George Laurence QC > New Square Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

New Square Chambers
New Square Chambers


Specialises in real property disputes; also has special interest and expertise in the public and administrative aspects of property law, in particular concerning access to the countryside, minor highways, commons and village greens. He frequently appears at public inquiries and before both Houses of Parliament, notably when dealing with the High Speed 2 (2006, House of Lords), Channel Tunnel, Crossrail and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link hybrid bills. His cases since 2000 (many in the House of Lords, Supreme Court or Court of Appeal) include: Ex parte Sunningwell [2000] 1 AC 335; Masters v Secretary of State for the Environment [2001] GB 151 (CA); Yaxley v Gotts [2001] Ch 162 (CA); R (Beresford) v Sunderland City Council [2004] 1 AC 889; Todd v Secretary of State for the Environment [2004] 1 WLR 2471; Oxfordshire County Council v Oxford City Council [2006] 2 AC 674; R (Norfolk County Council) v Sosefra [2006] 1 WLR 1103; R (Kind) v Sosefra [2006] QB 113; Ford-Camber Ltd v Deanminster Ltd [2007] EWCA Civ 458; R (Godmanchester Town Council) v Sosefra [2008] 1 AC 221; Sava v SS Global [2008] EWCA Civ 1308; Smith v Muller [2008] EWCA Civ 1425; Winchester College v Hampshire County Council [2009] 1 WLR 138 (CA); Betterment Properties (Weymouth) Ltd v Dorset County Council [2009] 1 WLR 334 (CA); Herrick v Kidner and Somerset County Council [2010] EWHC 269 (Admin); R (Lewis) v Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Anor (No 2) [2010] 2 AC 70; Leeds Group plc v Leeds City Council [2011] Ch 363 (CA); Leeds Group plc v Leeds City Council (No 2) (CA) [2012] 1 WLR 1561 (CA); Fortune v Wiltshire County Council [2013] 1 WLR 808 (CA); Betterment Properties (Weymouth) Limited v Dorset County Council (No 2) SC(E) [2014] AC 1072; Paddico (267) Limited v Kirklees Metropolitan Council SC(E) [2014] AC 1072; R (Barkas) v N Yorkshire County Council SC(E) [2015] AC 195; R (Newhaven Port and Properties Ltd) v East Sussex County Council SC(E) [2015] 1 AC 1547; R (Andrews) v Sosefra [2015] EWCA Civ 669; Powell and anor v Sosefra [2014] EWHC 4003 (admin); R (Trail Riders Fellowship) v Dorset County Council SC(E) [2015] UKSC 18.


Called 1972; QC 1991; bencher of Middle Temple. Frequently writes and lectures on subjects relating to access to the countryside. 2004, resigned judicial appointments (Deputy High Court Judge and Recorder) to pursue career as full-time advocate.


Parliamentary Bar; Planning and Environmental Bar Association; Administrative Law Bar Association; Chancery Bar Association; Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.


Oxford University (MA); Cape Town (BA); Rhodes Scholar; Harmsworth Scholar.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Agriculture

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 2

George Laurence QCNew Square ChambersHe has almost single-handedly made the modern law on village greens.

Members of New Square Chambers are ‘always helpful and go above and beyond’, leveraging their ‘renowned expertise’ in town and village greens, access to the countryside, common land, rights of way and the law of highways. In the case of Roxlena Limited v Cumbria County Council, George Laurence QC is representing the appellant/claimant in seeking permission from the Supreme Court to appeal a modification order under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which would provide 44 new footpaths crisscrossing the client’s land.

London Bar > Property litigation

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 2

George Laurence QCNew Square ChambersHe is of the highest calibre. An inspiring leader and a person of great personal integrity and kindness.

New Square Chambers is a set with ‘renowned expertise in public rights of way, village greens, administrative and public law’ and is equally well-regarded for its handling of real property and landlord and tenant disputes. George Laurence QC is ‘a leading authority on the law relating to public rights of way and open spaces‘. In a recent highlight, Alexander Learmonth was instructed for Price v Saundry, a Court of Appeal case in which he represented the beneficiary of a dozen rental properties in forcing the trustee to account for and sell the portfolio; the matter was gained further significance via the discovery of various irregularities and illegal payments.