The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Cornerstone Barristers

Living Wage Living Wage
Work 020 7242 4986
Fax 020 7405 1166
Birmingham, Cardiff, London
Cornerstone Barristers, Harriet Townsend, London, ENGLAND

Lawyer rankings

Harriet Townsend

Work 020 7242 4986
Cornerstone Barristers (Cornerstone Barristers)


Planning; environmental law; local government; property.


Harriet specialises in planning, environmental, local government and related property law. Her clients include individuals, local authorities, solicitors, planning consultants and developers working throughout England and Wales, whom she represents at inquiry, tribunal and in the High Court.

Her recent work includes: promoting contentious compulsory purchase orders - as well as handling complex disputes over compensation; promoting significant and sensitive heritage projects; advising on recent and proposed changes to the CIL Regulations; advising on the Habitats Directive following the People over Wind ruling of the ECJ; objecting to a village green application; promoting basement proposals in central London; and resisting a major windfarm proposal for Powys County Council at appeal in March 2018.

Recent cases include: For Suffolk Coastal District resisting the appeal by Persimmon Homes at Bell Lane, Kesgrave [APP/J3530/W/16/3160194] - on 20 July 2018 the Inspector found in favour of the Council's assessment of housing land supply, and the substantial conflict with the development plan strategy, so dismissing the appeal.

Accredited mediator.

Publications of note: one of the many contributing editors (as local government law specialist) to Jowitt’s Dictionary of English Law; contributor to Cornerstone on Councillor Conduct (published 2015).

Called to the Bar in 1992.


Planning and Environment Bar Association (PEBA); UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA); Compulsory Purchase Association; Justice.


Oxford Brookes University (1988 BSc Mathematics and Economics 1st class); University of East Anglia (PGCE Mathematics teaching to A-level).

London Bar


Within: Leading Juniors

Harriet Townsend - Cornerstone BarristersA voice of authority and a great strategic thinker with a friendly and diplomatic manner.

[back to top]


Within: Leading Juniors

Harriet Townsend - Cornerstone BarristersVery good at dealing with difficult and disorganised clients.

[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
  • Communiqué on Equity Crowdfunding Is Officially Published

    By way of background, in January 2019, the Capital Markets Board (“ CMB ”) had issued an announcement on its website on the Draft Communiqué on Equity Crowdfunding [1] . The CMB has now officially published the Communiqué on Crowdfunding No. III-35/A (“ Communiqué ”), on October 3, 2019. The Communiqué entered into force as of October 3, 2019.
  • Beneficial Ownership Concept new interpretation from the Russian federal tax service

    The recent interpretative letter issued by the Russian Federal Tax Services (“FTS”) on 08th August 2019, has provided further guidance as to the application of the Beneficial Ownership Concept, further to the letter initially provided on the 12th of April 2018 which adopted a strict approach of the concept. 
  • Cyprus and Netherlands Double Tax Treaty Update

    Cyprus has concluded the negotiations for the avoidance of double taxation with the Netherlands. The double tax treaty was agreed at technocratic level in Hague. It is expected to be signed by the end of 2019 or early in 2020.
  • Vacancy - Senior Corporate Lawyer

    The Senior Corporate Lawyer, who will be reporting to Partners, will be working with both the firm’s legal team as well as the financial services team. The successful candidate will be requested to show initiative, take on certain responsibilities within the firm, work in a multinational environment and will immediately be given the opportunity to further advance their career within the law firm.

    The judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on February 26, 2019, in the “Danish Beneficial Ownership Cases”, can be perceived as a landmark on the interpretation of the Beneficial Ownership concept under the Interest and Royalties Directive (IRD) and the Parent-Subsidiary Directive (PSD).
  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‘centre of life test’ in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of  ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan   [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the “Regulations”). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess  Surinder Singh  cases that appear before them.

    Italian rules on jointventures concerning public procurement and concession contracts are set out inlight of the European legal framework provided for in Directive 2014/23/EU and 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council. The European rules aim to ensurethe best use of public money so that EU citizens benefit from strategicinvestments and services at fair prices. In this context, public procurementand concessions represent key instruments that need to be regulated and standardisedin order to ensure free movement of goods, freedom of establishment and freedomto provide services.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a  sole representative visa  is not “a  majority shareholder in the overseas business”.