Mr James Strachan QC > Chambers of Charlie Cory-Wright QC and Richard Harwood QC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Charlie Cory-Wright QC and Richard Harwood QC
39 Essex Chambers
James Strachan photo


Areas of practice include: public and administrative; planning and environment; commercial; financial services; local government; civil liberties and human rights; privacy and freedom of information. Notable recent cases include: Orabator v HMP Holloway [2010] EWHC 58 (repatriation of foreign prisoners); R (Smith) v Land Registry [2010] EWCA Civ 2000 (adverse possession of highways); R (U) v SIAC [2010] EWHC 813 (bail in SIAC); R (KB) v Secretary of State for Justice [2010] EWHC 15 (prisons and YOI); Guildford BC v Sec of State for Communities [2009] EWHC 3531 (greenbelt extensions); MetroConstruction v LB Barnet [2009] EWHC 2956 (conservation area designations); Brown v Carlisle City Council [2009] EWHC 2519 (EIA); S & Marper v UK [2008] ECHR 1581, ECtHR (retention of fingerprints and DNA);Capel Parish Council v Surrey County Council [2009] EWHC 350 (EU Waste Directive and waste incinerator); Home Secretary v AR [2008] EWHC 3164 (Prevention of Terrorism Act Control Order); WK v Home Secretary and A v Croydon [2009] EWHC (age assessments); Heffernan v Rent Service [2008] UKHL 58, [2008] 1 WLR 1702 (locality for housing benefit); South Cambridgeshire v First Secretary of State [2008] EWCA Civ 1010 (greenbelt and travellers); Jeffery v First Secretary of State [2007] EWCA Civ 584 (discontinuance orders); West Midlands International Airportv Secretary of State for Communities and LocalGovernment [2008] EWHC 2309 (airport expansion); Heather Moor & Edgecomb v Financial Ombudsman Service [2008] EWCA Civ 642 (ombudsmanand human rights); Burney v Burns Anderson [2007] 4 All ER 246 (ombudsman and pensions); R v London Borough of Bromley ex p Barker [2007] 1 AC 470, HL & ECJ (environmental impact assessments); R(IFG) v Financial Ombudsman Service [2005] EWHC 1153 (powers of ombudsman); R(X) v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police [2004] EWCA Civ 1068 (criminal record disclosure); A v West Yorkshire Police [2004] UKHL 21, [2004] 2 WLR 1209; Goodwin v UK [2002] 35 EHRR 18 (rights of transsexuals and Article 14); R (Adriano) v Surrey County Council [2003] Env LR 24 (incinerator permission); Evans v First Secretary of State [2004] Env LR 1523 (striking out of s288 proceedings); Associated Newspapers, News International, Guardian, Telegraph and BBC v Home Secretary, AD and LL (anonymity in control orders) [2005] EWHC Admin.


Called 1996, Middle Temple; QC 2013; General’s ‘A’ Panel of Treasury Council 2008 (following B Panel 2004-08 and C Panel 2000-04) and to Welsh Assembly Government Panel of Counsel. Publications include ‘Crown Proceedings’ Atkins Court Forms Vol 13 (2008); ‘The Right to Privacy’ Your Rights (Liberty 2008); ‘The Right to Privacy in English Law’ [2002] EHRLR 129; ‘Privacy Postponed’ [2003] EHRLR Special Issue; ‘Magistrates’ in Human Rights and Judicial Review (Butterworths 2001).




Oxon (MA); College of Law (Diploma of Law, Commendation); BVC (outstanding) 1995 Harmsworth Major Entrance Exhibition (Middle Temple).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Administrative and public law (including elections)

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 2

James Strachan QC39 Essex ChambersA highly experienced public lawyer. He is very intelligent, knows the area very well and is a fine advocate.

London Bar > Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 4

James Strachan QC39 Essex ChambersSuper-bright, always two steps ahead of everyone else in the courtroom. Because of that, his clear and measured (and perhaps a little understated) advocacy style works.

39 Essex Chambers has an ‘unparalleled range of exceptional juniors and leading counsel’ and leverages its vast public law expertise to act on complex human rights issues including immigration, right to life, and healthcare-related human rights. Recent instructions include Lisa Giovannetti QC appearing before the Supreme Court in R (AM Zimbabwe) v SSHD concerning the deportation of foreign nationals on the basis of lack of access to health care in their home countries against the ECHR articles. James Strachan QC is the key practitioner in right to die cases on behalf of the government. Other members of note include Vikram Sachdeva QC highlighted for his ‘intellectual agility and flair‘ and ‘fearless advocate‘ Nigel Pleming QC. In recent news, Steve Broach has strengthened the set after joining from Monckton Chambers.

London Bar > Planning

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

James Strachan QC39 Essex ChambersSpecial note should be made of the “text book” way that James conducted his cross examination of the objector’s witnesses and the way that he extracted concession after concession leaving the objector with no alternative but to withdraw.

London Bar > Financial services regulation

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 3

James Strachan QC39 Essex ChambersHas a deep knowledge of Financial Services law which he deploys to great effect, and is a tenacious and technically proficient advocate.

London Bar > Environment

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 2

James Strachan QC39 Essex ChambersHe has a calm and pleasant manner in court but is ruthlessly effective in cross-examination.