James Maurici KC > Chambers of David Holland KC and Reuben Taylor KC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of David Holland KC and Reuben Taylor KC
Landmark Chambers


James Maurici was called to the Bar of England & Wales in 1996. He was appointed King’s Counsel in 2013. He practices in planning; environmental law; and public law. His practice regularly encompasses EU and international law. He was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2009 and practises in that jurisdiction also.

James was a member of the Attorney-General’s London Panels of Junior Counsel to the Crown from 1999-2013. He  also served on the Welsh Assembly Government’s Junior Counsel Panel from 2009 to 2013.

Planning: James’ planning practice encompasses all aspects of planning including: advisory, advocacy at inquiries and hearings and advocacy in the Higher Courts. He has considerable experience of Development Plan examination hearings. His practice also encompasses compulsory purchase and compensation, harbours, highways, rights of way, commons registration and village greens (both inquiries and in the Higher Courts). His recent cases high-profile include:

  • Compton Parish Council & Others v Guildford BC [2019] EWHC 3242 (Admin);
  • R (Spurrier) v Secretary of State for Transport and others [2019] EWHC 1070 (Admin) and R (Plan B) v Secretary of State for Transport [2020] EWCA Civ 214 multiple judicial review challenges to the Airports NPS favouring Heathrow expansion and raising issues related to SEA, air quality, climate change, bias, reasons and habitats;
  • R (Shirley) v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government  [2019] 2 C.M.L.R. 14 on the interpretation of the air quality directive;
  • R (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) v Secretary of State for Justice [2017] 5 Costs L.O. 691 on the challenge to the revised Aarhus costs rules;

Environment: James’ environmental law practice is wide-ranging, covering matters such as habitats and species protection, contaminated land, air quality, waste, access to environmental information, statutory and common law nuisance and all aspects of environment impact assessment, strategic environmental assessment and environmental permitting. He has considerable expertise on climate change issues, and especially emissions trading: see below. He has also been involved in a number of cases concerning marine environmental issues: see below. He regularly advises and is involved in cases concerning access to environmental information. He has also appeared a number of times before the UNECE Aarhus Compliance Committee in Geneva. He has made many appearances before the Court of Justice of the European Union and the General Court of the European Union (formerly the European Court of First Instance) in environmental cases.

Public law: His public law practice is very wide ranging and has included housing (see e.g. Yemshaw v Hounslow LBC [2011] 1 W.L.R. 433), social security (including national insurance) (see e.g. Zalewska v Department for Social Development [2008] UKHL 67), tax matters, education (James was a governor at two state primary schools for 13 years in total and a Chair of Governors for 5 years), regulatory, local government including local government finance (see e.g. R (Cheshire East BC) v Secretary of State for the Environment Queen’s Bench [2011] EWHC 1975 (Admin)); and all aspects of human rights law. He has appeared in a number of high-profile public law cases including:

  • R (Sharon Shoesmith) v Ofsted and Others [2011] P.T.S.R. 1459;
  • R (Bradley and others) v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions [2009] Q.B. 114;
  • Ken Livingstone v Adjudication Panel for England [2006] H.R.L.R. 45;
  • R v. Bow Street Magistrate, ex p. Pinochet Ugarte (No. 2) [2000] 1 A.C. 119 and;
  • the Alconbury litigation [2003] 2 A.C. 295.

James has advised and acted on a number of cases involving the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman the Local Government Ombudsman and the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales.

