Richard Honey QC > Francis Taylor Building > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Francis Taylor Building

Work Department

  • Administrative and public law
  • Dnvironmental
  • Compulsory purchase and land valuation
  • Planning
  • Local government
  • agriculture and rural affairs
  • Arbitration


Richard Honey QC practises as a barrister in the fields of public law and environmental law, with particular specialisms in judicial review and similar statutory challenges, infrastructure projects, compulsory purchase and compensation, and climate change and ESG litigation.  He is called to the Bars of England and Wales and Northern Ireland.  Richard appears most frequently in the Administrative / Planning Court and in the Upper Tribunal Lands Chamber.  He is also an experienced appellate advocate, having appeared in the Court of Appeal 18 times, including 14 appearances as lead/sole counsel.  Until he took Silk, he was a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of junior counsel to the Crown, having spent some 12 years on the AG’s panels in total.

Richard is ranked as a leading barrister in four separate fields in both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500: local government; environment; planning; and agriculture and rural affairs.  He was the environment/planning junior barrister of the year at the Chambers UK Bar Awards in 2018 (nominated in 2016 also).   

In environmental law, Richard has since 2010 been ranked as a leading barrister by both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500.  He was also listed as the leading junior barrister in environmental law by Who’s Who Legal.

In planning law, Richard has been ranked as a leading barrister by both Chambers and Partners (since 2012) and Legal 500 (since 2008).  Prior to taking Silk, he was regularly ranked in the top 10 highest rated planning junior barristers in the Planning magazine survey and was ranked top of Band 1 in Chambers and Partners 2020 and the 2021 Legal 500.  

Richard is also ranked by Chambers and Partners in local government (2014-2015, 2019-2020) and in agriculture and rural affairs (2015-2020), and by the 2021 Legal 500 in local government and agriculture.  


Called 2003; Inner Temple, and Northern Ireland (2013). QC 2001. Attorney General’s panel of junior counsel to the Crown. Visiting lecturer, King’s College London. Chartered Surveyor. Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Associate tenant, KBW Chambers, Leeds. Editor: Gadsden on Commons and Greens; Compulsory Purchase and Compensation Service; Journal of Planning & Environmental Law. Contributor: Burnett-Hall on Environmental Law; National Infrastructure Planning Handbook; Law of Regulatory Sanctions and Enforcement.


Planning and Environment Bar Association, Administrative Law Bar Association, Bar European Group, UK Environmental Law Association, Environmental and Planning Law Association of Northern Ireland, Compulsory Purchase Association, National Infrastructure Planning Association.


  • Called to the Bar of England and Wales (2003; QC 2021)
  • Called to the Bar of Northern Ireland (2013)
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Former member of the Attorney General’s Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown (A Panel 2016-2021; B Panel 2014-2016; C Panel 2008-2013)
  • Former Chairman of the Compulsory Purchase Association (2012-2013)
  • Member of the Committee of the Administrative Law Bar Association
  • Member of the Committee of the Planning and Environment Bar Association
  • Member of the Planning Court Users’ Group
  • Member of the Upper Tribunal Lands Chamber Users’ Group
  • Chairman of the steering group of the UK Sierra Leone Pro Bono Network

Although he is clerked exclusively through FTB, Richard holds an associate tenancy at KBW Chambers in Leeds, to assist his work for clients in the north and north-east of England.  

Richard is a member of the Northern Ireland Bar Library in Belfast.  

Richard is a member of the Planning and Environment Bar Association, the Administrative Law Bar Association, the Parliamentary Bar Mess, the UK Environmental Law Association, the Northern Ireland Planning Bar Association, the Environmental and Planning Law Association of Northern Ireland, the Compulsory Purchase Association and the National Infrastructure Planning Association.  

Richard is the General Editor of the Compulsory Purchase & Compensation Service (Bloomsbury Professional) and co-editor of The Law of Compulsory Purchase (Bloomsbury Professional, 2018) and Gadsden & Cousins on Commons and Greens (Sweet & Maxwell, 2nd edition 2012 and 3rd edition 2020).  He is also a contributor to the National Infrastructure Planning Handbook (Bloomsbury Professional, 2015, 2016 and 2018), the third edition of Burnett-Hall on Environmental Law (Sweet & Maxwell, 2012) and The Law of Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions (OUP, 2011).

Richard was the planning decisions editor of the Journal of Planning & Environmental Law from 2009 to 2016 and an editor of the Planning Appeal Decisions (Sweet & Maxwell) from 2004 to 2012.  

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Environment

(2021 Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Richard Honey QCFrancis Taylor BuildingHe is extremely responsive, has an incredible eye for detail and will be fully on top of his brief.

Acting for major corporates, developers, statutory regulators, environmental action groups and individuals, Francis Taylor Building is a highly regarded planning set with a strong contingent of members handling cases involving environmental regulation and land use planning, as well as common law and criminal environmental liability. Robert McCracken QC has brought several challenges to grants of planning permission and adoption of air quality policies based on European air quality directives. Members frequently member appear against each other, as is the case with the high-profile Drax power station litigation, in which Gregory Jones QC is leading rising star Merrow Golden for claimant ClientEarth, with prominent junior Ned Westaway appearing for the Secretary of State. New silk Richard Honey QC is acting for the defendant Secretary of State in a judicial review of the design of the new UK emissions trading scheme.

London Bar > Agriculture

(2021 Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Richard Honey QCFrancis Taylor Building

Francis Taylor Building handles a wide array of agricultural matters, with particular strength in public law-related cases. Areas of strength include common land, town and village green applications, rights of way, and easements. Members regularly appear as advocates and inspectors at village green inspections, a particular strength for Morag Ellis QC, who represented the Welsh Government in Cefn yr Hendy, Llantrisant and Cowbridge Sports Ground, successfully resisting the registration of development land as a town or village green after a public inquiry. Richard Honey QC is noted for his strength in environmental law, and represented the successful claimant in the Foscote Hill Farm judicial review of the grant of planning permission for the relocation of a farm business, including a new dwelling and agricultural buildings. Ned Westaway, unled, represented DEFRA and the Animal and Plant Health Agency in MacDonald v Animal Plant And Health Agency, a case garnering much media attention concerning the refusal of the owner of an alpaca named Geronimo to destroy it after it tested positive for bovine tuberculosis twice.

London Bar > Planning

(2021 Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Richard Honey QCFrancis Taylor BuildingVery hard-working and responsive with great knowledge of compulsory purchase law.

London Bar > Local government (including rating law)

(2021 Silks)Ranked: Tier 1

Richard Honey QCFrancis Taylor BuildingA tenacious and detailed practitioner who leaves no stone unturned. Always willing to roll sleeves up as part of the project team – will set out parameters and risks with a view to reaching a negotiated solution.