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Leading Silks

Neil Cameron KC – Landmark Chambers  ‘Neil has an incredible ability to retain information and an extensive knowledge of case law. Clients can always rely on his sound judgement and the breadth of his knowledge, and experience in planning means that he is quickly able to boil a case down and get to the heart of the matter. Neil is always up to speed with the latest case law and able to quickly identify the implications of a new case for a matter. His advice is clearly articulated which enables you to decide a clear path forward.’
Morag Ellis KCFrancis Taylor Building  ‘Morag is commercially minded, logical and precise. She explains matters in such a way so as to take both clients and judges through her arguments step by step, leaving no room for doubt.’
David Elvin KC – Landmark Chambers  ‘David remains at the top of his field and one of the pre-eminent planning barristers in the UK. He is a clear, incisive and skilled in his cross-examination, with a remarkable grasp of a variety of technical issues in even the most complex cases. David leads from the front.’
Michael Humphries KC –Francis Taylor Building  ‘Michael has a deep knowledge of infrastructure planning and a standing as a senior statesman in this area.’
Christopher Katkowski KCKings ChambersChris is, put simply, the best in the business. He combines intellectual gravitas with charm and good humour. The clarity of his advice is exceptional and much appreciated by instructing professionals, team members and clients alike.
James Maurici KC – Landmark Chambers ‘The go-to for diligent, thoughtful comprehensive advice on all planning matters. James is the Yoda of planning. He is able to communicate with everyone in the room which means his advice is delivered in a user friendly manner. ’
Hereward Phillpot KC –Francis Taylor Building  ‘Harry is a master of his field. In hearings in the Divisional Court and Court of Appeal, against a range of senior and junior opponents, he always stands out from his peers. He takes the right points, presents them with clarity and persuasion, and wins repeatedly.’
Sasha White KC – Landmark ChambersSasha is a delight to work with, hardworking and always on top of his game. His cross-examination is second-to-none and he always tries to put a personal spin on his advocacy, which is generally welcomed by the tribunal.
Charles Banner KCKeating Chambers  ‘Excellent advocate – can read a room and approach a difficult matter with perfect tact. Always provides pragmatic, commercial advice in clear and accessible manner.
Alexander Booth KC – Francis Taylor Building  ‘Alex is one of the best inquiry advocates at the planning Bar. He is tenacious on his feet and forensic in his preparation – a deadly combination if you are against him. He is a team player who works closely and collaboratively with instructing solicitors and the witness team. He is also creative in finding the point in even the most hopeless of cases when needs must.’  
Timothy Corner KC – Landmark Chambers ‘Tim gives very clear advice and gets straight to the point. He is very personable, approachable, and he has a great style with clients. He is an excellent advocate.’
Dan Kolinsky KC – Landmark Chambers  ‘Dan possesses great awareness and insight, and is approachable, practical, and thorough. Advocacy is certainly one of Dan’s strong points. His delivery is precise, focused, friendly and effective.’
Matthew Reed KC – Landmark Chambers  ‘Matthew takes on a complex matter and masters it very quickly, with real diligence, good humour and effective interaction. His advocacy is pitch perfect; he makes his points really effectively but in a way which is respectful to the inspector and the witnesses. A real find.’  
Saira Kabir Sheikh KC – Francis Taylor Building Saira is outstanding: she is commercially astute, a brilliant advocate, well-respected and very approachable.’
Andrew Tait KC –Francis Taylor Building  ‘Andrew is forensic and good on his feet. He is very bright and sees the target clearly. He is prominent in his field of planning and parliamentary law.’
Robert Walton KC – Landmark Chambers  ‘Rob is technically excellent but pragmatic and practical, clear, responsive and firm.’
Craig Howell Williams KC –Francis Taylor BuildingCraig is an incredibly strong advocate with a tenacious appetite for detail. His preparation is incredibly thorough, leaving no stone unturned. Craig is proactive and his advise is delivered commercially and with conviction.’
Michael Bedford KC –Cornerstone Barristers ‘Michael thoroughly prepares for meetings and is authoritative and clear with clients. He takes in a great deal of detailed information quickly and provides pragmatic advice. He is a highly effective advocate.’
