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Leading Silks

David Elvin QC - Landmark ChambersA leading silk with wide knowledge of the law, as well as terrific brain power and breadth of expertise.
Charles Gibson QC - Henderson ChambersOne of the leading silks for large-scale environmental cases, particularly the defence of group actions.
David Hart QC - 1 Crown Office RowA highly confident and effective advocate happy to grapple with the knottiest of problems.
Richard Hermer QC - Matrix ChambersUndoubtedly a leader in his field, his strategic instincts are second to none and his ability to take on the might of corporate defendants is unparalleled.
Stephen Hockman QC - Six Pump CourtHe remains one of the doyens of this area of law and can handle very sensitive cases in a masterly way.
James Maurici QC - Landmark ChambersHe is an absolute star, the leading silk on the defence side and he cannot be faulted for his ability and his strategic advice.
Robert McCracken QC - Francis Taylor BuildingHe is deservedly in the top tier of silks - fearlessly bold and individualistic.
James Pereira QC - Francis Taylor BuildingHe is supremely bright, extremely focused, a master of his subject and the doyen of statutory nuisance matters.
Jeremy Phillips QC - Francis Taylor BuildingResponsive, unflappable and thoroughly prepared, his experience and commerciality make him a real asset.
Stephen Tromans QC - 39 Essex ChambersHe is absolutely top class for any complex or novel issue and is the standout environmental barrister in the UK, if not globally.
David Wolfe QC - Matrix ChambersA brilliant and fearless advocate who shows outstanding commitment and skill in claimant environmental work.
Morag Ellis QC - Francis Taylor BuildingA top planning silk, she leaves no stone unturned and is always refreshingly fair and candid.
David Forsdick QC - Landmark ChambersHe is a powerful and persuasive advocate who is very imaginative and has a real focus on the detail.
Gregory Jones QC - Francis Taylor Building ‘A real trailblazer who takes on matters from which others would run a mile and who easily wins the trust and confidence of clients.
Richard Harwood OBE QC - 39 Essex ChambersHe is outstanding and can get on top of very technical instructions very quickly - clients hang on his every word.
Nigel Pleming QC - 39 Essex ChambersCalm under pressure, unflappable, suave and extremely affable, he is one of the set’s stellar senior members.
James Strachan QC - 39 Essex ChambersHe has a calm and pleasant manner in court but is ruthlessly effective in cross-examination.
David Travers QC - Six Pump CourtHe has a wonderful manner with clients and he is diligent and thorough, focusing on the points that really make a difference to the outcome.
Oliver Campbell QC - Henderson ChambersHe has great client care skills, insight and a razor-sharp intellect, and he is an exceptional tactician.
Richard Drabble QC - Landmark ChambersOne of the most highly regarded silks at the public law Bar, he applies serious public law intellect to environmental issues.
Thomas de la Mare QC - Blackstone ChambersHe has a very sharp mind and he has a phenomenal ability to unpick the most technical of issues.
Richard Matthews QC - 2 Bedford RowFrighteningly intelligent with truly excellent forensic criminal acumen, he is the go-to barrister for serious or technical environmental matters.
Hugh Mercer QC - Essex Court ChambersA sheer specialist who provides a masterclass in terms of his ability to assimilate complex issues yet focus on the tiniest of detail.
Tim Mould QC - Landmark ChambersHe is a leader in the promotion of infrastructure projects and a persuasive, trusted, patient and user-friendly advocate.
Prashant Popat QC - Henderson ChambersHis intellect is second to none and he is excellent at drilling down to the key facts.
Mark Shaw QC - Blackstone ChambersAn intellectual heavyweight, combining insightful analysis with clear and practical advice.
Jon Turner QC - Monckton ChambersHe appears to possess the entire skillset – he is both a superb technical lawyer and a bold and engaging advocate of the highest calibre.
Geraint Webb QC - Henderson ChambersA brilliant advocate who is compassionate and decisive – a leading light for environmental group actions.
John Cooper QC - Crown Office ChambersA superb trial lawyer, he is excellent on strategy and tactics, and fearless in the courtroom.
Timothy Corner QC - Landmark ChambersHe brings a light touch that works well in very public examination hearings, with a balance between legalistic and pragmatic.
Clifford Darton QC - Selborne ChambersHe is very bright and can find a way through the most technical of legal challenges.
Douglas Edwards QC - Francis Taylor BuildingHe is a superb advocate with a broad knowledge of many areas of law who has really good range across environmental cases.
James Findlay QC - Cornerstone BarristersAn excellent silk whose attention to detail is second to none.
Dominic Kay QC - Crown Office ChambersHe truly understands environmental law and the technical detail, and he is an outstanding advocate who presents a compelling case.
Dan Kolinsky QC - Landmark ChambersA very able advocate who is able to see the wood from the trees and has a very effective, fair-minded and pleasing style.
Rhodri Price Lewis QC - Landmark ChambersA planning specialist who handles everything from village green cases to major infrastructure projects.
William Norris QC - 39 Essex ChambersAn excellent advocate who is thorough and knows well the law as it relates to wind farms.
Toby Riley-Smith QC - Henderson ChambersHe has excellent analytical skills and is good with clients, making them feel welcomed and valued.
Mark Watson QC - Six Pump CourtHis strengths are his meticulous preparation and attention to detail, and he is extremely strong in the cross-examination of witnesses.
Marc Willers QC - Garden Court Chambers ‘Approachable but very tenacious, he excels at dealing with a diverse range of clients.

