Barrister Profile



Year of Call: 1993

KC: 2013

Main Areas of Practice

Administrative Law or Judicial Review
Public Inquiries


I practice in planning, environmental, public and art law, appearing in the High Court, appellate courts and planning inquiries, hearings and examinations. Having specialised in these areas for over 20 years in England and Wales, I have broadened my practice to reflect my family connections with Northern Ireland. I was called to the Bar in Belfast in 2016.

In London I practice from 39 Essex Chambers.

Recommended by Legal 500 as a leading silk in Administrative and public law, Energy, Environmental Law and Planning Law and by Chambers UK as a leading silk in Art & Cultural Property Law, Local Government law, Environmental Law and Planning Law.

I act for a wide range of developers, landowners, local authorities, government bodies and interest groups.


I studied law at Jesus College, Cambridge with an MA and LLM, winning the University’s E.C.S. Wade Prize for Administrative Law. In the New Year Honours 2014 I was awarded an OBE for services to planning and environment law decision making.

A former Deputy Chair of the Advisory Panel on Standards for the Planning Inspectorate, I am also member of the Local Plans Export Group which reported to English Ministers in 2016.

A member of the Planning and Environment Bar Association, Compulsory Purchase Association, National Infrastructure Planning Association, Administrative Law Bar Association, Professional Advisers to the International Art Market and a corporate member of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association and the Environmental and Planning Law Association of Northern Ireland (EPLANI).


I deal with the full range of planning matters, dealing with housing, retail, offices, minerals, waste, energy, aviation, roads, rail and other major infrastructure.

Major cases on Environmental Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment and Habitats include:

I act for promoters and objectors for compulsory purchase orders and for claimants and acquiring authorities in the Lands Tribunal.

Environmental cases include:

I also deal with regulatory art matters, such as export licensing, listed building control and treasure.


A case editor of the Journal of Planning and Environment Law, I am also the author of the standard books on English and Welsh planning law: Planning Permission (Bloomsbury, 2016), Planning Enforcement (2nd Ed, Bloomsbury, 2013) and Historic Environment Law (Institute of Art and Law, 2012, Supplement, 2014). These are widely used in Northern Ireland. The next writing project is Planning Policy, being co-authored with Victoria Hutton, a barrister at 39 Essex Chambers, and to be published by Bloomsbury in 2017. It will cover the policy making process in Northern Ireland, England and Wales.

Additionally I have co-authored Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004: A Guide to the New Law (Law Society, 2005) and Contaminated Land: Property Transactions and the New Regime (EMIS, 2000) and in the past have contributed to the Planning Encyclopedia, the Planning Factbook, Local Government Contracts and Procurement (Tottel, 2007) and Archaeology in Law (Sweet & Maxwell, 1996)