Christopher Boyle KC – Landmark Chambers  ‘Christopher is an outstanding planning silk. His energetic, enthusiastic leadership skills make him a superb leader of multi-disciplinary teams. He has a distinct style which is measured, effective and highly persuasive, and is appreciated by judges and public inquiry inspectors.
Thomas Cosgrove KC –Cornerstone Barristers ‘Tom is an impressive advocate, with an eye for detail. He is excellent with clients.’
James Findlay KC – Cornerstone Barristers 'James has an unrivalled ability to tackle complex issues and get to the heart of the matter. In consultation, he asks the right questions, understands his client's perspective and gives clear and helpful advice. His written advices and pleadings are clear, succinct and persuasive. James is top drawer.'
Richard Ground KC – Cornerstone Barristers ‘Richard is extremely knowledgeable and provides clear and practical advice to the client. At the hearing, Richard presents the case very clearly and his advocacy skills are particularly impressive.’
Richard Honey KC – Francis Taylor Building  ‘Richard’s knowledge of planning law is excellent, as is his ability to pull the team together, identify key issues and lead each member meticulously to achieve a successful outcome for the client. His advocacy is polished and delivered with exceptional flair.’
Graeme Keen KC – Landmark Chambers  ‘Graeme is scrupulously fair and honourable, as well as having a remarkably acuity of mind for somewhat abstruse areas of law. He is a first-class lawyer and a talented and effective advocate.’
Gwion Lewis KC –Landmark Chambers ‘Gwion works together with the team for the client. Clear and concise advice provided.’
John Litton KC – Landmark Chambers  ‘John is both friendly and professional. He is good at ensuring all aspects of a case are covered in sufficient detail by relevant consultants and at explaining to them what is required of them. He is very good at making his point firmly but politely in hearings and inquiries to ensure incorrect or unjust points are not made by the other side.’
Scott Lyness KC – Landmark ChambersScott is extremely user-friendly and approachable. He is impressive on his feet with a brilliant advocacy style. He is well-liked by clients, with a calming manner which is a key strength. He will always go above and beyond what is required, meaning he will always get stuck in. He is a genuine pleasure to work alongside.’
Simon Bird KC –Francis Taylor Building  ‘He is succinct and direct. He has a very calm demeanour which can belie the severity of his cross-examination, while also projecting confidence in his approach, to reassure planning inspectors of the rationality of his arguments.  
Richard Glover KC –Francis Taylor Building 'Richard gives clear and well-structured advice. He is attentive to the needs of clients, and not afraid to have difficult conversations with the client team to get the best results.-
Suzanne Ornsby KC –Francis Taylor Building ‘Suzanne is able to very quickly refine an issue into its main components for successful promotion. She is pleasant, efficient, very accommodating and easy to work with. At public inquiry, she has a commanding presence and is able to focus attention on the key strengths in the promotion of a case whilst also being ruthless in cross-examination.’
Paul Shadarevian KC –Cornerstone BarristersPaul is  efficient and well-organised throughout, on hand for conference calls and quick and efficient at commenting on matters when his advice and direction is needed. He is very efficient at commenting on draft hearings statements throughout.’
Megan Thomas KC - Six Pump Court  ‘Grasps matters quickly and is able to advise corporately in a timely manner.’
William Upton KC – Six Pump Court  ‘Will’s written work is second to none. He reads judges very well, and judges appreciate that he focuses his advocacy on the main points of a case.’
Jenny Wigley KC –Landmark Chambers  ‘Jenny is technically exceptional – her eye for detail and ability to analyse huge amounts of information and hone in on the relevant points is second-to-none. She’s practical, approachable, clients love her. She is great on her feet, firmly and determinedly holds her own even in front of unsympathetic judges and wins the day.’
David Wolfe KC –Matrix Chambers  ‘David is a star of the environment and planning world. He is a leading claimant barrister, particularly on high-profile cases with a national dimension. He is very popular with clients, due to his direct and clear approach. He is well-liked by judges due to his no-nonsense advocacy.’

