme and the environmental impact assessment scheme.

Scott Lyness
Has a fantastic reputation for his wide-ranging planning practice, acting for developers, planning authorities and other parties at all levels. He has experience with a variety of cases dealing with such matters as listed buildings, compulsory purchase and technical or environmental issues. Lyness has acted in some of the most significant large-scale infrastructure and energy developments of recent years, and is well regarded for his work on planning appeals and court cases in Northern Ireland.
Strengths: "His ability to engage with highly technical information and understand the nuances of a client's position is unprecedented. He is a pragmatic practitioner who goes the extra mile to deliver the best possible outcome." "A top-notch junior, he's meticulous, interacts very well with clients and is at the top of his game."
Recent work: Represented Wealden District Council in its successful challenge of an inspector's decision to grant planning permission for a 103-unit residential development in East Sussex. Matters in dispute included the impact of air quality and nitrogen disposition on a nearby Special Area of Conservation.

Robert Walton
Counsels and acts for a wide variety of clients in hearings and public inquiries, particularly those involving CPO and compensation matters. He has expertise in all areas of planning law, including enforcement notices, promotion or objections to development and policy, and the judicial review and challenges process regarding planning decisions.
Strengths: "A very able senior junior who offers particular experience in environmental impact assessment matters.""He possesses a quiet demeanour but a fierce legal mind."
Recent work: Represented Richmondshire District Council in promoting two consented schemes to create a new fashion outlet centre at Scotch Corner.

Richard Turney
He has gained a great reputation for his regular court and inquiry appearances tackling statutory challenges, judicial reviews and criminal or environmentally implicated planning cases. He also has a broad advisory practice and is well versed in infrastructure matters relating to a wide variety of sectors. Turney has recently devoted a significant portion of his practice to the promotion of the HS2 rail project in both Houses of Parliament.
Strengths: "A star in the making, who is performing at a very high standard." "He is an excellent draftsman and a good team player, who is both technically very strong and calm in his advocacy."
Recent work: Successfully defended Medway Council's challenge of a decision by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. He represented an interested party in the case which concerned the release of an affordable housing obligation.

Richard Moules
Au fait with a wide range of planning areas, including CPOs, policymaking and enforcement, and a barrister with a specialism in highways and rights of way matters. He has lectured and published a number of works on planning law, and regularly appears in the High Court representing developers, the government and community groups.
Strengths: "He's very good: he's commercial, picks up the points quickly and is a very clear, confident and thorough advocate. A barrister who's going places." "He was very good at managing the client's expectations and fought valiantly when on his feet."
Recent work: Appeared as sole counsel for Southwark Council in a two-week inquiry promoting a CPO for a new public square and commercial space near Peckham Rye station valued at £30 million.

Jonathan Wills
A seasoned inquiry advocate, having represented developers and local authorities in a broad spectrum of cases. He is also a regular at the High Court and Court of Appeal and has appeared in some of the most high-profile enforcement matters of recent years. He is available to advise on issues ranging from environmental impact assessment to listed buildings and use class matters.
Strengths: "He has a wide basis of knowledge and experience, is very team-oriented in his approach and very good in court." "He runs very clever points."
Recent work: Acted for Wiltshire Council and several renewable energy developers in their appeal against the High Court's striking down of planning permission for a solar farm. The Court of Appeal unanimously allowed the appeal, which turned on issues of 'delay in planning challenges'.

Stephen Whale
Appointed to the London A Panel of the Attorney General's Panel of Counsel, on which he has sat since 2007. He represents a large number of local authority, government and private clients across almost all types of planning law cases, including those with environmental or criminal components. He is an assistant editor of the Planning Encyclopaedia.
Strengths: "He is accessible and has the ability to provide very clear written advice for clients." "He is great at instilling client confidence in a no-nonsense, unstuffy way."
Recent work: Represented Dartmoor National Park Authority in an inquiry featuring five conjoined appeals brought by an 'off-grid' community living in rural Dartmoor that sought to overturn enforcement notices and the refusal of planning permission.

Stephen Morgan
Has specialised in planning since his training days, having graduated in both planning and law. He is extensively experienced in all aspects of the sector, from applications to enforcement and appeals, and has a special interest in village greens, neighbourhood plans, challenges and judicial reviews. He tries to avoid litigation for his clients where possible by finding creative solutions with all the tools at his disposal. Morgan is also familiar with both the Welsh and Isle of Man planning systems.
Strengths: "A very effective counsel who is of QC quality as a junior. He is cool, calm and collected, and delivers results in an unassuming and persuasive manner."
Recent work: Acted for Hastings Borough Council in a challenge seeking a judicial review brought by local objectors to a key road scheme. The claimants' objections centred around issues related to the Air Quality Directive and similar domestic regulations.

Zack Simons
A popular name at the Planning Bar. He focuses on planning, compulsory purchase and environmental work, and has appeared in leading cases on current contentious planning issues such as environmental impact and housing need. He represents landowners, central government, private developers and local authorities for all types of work in the field.
Strengths: "He's a good-quality junior and his attention to detail and pragmatism are second to none."
Recent work: Acted for Dover District Council in a dispute with developers CPRE revolving around a 600-unit, residential-led scheme in the Kent Downs.

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Band 2

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

By consensus, FTB remains the paramount set for infrastructure work. The chambers offers impressive strength across a gamut of sectors, including the transport, energy and environment spaces, and is regularly engaged by a diverse host of public and private clients on NSIPs and other major undertakings in England and Wales. Notable projects that its members have promoted include nuclear schemes at Sellafield and Wylfa, and prominent capital infrastructure works such as the Silvertown Tunnel and the expansion of London City Airport.

Client service: "The barristers receive strong support from a very knowledgeable and capable team of clerks and other practice management staff, who always assist solicitors and their clients, and are very accommodating wherever possible." "The clerks are excellent, responsive and easy to deal with. Billing is transparent and they offer excellent value-added services."

SILKS

Andrew Tait QC
Head of chambers who has promoted a raft of major infrastructure projects in London. He has also acted in relation to high-profile transport schemes. His practice further extends to waste matters, land valuation, new settlements and major mineral proposals.
Strengths: "He is calm and collected, and a force to be reckoned with." "A top practitioner who is technically brilliant and wonderful to work with."
Recent work: Promoted, on behalf of Highways England, the DCO for the A14/A1 road scheme, involving a highway between Cambridge and Huntingdon.

Alexander Booth QC
A new silk already impressing as a QC. He engages with all kinds of planning work, notably NSIP cases and valuation or compensation proceedings related to compulsory purchases. He appears for both public and private bodies, and has recently appeared in the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "Gives excellent legal and tactical advice, and is calm and unflustered in his advocacy when under pressure." "He takes a proactive approach and can get under the skin of a case and use his good grasp of facts and details to come up with something that others wouldn't be able to do."
Recent work: Advised NuGen on the promotion of its new nuclear power station at Moorside, Cumbria and assisted it in preparing its application for a DCO.

Andrew Fraser-Urquhart QC
Covers a broad array of planning work and attracts a number of instructions in significant infrastructure cases. He is frequently instructed on development consent order and compulsory purchase matters by both public and private sector clients.
Strengths: "A useful and well-prepared barrister who fights for his clients to the best of his abilities. He has a very impressive brain and comes up with imaginative arguments."
Recent work: Represented Associated British Ports in a judicial review and injunction application regarding the proposed demolition of historic buildings in the Port of Grimsby.

Craig Howell Williams QC
A traditional development and infrastructure specialist highly experienced in planning, environment and related public law matters. His case history demonstrates his expertise in matters involving large projects such as urban extensions and transport. He also handles substantial commercial work in the leisure and retail sectors.
Strengths: "A good strategic thinker who is very approachable and easy to work with." "He is an expert at controlling a team and getting them to produce their best for a case. He commands the attention and respect of clients."
Recent work: Advised and acted for Gallagher Properties on its Section 288 application in the High Court, challenging the refusal of planning permission for a large industrial estate on the Kent Downs. The case involved issues of need, the economic benefits of the scheme and the effect the development would have on the local landscape and heritage sites.

Michael Humphries QC
Known to all as the leading name in infrastructure planning law. He has an excellent reputation for working on projects of all types, especially the often vast NSIPs. He is also heralded for his compulsory purchase work, and edits leading publications in both areas. He is a deeply experienced advocate across the entire space, advising and acting for utilities, objectors, landowners, developers and public entities.
Strengths: "An outstanding QC – the number-one choice for any major infrastructure project. He has an incredible grasp of every detail of the case and the ability to distil complex issues into clear and simple terms that the rest of the team can understand and act upon."
Recent work: Promoted the £344 million upgrade and expansion of London City Airport in a three-week inquiry and promoted the CPO for the project at a subsequent inquiry.

Robin Purchas QC
Has a long-standing reputation as one of the finest planning QCs at the Bar. His specialisms include compulsory purchase, compensation and valuation. He has a strong track record of promoting and objecting to major public planning matters, including the Channel Tunnel and Crossrail. His infrastructure experience extends to aviation, energy and other fields.
Strengths: "A great advocate with a great brain who works incredibly hard."

Morag Ellis QC
Holds an enviable position in the market both as a barrister well versed in the broadest aspects of planning law and as a rare expert in some of its most unique and evolving areas. She is chair of the Planning and Environment Bar Association and also sits on the panel of silks to the Welsh government.
Strengths: "Pragmatic, calm, approachable and a very effective advocate, she's very strong in matters in Wales." "She is able to analyse and process huge amounts of information quickly and identify key issues. Her insight into the workings of the Planning Inspectorate and local government makes her advice on case management invaluable. She is adept at getting the best both from her team and from individual witnesses."
Recent work: Represented Oaklands College in its planning appeal concerning the refurbishment of the school to be funded by the construction of 460 new houses. Issues in play included green belt concerns, and the definition of the term 'very special circumstances' under the NPPF and landscape impact.

Hereward Phillpot QC
A star as a junior who has continued to win the admiration of peers and clients in silk. Hailed as one of the top barristers acting in infrastructure matters, he frequently appears at inquiries, hearings and higher court cases. Many of the complex development cases he takes on pertain to particularly large or high-profile projects.
Strengths: "Incredibly diligent and meticulously well prepared, he impresses with his quiet, authoritative manner and the quality of his work." "He has an excellent technical brain and forensically analyses the points and issues in a case. Very good at identifying problems and crafting a commercial, practical solution to get around them, he's one of the top infrastructure lawyers at the Bar."
Recent work: Represented the Secretary of State in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in the significant case of Suffolk Coastal DC v Hopkins Homes & SSCLG, concerning the interpretation of housing policies contained in the National Planning Policy Framework.

Simon Bird QC
A member of both the Planning and Environmental Bar Association and the National Infrastructure Planning Association. He has an impressive track record of appearing on behalf of ports, airports, house builders and central and local government agencies at major inquiries.
Strengths: "Gives top-class advice, is really good with clients and impresses with his knowledge of the law and the legislation." "He's impressive in both attack and restraint mode."
Recent work: Acted for South Norfolk District Council in its opposition to a local rugby club's proposals for new facilities to be funded by a large residential development in the local Strategic Gap.

Gregory Jones QC
A silk renowned for his expertise in planning and administrative law. His practice spans town and country planning, DCO-scale projects, environmental impact and other complex cases at all levels of review. He has carved out an additional niche in offshore marine spatial planning, and is well versed in EU law.
Strengths: "A tenacious advocate, who is bright and really gets under the skin of the case."
Recent work: Advised Crystal Palace Football Club on proposals for redevelopment of Selhurst Park and the club's training facilities.

James Pereira QC
James Pereira QC's practice covers all areas of planning. His excellent reputation as an advocate comes from his frequent appearances at inquiries and in the High Court. He also promotes and resists CPOs and related compensation matters.
Strengths: "He manages to combine thoughtful technical excellence with an urbane relaxed manner which clients respond well to." "He is excellent, particularly in relation to complex judicial review and DCO matters."
Recent work: Engaged by Southwark Borough Council in its challenge against the Secretary of State's decision to block the compulsory purchase of flats in the Aylesbury Estate for the purposes of demolition.

Guy Roots QC
A long-time trusted adviser and advocate for private and public organisations. His planning acumen extends to green belt development, energy projects, retail, housing, regeneration and major public works. He also maintains a strong reputation for compulsory purchase and related compensation work.
Strengths: "An elder statesman who is a CPO and ratings specialist." "A real CPO expert who is knowledgeable, incisive and someone with an approachable manner."

Douglas Edwards QC
Douglas Edwards QC's robust practice is built around planning, environmental, CPO, highways law, government and infrastructure work. He is an expert in commons and village greens matters, and is also frequently consulted on land assembly matters by local authorities. He represents both public and private clients at all levels in the courts and at inquiries.
Strengths: "He is very proactive and gives commercial advice." "A bright man who impresses with his hard work and diligence."
Recent work: Represented the Mayor of London in a four-week planning inquiry concerning his refusal of planning permission for London City Airport.

Richard Glover QC
Well equipped to resolve disputes of all natures and an expert in compulsory purchase, ratings and local government work. He specialises in non-mainstream planning matters that may require valuation and compensation experience.
Strengths: "Immensely knowledgeable on the law and the practice of rating. He's a rating lawyer to his fingertips, and has a fast mind that absorbs expert material and assimilates it rapidly to really get under the skin of the legal and expert issues." "He is really sharp-witted and very good strategically."
Recent work: Represented appellant Molins in its appeal for planning permission for a 140-home residential development on a disused sports ground located on green belt land in an Area of Outstanding National Beauty.

Robert McCracken QC
Acts for regulators, utilities, authorities and community groups across all planning and environmental matters. He engages in planning law cases from the most local level to the international, and is experienced in EU law.
Strengths: "He has a very deep and almost encyclopaedic knowledge of his areas of expertise, particularly in regards to environmental law and planning." "He's very good on his feet, gives good written advice, is thorough and thinks outside the box to find ways to tackle problems."
Recent work: Represented local objectors to an initiative by the Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council to relocate a secondary school and redevelop a historic mill site in Saddleworth. The case turned on issues of national cultural heritage requirements and policy guidance.

