Mr John Bates > Chambers of Oliver Segal KC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Oliver Segal KC
Old Square Chambers
John Bates photo

Work Department

Environment and product liability law.


Practice Areas:

Over the last 20 years John has acquired considerable experience in criminal and civil cases involving environmental work – although it is in the civil courts that John has been appearing in more recently. Barr v. Biffa [2011] EWHC 1003 (TCC) was a Group Litigation case of odour nuisance from a landfill with 152 Claimants. John did the legal advocacy for the Claimant which involved a detailed examination of the regulatory scheme in both English and EC legislation as the Defendant raised the defence of statutory authority. They also argued that compliance with the regulatory scheme was a ‘reasonable use’ of land for the law of nuisance. D’s statutory authority argument was rejected but they succeeded on ‘reasonable use.’ The Court of Appeal overturned this decision and the case is being retried. Dobson v. Thames Water [2011] EWHC 3253 (TCC) was a Group Litigation nuisance case concerning odour and mosquitoes with over 1300 Claimants. John dealt with the mosquito case, cross examining expert witnesses and doing the opening and closing speeches on them. He was also involved in the detailed negligence claim in respect of the design and operation of the sewage treatment works and drafted the particulars of negligence. John also acts in many water and drainage cases such as abstraction, flood defence or fishing rights. In Robert Lindley Ltd v East Riding of Yorkshire Council [2016] UKUT 0006 he obtained compensation for a farmer whose fields were flooded following flood relief work.


Qualified 1973; joined Old Square Chambers 1996


UK Marine Environmental Law; UK Waste Law; Water and Drainage Law; co-author of Liability for Environmental Harm; Fact Sheets on Environmental Access to Justice Rules in the EU Member States for the European e-Justice Portal.



Chairman UK Environmental Law Association 1991-93; member Planning and Environment Bar Association.


Inns of Court School of Law.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Environment

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 3

John BatesOld Square ChambersAn expert in water and drainage matters, and adept in environmental group action cases.