2022 Silks

Estelle Dehon KC – Cornerstone Barristers ‘Estelle is superb; She often represents individuals and communities up against difficult odds and well-funded opponents and has an impressive record of success. Her advocacy is top-notch and she is a pleasure to work with.’
Melissa Murphy KCLandmark Chambers  ‘Melissa is a brilliant advocate. She leaves no stone unturned and grasps the most complex matters very quickly. Melissa is excellent with clients and always gives advice with the client’s strategic concerns and objectives in mind.’

2023 Silks

Alex Goodman KC – Landmark Chambers  ‘Alex is one of the best advocates of his generation. In court he is on a par, if not better than most silks.  His planning knowledge is strong and he always has an eye for a novel legal argument.  He is a go-to barrister regarding planning law.’
Meyric Lewis KC –Francis Taylor Building ‘Very responsive and a real can-do attitude. Works well with clients but not afraid to be robust with them when necessary. Advocacy is superb as is his written work.’
Guy Williams KC –Landmark Chambers ‘Guy is a seriously good advocate - courteous but incisive and delivers his submission and cross-examination with real gravitas. The sort of style that goes down well with judges and planning inspectors. And he's excellent on the law too. He's a tough opponent but a very reasonable one, and a thoroughly decent individual.

2024 Silks

Josef Cannon KC – Cornerstone Barristers 'Clear, compelling and personable advocacy with a clear strategy. He has an authentic voice and a forensic approach to cross-examination.'
Richard Moules KC – Landmark Chambers  ‘Richard is an outstanding barrister. He is very clever but self-effacing. He has excellent knowledge of the law and brilliant on his feet in court.’
Mark Westmoreland Smith KC – Francis Taylor Building  ‘Mark is a calm and assured presence in court, always completely on top of his brief and trusted by the court. He has built up a formidable practice and reputation by dint of these qualities combined with an impressive capacity for work. He is thoroughly commercial and pragmatic in his outlook, and displays an astute understanding of what matters from the client's perspective.’