Suzanne Ornsby QC
Frequently involved in top cases involving strategic environmental assessment and neighbourhood planning. Her practice covers public inquiries relating to electricity and water supply, minerals and waste, as well as commercial and residential development. She also acts for Local Planning Authorities and developers in urban extension inquiries and Local Plan examinations into housing provision.
Strengths: "She is extremely capable," and "lots of fun to work with."
Recent work: Provided pre-inquiry advice to North Hertfordshire District Council on its proposed local plan for up to 2031.

Saira Kabir Sheikh QC
Frequently sought out as an advocate for appeals, inquiries, High Court challenges and Crown and Magistrates' Courts proceedings. She is experienced in all aspects of planning and environmental law. Her remit includes compulsory purchase, highways, Transport and Works Orders, and other parliamentary matters.
Strengths: "Extremely sound tactically and a lawyer who possesses a rare combination of technical expertise and commercial astuteness." "She's very strong technically and gives solid, clear advice."
Recent work: Represented Westminster City Council in a conjoined inquiry into the council's decisions to require the Carlton Tavern to be rebuilt.

Richard Honey
Regularly appears in the High Court, and is an expert on compulsory purchase and infrastructure cases. He also features frequently in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber). He is called to the Bars of England and Wales, and Northern Ireland, and represents defendants and claimants of all kinds.
Strengths: "A leading light in regards to CPO work, who is balanced, details-oriented and disciplined in the courtroom."

Meyric Lewis
Specialises in planning and related environmental issues, being an expert in environmental impact assessment and CPOs among many other matters. He is well recognised for his advice and advocacy in cases regarding major infrastructure proposals. He represents clients ranging from individual objectors to high-end developers.
Strengths: "He has an incredible attention to detail and his knowledge is impressive." "A very good advocate who knows the law and is able to apply it in resourceful ways to achieve good outcomes."
Recent work: Appeared for Cotswold District Council in a Court of Appeal matter against Warners Retail, in which the interpretation of policy on retail impact was examined in light of recent rulings by the Supreme Court.

Melissa Murphy
An experienced junior with a strong track record in a number of areas of planning law. She focuses her practice primarily on infrastructure and compulsory purchase cases, but also handles residential schemes, heritage issues and public authority matters, on both the local and the parliamentary scale.
Strengths: "A very technically bright junior with a great understanding of the law who produces a very high standard of work." "She anticipates the unexpected, is very measured and considered, and has very good relationships with solicitors."
Recent work: Instructed by the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham in a three-week inquiry hearing appeals against listed building consent and planning permission for the redevelopment of Fulham Town Hall.

Ned Westaway
Acts for local authorities, planning applicants and objectors, handling a broad range of cases, including those relating to major development proposals, complex enforcement and significant infrastructure projects. He is also an expert in environmental law.
Strengths: "A brilliant, very modern barrister." "He's very good technically on planning and environment work."
Recent work: Represented the Garden Bridge Trust in a dispute over the disposal of land for the South Bank landing site for the project. The claimant had sought to challenge the transaction on the basis that it was incompatible with restrictions in the Local Government Act 1972, the Localism Act 2011, and the Parks and Open Spaces Order 1967.

Jeremy Pike
Experienced in various planning law considerations including commons and village greens, judicial reviews or challenges, Transport and Works Orders, and compulsory purchases. His areas of focus include renewable energy, infrastructure and environmental impact assessment cases. He advises clients of all kinds in the public and private sectors, and also sits as an inspector for commons registration authorities.
Strengths: "Thorough, diligent and patient with complex issues. One of the best support barristers in the country."

Mark Westmoreland Smith
Concentrates his practice on cases concerning the delivery of essential energy (including renewables), waste and transport infrastructure. He typically acts for local authorities or promoters in these schemes. He is an experienced inquiry and High Court advocate who is frequently instructed on housing matters and development consent orders.
Strengths: "He's an excellent junior who is very accommodating and gives very good commercial advice. Acting unled is also not a problem for him."
Recent work: Promoted the A14 road improvement scheme, a NSIP undertaken by Highways England that involves significant infrastructure upgrades.

Rebecca Clutten
Continues to develop a practice in major infrastructure and compulsory purchase. She has experience of working for both promoters and claimants in CPO matters covering both infrastructure and regeneration schemes. Her client list and track record feature a number of high-profile names and projects.
Strengths: "She's extremely well organised, extremely strategic and someone who does a great job explaining quite complex issues to clients." "A standout at the junior end of the Bar, she's an old head on young shoulders, who possesses brilliant judgement."
Recent work: Promoted the CPO for the Aberfeldy Estate on behalf of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, which intends to acquire more than 200 homes in the borough for the purpose of facilitating a residential-led regeneration of the neighbourhood.

Hugh Flanagan
A barrister dedicated to planning and compulsory purchase cases. He is a member of the Attorney General's C Panel of Counsel, and also acts for local authorities and developers. Retail, heritage, residential, enforcement and residential planning work are all areas in which he is particularly knowledgeable.
Strengths: "Combines great analytical skills with sound judgement." "He's an excellent barrister who is very hard working, forensic and someone who comes across very well in court."
Recent work: Acted for Horizon Nuclear Power in its promotion of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa Newydd in Anglesey. As part of his remit, he served as sole counsel at a number of examination hearing sessions.

Annabel Graham Paul
Has acted in a number of significant, complex or otherwise novel infrastructure, compulsory purchase and mainstream planning cases in the High Court and Court of Appeal. Her practice reaches into all corners of planning law, and takes in inquiries and local plan examinations.
Strengths: "A young barrister with a very clear mind, who is analytical and produces well-structured opinions." "She's very thorough and clever, and a real asset to her chambers."
Recent work: Acted for the landlady of the George Tavern in a Court of Appeal action that resulted in the quashing of planning permission granted for a block of flats to be located adjacent to the public house, which would have affected the tavern's access to natural light.

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Band 3

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

A strong set that continues to build its presence in planning as part of a wider expansion strategy. The barristers at 39 Essex are ubiquitous in all areas of the Planning Bar, appearing in cases dealing with anything from major infrastructure projects to substantial residential developments and urban regeneration schemes. Members are increasingly instructed in cases involving Assets of Community Value, Community Infrastructure Levies and Development Consent Orders nationwide.

Client service: "The clerks are absolutely outstanding. Andy Poyser is their head of planning, and he looks after his instructing solicitors as well as he does his barristers. That typifies the 39 Essex approach. They're extremely modern and focused - it feels like you're dealing with a proper business or consultants."

SILKS

James Strachan QC
A tactically and technically minded QC, who has won a strong reputation both at the Bar and among his clients for his work on major developments. His infrastructure résumé includes a substantial appointment promoting the HS2 rail project for the government. He is also well versed in the housing, retail, highways and urban design fields.
Strengths: "Calm, measured and quite ruthless in his advocacy, as well as brilliant in his drafting.""He expertly combines a forensic analysis of a case with a strong commercial mind."
Recent work: Acted for developer CEG in its promotion of a new 500-home residential scheme at Burley in Wharfedale, near Bradford. The case was a significant test of the Secretary of State's new intervention powers.

Peter Village QC
Widely considered to be one of the best at the Planning Bar, especially when it comes to residential and retail development or other cases of substantial size and profile. He has acted successfully for objectors, developers and landowners in examinations, inquiries and appeals for more than three decades.
Strengths: "A top-notch leading counsel with strong cross-examination skills, whose commitment is exceptional." "A very effective advocate with a good strategic brain, who is very commercial in his dealings with clients."
Recent work: Acted for Valley Grown Nurseries in a judicial review over the decision to grant the company planning permission for a massive glasshouse in the Lea Valley. He successfully resisted challenges to the grant in both the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Richard Harwood QC
A silk whose reputation and profile are fast on the rise. He has authored a number of standard texts on planning and environmental law, and frequently appears in the courts in high-profile cases. He acts for developers and landowners, as well as government authorities and interest groups.
Strengths: "A technically excellent who is ideal for difficult situations that call for a calm, cerebral individual to plot his way through." "His written work is extremely good, he's very flexible and he thinks outside the box."
Recent work: Represented Marks & Spencer in the public inquiry into the Brent Cross Shopping Centre compulsory purchase order.

Thomas Hill QC
A consistently highly thought-of silk who concentrates his practice on major infrastructure work over a range of sectors. He has expertise in airports, ports and energy projects, including renewables. Hill is regularly called upon to promote urban regeneration schemes and strategic land developments.
Strengths: "A residential and infrastructure specialist, who is very thorough and has an excellent track record of success." "His approach and experience are impressive, and he's fabulous with clients."
Recent work: Advised, promoted and advocated the Birmingham Development Plan and the CPO for the Aston Regional Investment site on behalf of the Birmingham City Council.

John Steel QC
Due to his complementary practice in aviation, John Steel often acts on major infrastructure cases regarding airports, but he is just as comfortable engaging with other significant infrastructure, leisure, retail or residential development matters as well as cases covering mineral or waste concerns. His technical nous enables him to tackle complex cases, whether they are in relation to engineering, environmental or compulsory purchase complications.
Strengths: "He is a highly experienced advocate and specialist in aviation and planning issues." "He is great to get advice from, as he's very responsive and considered, but more commercial than the average silk."
Recent work: Advised Heathrow Hub, proposers of one of the two schemes chosen by the Airports Commission to receive further consideration for the expansion of Heathrow Airport, on a host of planning and environmental issues related to the project.

Paul Stinchcombe QC
A strong advocate in matters ranging from compensation cases and inquiries to judicial reviews. He has extensive experience of both promoting and opposing large-scale development projects. He advises a range of clients, including developers, local authorities, local objectors and interested parties.
Strengths: "Paul is an exceptional and charming advocate. He is adept at getting straight to the crux of matters and advising succinctly." "His strengths include: a deep knowledge of planning law and practice; an ability to absorb information quickly and research matters at high speed; and a facility of expression in describing relevant factors in a case."
Recent work: Engaged to promote Drake Park, a new garden village of 1,024 homes and related community facilities to be built on a green belt site at Elmbridge in Surrey. He represented the developers in an appeal against the refusal of the initial outline application by the local authority.

Stephen Tromans QC
Formerly a solicitor for nine years before being called to the Bar. Throughout his career he has specialised in energy, environment and planning law, and he frequently acts in nuisance claim cases, judicial reviews, appeals and other instances where his specialisms converge. He is also well versed in international (particularly EU) cases.
Strengths: "A great choice for high-end, difficult, technical cases.""He is very pragmatic, very commercial and able to explain very complex issues in very simple terms that clients find easy to understand."
Recent work: Provided advice to Bradford Core Strategy on the appropriate assessment matters concerning protected habitats that affect housing allocations.

Brian Ash QC
Appears regularly at major inquiries, in judicial reviews and in the courts tackling a host of diverse planning matters. He is extremely experienced in cases relating to compulsory purchase, highways law, environmental issues, retail development and infrastructure projects.
Strengths: "His ability to grasp quite difficult technical issues, such as those relating to noise, daylight and air quality concerns, is impressive. He has a great way of undermining the other side's witnesses."

Andrew Tabachnik QC
A new silk with expertise in residential promotion, regeneration and retail development among other areas. A seasoned advocate in inquiry and High Court scenarios that may involve additional considerations, such as green belt impact, compensation or listed buildings, he frequently appears for big-name developers, as well as local authorities and other interested parties.
Strengths: "He has enormous experience and is a great strategist who can be relied on to give very good advice." "He is a formidable advocate, who is hugely persuasive and a very hard worker. His advisory skills are equally strong and reflect his commitment to delivering advice that is as exact and as commercial as possible."
Recent work: Represented developers Welbeck Strategic in the promotion of a 240-home residential development at Kirby Cross. Planning permission was granted despite objections arising from the site's location in the Strategic Gap.

JUNIORS

James Burton
Over the past year, he has worked on some of the most high-profile cases in the market and has appeared in both the High Court and Court of Appeal. His expertise in environmental law proves useful in a number of the matters he handles.
Strengths: "He inspires confidence because of his wide knowledge and his ability to express himself and get his message across. He's excellent, particularly in environmental planning," and "shows fantastic attention to detail."
Recent work: Appeared for the claimant in a successful High Court challenge against the grant of planning permission for a large mixed-use development in Stroud. The site was located within a conversation area with significant heritage aspects, which played a key role in the case.

Richard Wald
Has written extensively on his specialisms of planning, environmental, energy and administrative law, and is a member of the Attorney General's B Panel of Junior Counsel. He acts for both public and private clients, and is also an accredited mediator. He is noted for his contributions to legal periodicals on a range of subjects including environmental matters, nuclear energy and highways law.
Strengths: "He's stronger than most silks on judicial review matters, and is a strong advocate who gives great written advice." "His written work is exceptionally good, and he can make a strong case out of very little."
Recent work: Acted for Natural Resource Wales in its challenge to a proposed £1.1 billion extension to the M4 motorway in the Newport area. The agency's objection concerned the impact of the scheme on protected species, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and heritage sites.

Christiaan Zwart
Has ability and experience in niche areas, including development finance, DCO infrastructure cases and Community Infrastructure Levy matters, the last of which he has particular expertise in. His client base extends internationally and he is a regular advocate in High Court cases, as well as Lands and Tax Chambers.
Strengths: "He impresses with his technical grasp of the construction and design aspects of projects, and his ability to translate this understanding into pragmatic, commercial advice." "He maintains a commercial overview while ensuring the legalities are covered."
Recent work: Instructed by the London Borough of Newham on the hearings into the DCO for the Silvertown Tunnel project, which raised issues of convergence, the imposition of financial charges on existing infrastructure and the affects of new tunnel air quality impact assessments.

Jonathan Darby
Acts in all aspects of planning processes for domestic and international clients, including landowners, developers, third parties and local authorities. He is also well versed in environmental law, and his practice takes in criminal proceedings related to planning and the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Strengths: "He's an excellent junior who is on top of the details and really adds value in assisting his leaders. He's very thorough, very knowledgeable and clients like him." "Jon can always be relied upon for fast, commercial and pragmatic advice."
Recent work: Represented the claimant in a challenge to the promotion of the CPO for Blackwall Reach, a regeneration scheme in East London. He also represented the objector in a First Tier Information Tribunal appeal related to the case.