European: He has regularly appeared in the Court of Justice of the European Union and the General Court of the European Union (formerly the European Court of First Instance) on environmental matters. Cases include:

  • Case C-71-14 East Sussex County Council v Information Commissioner [2016] P.T.S.R. 179 (property searches and the Environmental Information Directive);
  • Case C 279/12 Fish Legal & Emily Shirley v The Information Commissioner, United Utilities, Yorkshire Water and Southern Water[2014] 2 W.L.R. 568 (the meaning of public authority under the Environmental Information Directive);
  • Case C-43/12 Commission v European Parliament and Council (cross-border exchange of on road safety related traffic offences);
  • Case C 530/11 Commission v United Kingdom and Case C-260/11 Edwards v Environment Agency (costs and environmental judicial reviews);
  • Case C-567/10 Inter-Environnement Bruxelles ASBL, (strategic environmental assessment) 22/3/2012;
  • Case C-504/09 P Commission v Poland (EU Emissions Trading) 29/03/2012;
  • Case C-474/10 Seaport (NI) Ltd, Magherafelt District Council and Others v Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland (strategic environmental assessment) 20/10/2011 and;
  • Case T-369/07 Latvia v Commission (EU Emissions Trading) 22/03/2011.

International: In addition to his extensive European Court practice (see above) James has made several appearances before the UNECE Aarhus Compliance Committee in Geneva. He has acted in cases going to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. His international practice also includes cases in the Isle of Man (including before the Staff of Government see e.g. Penfolds v The Treasury).

James works for a wide range of public sector clients, private clients and public interest groups.


  • Administrative Law Bar Association;
  • United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (‘UKELA’);
  • Planning and Environment Bar Association (“PEBA”);
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association;
  • United Kingdom Association for European Law;
  • Compulsory Purchase Association;
  • Bar European Group;
  • National Infrastructure Planning Association (“NIPA”) and
  • UK State Aid Law Association.

Between June 2008 and June 2016 he was on the Council of UKELA and was also on the Executive Committee of UKELA for much of that time.


James read Jurisprudence at Hertford College, Oxford (BA First Class Honours in 1994 and BCL First Class in 1995). In his BA he was awarded the Martin Wronker proxime.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Planning

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

James Maurici KC – Landmark Chambers ‘James is able to combine his exemplary, specialist knowledge in order to provide a first-class service. Furthermore, his calm but confident method of delivery reassures clients.’

London Bar > Agriculture

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

James Maurici KCLandmark Chambers ‘A quiet and considered silk, James wins the trust of clients by virtue of his depth of knowledge of the law; this combined with a particular eye for detail makes him a particularly talented strategic thinker.

London Bar > Administrative law and human rights

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

James Maurici KC – Landmark Chambers ‘James was very easy to work with and responsive.’

London Bar > Environment

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

James Maurici KCLandmark Chambers ‘Combines his exemplary knowledge of the planning decision-making process with a calm but confident method of delivery that reassures clients.’

Probably the best set in this area in terms of breadth and depth’, Landmark Chambers has ‘a large range of top planning, public and environmental lawyers providing solid service’. Its members are ‘very good for environmental law with a lot of very able and experienced practitioners, and the set deserves its reputation as a top-tier chambers’. Members frequently act for government entities, regulators, industry, corporates, private individuals and groups on matters concerning air quality, access to environmental justice, waste, contaminated land, pollution, climate change, emissions trading, environmental permitting and regulation and a host of other issues. David Elvin KC is among the most prominent and experienced silks in this field of law, and James Maurici KC, who is currently handling a group litigation case concerning claims for a terrorist-caused oil spill in Colombia, is also a standout silk. Prominent junior Richard Moules successfully represented the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government in a case concerning the scope of environmental impact assessment of fossil fuel extraction projects.

London Bar > Local government (including rating law)

Local government finance is an area of strength for Landmark Chambers. One member heavily active in this area is Dan Kolinsky KC, ‘an excellent advocate at every level from the Valuation Tribunal to the Supreme Court.’ He recently represented Nuffield Health in Nuffield Health v London Borough of Merton, a case hinging on whether a fitness centre which operates as a charity is eligible for charitable rates relief. The set acts for many of the UK’s largest city and county councils, and James Maurici KC counts many as clients. Galina Ward KC also represented the former Mayor of Liverpool in R (Anderson) v Liverpool City Council, a challenge against Liverpool County Council’s refusal to grant an indemnity against defense costs in criminal proceedings regarding allegations about his time in office.