Leading Juniors

Wayne Beglan  –Cornerstone Barristers ‘Wayne provides sound and clear advice and is always very clear about where there are merits to a case and what can and cannot be considered. He is very thorough in his work.’
Hugh Flanagan  – Francis Taylor Building  ‘Hugh is a very able and persuasive advocate, both in writing and in court.’  
Sarah Sackman – Matrix Chambers  ‘Sarah’s passion for her work is unprecedented. She attends community meetings and team meetings, advises on strategy, on planning appeal and application, breaches of equalities law, and has excellent knowledge and presentation skills.’
Zack Simons Landmark Chambers  ‘Zack is commercially astute, a strong technical lawyer, and very user-friendly. His advocacy skills are first-class and he has excellent commercial judgement. He also knows how and when to apply common sense. Zack is operating at the level of a silk.’ 
Mark Beard  – Six Pump Court ‘Mark is an acute advocate who is able to distill the heart of a case. He is a good team player, personable and good with clients.'
Ashley Bowes  – Landmark ChambersAshley has case law at his fingertips and can apply it in most amazing ways. He is very clear in his representations, and he explains complex legal issues in a clear and concise manner. He is truly a talented lawyer.
Andrew Byass  –Landmark Chambers 'Andrew is a good advocate, he is measured in submissions and pitches his case just right.'
Jonathan Clay  – Cornerstone Barristers ‘Jonathan is brilliant in his delivery and examination in inquiry, whilst maintaining a very approachable and down-to-earth manner with his instructing legal officer and clients. His ability to put himself into the council’s shoes and see a way forward is second-to-none.’
Leon Glenister  –Landmark Chambers  ‘Leon is is dependably knowledgeable, has good judgement, and is easy to work with. He is highly regarded for his excellent advocacy; he can hold his own with much more senior counsel and he is instructed regularly for this reason.’
Merrow Golden  – Francis Taylor Building  ‘Merrow is a very good advocate. She is clear and powerful in the presentation of her client’s case, very well-prepared and effective in cross-examination. A formidable opponent.’
Edward Grant  –Cornerstone Barristers ‘Ed is an astute and skillful advocate who is able to marshal a team and direct a case, focusing on the main issues and avoiding wasted avenues. He is amenable and good with clients as well as professional and focused before inspectors and able to skillfully cross examine his opponent's witnesses. He is particularly good with complex cases including enforcement and distilling the best avenues for the team to explore.’
Robin Green  – Cornerstone Barristers ‘Robin is quietly effective, very diligent, measured, thoughtful and conscientious. He acts very effectively as junior, interacting really well with the client. He is preparation is very thorough and his advocacy clear, confident and well pitched. He is very able  when dealing with his instructing solicitors and clients.’
Stephen Morgan  –Landmark Chambers ‘Stephen is a pleasure to work with, highly accessible, very thorough and provides clear and concise advice. Stephen's advocacy skills are excellent and, in particular, he strikes up a great rapport with planning inspectors.’
Andrew Parkinson  – Landmark Chambers  ‘Andrew is a superb planning barrister. Andrew gets to the nub of a case quickly, he is extremely hard working and provides excellent legal advice. Andrew is a highly effective advocate. He prepares meticulously, his presentation of complex matters is outstanding and his cross-examination skills and submissions are second-to-none. Andrew’s efficient and thorough approach is clearly appreciated by public inquiry inspectors and High Court judges, together with his clients.’
Charles Streeten  –Francis Taylor Building  ‘Charles is fiercely intelligent, thinks outside the box and fights like a terrier for his clients. Charles is also a real team player. He makes a lot of effort to respond to the specific needs of the client and the rest of the professional team. Simply, Charles is a joy to work with and a highly effective barrister, with an impressively nimble mind.’  
Harriet Townsend  – Cornerstone Barristers ‘Harriet is always prompt, organised and professional. Her advocacy is calm and well-structured, always confident that she is well-prepared and that she will deal with matters as they arise.’
Anne Williams  – Six Pump Court  ‘Anne is very personable with clients and sets out clearly the process and the areas she wants them to answer questions on. Her advocacy is effective and probing without any aggression or rudeness. She seeks to get a full understanding of the subject.’
Robert Williams  – Cornerstone Barristers ‘Robert has excellent attention to detail, a very committed service to clients and a hugely supportive approach with expert witnesses, particularly those lacking in experience. Robert has a great sense of humour balanced with professional execution of of his advocacy in inquiry.
Giles Atkinson  – Six Pump Court ‘Giles gives exceptionally good counsel and is not influenced by the level of the opposition. He is an excellent advocate in all planning matters. His main strength is that he is prepared to advise a methodology prior to being formally instructed.’
Richard Banwell  – Six Pump Court ‘Responsive, approachable and commercial. Very flexible and user-friendly.’
Rebecca Clutten  – Francis Taylor Building  ‘Rebecca is very impressive in getting to grips with the legal issues and making them digestible for the client team.’
Anjoli Foster  – Landmark Chambers  ‘Anjoli is at the top of her game and is one of the most impressive juniors in the planning Bar. Her credentials are exceptional, working on some of the most high-profile planning cases in recent times. She is extremely diligent, personable and easy to work with.’
Emmaline Lambert  – Cornerstone Barristers ‘She acts in the best interests of her clients, is approachable and friendly, knowledgeable, consistent and delivers a very high standard of service. She is hardworking and competent, reliable, respectful to the inspector and court. Her advocacy is clear and concise, extremely persuasive, polite and courteous, respectful and takes witnesses down rabbit holes without them realising it.’
Jacqueline Lean Landmark Chambers ‘She is excellent at working alongside witnesses and ensuring they are prepared and with interacting with the underlying client, very good cross examination skills and is always polite and professional.’