Ned Helme
Has a diverse planning practice and a good reputation among clients drawn from a number of sectors. His broad areas of expertise encompass environmental, financial regulatory and public law, making him very knowledgeable on cross-disciplinary matters. He frequently prepares and acts for clients in inquiries and judicial reviews.
Strengths: "He is very impressive and a pleasure to work with."
Recent work: Instructed by Eastleigh Borough Council in a series of multi-day planning inquiries related to a number of plots on strategic and local gaps. The cases involved planning and environmental issues, including the proper approach to gap policy.

John Pugh-Smith
Focuses his practice on town and country planning law and environmental law, and is also an accomplished mediator. He most frequently represents local or central government authorities, and interested parties such as objectors or claimants, in a variety of planning cases.
Strengths: "He's a seasoned hand and a very experienced practitioner, who is very good at all aspects of litigation and judicial review work, and a very good negotiator to boot. He's someone you could use for any situation - he's very much an all-rounder." "A great drafter who provides excellent strategic advice."
Recent work: Advised Bluer Homes on a combined Section 106B and Section 106C appeal against planning obligations for an apartment scheme in Newquay, Cornwall.

Rose Grogan
Offers planning expertise to an enviable roster of clients, and has a number of high-profile house builders among her clientele. As well as being led by QCs in inquiries and appeals, she also acts as sole counsel. She also has burgeoning expertise in complementary areas of construction, environmental and energy law.
Strengths: "Very adaptable in changing situations, she provides clear, concise written advice and has great advocacy skills. She inspires confidence in her solicitors and she's both persistent and persuasive." "Very meticulous, her attention to detail and her enthusiasm are her strengths."
Recent work: Acted for the London Borough of Hillingdon in its challenge of the government's decision to endorse the expansion of Heathrow Airport in the form of a third runway.

Victoria Hutton
A relatively new face at the Bar and already considered one of the most capable juniors in the market for representing developers, individual objectors and local authorities in varied planning law cases. She has led cases as sole counsel in the Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "She impressed when tackling legal conundrums." "She is fluid in her addresses to court and has an exceptional writing ability."
Recent work: Acted for Dignity Funerals in its appeal against South Staffordshire Council's refusal of planning permission for a crematorium to be located on green belt land.

Daniel Stedman Jones
Came to the Bar with government experience and a dedicated focus on planning and environment law. He represents clients of all kinds, both public and private, in the full range of tribunals, inquiries, appeals and other court matters, and has a strong track record in judicial reviews. He is also knowledgeable on town and village greens, highways and rights of way laws.
Strengths: "He works tirelessly, giving thorough, sensible and commercially sound advice, and is both very approachable and very bright." "He interacts well with clients and really puts the effort in."
Recent work: Represented local residents in a challenge to Lambeth Borough Council's decision to vary a lease that enabled the construction of the controversial Garden Bridge project. The claim raised issues pertaining to Assets of Community Value and the Localism Act.

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Band 4

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

Cornerstone offers a strong line-up of experienced QCs, new silks and rising juniors whose combined expertise covers all aspects of planning law. Members of chambers are active on a plethora of cases ranging from inquiries and judicial reviews to appearances before the Court of Appeal. The last year has seen its barristers engaged on behalf of major parties in significant energy sector projects throughout the United Kingdom. Commentators say that as a chambers it is "well organised and welcoming."

Client service: One source commented: "I have built a good rapport with the barristers, but the friendly and efficient service of Ben Connor's clerking team plays a big part in me returning to Cornerstone again and again." "Both barristers and clerks are progressive and flexible. There's no matter too small or unimportant with them. They're really friendly and accessible, and always willing to help."

SILKS

Thomas Cosgrove QC
Acts for an array of clients ranging from interest groups to house builders and retailers, and is a regular feature at residential and heritage development inquiries. He is also expert in the field of renewable energy projects.
Strengths: "Very charming and a persuasive advocate." "Impressive and very thorough in his preparation."
Recent work: Represented the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in a dispute with the Government of France over the construction of a proposed 'mega-basement' that was alleged to be of threat to the security of the French embassy.

Mark Lowe QC
A prominent silk in the planning sphere who has practised in the field for over 30 years. He maintains a strong general practice with capability across all types of planning and environmental law, and continues to appear in major cases, including those concerning infrastructure projects.
Strengths: "He is extremely responsive and has an excellent manner with clients. He is calm and always takes a step back to advise in the context of the wider picture." "He's excellent, gives sound advice and is very thorough in his preparation of evidence."
Recent work: Successfully represented Cornwall Council in a judicial review of the St Ives Neighbourhood Plan. This had been challenged on the grounds that it violated Article 8 of the ECHR and that there had been a failure on the part of the council to apply relevant European directives on the environmental assessment of projects.

James Findlay QC
Operates a substantial planning practice in Scotland, as well as in England and Wales. He is particularly adept at dealing with controversial or complex cases with a high profile. His work for local authorities often concerns housing or energy projects. He also frequently represents developers in these matters, as well as in cases relating to CPOs and retail and leisure development.
Strengths: "He's extremely bright and is able to take all the legal issues apart and take the right approach. Extremely approachable, he's very pleasant to deal with, very clear and plainspoken with his advice." "He's very quietly confident and able to view a situation and really pick out the salient points that assist in a case."
Recent work: Engaged by the National Farmers Union to appear before the House of Lords HS2 Select Committee to object to various matters concerning compulsory purchases and compensation related to the project.

Richard Ground QC
Extensively experienced in planning inquiries, both major and local, and also an expert in village greens, local government and environmental law. His areas of excellence include infrastructure disputes, enforcement actions and cases involving green belt developments.
Strengths: "His greatest strength is his ability to motivate and give confidence to everyone involved in the team. He works extremely hard and his energy, enthusiasm and drive enable a huge amount of work to get done to the highest standard in accordance with the deadlines." "Richard is very client-friendly, engaging and calm. His advice in conference is always clear and concise, and clients are impressed by his quick grasp of the issues."
Recent work: Appeared for Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council in the Court of Appeal defending against a challenge to a High Court decision upholding an injunction against development. The case turns on the legality of a tree preservation order and how a change of permission will affect their protection.

Paul Shadarevian QC
A former solicitor who represents public and private entities of all kinds in inquiries and High Court appearances. He has a wealth of appeals experience, especially acting for local authorities, and has handled a number of major infrastructure cases. Of late, he has been engaged by several public sector clients to advise on their local plans.
Strengths: "He's a very, very good advocate who is very to the point." "He provides well-rounded, meticulously detailed and easily comprehensible advice."
Recent work: Represented Darlington Borough Council at an inquiry regarding the Scotch Corner designed outlet expansion proposals. Issues at hand involved complex retail and transportation concerns.

Lisa Busch QC
A junior silk with an extensive history of high-end government work. Lisa has sat on the Attorney General's Panel for over a decade and has attracted the praise of peers and clients for her involvement in some of the most high-profile recent planning debates. She is regularly consulted on large infrastructure-related proceedings, including HS2 and other transport matters.
Strengths: "She's very efficient, gets on well with clients, and she's very hard-working. She does a very good job on her feet, and provides excellent commercial solutions." "She's a highly experienced advocate, who is very good in judicial review work."
Recent work: Acted for the Natural Resources Body for Wales defending a challenge to its conduct on the grounds of negligence, nuisance and a violation of Article 8 of the ECHR brought by a claimant who had suffered flood damage.

JUNIORS

Jonathan Clay
An able and experienced advocate who acts for major players in residential and infrastructure development cases. His areas of expertise also include enforcement, town and country planning, village greens and commercial development.
Strengths: "He's very proactive, very responsive and is very happy to engage with the clients as well. Solid, successful and tenacious, he doesn't have any fear."
Recent work: Represented NHS Property Services in a judicial review of the Surrey County Council's decision to list property belonging to the NHS as a village green. Issues in dispute included statutory incompatibility between the powers of the NHS and Section 15 of the Commons Act 2006.

Estelle Dehon
Dedicates a significant portion of her practice to planning law, frequently representing interest groups, individuals and local authorities in sometimes controversial cases. She regularly appears in the High Court and at public inquiries concerning substantial development proposals.
Strengths: "She is a very good advocate, who is strong on strategy, committed and responsive. She puts herself out for you." "Her work is characterised by attention to detail and she presents with a measured assertiveness. She is relentless where necessary but never strident. An assured presence in court, she visibly commands the respect of her peers."
Recent work: Appeared on behalf of North Norfolk District Council at an appeal inquiry dealing with the rejection of planning permission for wind turbines to be located in North Norfolk. The turbines were to have been built near an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in the close vicinity of a scheduled ancient monument and near several other heritage sites.

Harriet Townsend
Has a strong track record of handling CPO cases, development inquiries, enforcement appeals and other hearings. She has recently been tackling matters relating to significant residential schemes and sensitive cases involving heritage or preservation concerns.
Strengths: "Her advocacy at CPO public inquiries is excellent, and she's very good at getting to the nub of things easily." "A very good advocate who provides effective and practical advice."
Recent work: Acted for Suffolk Coastal District Council in an appeal resulting from the council's refusal of planning permission of a 500-unit, mixed-use development near Felixstowe. Matters of concern included housing land supply, questions of sustainability and landscape impact.

Emma Dring
A rising star at Cornerstone whose remit includes wider public and administrative law, in addition to her growing planning practice. She is particularly focused on cases where the planning, housing and licensing practice areas interface. Dring is appointed to the Attorney General's C Panel.
Strengths: "She's always meticulously prepared, and she's got a clear understanding of the issues involved without needing too much instruction. She clearly and succinctly gets the points across and she's unflappable."

Jack Parker
Possesses a burgeoning reputation due to his robust appearances in the High Court on a range of planning matters, including town and country concerns and local neighbourhood plans. Clients include local authorities and individual claimants.
Strengths: "He has a winning combination of approachability and intensity which makes his participation in discussions very valuable. He is a man of incisive judgement."
Recent work: Represented South Cambridgeshire District Council in a High Court challenge and subsequent Court of Appeal action arising from the council's decision to grant planning permission for the construction of a new football stadium.

Asitha Ranatunga
Frequently handles wind farm cases and other renewable energy proposals, but is an expert in all manner of planning cases. He often represents local authorities regarding their development plans, and appears at examinations and challenges. He is frequently instructed at all stages of enforcement proceedings, and has handled a number of appeals and cases concerning the implementation of regulatory controls.
Strengths: "Asitha is highly approachable and immediately able to put clients at ease. His experience and understanding of the needs and demands of local authorities enables him to take a pragmatic approach to his advice." "His style is calm but authoritative and persuasive. A particular strength is his detailed preparation: it is apparent that he has carried out thorough research, and explored and understood the issues."
Recent work: Defended Peterborough City Council at a public inquiry into its decision to refuse planning permission for an 80-unit residential development in Stamford. Issues under consideration include housing land supply, heritage concerns and policy matters.

Clare Parry
Has crossed swords with some of the Bar's top planning barristers in judicial reviews and inquiries. She is appointed to the Attorney General's C Panel and is regularly engaged to appear before the High Court in matters throughout England and Wales.
Strengths: "She's a superb advocate who is good on incredibly complex local challenges."
Recent work: Defended Aylesbury Vale District Council against a challenge to its decision to grant planning permission for a crematorium in Aylesbury. The case turned on the correct approach to paragraph 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Robin Green
Advises and appears for developer and local authority clients at inquiry and in the High Court. His clients include local authorities and private individuals, whom he represents on matters encompassing all aspects of planning law, with a particular focus on housing developments.
Strengths: "He is a fantastic advocate and is extremely thorough. A pleasure to work with, he is great with planning clients and witnesses." "A tenacious advocate, offering client-focused advice, who is efficient in his delivery and effective in argument."
Recent work: Engaged by Watford Borough Council to defend against a High Court challenge by a claimant that sought to overturn the council's use of allotments as part of a major redevelopment project.

Wayne Beglan
Handles planning cases as part of his wide-ranging local government practice. He represents both local authorities and private clients. He is regularly engaged on judicial reviews, High Court actions and Court of Appeal cases.
Strengths: "He gives very clear advice and can work effectively even at very short notice. A very well-organised and well-structured advocate, he is very good on his feet in the High Court."
Recent work: Represented Harlow Council in a judicial review challenge that went to both the High Court and Court of Appeal. The case concerned the legality of a breach of condition notice and turned on the correct structure of planning conditions that restrict hours of operation.

Ryan Kohli
Typically undertakes work for local authorities and the Secretary of State, and has notable experience in inquiries that throw up technical issues. He is also familiar with appeals against enforcement notices. He is routinely instructed in High Court actions and has also appeared unled before the Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "He is very good on his feet and a difficult barrister to be against."
Recent work: Successfully represented the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in a planning appeal concerning a basement development. The case was brought by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, who sought to overturn a planning inspector's decision to allow a three-storey basement extension.

Edward Grant
Maintains a diverse client base of developers, local authorities and interested third parties whom he advises and acts for in inquiries. He is familiar with all aspects of planning la,w and in particular has experience in large housing cases and criminal proceedings arising from enforcement prosecutions. Grant joined chambers from Six Pump Court in February 2017.
Strengths: "His forensic analysis of detail stands out. He's got a very clear mind, is able to identify the issues and can apply these strengths to cases for maximum advantage. He's a master of the details and he's insightful in finding weaknesses with the other side's case." "A tenacious cross-examiner who is able to get to the heart of the issues quickly."
Recent work: Instructed by Sevenoaks District Council in a public inquiry concerning a 300-unit housing development where the local planning committee had refused planning permission against the advice of the council's own officers. The appeal featured complex questions relating to housing land supply, ecology matters and highway safety concerns.

Emmaline Lambert
Respected as a strong junior in the field who has broad experience of inquiries, enforcement matters and High Court challenges. She represents a diverse range of clients, including developers and third parties, and is routinely instructed to represent local authorities in planning inquiries and appeals.
Strengths: "Her handling of experts and cross-examination in court was great, and her written work was terrific." "Very good at dealing with the facts, she's unflappable and on top of the brief at all times."
Recent work: Represented West Berkshire District Council on two conjoined planning appeals to the Secretary of State concerning two large housing developments. At issue were matters including questions of housing supply and impact on the landscape.