2019 Silks

Charles Banner QC - Keating ChambersOne of the real all-round talents at the Bar, he is an adaptable practitioner with a very strong profile.
Tim Buley QC - Landmark ChambersA very sensible advocate who is really making a name for himself – he sees the key points and is not distracted by the bad ones.
William Upton QC - Six Pump CourtVery flexible and amenable, he knows his environmental law, is excellent on planning and understands regulation.

2020 Silks

Richard Wald QC - 39 Essex ChambersComing up as a new silk, he provides good close analysis of complex scientific evidence and is particularly dogged in cross-examination.

2021 Silks

Adam Heppinstall QC - Henderson ChambersHe is a pleasure to deal with and is always busy with environmental group actions and environmental crime.
Richard Honey QC - Francis Taylor BuildingOrganised and efficient, he is highly effective in public inquiries and excellent for environmental crime and group actions.
Gwion Lewis QC - Landmark ChambersClients are very impressed with his work and he has given useful advice on wildlife protection issues.
Megan Thomas QC - Six Pump CourtA strong intellect and attention to detail with the ability to see the nub of the issue. Willing to give a difficult message and does so diplomatically. Great attention to detail and good ability to deal with clients in conference and face to face.

Leading Juniors

Christopher Badger - Six Pump CourtThe best senior junior regulatory counsel around and a formidable opponent who is outstanding on all fronts.
Kate Cook - Matrix ChambersA specialist in environment, climate change and biodiversity matters, she is calm and unflappable and she provides clear and consistently incisive advice.
Estelle Dehon - Cornerstone BarristersShe is passionate about environmental issues and is without doubt one of the very best juniors and an articulate advocate.
Emma Dixon - Blackstone ChambersShe is a real pleasure to work with and understands the client's perspective.
Mark Harris - Six Pump CourtHe is a delight, a charming advocate who is very objective in his approach and revels in the detail of a case.
Richard Moules - Landmark ChambersHe has a superb ability to digest a huge amount of information and turn those facts into a coherent and comprehensive legal position.
Samantha Riggs - 25 Bedford RowThe leading - and best - junior in this area of practice, she is a superb criminal defence barrister with a deep technical understanding of the waste industry.
Gordon Wignall - Six Pump CourtAlways keen to assist and very knowledgeable, he has refreshing ideas and will come up with creative solutions to legal problems.
Richard Banwell - Six Pump CourtHe is a very focused, dedicated and hardworking barrister whose understanding of his regulatory specialisms is second to none.
John Bates - Old Square ChambersYou can be assured that he will respond very quickly and is flexible, approachable and very pragmatic.
Edward Craven - Matrix ChambersHe is one of the brightest barristers of his generation and his ability to grasp complex points of law and voluminous case law is extraordinary.
Kathleen Donnelly - Henderson ChambersExcellent attention to detail with good judgement and court presence. Good humour and excellent manner with clients.
Malcolm Galloway - Crown Office ChambersHe is clear, concise, and formidable in his field, and his tactical knowledge and experience are second to none.
Charles Morgan - Six Pump CourtA go-to barrister for environmental work, he is an expert on water and drainage law.
Harriet Townsend - Cornerstone BarristersA very diligent and thoughtful barrister, always with one eye on overall litigation strategy and the client’s commercial objectives.
Ned Westaway - Francis Taylor BuildingHe is excellent, a real star performer who is heavily involved in pure environmental work.
Sasha Blackmore - Landmark ChambersAttentive, thorough and knowledgeable, she can distil huge volumes of data into succinct, cogent and persuasive arguments.
James Burton - 39 Essex ChambersAn enormous talent, he is thorough, analytical and a shrewd strategist and has the ability to cut through complicated legislation.
Jane Collier - Blackstone ChambersShe is always on top of the papers and provides very clear advice which demonstrates her always excellent understanding of the law.
Catherine Dobson - 39 Essex ChambersA superb senior junior, she takes incredibly technical information and creates a clear, decisive understandable path and does it without any arrogance.
Ned Helme - 39 Essex ChambersHe is very intelligent and exceptionally hardworking and he gives the impression that nothing is too much trouble.
David Hercock - Six Pump CourtHe is very likeable and explains complicated issues in simple terms, so clients have confidence in his abilities.
Daniel Stedman Jones - 39 Essex ChambersHe is an expert in his field, an imaginative, clear and confident advocate who leaves no stone unturned.