Hashi Mohamed - Landmark Chambers  ‘Hashi is extremely personable and passionate about both planning and housing delivery. He is intellectually able, very quick on his feet and an impressive advocate. He has an uncanny ability to adjust his communication style to the person he is cross-examining, which proves extremely effective.’
Kate Olley – Francis Taylor Building  ‘Great written work is a real strength of Kate’s. She is very supportive and attentive to instructing solicitors, and has the authority of a silk. 
Ruchi Parekh  – Cornerstone Barristers ‘Ruchi is extremely busy and works in some of the most high-profile cases in the country. Her ability to understand and communicate complex ideas is unrivalled.’
Jack Parker  – Cornerstone Barristers ‘Jack holds his own way beyond his seniority. He has a composure and assuredness that instils confidence in judges and inspectors and is quite unshakable even in the face of challenge. He is well-prepared, sensible, straight forward and constructive in his dealings with opponents. Even though he is an excellent lawyer and advocate, it is his personal qualities that stand out and set him apart – unflappable, measured, constructive, settled and confident. Just what every client looks for.’
Heather Sargent  –Landmark Chambers  ‘Heather's advocacy is particularly impressive, as is her ability to quickly identify the key points at issue and of interest to the Judge. Heather makes her points succinctly and persuasively, and is very well attuned to the key elements of a case and how to address them on her feet.’
Nicola Strachan  –Six Pump Court  ‘An excellent barrister, knowledgeable, approachable and extremely robust.’
Ned Westaway  –Francis Taylor Building ‘Ned is professional, friendly and approachable. He can speak directly to the client in terms that the client understands, whilst also being able to argue technical legal points with his peers in court. He is able to read the court and knows when to reinforce a point and when to leave it with the judge. He is never aggressive in his approach, especially when dealing with cross-examination of witnesses, but is always firm and makes his point.’
Noémi ByrdSix Pump Court  ‘Noémi is able to understand the issues at hand quickly to provide the most appropriate advice. She has excellent knowledge of the planning law field and provides clear and concise advice to councils. Her advice is always detailed and has no problem in answering any follow-up questions which may arise. She can easily pick up on details which may be problematic in the future.’
Matthew Dale-Harris  – Landmark Chambers  ‘Matthew is exceptionally bright and capable, both as advocate and in conference or by way of written opinions. A true leading junior.’
Caroline Daly  –Francis Taylor Building  ‘Cool, calm and quietly authoritative. She is able to explain complex issues very clearly.’  
Jonathan Darby  – 39 Essex Chambers  ‘Jonathan is brilliant in his delivery and examination in inquiry, whilst maintaining a very approachable and down-to-earth manner with his instructing legal officer and clients. His ability to put himself into the local authority’s shoes and see a way forward is second-to-none.’
Sioned Davies No5 Barristers’ Chambers ‘Advocacy at public inquiry is real strength - Sioned displays excellent qualities in terms of her prep, thoroughness, understanding of the case and relevant case law and precedents and communication skills.’
Esther Drabkin-Reiter  – Francis Taylor Building  ‘Esther is really client friendly and provides clear and pragmatic advice. Her drafting skills in relation to court submissions are excellent.’
Emma Dring  – Cornerstone Barristers ‘Emma is very clear and thoughtful testing of evidence in cross-examination and very personable in style, providing challenge and reassurance on the case being prepared.’
Ben Du Feu  – Cornerstone Barristers ‘Ben is extremely calm under pressure. His advocacy is excellent because he is clear and articulate. He is also very approachable and easy to get on with generally. He is able to absorb a large amount of complex documentation in a very short amount of time and give excellent written advice. Ben's paperwork is succinct and comprehensive.‘
Matthew Fraser  – Landmark Chambers  ‘Matthew is a joy to work with. Matthew is invested in obtaining the right outcome for his clients, rather than just chalking up a win. Matthew's advocacy is calm, thorough, methodical and highly effective.’
Nick Grant  – Landmark Chambers ‘One to watch - very bright and excellent at drafting compelling and persuasive arguments.’
Howard Leithead – No5 Barristers’ Chambers 'Howard quickly absorbs the detail and identifies the key issues. His calm and clear advocacy is authoritative and persuasive. His personable approach and ability to lead a team adds value and direction.'
George Mackenzie  –Francis Taylor Building ‘George is an extremely approachable and user-friendly barrister to work with. He quickly sees the commercial drivers in the case and always provides very clear and digestible advice. His ability to work seamlessly with different personalities in the client team is also very impressive.’
James Neill Landmark Chambers ‘James is a solid advocate. He is great to work with and a systematic thinker.’
Daisy Noble  – Francis Taylor Building  ‘Daisy is forensic in her approach, innovative in her advice and a reliable, knowledgeable and trustworthy advocate. Daisy works hard on her client’s behalf, her advice is thoroughly researched and communicated with ease. Daisy is strong and resilient during cross examination with the ability to be both personable yet assertive on her client’s behalf. Her written opening and closing statements are prepared to an exceptional quality, even though the latter may need to be prepared at short notice.’
Annabel Graham PaulFrancis Taylor Building ‘Annabel’s advocacy is very strong and she has an ability to adapt to the twists and turns of a complex fast changing situation for cross-examination and for submissions to an inspector. Written submissions are also strong but her cross-examination demonstrates great skill.’
Vivienne Sedgley – 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square ‘Vivienne is very good and confident in the advice she gives. She can accurately assess the detail of complex and voluminous information. She is very articulate and able to express herself fluently and clearly, using plain language for the benefit of the clients. She is also able to address and answer questions directly and deal with issues raised very well.’
Horatio Waller – Francis Taylor Building ‘Horatio is a compelling and comprehensive advocate, both in writing and orally.’