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Band 5

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

THE SET

Despite possessing a smaller footprint than other sets in the area, Six Pump Court provides a quality, specialist service to clients on a range of planning concerns related to environmental and regulatory matters. Its barristers are particularly favoured by local authority clients and have recently been reappointed to the London Boroughs Legal Alliance planning panel. The set's potent public sector expertise is augmented by its considerable experience of acting on behalf of private clients on a host of matters, including enforcement actions, appeals and judicial reviews.

Client service: "The clerks are amenable and very reactive to anything that's an issue." One source commented: "I have been using Six Pump Court for many years and the standard has never dropped. I have also had many occasions over the years where they have pulled out the stops to assist in urgent or complicated matters." Richard Constable is the senior clerk.

JUNIORS

Mark Beard
A leading junior known for his holistic planning practice that covers residential, energy, retail and leisure development, as well as matters of enforcement and planning policy. He has experience with diverse technical cases in the sector, including those involving housing supply, conservation and green belt issues.
Strengths: "He is a very capable advocate and a strong team leader, who is experienced over a full range of planning issues." "He is a very good oral advocate who is very fluid and convincing on his feet."
Recent work: Engaged by Cheshire East Council to advise on repeated examinations and hearings concerning the council's local plan.

William Upton
Secretary of the Planning and Environment Bar Association and leader of chambers' planning group, Upton has over 20 years of experience in the field at his command. He represents both developers and local authorities, and also frequently engages with planning policy. He is called upon by LPAs to advise on core strategies and also has the technical nous to handle niche cases (especially those with environmental overlap), as well as broad mainstream matters.
Strengths: "Very engaging and very clever," he "impresses with his ability to get quickly under the details."
Recent work: Defended Hertfordshire County Council in a judicial review over the grant of planning permission for a waste management facility on green belt land next to Welwyn Garden City. The planning court rejected the claims made by the applicant that this facility would limit housing development, and granted two sets of costs to the council.

Anne Williams
Receives praise for her consistently high-quality client service, as well as her keen legal skills. A qualified planner and regular inspector at village green inquiries, as well as a barrister, she is able to apply her extensive experience to high-profile and complex cases of all types. She represents developers and public authorities.
Strengths: "She presented the case in a really effective way and had a great deal of gravitas." "Thorough, organised and knowledgeable, she has excellent written and oral presentation skills and is widely experienced."
Recent work: Instructed by Arun District Council to appear in inquiries and appeals related to the St Mary's Church site in Yapton, Sussex. The case centred on the relationship between the government's Neighbourhood Plan policy and housing land supply calculations.

Giles Atkinson
Recognised for his work for local authorities covering both advice on planning matters and representation in public inquiries. He can draw on a decade of experience working as a town planner.
Strengths: "His advice is measured, he presents eloquently and he efficient in his examination." "His skills are not limited to his robust legal knowledge but extend to his ability to put clients at ease and easily communicate complex legal arguments."
Recent work: Defended a LPA’s refusal of planning permission for 95 houses outside of defined settlement boundaries.

Richard Banwell
Known for his environmental expertise, he is particularly adept at handling cases where planning and environmental law overlap. He specialises in renewable energy projects and complex enforcement inquiries for both local authorities and developers. He is also experienced in large-scale inquiries of many kinds, including those regarding significant residential-led schemes.
Strengths: "He's a good team player on inquiries, who's very approachable and strategically minded."
Recent work: Acted for South Somerset District Council defending appeals against the grant of planning permission for housing sites in rural Somerset. The case turned on the alleged damage the housing strategy would cause to the surrounding landscape.

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Star Individuals

Timothy Corner QC

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Timothy Corner QC 
Regarded as one of the strongest QCs in the planning arena. He sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Administrative Court, as well as on a plethora of advisory panels. He is frequently instructed in critical appeals and reviews, both for and against challengers to high-profile developments.
Strengths: "He's very intelligent in his approach, extremely client-focused and possesses excellent advocacy skills." "He is a very impressive CPO barrister, who is excellent at corralling the client's case and presenting it at inquiry."

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Star Individuals

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

David Elvin QC 
Known for putting his outstanding intellect to work on complicated cases that often involve specialist planning criteria. Compulsory purchase matters, environmental impacts on planning and deep knowledge of EU law make up just part of his repertoire. He has worked on some of the most significant and trying infrastructure cases in the country over the last several years.
Strengths: "He is probably the most authoritative lawyer on comprehensive planning and related issues, particularly when they involve EU law issues or the interaction with other legislation. He's cerebral and is equally effective in court and at public inquiries." "He is a 'tour de force' of the Planning Bar. He is incredibly bright, thorough in his approach to any matter, and an extremely effective and accomplished advocate."
Recent work: Successfully defended West Berkshire Council against a challenge to elements of a significant regeneration scheme in Newbury, which the claimant sought to overturn on the basis of best value and public procurement concerns.

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Star Individuals

Michael Humphries QC

A

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Michael Humphries QC 
Known to all as the leading name in infrastructure planning law. He has an excellent reputation for working on projects of all types, especially the often vast NSIPs. He is also heralded for his compulsory purchase work, and edits leading publications in both areas. He is a deeply experienced advocate across the entire space, advising and acting for utilities, objectors, landowners, developers and public entities.
Strengths: "An outstanding QC – the number-one choice for any major infrastructure project. He has an incredible grasp of every detail of the case and the ability to distil complex issues into clear and simple terms that the rest of the team can understand and act upon."
Recent work: Promoted the £344 million upgrade and expansion of London City Airport in a three-week inquiry and promoted the CPO for the project at a subsequent inquiry.

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Star Individuals

Christopher Katkowski QC

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Christopher Katkowski QC 
Universally regarded as a leading silk, Christopher Katkowski QC is a planning specialist with a remarkable track record of success at inquiry or in judicial review. Clients and peers, who speak warmly and at length of his creativity, sound judgement and concise advice, assert that he remains a leader at the Bar for complex planning cases.
Strengths: "He is the top dog for retail-related planning work. He's got penetrating insight into the legal and commercial positions of the client, is no-nonsense and highly effective." "Top of the field, he's a brilliant QC who is able to explain and simplify complex legal matters. He's also excellent with clients."
Recent work: Acted for Scotch Corner Richmond in its promotion of a large retail scheme at Scotch Corner in North Yorkshire and its successful application for planning permission for the development.

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Star Individuals

Martin Kingston QC

No5 Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Martin Kingston QC of No5 Chambers 
A discerning silk remarkably well respected both at the Bar and by instructing solicitors. He regularly takes on large-scale, high-profile cases and has been involved in a number of major infrastructure and energy projects in recent years. He is very active in the Planning Court and Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "A superb advocate who has a formidable presence both in court and at public inquiries." "He's a guru - the voice of authority!"

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Star Individuals

Nathalie Lieven QC

Blackstone Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Nathalie Lieven QC of Blackstone Chambers 
Regularly appears in the High Court on both public inquiries and planning challenges. Her client base includes a number of central government departments, as well as NGOs and various corporate entities. In planning, she frequently represents both local authorities and developers across a range of challenging cases.
Strengths: "She's probably single-handedly the best energy and planning law barrister that there is. In terms of her written work, her advice to clients, her advocacy and her ability to instinctively read a judge, she's just outstanding." "She is known for her expertise in dealing with major infrastructure projects and has an intricate knowledge of the CPO process." 
Recent work: Represented Cuadrilla in a number of high-profile planning cases concerning its application for planning consent for hydraulic fracturing (known as fracking) in Lancashire. The actions have included a public inquiry that led to consent on one site, followed by several statutory challenges to the grant of that consent.

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Star Individuals

Robin Purchas QC

A

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Robin Purchas QC 
Has a long-standing reputation as one of the finest planning QCs at the Bar. His specialisms include compulsory purchase, compensation and valuation. He has a strong track record of promoting and objecting to major public planning matters, including the Channel Tunnel and Crossrail. His infrastructure experience extends to aviation, energy and other fields.
Strengths: "A great advocate with a great brain who works incredibly hard."

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Band 1

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Paul Brown QC 
A skilled High Court and Court of Appeal advocate who has served in a number of government advisory roles. Paul is a former member of the Treasury A Panel and also contributed to the 2013 review of national planning policy. Recently, he has been involved in the high-profile London 'basement wars'.
Strengths: "He is an exceptional inquiry advocate, who is excellent with clients, extremely proactive, very commercial and on the ball." "He has an excellent reputation for acting for high net worth individuals engaged in high-value residential schemes in London."
Recent work: Represented landowning claimants in a public inquiry that sought to overturn Medway Council's refusal of planning permission for a 450-unit residential development in Hempstead, Kent.

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Band 1

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Morag Ellis QC 
Holds an enviable position in the market both as a barrister well versed in the broadest aspects of planning law and as a rare expert in some of its most unique and evolving areas. She is chair of the Planning and Environment Bar Association and also sits on the panel of silks to the Welsh government.
Strengths: "Pragmatic, calm, approachable and a very effective advocate, she's very strong in matters in Wales." "She is able to analyse and process huge amounts of information quickly and identify key issues. Her insight into the workings of the Planning Inspectorate and local government makes her advice on case management invaluable. She is adept at getting the best both from her team and from individual witnesses."
Recent work: Represented Oaklands College in its planning appeal concerning the refurbishment of the school to be funded by the construction of 460 new houses. Issues in play included green belt concerns, and the definition of the term 'very special circumstances' under the NPPF and landscape impact.

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Band 1

Russell Harris QC

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Russell Harris QC 
A barrister with over 30 years of experience, who handles major planning cases. He frequently acts on matters relating to significant regeneration projects, and is known for both his intellectual range and fierce advocacy.
Strengths: "A phenomenal advocate, who's very experienced, extremely hard-working, very astute and someone with a great rapport with clients." "He is the go-to barrister for complex London projects."
Recent work: Represented developers KCS in a planning inquiry relating to the controversial redevelopment of Newcombe House in Notting Hill, which is opposed by local residents.

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Band 1

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Neil King QC 
An experienced hand for both infrastructure and traditional planning cases. He is well versed in the minutiae of compulsory purchase, environmental and compensation law, and appears frequently at inquiries, at tribunals and in the higher courts.
Strengths: "He is excellent at presenting the most complex cases at public inquiries." "His understanding of compulsory purchase issues is unrivalled and he gives sound advice in a pithy and amusing way which is much appreciated by his clients."
Recent work: Promoted the CPO for the redevelopment of Ealing Filmworks on behalf of the local authority and Land Securities, with the goal of turning the site into a mixed-use scheme.

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Band 1

Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC 
A planning specialist for more than 30 years, he has handled a remarkable range of disputes and schemes, including some of the most significant cases in infrastructure, retail, office and residential development. He is also a mediator and examiner of neighbourhood plans. 
Strengths: "He is simply the best. He fights with intellect, rather than bluster, and is always our recommended barrister of choice." "He's absolutely outstanding. He has a very deep knowledge and understanding of the planning system and the law, a very forensic approach to cases and the ability to spot critical issues and drive a case forward on the basis of those issues."
Recent work: Represented Hopkins Homes in the prominent case of Suffolk Coastal District Council & Hopkins Homes v Secretary of State, a leading authority on the appropriate interpretation of paragraph 49 of the National Planning Policy Framework. The case was heard in the Supreme Court in February 2017.

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Band 1

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Mark Lowe QC 
A prominent silk in the planning sphere who has practised in the field for over 30 years. He maintains a strong general practice with capability across all types of planning and environmental law, and continues to appear in major cases, including those concerning infrastructure projects.
Strengths: "He is extremely responsive and has an excellent manner with clients. He is calm and always takes a step back to advise in the context of the wider picture." "He's excellent, gives sound advice and is very thorough in his preparation of evidence."
Recent work: Successfully represented Cornwall Council in a judicial review of the St Ives Neighbourhood Plan. This had been challenged on the grounds that it violated Article 8 of the ECHR and that there had been a failure on the part of the council to apply relevant European directives on the environmental assessment of projects.

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Band 1

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

James Maurici QC 
A respected advocate well equipped to act in a broad range of planning cases for developers and public entities. The long list of areas in which he is experienced includes advising on EU matters and state aid issues related to planning or compulsory purchase.
Strengths: "He is an intellectual powerhouse who brings calm reflection to complex planning matters. He is a fearsome advocate and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of green belt planning issues." "His broad range of experience is invaluable at public inquiries and he is able to combine deep knowledge, significant intellect, legal understanding and an appreciation of commercial realities. He is an excellent advocate in both oral and written situations, and becomes quickly and effortlessly immersed in the detail."
Recent work: Represented the Secretary of State for Transport in a judicial review by several London boroughs that sought to challenge the Government's decision to proceed with the third runway option at Heathrow Airport over other options for airport expansion in the South East.

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Band 1

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Timothy Mould QC 
Has spent the last few years as one of the government's chosen counsel promoting the HS2 bill in the Parliamentary Select Committee, and has recently been engaged to lead the promotion of the HS2 Phase 2A bill through Parliament. He continues to manage a broad practice of planning cases, including those with environmental, ratings or community law elements.
Strengths: "He's enormously impressive. He's been extremely good at team leading, managing the parliamentary process and adapting his presenting skills accordingly." "He exhibits a high level of expertise, knows his papers in minute detail, has an excellent rapport with clients and is formidable on his feet."
Recent work: Promoting a Transport and Works Act Order that aims to secure the power to construct new rail sidings at a waste plant in Calvert, Buckinghamshire, as part of the wider HS2 railway construction project.

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Band 1

James Strachan QC

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

James Strachan QC 
A tactically and technically minded QC, who has won a strong reputation both at the Bar and among his clients for his work on major developments. His infrastructure résumé includes a substantial appointment promoting the HS2 rail project for the government. He is also well versed in the housing, retail, highways and urban design fields.
Strengths: "Calm, measured and quite ruthless in his advocacy, as well as brilliant in his drafting.""He expertly combines a forensic analysis of a case with a strong commercial mind."
Recent work: Acted for developer CEG in its promotion of a new 500-home residential scheme at Burley in Wharfedale, near Bradford. The case was a significant test of the Secretary of State's new intervention powers.