Ravi Mehta - Blackstone ChambersHe is incredibly quick to understand the intricacies of technically complex cases with refreshing levels of humour, energy and positivity.
Sailesh Mehta - Red Lion ChambersHe has great strategic awareness and knowledge of criminal environmental law and can apply his vast experience to many situations.
Hanif Mussa - Blackstone ChambersHe knows how to deconstruct a complex scenario and provide practical and commercial solutions.
Nicholas Ostrowski - Six Pump CourtA deeply knowledgeable environmental lawyer with a practical, commercial approach who is great with clients.
James Purnell - Henderson ChambersHe has extraordinary abilities in environmental cases, an amazing capacity for hard work and finely tuned emotional intelligence.
Heather Sargent - Landmark ChambersShe is a first-rate environmental lawyer who shows meticulous attention to detail and gets to the heart of complex issues quickly.
Maurice Sheridan - E&A Law Limited 'On matters of environment, nature conservation and waste management he has detailed knowledge of UK and EU statutory regimes and his advice is clear and uncomplicated.'
Colin Thomann - 39 Essex ChambersImmensely intelligent, knowledgeable, thoughtful, and hardworking, he has extensive expertise in EU law.
Dr Ashley Bowes - Cornerstone BarristersHe is one of the best environmental lawyers of his generation - his knowledge of the law and his analytical skills are most impressive.
Jonathan Clay - Cornerstone BarristersHe is extremely persuasive, knowledgeable and likeable, and he is able to cut through complex matters and provide clear advice.
Monica Feria-Tinta - Twenty Essex ‘Hard-working, very committed, and generous. She has made disputes under international environmental treaties her own.
Rose Grogan - 39 Essex ChambersHardworking, personable and good with clients, she provides down to earth advice.
Victoria Hutton - 39 Essex ChambersHardworking, thorough and dependable, she is fantastic with clients and quickly gets to grips with complex challenges.
Philippa Jackson - 39 Essex ChambersShe is very bright, she gets the facts and strategy quickly, and she is able to think on her feet in front of judges.
Stuart Jessop - Six Pump CourtHe has a comprehensive understanding of law relating to noise nuisance and is a strong team player.
Zoë Leventhal - Matrix ChambersShe has the strongest interpersonal and communication skills as well as really impressive legal analysis and argument skills.
Clare Parry - Cornerstone BarristersOne of the set’s star performers, she is regularly involved in high-profile inquiries and judicial reviews.
Jason Pobjoy - Blackstone ChambersHe is a delight to instruct, extremely meticulous and client-friendly.
Oliver Powell - Outer Temple ChambersHe is knowledgeable, helpful, quick and thorough and he is very deft in handling client expectations.
Sarah Sackman - Francis Taylor BuildingOne of the best of her generation, she has very strong interpersonal skills and great legal creativity.
Charles Streeten - Francis Taylor BuildingA very bright and committed advocate – it is refreshing to work with someone who provides unambiguous advice.

Environment in London Bar

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers is 'completely dominant in this area of work', according to one client. Another remarks that it is 'consistently brilliant and probably has more strength and depth in the environmental field than any of its competitors'. Members of the set's planning, environment and property group frequently appear in leading cases in the highest courts, both domestically and internationally. Stephen Tromans QC  is acting for BP in a challenge by Greenpeace to consents for the Vorlich Field project on climate change grounds, which raises issues of environmental assessment. New silk Richard Wald QC acted for Trinidad’s leading environmental NGO in its challenge to a decision to grant consent for a major highway scheme passing close to a protected savannah. Clients report that the clerks are 'a real strength for the set – proactive, well organised and prompt'.

Francis Taylor Building

Francis Taylor Building is 'a planning and environment set with a strong emphasis on planning but also adept in air quality, nuisance and EU law matters'. Its members frequently handle environmental challenges to planning applications and their work covers all aspects of environmental regulation and the crossover between environmental law and land use planning, together with common law and criminal environmental liability. Members are called upon for a broad range of standalone environmental matters, as well as those overlapping with planning and infrastructure matters. Robert Mccracken QC has brought several challenges to grants of planning permission and adoption of air quality policies based on European air quality directives. Increasingly prominent silk James Pereira QC handled high-profile challenges to planning decisions on European environmental grounds concerning the habitats directive. Clients remark that the clerks are 'all excellent and really good to deal with'.