Rising Stars

Charles Merrett - Francis Taylor Building 'Charlie is top-notch on the law and procedure. He is an impressive advocate, not a word wasted and on top of his brief.'
Conor Fegan – Francis Taylor Building ‘Conor is very pragmatic as well as methodical. He is calm in the face of cross-examination and it is very re-assuring to have him on side, being well-capable of handling opposition barristers. He is knowledgeable on planning and environmental case law.’
Ben Fullbrook Landmark Chambers ‘Ben is effective on his feet, pragmatic, commercial and a pleasure to deal with. A tough opponent but at the same time decent and reasonable.’
Mark Davies   – Six Pump Court  ‘Mark is very personable and works well with both solicitors and the lay clients. He is able to put lay clients at ease and get to the heart of matters quickly. Mark’s advocacy is good.’
Alex Williams Cornerstone Barristers  ‘Alex cross-examines to great effect and his submissions are excellent. His advocacy can’t be faulted.’

Planning in London Bar

Landmark Chambers

Landmark Chambers is a ‘go to’ set that ‘is unequalled in depth in the planning field’. The chambers has an established reputation in the development sector, while also carrying out significant work in the government and local government space. The set’s ‘enviable choice of counsel, both junior and senior’, appears in significant inquiries, promoting large urban extensions, as well as major mixed-use developments and tall buildings. Heather Sargent acted for Marks and Spencer after its application to demolish and rebuild its flagship store at Marble Arch, Oxford Street was called-in by the Secretary of State; Matthew Fraser represented the main objector, SAVE Britain’s Heritage, during the two-week public appeal. Fraser, led by David Elvin KC acting for Horse Hill Developments, was also one of several members involved in R (Finch) v Surrey County Council, a case concerning the scope of environmental impact assessments of hydrocarbon extraction projects, and its application – Richard Moules KC represented the Secretary of State in the same case Court of Appeal and led Nick Grant in the ongoing appeal in the Supreme Court. Timothy Corner KC led Guy Williams KC in Secretary of State for Transport v Curzon Park Ltd & others, representing the Secretary of State in the Supreme Court in a case concerning if CPO valuations should be increased by nearby planning applications. Tim Mould KC, as was, was appointed as a High Court Judge, effective February 2024.


‘The service is excellent. I work mainly with Jason Allen and Kevin Squires who respond and deal with matters very quickly and efficiently. They are both very personable and a pleasure to work with.’

‘The clerks team is first rate; always incredibly prompt in replying, courteous, well organised and informative. Mike Gooch stands out and I would also highlight Kevin Squires, Jonathan Barley and Jason Allen.’

‘The clerks are always readily available and particularly responsive. Mike Gooch is a particularly strong clerk and makes instruction as smooth as possible; I consider Mike to exemplify best practice. In addition, Ben Connor is an excellent clerk.’

‘The clerks are very quick to respond and provide excellent service; Richard Bolton, Mike Gooch and Ben Connor in particular have always been very easy to work with.’

‘The clerks provide a first-class service. They are responsive, user-friendly and reliable. They know their barristers very well. I particularly rate Ben Connor and Michael Gooch.’

‘Landmark is a clear frontrunner in terms of its depth of experience and knowledge of counsel, providing an enviable choice of counsel, both senior and junior.’

‘Landmark is the ‘go to’ chambers on planning and environmental law: always top notch.’

‘Landmark is an exceptional set for planning with enormous strength in depth. The planning talent is immense and they are extremely active in providing training and contributing to thought-leadership in the planning world.’

