Asitha Ranatunga > Cornerstone Barristers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Cornerstone Barristers

Work Department

Public law; planning and environment law; licensing.


Asitha regularly appears at public inquiries, hearings and before the Higher Courts. His clients include developers and individuals as well as local authorities and residents’ groups. He provides strategic and legal advice across a range of sectors including development (residential, retail, and leisure), infrastructure (renewable energy and highways), and regulatory control (environmental enforcement).

Asitha recently appeared at planning inquiries for Waverley BC, successfully defending their decisions to refuse edge of settlement residential schemes for 53 and 57 units around the village of Rudgwick. He also successfully defended Huntingdonshire DC’s decision to grant planning permission for a crematorium promoted by the Town Council (R (Dignity Funerals Ltd.) v Huntingdonshire DC [2019] EWHC 2114 (Admin), and Tonbridge & Malling BC’s decision to grant full planning permission for a gypsy site R (Miles) v Tonbridge & Malling BC et al. [2020] EWHC 1608 (Admin).

In licensing, Asitha has considerable experience of contested appeals acting for the trade as well as defending licensing authority decisions. He recently acted for Islington Council on appeal, defending the Council’s decision to impose restrictive conditions on the operation of a Grade II listed pub known as The Sekforde in the Clerkenwell area following noise and disturbance complaints.

Contributor to “Cornerstone on the Planning Court” and “Licensed Premises: Law and Practice”.

Called in 2001 (Inner-Temple).


Planning and Environment Bar Association (PEBA); Institute of Licensing; Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA); UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA).     


Pembroke College, Cambridge; (MA, MPhil Classics); Bristol Grammar School.


Cricket and travel.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Licensing

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Asitha RanatungaCornerstone BarristersAsitha is extremely efficient with his and his clients’ time preparing for hearings.’

Cornerstone Barristers is noted for being ‘excellent’ when it comes to licensing matters, with a focus on representing operators in disputes concerning gambling, sex shops, alcohol, public entertainment and private hire. In Uber London Limited v Transport for London & United Trade Action Group & APCU & Transopco Limited, Ranjit Bhose KC led Josef Cannon, acting on behalf of Uber in proceedings questioning whether the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 requires a licensed operator to enter a contract as a principal with a passenger who has booked a journey. Asitha Ranatunga represented Bessington Investments in an objection to One World Festival’s application for a new premises license.

London Bar > Planning

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 3

Asitha Ranatunga  – Cornerstone Barristers ‘Asitha is somebody who can provide excellent advice and finds pragmatic solution to the most complicated problem. He is very robust with his advocacy and leaves no stones unturned in his preparation for hearings. His advice is thorough and complete.’