The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Chambers of Paul Brown QC and Rupert Warren QC.

Living Wage
Work 020 7430 1221
Fax 020 7421 6060
Landmark Chambers (Chambers of Paul Brown QC and Rupert Warren QC.), David Forsdick QC, London, ENGLAND

Lawyer rankings

David Forsdick QC

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


David took silk in 2014 having been on the A Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown since 2005. He specialises in environmental, planning, local authority and public law and has recently been shortlisted for the 2016 Chambers UK Environment and Planning Silk of the Year.

David regularly appears in the High Court and Court of Appeal, at planning inquiries and in a range of other tribunals. He has appeared as advocate to the Supreme Court. He represents a wide range of public sector clients including central government (particularly DEFRA, DCLG and HMRC), NGOs, companies and individuals.

Environmental Law

David has appeared in numerous leading reported environmental cases in recent years. His environmental law practice covers habitats and species protection under the Habitats and Birds Directive, waste including landfill, water quality and pollution, flooding, renewable energy (including on and off shore windfarms), environmental damage, environmental impact assessment, strategic environmental assessment, access to environmental information and environmental permitting.

Recent cases include  R (Seoint Anglers) v. Natural Resources Wales  [2016] EWCA Civ 797 (for NRW in case concerning meaning of “environmental damage” under Environmental Damage Regulations); Re: Envirogreen [2016] NICA 32 (Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland on environmental permitting and relevance of previous conduct of licence holder);  R (RSPB) v. SoS [2015] EWCA Civ 227; [2015] Env LR 24  (challenge to legality of a cull of a protected species); RSPB v. Scottish Ministers  [2016] CSOH 106 (formulating grounds in major habitats challenge to windfarm consent) and R (Evans) v. Secretary of State [2013] EWCA Civ 115; [2013] JPL 1027  (screening for EIA and the correct approach to such challenges). He acted a consortium of local authorities and NGOs in the last challenge to a third runway at Heathrow - Hillingdon v. Secretary of State [2010] JPL 976.


Recent important cases include West Berkshire v. Secretary of State [2016] EWCA Civ (affordable housing policy consistency with statutory scheme); Smech v. Runneymede Borough Council [2016] EWCA Civ 42; [2016] JPL 677 (housing requirements and discretion); Gerber v. Wiltshire [2016] EWCA Civ 84; [2016] 1 WLR 2593 (leading case on delay in JR and discretion) and St Albans City v. SoS [2015] EWHC 655 (Admin) - challenge to a grant of consent for a strategic rail freight interchange. For further cases click here.

CPO and Compensation

David regularly advises and acts in relation to major CPOs. He is acting for landowners in respect of the proposed CPO in relation to the Newport M4 Corridor; and a City Council in respect of implementation of a CPO. He recently advised objectors to the Brent X CPO and appeared for Sainsbury’s in the Croydon CPO. He is acting for the landowner in the challenge to the Swindon CPO and acted for the SoS in the defence of the Margate regeneration CPO:Margate Town Centre Regeneration Ltd v. Secretary of State [2013] EWCA Civ 1178. 

His recent CPO compensation work includes acting for the landowner in respect of the CPO of land for a motorway service area; a £multi – million claim for compensation arising from revocation of permission to extract peat; and for landowners affected by the Olympics CPO (including several £multi-million claims). 


David has a wide-ranging rating practice. He (1) was advocate to the Supreme Court in Woolway v. Mazars [2015] AC1862 (definition of the “hereditament” and multi-user offices); (2) acted for HMRC in two major case concerning the approach to and application of the contractors basis in respect of infrastructure for the oil industry– most recently Total; (3) has advised companies on the consequences of Woolway  and is acting for ratepayers in the challenge to the retrospective application of it; and (4) is acting for ratepayers in various liability order cases including relating to empty property liability and listed building alterations.

Public Law

His public law practice includes local government powers and finance, social security, regulatory and human rights.

Human Rights: Follow his success in the Parliament Square and St Paul’s Occupy litigation, he acts for landowners and public authorities in respect of protest occupations: most recently in respect of land near the Magna Carta site in Runneymede (Orchard [2015] EWHC).  He has acted on two challenges to compatibility of legislation on human rights grounds (Leeds and Newhaven). He acted for the Government in R (Harrow Community Support) v. Ministry of Defence [2012] EWHC 1921 (Admin) (Olympic security – “missiles on the roof” – article 8) and has acted for claimants in various art 14 discrimination relating to benefit entitlements.

He has advised numerous public authorities and potential claimants in respect of deficit reduction issues.

Local Authority and Land: He has substantial experience in assisting local authorities in the public and environmental law aspects of land transactions and has been involved in several challenges to use by local authorities of s.237 powers.


SIlk 2014; Called 1993; ‘A’ Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown 2005-10 (B Panel 2002 and C Panel 1999); appointed as Secretary of State decision maker in statutory appeals 2008-09; appointed as legal assessor by Secretary of State and by mediators in various contexts; chair of the Free Representation Unit 1993-94. Chair of Governors of federation of schools 2001 to date.




Warwick University (Modern European History); Strodes' Sixth Form; Heathside Comprehensive


Running, cycling, skiing, sailing, 

London Bar


Within: Environment – Leading silks

David Forsdick QC - Landmark ChambersGets straight to the detail but never loses sight of the overall objective.

[back to top]


Within: Planning – Leading silks

David Forsdick QC - Landmark ChambersGets straight to the detail but never loses sight of the overall objective.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to