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Band 1

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Peter Village QC 
Widely considered to be one of the best at the Planning Bar, especially when it comes to residential and retail development or other cases of substantial size and profile. He has acted successfully for objectors, developers and landowners in examinations, inquiries and appeals for more than three decades.
Strengths: "A top-notch leading counsel with strong cross-examination skills, whose commitment is exceptional." "A very effective advocate with a good strategic brain, who is very commercial in his dealings with clients."
Recent work: Acted for Valley Grown Nurseries in a judicial review over the decision to grant the company planning permission for a massive glasshouse in the Lea Valley. He successfully resisted challenges to the grant in both the High Court and Court of Appeal.

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Band 1

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Rupert Warren QC 
A rising force in the planning field who is noted for his extensive advice regarding rewrites of the NPPF. He continues to advise the government on high-profile planning matters, and also to act for developers.
Strengths: "An excellent communicator with a commercial edge. He builds great rapport with clients and delivers very clear advice." "He's clear-thinking, client-friendly, approachable and accessible, as well as a very strategic thinker."
Recent work: Promoted a 600-unit residential scheme near Stansted on behalf of Land Securities, which was contested by the local authority and other developers.

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Band 2

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Simon Bird QC 
A member of both the Planning and Environmental Bar Association and the National Infrastructure Planning Association. He has an impressive track record of appearing on behalf of ports, airports, house builders and central and local government agencies at major inquiries.
Strengths: "Gives top-class advice, is really good with clients and impresses with his knowledge of the law and the legislation." "He's impressive in both attack and restraint mode."
Recent work: Acted for South Norfolk District Council in its opposition to a local rugby club's proposals for new facilities to be funded by a large residential development in the local Strategic Gap.

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Band 2

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Neil Cameron QC 
The joint head of Landmark Chambers, he comes highly recommended for his forensic and forthright style. His workload of planning and environmental cases has included enforcement notices, infrastructure, heritage issues and energy development. He often represents local authorities.
Strengths: "He is technically excellent - a great choice for the most difficult of legal issues." "Neil is impressively forensic in his analysis of issues and extremely efficient."
Recent work: Represented Orbital Shopping Park in a judicial review of a decision by Swindon Borough Council to issue liability and demand notices under its CIL authority. The case involved a challenge to the collecting authority's discretion to issue such notices on the basis of its determination that a developer was seeking to avoid CIL.

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Band 2

David Forsdick QC

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

David Forsdick QC 
Has taken on a number of eye-catching planning cases in recent years, engaging with both housing and infrastructure matters of national importance and novel construction. Instructing solicitors enjoy his open and affable work dynamic. Forsdick is frequently engaged by local authorities, interest groups and other public bodies on affordable housing schemes, urban extensions and planning applications with environmental law elements.
Strengths: "He combines a vast range of experience, great intelligence and a broad understanding of planning law. He possesses great strength and forcefulness in cross-examination. Points are adroitly emphasised, and this inspires confidence that the client's case has been given the best possible chance before a decision-maker." "He cuts to the chase and gives advice that is pragmatic and commercial. He is a commanding presence as an advocate in the High Court."
Recent work: Acted for West Berkshire Council in its challenge to the government's ten-unit threshold and vacant building credit which form part of its affordable housing policy. The council won concessions from the Secretary of State after arguing that the policy was inconsistent with statutory requirements, failed to take into account material considerations and was the product of a flawed consultation process.

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Band 2

Richard Harwood QC

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Richard Harwood QC 
A silk whose reputation and profile are fast on the rise. He has authored a number of standard texts on planning and environmental law, and frequently appears in the courts in high-profile cases. He acts for developers and landowners, as well as government authorities and interest groups.
Strengths: "A technically excellent who is ideal for difficult situations that call for a calm, cerebral individual to plot his way through." "His written work is extremely good, he's very flexible and he thinks outside the box."
Recent work: Represented Marks & Spencer in the public inquiry into the Brent Cross Shopping Centre compulsory purchase order.

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Band 2

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

William Hicks QC 
Has a strong history working on retail development schemes across the country, but also undertakes the full range of planning matters. He has three decades' experience of dealing with work involving transport, energy, housing and listed buildings, among others.
Strengths: "He has a fantastic command of the technical details, and cuts through any case in a clear and commercial way." "He's got a great ability to work around things, and is strong in his preparation in particular."
Recent work: Represented three large town centre developer clients at a public inquiry, opposing the massive expansion of Tollgate Colchester, a retail park outside the town.

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Band 2

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Thomas Hill QC 
A consistently highly thought-of silk who concentrates his practice on major infrastructure work over a range of sectors. He has expertise in airports, ports and energy projects, including renewables. Hill is regularly called upon to promote urban regeneration schemes and strategic land developments.
Strengths: "A residential and infrastructure specialist, who is very thorough and has an excellent track record of success." "His approach and experience are impressive, and he's fabulous with clients."
Recent work: Advised, promoted and advocated the Birmingham Development Plan and the CPO for the Aston Regional Investment site on behalf of the Birmingham City Council.

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Band 2

Craig Howell Williams QC

A

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Craig Howell Williams QC 
A traditional development and infrastructure specialist highly experienced in planning, environment and related public law matters. His case history demonstrates his expertise in matters involving large projects such as urban extensions and transport. He also handles substantial commercial work in the leisure and retail sectors.
Strengths: "A good strategic thinker who is very approachable and easy to work with." "He is an expert at controlling a team and getting them to produce their best for a case. He commands the attention and respect of clients."
Recent work: Advised and acted for Gallagher Properties on its Section 288 application in the High Court, challenging the refusal of planning permission for a large industrial estate on the Kent Downs. The case involved issues of need, the economic benefits of the scheme and the effect the development would have on the local landscape and heritage sites.

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Band 2

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Gregory Jones QC 
A silk renowned for his expertise in planning and administrative law. His practice spans town and country planning, DCO-scale projects, environmental impact and other complex cases at all levels of review. He has carved out an additional niche in offshore marine spatial planning, and is well versed in EU law.
Strengths: "A tenacious advocate, who is bright and really gets under the skin of the case."
Recent work: Advised Crystal Palace Football Club on proposals for redevelopment of Selhurst Park and the club's training facilities.

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Band 2

James Pereira QC

A

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

James Pereira QC 
James Pereira QC's practice covers all areas of planning. His excellent reputation as an advocate comes from his frequent appearances at inquiries and in the High Court. He also promotes and resists CPOs and related compensation matters.
Strengths: "He manages to combine thoughtful technical excellence with an urbane relaxed manner which clients respond well to." "He is excellent, particularly in relation to complex judicial review and DCO matters."
Recent work: Engaged by Southwark Borough Council in its challenge against the Secretary of State's decision to block the compulsory purchase of flats in the Aylesbury Estate for the purposes of demolition.

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Band 2

Hereward Phillpot QC

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Hereward Phillpot QC 
A star as a junior who has continued to win the admiration of peers and clients in silk. Hailed as one of the top barristers acting in infrastructure matters, he frequently appears at inquiries, hearings and higher court cases. Many of the complex development cases he takes on pertain to particularly large or high-profile projects.
Strengths: "Incredibly diligent and meticulously well prepared, he impresses with his quiet, authoritative manner and the quality of his work." "He has an excellent technical brain and forensically analyses the points and issues in a case. Very good at identifying problems and crafting a commercial, practical solution to get around them, he's one of the top infrastructure lawyers at the Bar."
Recent work: Represented the Secretary of State in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in the significant case of Suffolk Coastal DC v Hopkins Homes & SSCLG, concerning the interpretation of housing policies contained in the National Planning Policy Framework.

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Band 2

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

John Steel QC 
Due to his complementary practice in aviation, John Steel often acts on major infrastructure cases regarding airports, but he is just as comfortable engaging with other significant infrastructure, leisure, retail or residential development matters as well as cases covering mineral or waste concerns. His technical nous enables him to tackle complex cases, whether they are in relation to engineering, environmental or compulsory purchase complications.
Strengths: "He is a highly experienced advocate and specialist in aviation and planning issues." "He is great to get advice from, as he's very responsive and considered, but more commercial than the average silk."
Recent work: Advised Heathrow Hub, proposers of one of the two schemes chosen by the Airports Commission to receive further consideration for the expansion of Heathrow Airport, on a host of planning and environmental issues related to the project.

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Band 2

Paul Stinchcombe QC

A

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Paul Stinchcombe QC 
A strong advocate in matters ranging from compensation cases and inquiries to judicial reviews. He has extensive experience of both promoting and opposing large-scale development projects. He advises a range of clients, including developers, local authorities, local objectors and interested parties.
Strengths: "Paul is an exceptional and charming advocate. He is adept at getting straight to the crux of matters and advising succinctly." "His strengths include: a deep knowledge of planning law and practice; an ability to absorb information quickly and research matters at high speed; and a facility of expression in describing relevant factors in a case."
Recent work: Engaged to promote Drake Park, a new garden village of 1,024 homes and related community facilities to be built on a green belt site at Elmbridge in Surrey. He represented the developers in an appeal against the refusal of the initial outline application by the local authority.

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Band 3

Richard Drabble QC

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Richard Drabble QC 
A strong advocate in court work of all levels. Sources highlight the energy and intellectual firepower he brings to instructions on behalf of developers and local authorities. He also takes on international cases, and has particular experience of appearing before the European courts.
Strengths: "One of the best at the administrative law Bar. He's a very understated but very effective advocate in court," who "has a formidable brain."
Recent work: Acted for the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in a Court of Appeal action that overturned a High Court ruling that challenged the government's new affordable housing policy.

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Band 3

Douglas Edwards QC

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Douglas Edwards QC 
Douglas Edwards QC's robust practice is built around planning, environmental, CPO, highways law, government and infrastructure work. He is an expert in commons and village greens matters, and is also frequently consulted on land assembly matters by local authorities. He represents both public and private clients at all levels in the courts and at inquiries.
Strengths: "He is very proactive and gives commercial advice." "A bright man who impresses with his hard work and diligence."
Recent work: Represented the Mayor of London in a four-week planning inquiry concerning his refusal of planning permission for London City Airport.

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Band 3

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

James Findlay QC 
Operates a substantial planning practice in Scotland, as well as in England and Wales. He is particularly adept at dealing with controversial or complex cases with a high profile. His work for local authorities often concerns housing or energy projects. He also frequently represents developers in these matters, as well as in cases relating to CPOs and retail and leisure development.
Strengths: "He's extremely bright and is able to take all the legal issues apart and take the right approach. Extremely approachable, he's very pleasant to deal with, very clear and plainspoken with his advice." "He's very quietly confident and able to view a situation and really pick out the salient points that assist in a case."
Recent work: Engaged by the National Farmers Union to appear before the House of Lords HS2 Select Committee to object to various matters concerning compulsory purchases and compensation related to the project.

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Band 3

Richard Glover QC

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Richard Glover QC 
Well equipped to resolve disputes of all natures and an expert in compulsory purchase, ratings and local government work. He specialises in non-mainstream planning matters that may require valuation and compensation experience.
Strengths: "Immensely knowledgeable on the law and the practice of rating. He's a rating lawyer to his fingertips, and has a fast mind that absorbs expert material and assimilates it rapidly to really get under the skin of the legal and expert issues." "He is really sharp-witted and very good strategically."
Recent work: Represented appellant Molins in its appeal for planning permission for a 140-home residential development on a disused sports ground located on green belt land in an Area of Outstanding National Beauty.

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Band 3

Jonathan Karas QC

Falcon Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jonathan Karas QC of Falcon Chambers 
A noted land law practitioner who regularly handles planning cases. He has particular expertise in highway law, as well as cases concerning the compulsory acquisition of property rights. He has recently been involved in a number of prominent cases involving utilities.
Strengths: "An excellent litigator with a very bright mind, he's excellent at marshalling all of the arguments into a clear structure to put forward at trial." "Very effective, he dominates the proceedings and delivers the client's desired outcome."
Recent work: Represented United Utilities in litigation against the Manchester Ship Canal. The case concerned the company's statutory rights to discharge water and treated sewage into private watercourses.

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Band 3

Daniel Kolinsky QC

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Daniel Kolinsky QC 
An impressively experienced advocate who has handled a broad variety of cases in the High Court and Court of Appeal. He often acts on behalf of London authorities, as well as NGOs, developers and individual claimants, and is well versed in the complexities of affordable housing and other local government matters. He is further highly regarded for his work in all matters pertaining to ratings.
Strengths: "He is an extremely talented junior QC, who is very astute, articulate and knowledgeable." "He's absolutely excellent on complex matters with multiple issues and witnesses. Great with local authorities and very good on important viability cases, he inspires confidence."
Recent work: Successfully defended the Mayor of London against a challenge to his decision to act as planning authority in lieu of a local council in order to grant planning permission for a major regeneration project in Tower Hamlets.

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Band 3

Robert McCracken QC

A

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Robert McCracken QC 
Acts for regulators, utilities, authorities and community groups across all planning and environmental matters. He engages in planning law cases from the most local level to the international, and is experienced in EU law.
Strengths: "He has a very deep and almost encyclopaedic knowledge of his areas of expertise, particularly in regards to environmental law and planning." "He's very good on his feet, gives good written advice, is thorough and thinks outside the box to find ways to tackle problems." 
Recent work: Represented local objectors to an initiative by the Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council to relocate a secondary school and redevelop a historic mill site in Saddleworth. The case turned on issues of national cultural heritage requirements and policy guidance.

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Band 3

Rhodri Price Lewis QC

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Rhodri Price Lewis QC 
Known for his successes in village green cases and for a practice that focuses on a core of environmental planning matters, including energy, transport, waste and mineral work. He is an infrastructure specialist and also more than capable of handling traditional development cases.
Strengths: "Very flexible and very experienced, he's the voice of authority." "Excellent on his feet and someone who instantly gets to grips with the issues."