Landmark Chambers

Landmark Chambers has 'great breadth and depth of experience in planning and environmental law'. One client remarks that it is 'rightly one of the top public law sets in the UK, the strength of counsel across the board is impressive and it never fails to deliver a high-quality service'. Members frequently act for government and industry bodies, regulators, corporate clients and private individuals and groups in matters concerning issues as diverse as air quality, access to environmental justice, waste, contaminated land, pollution, climate change, habitats and species protection, nuisance and village greens. David Elvin QC acted for the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government in high-profile cases concerning air quality. New silk Tim Buley QC is one to watch. 'The clerks are brilliant to deal with', remarks one client, adding that 'they always have an option should the first choice not be available'.

Blackstone Chambers

Blackstone Chambers is 'a leading public law set which is increasingly present in environmental cases', according to one client. Members handle the full range of environmental work, drawing on their skills in public, regulatory, local government, competition, energy, EU, procurement, planning and civil liberties law. A key strand of work has come from the representation of ClientEarth in high-profile matters, including a Supreme Court and European Court of Justice matter concerning air pollution, in which a team including Emma Dixon successfully argued for a declaration that the UK is in breach of EU air quality limits. Juniors Ravi Mehta, who has also represented ClientEarth, and Hanif Mussa, who has represented the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, are also recommended. Clients note that 'the clerks always seem to be on hand to assist and they are very efficient and personable'.

Henderson Chambers

Henderson Chambers has 'a first-rate regulatory offering and exceptional, experienced advocates including a strong group of juniors'. Members are known for their work in health and safety, product liability and environmental matters, including those concerning flooding, noise nuisance and pollution. In the last five years, the set has built an impressive reputation for its work in large-scale environmental group actions, though its members have also played a role in other high-profile regulatory environmental proceedings and in civil claims arising from pollution, particularly in the rail, waste and mining industries. Several members, including Charles Gibson QCGeraint Webb QCPrashant Popat QC and Kathleen Donnelly, are defending VW and various group companies against claims arising from the recent emissions scandal. Clients are full of praise for the clerks' room, which is 'always accessible, friendly and willing to accommodate'.

Six Pump Court

Six Pump Court is 'one of the leading specialist environmental sets in the country for criminal work' and one clients remarks that it is 'an approachable and practical set, whose members will go the extra mile for their clients'. Members handle a broad range of environmental matters, handling cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court, while also representing industry and regulators at public inquiries and statutory appeals. In civil proceedings, members have particular expertise in statutory nuisance and environmental torts. Stephen Hockman QC pursued an application for judicial review of a decision restricting the right to fish for salmon in the River Severn. Specialist environmental regulatory junior Christopher Badger frequently handles high-profile cases on behalf of the Environment Agency. The set is 'excellently organised and very pleasant to deal with and the clerks are efficient and always very helpful'.

Cornerstone Barristers

Cornerstone Barristers has 'particular expertise in prosecutions for local authorities of environmental offences and planning prosecutions', and clients remark that it is 'an excellent set with strong and well-established teams in planning and environmental law'. Members have significant expertise in environmental matters, particularly those concerning renewable energy development, strategic environmental assessments, environmental impact assessments, and habitats regulations. Its junior ranks are particularly strong and Estelle Dehon is well known for judicial reviews and inquiries challenging fracking, coal mining, oil drilling and gas acidisation projects. Her recent work includes a challenge to the controversial development of four poultry buildings to house more than 1.5 million chickens per year. Clients also remark on the set's 'helpful and responsive set of clerks'.

Matrix Chambers

Matrix Chambers is 'a class act with a vast array of superb barristers who are all at top of their field', according to one client. Another remarks that 'Matrix has always been proud to do things differently, whilst always maintaining quality and professionalism'. A small but highly skilled nucleus of members are specialists in environmental matters, be they domestic, European or international. Some have conducted environmental litigation in international courts and tribunals, including the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). In recent work of note, the 'superbDavid Wolfe QC acted for Friends of the Earth in its successful Court of Appeal challenge to the construction of a third runway at Heathrow airport on climate change grounds.  'Exceptional advocate' Richard Hermer QC has led on many of the large environmental group action claims in recent years; 'solid practitioner' Edward Craven is also noted for his broad international work. Also at the junior end, Kate Cook's previous experience as a lawyer in the former Department of the Environment 'enables her to provide clear and consistently incisive advice'; Zoë Leventhal is described as 'one of the best of her generation'.