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Chambers of Paul Brown QC and Rupert Warren QC.

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Work 020 7430 1221
Fax 020 7421 6060

Richard Drabble QC

Work 020 7430 1221
Landmark Chambers (Chambers of Paul Brown QC and Rupert Warren QC.)


Richard Drabble practices in public law, planning and other local government matters. He has appeared frequently as an advocate at all levels of domestic courts, particularly the Administrative Court as well as the Court of Appeal, House of Lords and the Supreme Court. His practice also has a European dimension, with many appearances (in planning, environmental and social security matters) before the ECJ and the European Court of Human Rights. He has appeared for both developers and local authorities in major planning inquiries. Richard Drabble has acted for a wide range of clients, examples being the Secretary of State in challenges to the Terminal Five planning permission, the Airports and Energy White Papers; and the Olympics CPO; Natural England in the Thames Basin Heath SPA litigation; Amnesty International in the Pinochet medical reports case; the developer in R (Lewis) v Redcar BC and Persimmon and in R (Kides) v South Cambridgeshire DC; JCWI and the AIRE Centre in the litigation concerning alleged marriages of convenience; Quinn Glass in the Court of Appeal hearing about an IPCC permit; 3C Limited in a Commercial Court case about the Landfill Directive; Friends of the Earth in the solar panels litigation; Mr Pinnock and Mr Cart in their cases in the Supreme Court; and Mrs Stec; Ms Tsfayo; Mrs Chapman and Mrs Kehoe in their various cases in the European Court of Human Rights. He appeared for the local authorities in the Dibden Bay Inquiry. Publications of note: contributor to ‘Goudie and Supperstone on Judicial Review’ and one of the editors of ‘Local Authorities and Human Rights’ (Blackstone/OUP, 2004). He has lectured frequently on public law matters, for example human rights issues in planning and EU issues in environmental law.


Called 1975; Inner Temple; silk 1995.


Administrative Law Bar Association (former chairman); Planning and Environment Bar Association; Bar Council Law Reform Committee.


Downing College, Cambridge (History).

London Bar

Administrative and public law (including local government)

Within: Leading Silks

Richard Drabble QC - Landmark Chambers ‘ A pleasure to work with, and precise and insightful on his feet. ’

Within: Administrative and public law (including local government)

'An excellent set with a wide range of expertise', Landmark Chambers covers a diverse range of public law, representing claimants, national government, and quangos among others. David Lock QC represented numerous NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, defeating a challenge brought by Bayer and Novartis to their use of a drug made by Roche off-label to treat "wet AMD". In the Caribbean, Richard Drabble QC represented the claimant in Jones v Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, a successful challenge to the island nation's colonial-era "buggery law". Among the set's junior ranks, David Blundell represented the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission in a human rights challenge to the jurisdiction's near-total ban on abortion, with a key question being the commission's standing to bring the claim. Declan O'Callaghan was appointed as a judge of the First Tier Tribunal in 2018.

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EU Law

Within: Leading Silks

Richard Drabble QC - Landmark Chambers ‘ Precise and insightful on his feet. ’

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Within: Leading Silks

Richard Drabble QC - Landmark Chambers ‘ A major player in public law, planning and environment matters. ’

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Immigration (including business immigration)

Within: Leading Silks

Richard Drabble QC - Landmark Chambers ‘ He is making exceptional waves in the area, dealing with some great cases. ’

Within: Immigration (including business immigration)

'Without doubt very strong in the immigration area', Landmark Chambers provides a 'good range of senior and junior counsel'. The set is known for acting both for and against the government in the domestic and international courts in matters pertaining to EU law, human rights, asylum, business immigration, criminal deportation, immigration detention, and SIAC cases. In instruction of note, Stephen Knafler QC represented the claimant in a case that concerned the correct test for removing families from the UK with children of long residence in the UK. In KV (Sri Lanka) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, Richard Drabble QC appeared in the Supreme Court for an asylum seeker who alleged to have had been tortured by Sri Lankan government forces. The issue in the case was whether the scarring was self-inflicted or not. The Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appeal and remitted the case against the refusal of asylum back to the Upper Tribunal.

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Social housing

Within: Leading Silks

Richard Drabble QC - Landmark Chambers ‘ His social housing work is part of a wider public law and planning practice. ’

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