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Band 3

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Guy Roots QC 
A long-time trusted adviser and advocate for private and public organisations. His planning acumen extends to green belt development, energy projects, retail, housing, regeneration and major public works. He also maintains a strong reputation for compulsory purchase and related compensation work.
Strengths: "An elder statesman who is a CPO and ratings specialist." "A real CPO expert who is knowledgeable, incisive and someone with an approachable manner."

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Band 3

Timothy Straker QC

4-5 Gray's Inn Square

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Timothy Straker QC of 4-5 Gray's Inn Square
Has a history of acting for London authorities on large-scale projects in both public law and planning contexts. He has promoted major infrastructure projects and acted on regeneration schemes for public and private clients. He also has related experience with environmental impact assessment.
Strengths: "Working with him is an excellent experience. He's pragmatic and has real gravitas."
Recent work: Successfully defended the London Borough of Wandsworth and Formula E against a legal challenge that sought to prevent the holding of two Grands Prix in Battersea Park.

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Band 3

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Andrew Tait QC 
Head of chambers who has promoted a raft of major infrastructure projects in London. He has also acted in relation to high-profile transport schemes. His practice further extends to waste matters, land valuation, new settlements and major mineral proposals.
Strengths: "He is calm and collected, and a force to be reckoned with." "A top practitioner who is technically brilliant and wonderful to work with."
Recent work: Promoted, on behalf of Highways England, the DCO for the A14/A1 road scheme, involving a highway between Cambridge and Huntingdon.

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Band 3

Stephen Tromans QC

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Stephen Tromans QC 
Formerly a solicitor for nine years before being called to the Bar. Throughout his career he has specialised in energy, environment and planning law, and he frequently acts in nuisance claim cases, judicial reviews, appeals and other instances where his specialisms converge. He is also well versed in international (particularly EU) cases.
Strengths: "A great choice for high-end, difficult, technical cases.""He is very pragmatic, very commercial and able to explain very complex issues in very simple terms that clients find easy to understand." 
Recent work: Provided advice to Bradford Core Strategy on the appropriate assessment matters concerning protected habitats that affect housing allocations.

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Band 4

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Brian Ash QC 
Appears regularly at major inquiries, in judicial reviews and in the courts tackling a host of diverse planning matters. He is extremely experienced in cases relating to compulsory purchase, highways law, environmental issues, retail development and infrastructure projects.
Strengths: "His ability to grasp quite difficult technical issues, such as those relating to noise, daylight and air quality concerns, is impressive. He has a great way of undermining the other side's witnesses."

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Band 4

Alexander Booth QC

A

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Alexander Booth QC 
A new silk already impressing as a QC. He engages with all kinds of planning work, notably NSIP cases and valuation or compensation proceedings related to compulsory purchases. He appears for both public and private bodies, and has recently appeared in the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "Gives excellent legal and tactical advice, and is calm and unflustered in his advocacy when under pressure." "He takes a proactive approach and can get under the skin of a case and use his good grasp of facts and details to come up with something that others wouldn't be able to do."
Recent work: Advised NuGen on the promotion of its new nuclear power station at Moorside, Cumbria and assisted it in preparing its application for a DCO.

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Band 4

Christopher Boyle QC

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Christopher Boyle QC 
Has more than two decades of experience in town and country planning, including expertise in cases concerning environmental considerations, compulsory purchase and infrastructure projects. He primarily represents landowners, developers and promoters of large residential developments, regenerations and infrastructure schemes.
Strengths: "He's one of the best in the market. His public inquiry advocacy is second to none, and he's also very good in the High Court. Clients love him, inspectors love him, judges love him. He has an incredible ability to get everyone on side and his cross-examination technique is first class."
Recent work: Acted for the Earl of Derby in respect of a 400-dwelling residential scheme in Newmarket. The scheme was vigorously opposed by racing interests.

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Band 4

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Lisa Busch QC
A junior silk with an extensive history of high-end government work. Lisa has sat on the Attorney General's Panel for over a decade and has attracted the praise of peers and clients for her involvement in some of the most high-profile recent planning debates. She is regularly consulted on large infrastructure-related proceedings, including HS2 and other transport matters.
Strengths: "She's very efficient, gets on well with clients, and she's very hard-working. She does a very good job on her feet, and provides excellent commercial solutions." "She's a highly experienced advocate, who is very good in judicial review work."
Recent work: Acted for the Natural Resources Body for Wales defending a challenge to its conduct on the grounds of negligence, nuisance and a violation of Article 8 of the ECHR brought by a claimant who had suffered flood damage.

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Band 4

Andrew Fraser-Urquhart QC

A

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Andrew Fraser-Urquhart QC 
Covers a broad array of planning work and attracts a number of instructions in significant infrastructure cases. He is frequently instructed on development consent order and compulsory purchase matters by both public and private sector clients.
Strengths: "A useful and well-prepared barrister who fights for his clients to the best of his abilities. He has a very impressive brain and comes up with imaginative arguments."
Recent work: Represented Associated British Ports in a judicial review and injunction application regarding the proposed demolition of historic buildings in the Port of Grimsby.

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Band 4

Richard Ground QC

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Richard Ground QC 
Extensively experienced in planning inquiries, both major and local, and also an expert in village greens, local government and environmental law. His areas of excellence include infrastructure disputes, enforcement actions and cases involving green belt developments.
Strengths: "His greatest strength is his ability to motivate and give confidence to everyone involved in the team. He works extremely hard and his energy, enthusiasm and drive enable a huge amount of work to get done to the highest standard in accordance with the deadlines." "Richard is very client-friendly, engaging and calm. His advice in conference is always clear and concise, and clients are impressed by his quick grasp of the issues."
Recent work: Appeared for Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council in the Court of Appeal defending against a challenge to a High Court decision upholding an injunction against development. The case turns on the legality of a tree preservation order and how a change of permission will affect their protection.

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Band 4

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

John Hobson QC 
Worked as a solicitor in private practice and for local authorities before being called to the Bar. In silk, he has extensive experience of appearing on behalf of local government and the Mayor of London's office in relation to significant planning cases. Hobson also holds the distinction of having a seat on several panels and committees of importance to the sector, and is Special Adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee reviewing Northern Irish planning law.
Strengths: "He is extremely calm and perceptive. He gets to the issues quickly and efficiently, which clients appreciate."
Recent work: Successfully resisted a planning appeal by a developer over Durham County Council's refusal of planning permission for a large residential development in the village of Lanchester.

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Band 4

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

John Litton QC 
A QC with multi-jurisdictional experience, having been admitted to the Hong Kong Bar and the Supreme Courts of the Eastern Caribbean and Northern Ireland. His practice sees him handling a wide range of cases, including those relating to country planning, compulsory purchase and highways law.
Strengths: "He is very, very astute, focused on the real commercial issues and a real problem solver." "He is a very effective advocate, particularly in inquiries."

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Band 4

Suzanne Ornsby QC

A

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Suzanne Ornsby QC 
Frequently involved in top cases involving strategic environmental assessment and neighbourhood planning. Her practice covers public inquiries relating to electricity and water supply, minerals and waste, as well as commercial and residential development. She also acts for Local Planning Authorities and developers in urban extension inquiries and Local Plan examinations into housing provision.
Strengths: "She is extremely capable," and "lots of fun to work with."
Recent work: Provided pre-inquiry advice to North Hertfordshire District Council on its proposed local plan for up to 2031.

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Band 4

Saira Kabir Sheikh QC

A

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Saira Kabir Sheikh QC 
Frequently sought out as an advocate for appeals, inquiries, High Court challenges and Crown and Magistrates' Courts proceedings. She is experienced in all aspects of planning and environmental law. Her remit includes compulsory purchase, highways, Transport and Works Orders, and other parliamentary matters.
Strengths: "Extremely sound tactically and a lawyer who possesses a rare combination of technical expertise and commercial astuteness." "She's very strong technically and gives solid, clear advice." 
Recent work: Represented Westminster City Council in a conjoined inquiry into the council's decisions to require the Carlton Tavern to be rebuilt.

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Band 4

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Reuben Taylor QC 
A robust junior silk with a highly regarded High Court practice that sees him instructed in a number of high-profile cases. His areas of excellence include infrastructure matters, CPO and compensation work, and cases with a strong environmental flavour to them. He has niche expertise in dealing with noise, air quality, road traffic and other technical environmental concerns.
Strengths: "He is a wonderfully bright barrister, who gets to grips with complex cases rapidly, and gives beautifully concise advice in the most relaxed and approachable manner." "He is a pleasure to deal with and very able at developing creative solutions to potentially difficult commercial situations. Major regeneration advice is a forte of his."
Recent work: Represented developer Bloor Homes in the Court of Appeal, defending the grant of planning permission for a 150-home development in Leicestershire. At issue was the interpretation of the National Policy Planning Framework as it concerns housing need.

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Band 4

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Sasha White QC 
An incredibly active silk who is frequently instructed on behalf of the largest names in retail and residential development. He garners high praise from his instructing solicitors and is particularly noteworthy for his frequent appearances in public inquiries.
Strengths: "He has the admirable expertise and knowledge you would expect in a QC of his experience, and combines this with excellent judgement." "He is extremely knowledgeable, has a brilliant mind, is a pleasure to work with, and is able to communicate complicated points in a succinct and easily understood style."
Recent work: Acted for North Yorkshire County Council defending a High Court action brought by Friends of the Earth, challenging its decision to award the first grant of planning permission for fracking in the UK.

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Band 4

Garden Court Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Marc Willers QC of Garden Court Chambers 
A leading specialist in Gypsy, Traveller and Roma law who has edited a number of books on the subject. He generally represents individual and group objectors against local or national authorities.
Strengths: "An exceptional barrister with great drafting and absolutely excellent advocacy skills." "He's a super specialist in his chosen field."
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in a judicial review concerning the proper construction and application of the planning-enforcement related power of a local authority under section 70C of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

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New Silk

Thomas Cosgrove QC

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Thomas Cosgrove QC 
Acts for an array of clients ranging from interest groups to house builders and retailers, and is a regular feature at residential and heritage development inquiries. He is also expert in the field of renewable energy projects.
Strengths: "Very charming and a persuasive advocate." "Impressive and very thorough in his preparation."
Recent work: Represented the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in a dispute with the Government of France over the construction of a proposed 'mega-basement' that was alleged to be of threat to the security of the French embassy.

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New Silk

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Graeme Keen QC
An expert in both planning and environmental law whose experience ranges from local plan examinations through to major infrastructure projects. He also handles a number of cases relating to housing, retail and highways. Keen is frequently called upon to appear in compulsory purchase disputes and inquiries covering the full spectrum of planning law.
Strengths: "Very detail-oriented and gets on really well with clients and planning consultants. He produces very strong work and is both very commercially astute and a real problem solver." "A thoroughly pragmatic, intelligent and experienced individual able to effortlessly pull on case law from memory. He is very experienced in housing land supply issues and major housing appeals generally."
Recent work: Acted for Cheshire East Council at a week-long inquiry defending the refusal of planning permission for a large mixed-use development near Manchester International Airport. Issues in play included the effect of aircraft noise on future residents.

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New Silk

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Matthew Reed QC 
A new silk who excels in a wide range of cases, including appeals at all levels, enforcement matters and the promotion of or objection to development in the residential, retail and industrial sectors. His work for both government bodies and private corporations has earned him an excellent profile in the market.
Strengths: "He is a strong advocate who relates well to clients." "A brilliant new silk, he's great on the detail and always well prepared."
Recent work: Represented Herefordshire Council in a Court of Appeal case in which the appellant argued that the council had ignored heritage considerations on a planning issue. The key point of the case was whether, when deciding what constituted substantial harm to a listed building, it was necessary to take mitigating factors into account.

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New Silk

Paul Shadarevian QC

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Paul Shadarevian QC
A former solicitor who represents public and private entities of all kinds in inquiries and High Court appearances. He has a wealth of appeals experience, especially acting for local authorities, and has handled a number of major infrastructure cases. Of late, he has been engaged by several public sector clients to advise on their local plans.
Strengths: "He's a very, very good advocate who is very to the point." "He provides well-rounded, meticulously detailed and easily comprehensible advice."
Recent work: Represented Darlington Borough Council at an inquiry regarding the Scotch Corner designed outlet expansion proposals. Issues at hand involved complex retail and transportation concerns.

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New Silk

Andrew Tabachnik QC

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Andrew Tabachnik QC 
A new silk with expertise in residential promotion, regeneration and retail development among other areas. A seasoned advocate in inquiry and High Court scenarios that may involve additional considerations, such as green belt impact, compensation or listed buildings, he frequently appears for big-name developers, as well as local authorities and other interested parties.
Strengths: "He has enormous experience and is a great strategist who can be relied on to give very good advice." "He is a formidable advocate, who is hugely persuasive and a very hard worker. His advisory skills are equally strong and reflect his commitment to delivering advice that is as exact and as commercial as possible."
Recent work: Represented developers Welbeck Strategic in the promotion of a 240-home residential development at Kirby Cross. Planning permission was granted despite objections arising from the site's location in the Strategic Gap.

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Star Individuals

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Charles Banner 
Takes on a wide variety of High Court, inquiry and advisory work for commercial and government clients. He is a member of the Attorney General's A Panel and engages with some of the government's most complex planning cases. Peers and clients alike rate him very highly for his performance.
Strengths: "One of the stars of the future at the Planning Bar, he's regularly operating across from leading silks already and is tremendously respected." "An exceptionally talented lawyer with very good cross-examination and presentation skills, he really knows how to get projects through the planning process. He stands out in the strong class of juniors he's in."
Recent work: Appeared unled in a two-week public inquiry on behalf of Persimmon Homes that challenged the refusal of planning permission for a proposed large-scale housing development. The scheme was opposed by Heritage England on the grounds that it was located too close to Berkeley Castle.

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Band 1

Six Pump Court

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Mark Beard 
A leading junior known for his holistic planning practice that covers residential, energy, retail and leisure development, as well as matters of enforcement and planning policy. He has experience with diverse technical cases in the sector, including those involving housing supply, conservation and green belt issues.
Strengths: "He is a very capable advocate and a strong team leader, who is experienced over a full range of planning issues." "He is a very good oral advocate who is very fluid and convincing on his feet."
Recent work: Engaged by Cheshire East Council to advise on repeated examinations and hearings concerning the council's local plan.