Work highlights

Francis Taylor Building

As ‘one of the leading barristers sets for planning‘, Francis Taylor Building provides a full spectrum planning practice. The chambers has an established and ‘deserved strong reputation‘ as an infrastructure set but has also seen a recent increase in residential schemes, from planning appeal inquiries to strategic advice to developers. A number of members have been instructed on the Sizewell C nuclear power station; Hereward Phillpot KC led for NNB Generation Company (SZC) Limited, a subsidiary of EDF; Andrew Tait KC is acting for the local planning authority, East Suffolk Council, in the ongoing hearings; and Hugh Flanagan is acting for EDF Energy on its application for development consent and appeared in the High Court. Members of chambers are involved in the litigation concerning the proposal to build a Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre over part of Victoria Tower Gardens; Meyric Lewis KC represented opponents London Gardens Trust and Save Victoria Tower Gardens, and Kate Olley acted for the Secretary of State and the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation. Richard Honey KC led the team of counsel on Friends of the Earth & South Lakeland Action on Climate Change v SSLUHC, defending two judicial reviews of the government’s approval of the Whitehaven coal mine. Simon Bird KC led Flanagan in Aquind Ltd v SSBEIS, appearing for the claimant after the Secretary of State refused a DCO for the proposed 2GW Aquind electricity interconnector between Le Havre and Portsmouth.


‘Clerks are very approachable and helpful. Great client service and knowledge of the sector from Paul Coveney and James Kemp in particular.’

‘James Kemp is excellent as deputy senior clerk.’

‘The clerks team is very strong, and the set are always a pleasure to deal with. In particular they are very good at liaising with the courts and other sets to help get hearings listed etc. My dealings are mostly with Andrew Briton but special mentions also for James Kemp and Harry Killick.’

‘I mainly deal with Harry Killick and Grant James, and they are a delight to work with: helpful and responsive.’

‘The clerks are all brilliant and very personable. We have been dealing most recently with Molly Dumbelton, who is responsive and helpful. I have always had positive experiences with Andrew Briton and Paul Coveney.’

‘FTB is one of the leading barristers sets for planning; and the first port of call for all major planning infrastructure work.’

‘Chambers is full of excellent barristers and has a deserved strong reputation in the planning world.’

‘First class for infrastructure planning. Very good quality training. Consistently high-quality individuals.’

Work highlights

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers is a ‘premier set‘ for planning matters, demonstrating a ‘variety of seniority and a breadth of knowledge‘. Its members display ‘real strength in depth across the board‘, advising on rural development, urban regeneration, housing development and community infrastructure, as well as attending local plan examinations and appearing at both large and small-scale planning inquiries. The set has broad expertise across the transport sector from roads, airports and seaports to railways, tramways and bus ways, and various members, including Richard Wald KC, James Strachan KC and Jonathan Darby continue to be involved in the HS2 railway project. Strachan KC is also acting for Luton Airport on its expansion, leading Victoria Hutton, and with John Steel KC representing Luton Borough Council. Richard Harwood OBE KC appeared in the Supreme Court, acting in Swindon BC v SSHCLG, a leading case on the meaning of highway, the scope of planning conditions and the interpretation of a planning permission. Christiaan Zwart successfully promoted the development of The Brick Veil Mosque in Preston over a two week inquiry; the application for planning permission was called-in by the Secretary of State as it raised National Policy, listed building and neighbourhood plan issues.


‘Elliott Hurrell  offers great clerking skills and is very amenable dealing with enquiries. The team of clerks are prompt and attentive and nothing is too much trouble.’

‘Elliott Hurrell and Andy Poyser are top class. Charlie Quant is a rising star.’

‘The service provided by Chambers and the clerks room is very good. Our instructions are usually placed through Elliott Hurrell and Oliver York, both of whom deal with matters effectively and efficiently.’

‘Andy Poyser is a delight to work with – knowledgeable, friendly and a head and shoulders above any other clerk in London.’

‘At all levels the clerks are fantastic. Andy Poyser is a well-known name in the planning world and excellent ambassador for the chambers.’

’39 is a premier set for planning and environmental law. It has a range of heavy hitters. Its clerking team is exceptional.’

’39 Essex is an excellent set for planning, environmental and public law, with a promising new development in real property.’

