Barrister Profile



Year of Call: 1988

KC: 2006

Main Areas of Practice

Administrative Law or Judicial Review


I am a Queen’s Counsel specialising for the past 20 years in development planning, energy, waste management, environmental law, and judicial review. Based mainly in Belfast, I provide commercially aware advocacy and advice to the development industry throughout the UK and Ireland, my clients including major renewable energy and infrastructure developers, retail, commercial, and industrial interests, airports, ports, waste operators, and house builders. A qualified Mediator, I believe that mediation can perform an important role in resolving planning and environmental disputes, and contribute to public consultation. Areas of work include Renewables, Retail, Industrial, Commercial, Aviation, Transport, Waste, Environment and Public Inquiries.


1987; Bachelor of Laws (1st Class Honours), Queen’s University Belfast

1988; Barrister-at-Law

1998; Law Society/Royal Town Planning Institute Planning Examination

2000; Called to the Bar of Ireland

2006; Queen’s Counsel

2011; SLS Dispute Resolution and Mediation Training

Tutor, Planning Law, Queen’s University, Belfast

Legal Associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute

Affiliate of the Irish Planning Institute

Associate of the Planning & Environment Bar Association, the Specialist Bar Association for Planning, Environment & Local Government

Associate Member and Member of the Planning & Environment Group Committee, NI Renewables Industry Group/Irish Wind Energy

Association Founder Member, past Chair and Committee Member, Environmental and Planning Law Association for Northern Ireland

Chair, Planning Appeals Commission Users Group

Member, Northern Ireland Planning Bar Association

Judicial Review Group Member, UK Environmental Law Association

Various committees of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects


Commercially-aware, specialist advocacy and advice in development planning, energy, waste management and environmental law. Renewable energy development. Energy, infrastructure, aviation, retail, industrial, commercial and residential development. Strategic environmental assessment. Environmental impact assessment. Habitats Directive assessment. Judicial Review. Planning inquiries. Planning appeals. Enforcement appeals. Defending prosecutions. Planning policy analysis. Strategic project direction. Waste management. Environmental licensing and permitting. Regulatory and licensing appeals. Brownfield development and contaminated land. Comprehensive development schemes and urban regeneration. Compulsory purchase and compensation. Recent projects include the all-Ireland North-South Interconnector, wind turbine planning appeals, judicial reviews relating to area plan SEA, Lough Neagh incinerator, John Lewis, Belfast City Airport, Mullaghturk wind farm, & Boucher Place retail.


Judicial Review, Planning and the Environment Planning Online (pending 2014),

Planning and Licensing (pending 2014)

Renewable Energy Update Planning Online 2013

Environmental Assessment Update Planning Online 2011

Environmental Assessment Update Scotland Edition 2011

Safeguarding Assets: Understanding the Planning Appeals Commission’s approach to planning enforcement Planning Online 2010

Planning and Judicial Review SLS Legal Publications (NI) 2009

Planning Appeals Principles Planning Online 2008

Planning Appeals Principles Planning Online 2006

Housing, the Regional Development Strategy and Prematurity: The Commission’s Approach SLS Legal Publications (NI) 2004

Northern Ireland Planning Policy SLS Legal Publications (NI) 2003

Index to Northern Ireland Planning Policy SLS Legal Publications (NI) 2003

The Planning Appeals Commission: Principles of Decision-Making in Appeals, Inquiries and Hearings SLS Legal Publications (NI) 1999