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Band 1

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Scott Lyness 
Has a fantastic reputation for his wide-ranging planning practice, acting for developers, planning authorities and other parties at all levels. He has experience with a variety of cases dealing with such matters as listed buildings, compulsory purchase and technical or environmental issues. Lyness has acted in some of the most significant large-scale infrastructure and energy developments of recent years, and is well regarded for his work on planning appeals and court cases in Northern Ireland.
Strengths: "His ability to engage with highly technical information and understand the nuances of a client's position is unprecedented. He is a pragmatic practitioner who goes the extra mile to deliver the best possible outcome." "A top-notch junior, he's meticulous, interacts very well with clients and is at the top of his game."
Recent work: Represented Wealden District Council in its successful challenge of an inspector's decision to grant planning permission for a 103-unit residential development in East Sussex. Matters in dispute included the impact of air quality and nitrogen disposition on a nearby Special Area of Conservation.

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Band 2

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

James Burton 
Over the past year, he has worked on some of the most high-profile cases in the market and has appeared in both the High Court and Court of Appeal. His expertise in environmental law proves useful in a number of the matters he handles.
Strengths: "He inspires confidence because of his wide knowledge and his ability to express himself and get his message across. He's excellent, particularly in environmental planning," and "shows fantastic attention to detail."
Recent work: Appeared for the claimant in a successful High Court challenge against the grant of planning permission for a large mixed-use development in Stroud. The site was located within a conversation area with significant heritage aspects, which played a key role in the case.

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Band 2

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Richard Honey 
Regularly appears in the High Court, and is an expert on compulsory purchase and infrastructure cases. He also features frequently in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber). He is called to the Bars of England and Wales, and Northern Ireland, and represents defendants and claimants of all kinds.
Strengths: "A leading light in regards to CPO work, who is balanced, details-oriented and disciplined in the courtroom."

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Band 2

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Robert Walton 
Counsels and acts for a wide variety of clients in hearings and public inquiries, particularly those involving CPO and compensation matters. He has expertise in all areas of planning law, including enforcement notices, promotion or objections to development and policy, and the judicial review and challenges process regarding planning decisions.
Strengths: "A very able senior junior who offers particular experience in environmental impact assessment matters.""He possesses a quiet demeanour but a fierce legal mind."
Recent work: Represented Richmondshire District Council in promoting two consented schemes to create a new fashion outlet centre at Scotch Corner.

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Band 2

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Stephen Whale 
Appointed to the London A Panel of the Attorney General's Panel of Counsel, on which he has sat since 2007. He represents a large number of local authority, government and private clients across almost all types of planning law cases, including those with environmental or criminal components. He is an assistant editor of the Planning Encyclopaedia.
Strengths: "He is accessible and has the ability to provide very clear written advice for clients." "He is great at instilling client confidence in a no-nonsense, unstuffy way."
Recent work: Represented Dartmoor National Park Authority in an inquiry featuring five conjoined appeals brought by an 'off-grid' community living in rural Dartmoor that sought to overturn enforcement notices and the refusal of planning permission.

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Band 2

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Guy Williams 
Handles a practice that touches on all aspects of planning law, and has recently handled a number of inquiry appearances dealing with energy, infrastructure, housing and retail matters. He is also seasoned in statutory challenges and judicial reviews with local government involvement. He is sought after for his CPO expertise and sits on the advisory panel to Crossrail and TfL for such matters.
Strengths: "Guy Williams is particularly strong in relation to compulsory purchase compensation matters." "He grasps the issues very quickly, and provides clear, relevant and practical advice in a really pragmatic way. He is absolutely superb, and goes above and beyond what an advocate should do."
Recent work: Acted for clients Hammerson, Argent and the London Borough of Barnet in the promotion of two CPOs related to the delivery of a new mixed-use town centre at Brent Cross. The project includes an expansion of an existing shopping centre, a new 7,500-unit residential development and the delivery of related transport infrastructure.

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Band 3

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Meyric Lewis 
Specialises in planning and related environmental issues, being an expert in environmental impact assessment and CPOs among many other matters. He is well recognised for his advice and advocacy in cases regarding major infrastructure proposals. He represents clients ranging from individual objectors to high-end developers.
Strengths: "He has an incredible attention to detail and his knowledge is impressive." "A very good advocate who knows the law and is able to apply it in resourceful ways to achieve good outcomes."
Recent work: Appeared for Cotswold District Council in a Court of Appeal matter against Warners Retail, in which the interpretation of policy on retail impact was examined in light of recent rulings by the Supreme Court.

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Band 3

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Stephen Morgan 
Has specialised in planning since his training days, having graduated in both planning and law. He is extensively experienced in all aspects of the sector, from applications to enforcement and appeals, and has a special interest in village greens, neighbourhood plans, challenges and judicial reviews. He tries to avoid litigation for his clients where possible by finding creative solutions with all the tools at his disposal. Morgan is also familiar with both the Welsh and Isle of Man planning systems.
Strengths: "A very effective counsel who is of QC quality as a junior. He is cool, calm and collected, and delivers results in an unassuming and persuasive manner."
Recent work: Acted for Hastings Borough Council in a challenge seeking a judicial review brought by local objectors to a key road scheme. The claimants' objections centred around issues related to the Air Quality Directive and similar domestic regulations.

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Band 3

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Melissa Murphy 
An experienced junior with a strong track record in a number of areas of planning law. She focuses her practice primarily on infrastructure and compulsory purchase cases, but also handles residential schemes, heritage issues and public authority matters, on both the local and the parliamentary scale.
Strengths: "A very technically bright junior with a great understanding of the law who produces a very high standard of work." "She anticipates the unexpected, is very measured and considered, and has very good relationships with solicitors."
Recent work: Instructed by the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham in a three-week inquiry hearing appeals against listed building consent and planning permission for the redevelopment of Fulham Town Hall.

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Band 3

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Richard Turney 
He has gained a great reputation for his regular court and inquiry appearances tackling statutory challenges, judicial reviews and criminal or environmentally implicated planning cases. He also has a broad advisory practice and is well versed in infrastructure matters relating to a wide variety of sectors. Turney has recently devoted a significant portion of his practice to the promotion of the HS2 rail project in both Houses of Parliament.
Strengths: "A star in the making, who is performing at a very high standard." "He is an excellent draftsman and a good team player, who is both technically very strong and calm in his advocacy."
Recent work: Successfully defended Medway Council's challenge of a decision by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. He represented an interested party in the case which concerned the release of an affordable housing obligation.

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Band 3

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Richard Wald 
Has written extensively on his specialisms of planning, environmental, energy and administrative law, and is a member of the Attorney General's B Panel of Junior Counsel. He acts for both public and private clients, and is also an accredited mediator. He is noted for his contributions to legal periodicals on a range of subjects including environmental matters, nuclear energy and highways law.
Strengths: "He's stronger than most silks on judicial review matters, and is a strong advocate who gives great written advice." "His written work is exceptionally good, and he can make a strong case out of very little."
Recent work: Acted for Natural Resource Wales in its challenge to a proposed £1.1 billion extension to the M4 motorway in the Newport area. The agency's objection concerned the impact of the scheme on protected species, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and heritage sites.

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Band 4

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jonathan Clay 
An able and experienced advocate who acts for major players in residential and infrastructure development cases. His areas of expertise also include enforcement, town and country planning, village greens and commercial development.
Strengths: "He's very proactive, very responsive and is very happy to engage with the clients as well. Solid, successful and tenacious, he doesn't have any fear."
Recent work: Represented NHS Property Services in a judicial review of the Surrey County Council's decision to list property belonging to the NHS as a village green. Issues in dispute included statutory incompatibility between the powers of the NHS and Section 15 of the Commons Act 2006.

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Band 4

No5 Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Celina Colquhoun of No5 Chambers 
Has a practice with infrastructure cases at its core, and has handled a number of matters concerning major projects in the transport sector in particular. She further undertakes CPO, waste management and local impact matters, among others.
Strengths: "She is extremely good, particularly with clients and consultant teams, and deals with substantial volumes of work diligently." "She has an excellent sense of judgement and is excellent at dealing with senior players in the industry."
Recent work: Instructed by Canterbury City Council to handle challenges to the city's local plan. She also assists with addressing a large volume of representations made to the examining inspector concerning the consultation process and compliance with habitats regulations.

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Band 4

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Robin Green 
Advises and appears for developer and local authority clients at inquiry and in the High Court. His clients include local authorities and private individuals, whom he represents on matters encompassing all aspects of planning law, with a particular focus on housing developments.
Strengths: "He is a fantastic advocate and is extremely thorough. A pleasure to work with, he is great with planning clients and witnesses." "A tenacious advocate, offering client-focused advice, who is efficient in his delivery and effective in argument."
Recent work: Engaged by Watford Borough Council to defend against a High Court challenge by a claimant that sought to overturn the council's use of allotments as part of a major redevelopment project.

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Band 4

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Gwion Lewis 
Boxes with some of the heavyweights of the planning world in public inquiries, judicial reviews and challenges to a diverse range of projects. He has a particular specialism in infrastructure advice, and is an expert in port-related development and energy projects. He is also qualified in Wales and edits the Wales segment of the Planning Encyclopaedia.
Strengths: "He possesses real mastery of the detail on very technical issues, and is a confident and effective advocate." "He is very precise in his legal arguments and very analytical and persuasive in his written submissions. He makes complicated cases look straightforward despite difficult points."
Recent work: Represented North Yorkshire County Council in a challenge to the grant of planning permission for beginning the production stage of the fracking process. The case turned on the interaction between the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme and the environmental impact assessment scheme.

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Band 4

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Richard Moules 
Au fait with a wide range of planning areas, including CPOs, policymaking and enforcement, and a barrister with a specialism in highways and rights of way matters. He has lectured and published a number of works on planning law, and regularly appears in the High Court representing developers, the government and community groups.
Strengths: "He's very good: he's commercial, picks up the points quickly and is a very clear, confident and thorough advocate. A barrister who's going places." "He was very good at managing the client's expectations and fought valiantly when on his feet."
Recent work: Appeared as sole counsel for Southwark Council in a two-week inquiry promoting a CPO for a new public square and commercial space near Peckham Rye station valued at £30 million.

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Band 4

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jeremy Pike 
Experienced in various planning law considerations including commons and village greens, judicial reviews or challenges, Transport and Works Orders, and compulsory purchases. His areas of focus include renewable energy, infrastructure and environmental impact assessment cases. He advises clients of all kinds in the public and private sectors, and also sits as an inspector for commons registration authorities.
Strengths: "Thorough, diligent and patient with complex issues. One of the best support barristers in the country."

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Band 4

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Asitha Ranatunga 
Frequently handles wind farm cases and other renewable energy proposals, but is an expert in all manner of planning cases. He often represents local authorities regarding their development plans, and appears at examinations and challenges. He is frequently instructed at all stages of enforcement proceedings, and has handled a number of appeals and cases concerning the implementation of regulatory controls.
Strengths: "Asitha is highly approachable and immediately able to put clients at ease. His experience and understanding of the needs and demands of local authorities enables him to take a pragmatic approach to his advice." "His style is calm but authoritative and persuasive. A particular strength is his detailed preparation: it is apparent that he has carried out thorough research, and explored and understood the issues."
Recent work: Defended Peterborough City Council at a public inquiry into its decision to refuse planning permission for an 80-unit residential development in Stamford. Issues under consideration include housing land supply, heritage concerns and policy matters.

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Band 4

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Zack Simons 
A popular name at the Planning Bar. He focuses on planning, compulsory purchase and environmental work, and has appeared in leading cases on current contentious planning issues such as environmental impact and housing need. He represents landowners, central government, private developers and local authorities for all types of work in the field.
Strengths: "He's a good-quality junior and his attention to detail and pragmatism are second to none."
Recent work: Acted for Dover District Council in a dispute with developers CPRE revolving around a 600-unit, residential-led scheme in the Kent Downs.

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Band 4

Six Pump Court

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

William Upton 
Secretary of the Planning and Environment Bar Association and leader of chambers' planning group, Upton has over 20 years of experience in the field at his command. He represents both developers and local authorities, and also frequently engages with planning policy. He is called upon by LPAs to advise on core strategies and also has the technical nous to handle niche cases (especially those with environmental overlap), as well as broad mainstream matters.
Strengths: "Very engaging and very clever," he "impresses with his ability to get quickly under the details."
Recent work: Defended Hertfordshire County Council in a judicial review over the grant of planning permission for a waste management facility on green belt land next to Welwyn Garden City. The planning court rejected the claims made by the applicant that this facility would limit housing development, and granted two sets of costs to the council.

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Band 4

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Ned Westaway 
Acts for local authorities, planning applicants and objectors, handling a broad range of cases, including those relating to major development proposals, complex enforcement and significant infrastructure projects. He is also an expert in environmental law.
Strengths: "A brilliant, very modern barrister." "He's very good technically on planning and environment work."
Recent work: Represented the Garden Bridge Trust in a dispute over the disposal of land for the South Bank landing site for the project. The claimant had sought to challenge the transaction on the basis that it was incompatible with restrictions in the Local Government Act 1972, the Localism Act 2011, and the Parks and Open Spaces Order 1967.

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Band 4

Mark Westmoreland Smith

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Mark Westmoreland Smith 
Concentrates his practice on cases concerning the delivery of essential energy (including renewables), waste and transport infrastructure. He typically acts for local authorities or promoters in these schemes. He is an experienced inquiry and High Court advocate who is frequently instructed on housing matters and development consent orders.
Strengths: "He's an excellent junior who is very accommodating and gives very good commercial advice. Acting unled is also not a problem for him."
Recent work: Promoted the A14 road improvement scheme, a NSIP undertaken by Highways England that involves significant infrastructure upgrades.