’39 Essex is a great set to work with. There’s a variety of seniority and a breadth of knowledge.’

Work highlights

Cornerstone Barristers

With ‘strong barristers at every level of experience‘, Cornerstone Barristers is involved in ‘very high-profile planning challenges‘, handling cases from the inquiry stage up to the Supreme Court. The set’s ‘real expertise in planning law‘, complemented by its proficiency in public law, property, energy, and local government law, makes it a ‘growing force in planning‘. Compulsory purchase and compensation cases is another area of expertise for the chambers. Thomas Cosgrove KC, leading Ruchi Parekh, successfully overturned a High Court decision on behalf of Mid Suffolk District Council in R (Thurston Parish Council) v Mid Suffolk DC and Bloor Homes, a significant Court of Appeal case within the planning arena on the distinction between interpretation and and application of planning policy. Several members have been involved in the Sunnica Energy Farm nationally significant infrastructure project; Michael Bedford KC appeared in the development consent order examination on behalf of Suffolk County Council, with Edward Grant and Parekh representing West Suffolk Council at the ongoing hearings. Harriet Townsend led for the local authority in R (Finch, on behalf of the Weald Action Group) v Surrey CC, arguing that, when considering an application for the commercial extraction of oil, it is not necessary to conduct an assessment of the emissions and climate impact of any subsequently manufactured products, as any such impact would not be an effect of development.


‘The clerks are always very responsive. I have dealt with George Reagan a lot. He is always very quick to respond, follows up on queries and is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Daniel Gatt is great, professional, extremely likeable, helpful and organised. All his team have consistently provided a high quality of service. Daniel always does his utmost to match counsel to the matter and to free up availability if at all possible.’ 

‘I think very highly of the clerks. I deal mainly with Daniel Gatt, Elliott Langdorf and Chelsea Thomas. They are all really helpful as well as friendly. This is one of the reasons why I use this set of chambers.’

‘Elliot Langdorf and Daniel Gatt stand out. Always willing to assist and give a choice of available counsel.’

‘Daniel Gatt very personable and professional, will work diaries around and try to find the best fit if a particular barrister is not available.’

‘Cornerstone is a strong set and has real expertise in planning law – I regularly attend their training seminars and have always found them informative, interesting and enjoyable.’

‘The set is a growing force in planning. The turnover is increasing, and barristers are doing very high-profile planning challenges in the courts.’

‘A superior set with strength and depth, providing an excellent service.’

Work highlights

Six Pump Court

Six Pump Court is a ‘very capable set with a strong expertise in planning‘, bolstered by the chambers’ regulatory and environment teams. The set’s ‘wealth of planning barristers‘ acts for a wide range of clients, from private sector parties, such as landowners, developers, infrastructure providers and interested third parties, to local authority clients across England and Wales. William Upton KC represented the Mears Group in the high-profile case of East Riding of Yorkshire Council v Mears Group and others concerning the accommodation of asylum seekers in local hotels and the distinction between hotels and hostels under planning law. Megan Thomas KC has promoted several plans for local planning authorities, appearing at the examinations of the local plans for Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells – examples of the set’s strengths in the South East of England outside London.


‘Michael Hearn is a top-drawer clerk, highly likable and very professional.’

‘Michael Hearn at 6 Pump Court is the best clerk I have worked with. It is clear that Michael works incredibly hard to provide an excellent service to all the clients of the chambers, treating solicitors as valued customers. Daniel Jenkins, although very junior, is showing promise of becoming an excellent clerk.’

‘I regularly deal with Ryan Barrow who is my main point of contact. However, over time I have dealt with all the clerks who are all very accessible and helpful.’

‘The clerks at 6 Pump Court are excellent. Ryan Barrow in particular is always very quick to respond.’

‘6 Pump Court have a wealth of planning barristers; each barrister I have worked with has been friendly as well as extremely knowledgeable within their field. They run regular training events which are always excellent and very informative.’

‘Very capable set with a strong expertise in planning and members who will go the extra mile.’

‘All counsels that I have worked with have in-depth knowledge of planning law and they are able to explain in a clear manner any complexities that may arise. ‘

‘6 Pump Court is a set that is small by modern standards, but it does offer a breadth of experience and personal service.’

Work highlights