Joel Semakula > Chambers of David Holland KC and Reuben Taylor KC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of David Holland KC and Reuben Taylor KC
Landmark Chambers


Joel joined Chambers in 2020 and is developing a practice across all three of Chambers’ main practice areas with a focus on property, environmental and planning law. He has particular experience securing urgent interim relief for claimants ranging from government to commercial entities. In appropriate cases, Joel accepts instructions on a direct access and pro bono basis. He is a member of the Attorney-General’s junior junior scheme and is an assistant editor for Garner’s Environmental Law.

His most recent instructions include:

  • Acting for the defendant (led by David Holland QC) in a six-day trial in the High Court where the claimants seek his removal as a trustee and substantial damages for alleged breach of trust.
  • Acting for the commercial developer (led by James Maurici QC) in a ten-day planning inquiry appealing the decision to refuse planning permission for a mixed-use development in Takeley.
  • Valero Energy and others: Acting for a number of large commercial entities to secure urgent interim injunctions to restrain trespass and nuisance to their private land in response to large-scale protest activity.
  • National Highways Ltd v Heyatawin [2021] EWHC 3093 (QB): Acting for National Highways (led by David Elvin QC and Myriam Stacey QC) in proceedings to prevent trespass and nuisance on the strategic road network in response to significant disruption caused by large-scale protest action by campaign group ‘Insulate Britain.’
  • Acting for the Respondent Landlord in an appeal of a possession order where the key issue was the extent to which District Judges are required to scrutinise the complex forms for possession orders and the consequence of a failure to notice an error by the landlord, even if not raised by a tenant in the defence or hearing.
  • Wallpott v Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee [2021] EWHC 3291 (Admin): Acting for NHS Wales (led by David Lock QC) in a judicial review of a decision not to approve NHS funding to meet the costs of the Claimant’s treatment for terminal illness where it was determined she did not fall within the policy to permit independent patient funding.
  • Acting for the successful local authority in the High Court resisting an application for permission to judicially review a decision not to grant coronavirus grants and small business rates relief.
  • Acting for the successful Rule 6 Party (local residents’ group) in a five-day planning inquiry, which was one of the first appeals to challenge a proposal for DMS housing where key issues were Rural Exception Sites and Very Special Circumstances for Green Belt development.
  • Advising a global energy company on recovery of approx. £3m overpaid rent in respect of its petrol station sites.

Before commencing legal studies, Joel was an investment banker with Morgan Stanley in New York. Joel, therefore, brings a wealth of commercial experience to his practice at the Bar. Following his legal studies, he was the Judicial Assistant to Lady Justice Gloster (as she then was) and Lord Justice David Richards at the Court of Appeal where he assisted on cases covering commercial, chancery, public and international law.

Away from the law, Joel can be found performing on a comedy stage or volunteering with initiatives that support social mobility.


Administrative Law Bar Association
Chancery Bar Association
Court of Protection Bar Association
Property Bar Association


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – BA Political Science and Economics (First Class)
University of Oxford  (Mansfield College) – BA Jurisprudence (with Senior Status)
BPP University, London – BPTC (Outstanding)