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Band 4

Six Pump Court

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Anne Williams 
Receives praise for her consistently high-quality client service, as well as her keen legal skills. A qualified planner and regular inspector at village green inquiries, as well as a barrister, she is able to apply her extensive experience to high-profile and complex cases of all types. She represents developers and public authorities.
Strengths: "She presented the case in a really effective way and had a great deal of gravitas." "Thorough, organised and knowledgeable, she has excellent written and oral presentation skills and is widely experienced."
Recent work: Instructed by Arun District Council to appear in inquiries and appeals related to the St Mary's Church site in Yapton, Sussex. The case centred on the relationship between the government's Neighbourhood Plan policy and housing land supply calculations.

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Band 4

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Christiaan Zwart 
Has ability and experience in niche areas, including development finance, DCO infrastructure cases and Community Infrastructure Levy matters, the last of which he has particular expertise in. His client base extends internationally and he is a regular advocate in High Court cases, as well as Lands and Tax Chambers.
Strengths: "He impresses with his technical grasp of the construction and design aspects of projects, and his ability to translate this understanding into pragmatic, commercial advice." "He maintains a commercial overview while ensuring the legalities are covered."
Recent work: Instructed by the London Borough of Newham on the hearings into the DCO for the Silvertown Tunnel project, which raised issues of convergence, the imposition of financial charges on existing infrastructure and the affects of new tunnel air quality impact assessments.

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Band 5

Six Pump Court

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Giles Atkinson
Recognised for his work for local authorities covering both advice on planning matters and representation in public inquiries. He can draw on a decade of experience working as a town planner.
Strengths: "His advice is measured, he presents eloquently and he efficient in his examination." "His skills are not limited to his robust legal knowledge but extend to his ability to put clients at ease and easily communicate complex legal arguments."
Recent work: Defended a LPA’s refusal of planning permission for 95 houses outside of defined settlement boundaries.

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Band 5

Six Pump Court

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Richard Banwell 
Known for his environmental expertise, he is particularly adept at handling cases where planning and environmental law overlap. He specialises in renewable energy projects and complex enforcement inquiries for both local authorities and developers. He is also experienced in large-scale inquiries of many kinds, including those regarding significant residential-led schemes.
Strengths: "He's a good team player on inquiries, who's very approachable and strategically minded."
Recent work: Acted for South Somerset District Council defending appeals against the grant of planning permission for housing sites in rural Somerset. The case turned on the alleged damage the housing strategy would cause to the surrounding landscape.

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Band 5

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Wayne Beglan 
Handles planning cases as part of his wide-ranging local government practice. He represents both local authorities and private clients. He is regularly engaged on judicial reviews, High Court actions and Court of Appeal cases.
Strengths: "He gives very clear advice and can work effectively even at very short notice. A very well-organised and well-structured advocate, he is very good on his feet in the High Court."
Recent work: Represented Harlow Council in a judicial review challenge that went to both the High Court and Court of Appeal. The case concerned the legality of a breach of condition notice and turned on the correct structure of planning conditions that restrict hours of operation.

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Band 5

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Rebecca Clutten 
Continues to develop a practice in major infrastructure and compulsory purchase. She has experience of working for both promoters and claimants in CPO matters covering both infrastructure and regeneration schemes. Her client list and track record feature a number of high-profile names and projects.
Strengths: "She's extremely well organised, extremely strategic and someone who does a great job explaining quite complex issues to clients." "A standout at the junior end of the Bar, she's an old head on young shoulders, who possesses brilliant judgement."
Recent work: Promoted the CPO for the Aberfeldy Estate on behalf of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, which intends to acquire more than 200 homes in the borough for the purpose of facilitating a residential-led regeneration of the neighbourhood.

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Band 5

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jonathan Darby 
Acts in all aspects of planning processes for domestic and international clients, including landowners, developers, third parties and local authorities. He is also well versed in environmental law, and his practice takes in criminal proceedings related to planning and the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Strengths: "He's an excellent junior who is on top of the details and really adds value in assisting his leaders. He's very thorough, very knowledgeable and clients like him." "Jon can always be relied upon for fast, commercial and pragmatic advice."
Recent work: Represented the claimant in a challenge to the promotion of the CPO for Blackwall Reach, a regeneration scheme in East London. He also represented the objector in a First Tier Information Tribunal appeal related to the case.

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Band 5

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Estelle Dehon 
Dedicates a significant portion of her practice to planning law, frequently representing interest groups, individuals and local authorities in sometimes controversial cases. She regularly appears in the High Court and at public inquiries concerning substantial development proposals.
Strengths: "She is a very good advocate, who is strong on strategy, committed and responsive. She puts herself out for you." "Her work is characterised by attention to detail and she presents with a measured assertiveness. She is relentless where necessary but never strident. An assured presence in court, she visibly commands the respect of her peers."
Recent work: Appeared on behalf of North Norfolk District Council at an appeal inquiry dealing with the rejection of planning permission for wind turbines to be located in North Norfolk. The turbines were to have been built near an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in the close vicinity of a scheduled ancient monument and near several other heritage sites.

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Band 5

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Hugh Flanagan 
A barrister dedicated to planning and compulsory purchase cases. He is a member of the Attorney General's C Panel of Counsel, and also acts for local authorities and developers. Retail, heritage, residential, enforcement and residential planning work are all areas in which he is particularly knowledgeable.
Strengths: "Combines great analytical skills with sound judgement." "He's an excellent barrister who is very hard working, forensic and someone who comes across very well in court."
Recent work: Acted for Horizon Nuclear Power in its promotion of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa Newydd in Anglesey. As part of his remit, he served as sole counsel at a number of examination hearing sessions.

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Band 5

Annabel Graham Paul

Francis Taylor Building

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Annabel Graham Paul 
Has acted in a number of significant, complex or otherwise novel infrastructure, compulsory purchase and mainstream planning cases in the High Court and Court of Appeal. Her practice reaches into all corners of planning law, and takes in inquiries and local plan examinations.
Strengths: "A young barrister with a very clear mind, who is analytical and produces well-structured opinions." "She's very thorough and clever, and a real asset to her chambers."
Recent work: Acted for the landlady of the George Tavern in a Court of Appeal action that resulted in the quashing of planning permission granted for a block of flats to be located adjacent to the public house, which would have affected the tavern's access to natural light.

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Band 5

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Edward Grant 
Maintains a diverse client base of developers, local authorities and interested third parties whom he advises and acts for in inquiries. He is familiar with all aspects of planning la,w and in particular has experience in large housing cases and criminal proceedings arising from enforcement prosecutions. Grant joined chambers from Six Pump Court in February 2017.
Strengths: "His forensic analysis of detail stands out. He's got a very clear mind, is able to identify the issues and can apply these strengths to cases for maximum advantage. He's a master of the details and he's insightful in finding weaknesses with the other side's case." "A tenacious cross-examiner who is able to get to the heart of the issues quickly." 
Recent work: Instructed by Sevenoaks District Council in a public inquiry concerning a 300-unit housing development where the local planning committee had refused planning permission against the advice of the council's own officers. The appeal featured complex questions relating to housing land supply, ecology matters and highway safety concerns.

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Band 5

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Ned Helme 
Has a diverse planning practice and a good reputation among clients drawn from a number of sectors. His broad areas of expertise encompass environmental, financial regulatory and public law, making him very knowledgeable on cross-disciplinary matters. He frequently prepares and acts for clients in inquiries and judicial reviews.
Strengths: "He is very impressive and a pleasure to work with."
Recent work: Instructed by Eastleigh Borough Council in a series of multi-day planning inquiries related to a number of plots on strategic and local gaps. The cases involved planning and environmental issues, including the proper approach to gap policy.

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Band 5

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Ryan Kohli 
Typically undertakes work for local authorities and the Secretary of State, and has notable experience in inquiries that throw up technical issues. He is also familiar with appeals against enforcement notices. He is routinely instructed in High Court actions and has also appeared unled before the Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "He is very good on his feet and a difficult barrister to be against."
Recent work: Successfully represented the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in a planning appeal concerning a basement development. The case was brought by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, who sought to overturn a planning inspector's decision to allow a three-storey basement extension.

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Band 5

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Emmaline Lambert  
Respected as a strong junior in the field who has broad experience of inquiries, enforcement matters and High Court challenges. She represents a diverse range of clients, including developers and third parties, and is routinely instructed to represent local authorities in planning inquiries and appeals.
Strengths: "Her handling of experts and cross-examination in court was great, and her written work was terrific." "Very good at dealing with the facts, she's unflappable and on top of the brief at all times." 
Recent work: Represented West Berkshire District Council on two conjoined planning appeals to the Secretary of State concerning two large housing developments. At issue were matters including questions of housing supply and impact on the landscape.

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Band 5

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Clare Parry 
Has crossed swords with some of the Bar's top planning barristers in judicial reviews and inquiries. She is appointed to the Attorney General's C Panel and is regularly engaged to appear before the High Court in matters throughout England and Wales.
Strengths: "She's a superb advocate who is good on incredibly complex local challenges."
Recent work: Defended Aylesbury Vale District Council against a challenge to its decision to grant planning permission for a crematorium in Aylesbury. The case turned on the correct approach to paragraph 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

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Band 5

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

John Pugh-Smith 
Focuses his practice on town and country planning law and environmental law, and is also an accomplished mediator. He most frequently represents local or central government authorities, and interested parties such as objectors or claimants, in a variety of planning cases.
Strengths: "He's a seasoned hand and a very experienced practitioner, who is very good at all aspects of litigation and judicial review work, and a very good negotiator to boot. He's someone you could use for any situation - he's very much an all-rounder." "A great drafter who provides excellent strategic advice."
Recent work: Advised Bluer Homes on a combined Section 106B and Section 106C appeal against planning obligations for an apartment scheme in Newquay, Cornwall.

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Band 5

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Harriet Townsend 
Has a strong track record of handling CPO cases, development inquiries, enforcement appeals and other hearings. She has recently been tackling matters relating to significant residential schemes and sensitive cases involving heritage or preservation concerns.
Strengths: "Her advocacy at CPO public inquiries is excellent, and she's very good at getting to the nub of things easily." "A very good advocate who provides effective and practical advice."
Recent work: Acted for Suffolk Coastal District Council in an appeal resulting from the council's refusal of planning permission of a 500-unit, mixed-use development near Felixstowe. Matters of concern included housing land supply, questions of sustainability and landscape impact.

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Band 5

Landmark Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jonathan Wills 
A seasoned inquiry advocate, having represented developers and local authorities in a broad spectrum of cases. He is also a regular at the High Court and Court of Appeal and has appeared in some of the most high-profile enforcement matters of recent years. He is available to advise on issues ranging from environmental impact assessment to listed buildings and use class matters.
Strengths: "He has a wide basis of knowledge and experience, is very team-oriented in his approach and very good in court." "He runs very clever points." 
Recent work: Acted for Wiltshire Council and several renewable energy developers in their appeal against the High Court's striking down of planning permission for a solar farm. The Court of Appeal unanimously allowed the appeal, which turned on issues of 'delay in planning challenges'.

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Up and Coming

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Emma Dring 
A rising star at Cornerstone whose remit includes wider public and administrative law, in addition to her growing planning practice. She is particularly focused on cases where the planning, housing and licensing practice areas interface. Dring is appointed to the Attorney General's C Panel.
Strengths: "She's always meticulously prepared, and she's got a clear understanding of the issues involved without needing too much instruction. She clearly and succinctly gets the points across and she's unflappable."

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Up and Coming

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Rose Grogan 
Offers planning expertise to an enviable roster of clients, and has a number of high-profile house builders among her clientele. As well as being led by QCs in inquiries and appeals, she also acts as sole counsel. She also has burgeoning expertise in complementary areas of construction, environmental and energy law.
Strengths: "Very adaptable in changing situations, she provides clear, concise written advice and has great advocacy skills. She inspires confidence in her solicitors and she's both persistent and persuasive." "Very meticulous, her attention to detail and her enthusiasm are her strengths."
Recent work: Acted for the London Borough of Hillingdon in its challenge of the government's decision to endorse the expansion of Heathrow Airport in the form of a third runway.

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Up and Coming

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Victoria Hutton 
A relatively new face at the Bar and already considered one of the most capable juniors in the market for representing developers, individual objectors and local authorities in varied planning law cases. She has led cases as sole counsel in the Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "She impressed when tackling legal conundrums." "She is fluid in her addresses to court and has an exceptional writing ability."
Recent work: Acted for Dignity Funerals in its appeal against South Staffordshire Council's refusal of planning permission for a crematorium to be located on green belt land.

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Up and Coming

No5 Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Hashi Mohamed of No5 Chambers 
An up-and-coming planning barrister who handles a wide range of work on behalf of both local authorities and private clients. He regularly appears in the High Court and in planning inquiry appeals on matters, including Section 106 enforcements, CIL-related cases and compensation claims.
Strengths: "He's young, able, enthusiastic," and both "commercial and easy to deal with."

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Up and Coming

Cornerstone Barristers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Jack Parker 
Possesses a burgeoning reputation due to his robust appearances in the High Court on a range of planning matters, including town and country concerns and local neighbourhood plans. Clients include local authorities and individual claimants.
Strengths: "He has a winning combination of approachability and intensity which makes his participation in discussions very valuable. He is a man of incisive judgement."
Recent work: Represented South Cambridgeshire District Council in a High Court challenge and subsequent Court of Appeal action arising from the council's decision to grant planning permission for the construction of a new football stadium.

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Up and Coming

Daniel Stedman Jones

39 Essex Chambers

From the Chambers UK Bar guide

Daniel Stedman Jones 
Came to the Bar with government experience and a dedicated focus on planning and environment law. He represents clients of all kinds, both public and private, in the full range of tribunals, inquiries, appeals and other court matters, and has a strong track record in judicial reviews. He is also knowledgeable on town and village greens, highways and rights of way laws.
Strengths: "He works tirelessly, giving thorough, sensible and commercially sound advice, and is both very approachable and very bright." "He interacts well with clients and really puts the effort in."
Recent work: Represented local residents in a challenge to Lambeth Borough Council's decision to vary a lease that enabled the construction of the controversial Garden Bridge project. The claim raised issues pertaining to Assets of Community Value and the Localism Act.

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A

Direct access enables barristers to be instructed without the involvement (and financial cost) of an intermediary such as a solicitor. It comes in two forms: licensed access and public access. More information can be found here.