Practice Profile

James specialises in planning, environmental, local government and administrative law, compulsory purchase and compensation.

James was named 'Junior Barrister of the Year' in Planning and Environmental Law by Chambers and Partners Directory of the UK Legal Profession in 2009 and 2007. He is ranked number one in the Royal Town Planning Institute’s survey of the Junior Planning Bar (2012, 2013 and 2014).

He is in the highest rank of junior barristers in both environmental law and planning law in the Legal 500 (2013) and Chambers and Partners Directory (2014), who list him as one of only four "star individuals" at the junior planning bar. He is also ranked as a leading junior in Administrative Law in both directories.

Published Comment

The leading directories say of James

"QC material' Chambers and Partners (2009)

"He has excellent legal and communication skills, and is tenacious and very calm under pressure - a star of the CPO world."  Chambers and Partners (2014)

"He is a first-class advocate and very sensible." Chambers and Partners (2014)

'"one of the very best juniors in his field"  who offers a "razor-sharp mind, and a relaxed and appealing style of advocacy" and "always exceeds expectations"'.   Legal 500 (2013)

‘. . . excellent, very clever and a nice guy as well.’ Chambers and Partners (2012)

‘impresses with his diligence, legal strategy and advocacy’ Legal 500 (2012)

' . . .an extremely persuasive man to put in front of a High Court judge' Chambers and Partners (2011)

'. . . an excellent advocate, a very good communicator and excellent to work with.' Legal 500 (2010)

'a terrific barrister' Legal 500 (2009)

Outstanding bright star with a first-rate intellect' Chambers & Partners (2008)

A very good young advocate who is a tenacious cross-examiner. He is charming, easy to work with and attentive to clients' needs' (Planning Magazine, 2008)

commercial and impressive with clients' Chambers & Partners (2007)

Practice Areas

James is happy to provide details of his experience in specific areas and references as appropriate. Click on the links below to see an overview of his practice in different areas:

Public law
Nationally significant infrastructure projects
Environmental law (EU/UK/common law)
Compulsory purchase and compensation

Qualifications and Appointments

  • Called to the Bar in 1996 (Middle Temple).
  • MA, St. Catharine's College, Cambridge (1993).
  • LLM, King's College, London (1995).
  • BA Level Diploma in translation (Portuguese-English), University of Westminster (1996).
  • Visiting Lecturer in European Environmental Law, King's College, London (current).
  • Council member of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (present)
  • Committee Member of the Administrative Law Bar Association (2005-2007).
  • Former Judicial Assistant to the Court of Appeal.
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
  • Gourmet essentials certificate, Le Cordon Bleu, London (2010); Leith’s Sauce Workshop (2012).

Contact Clerks

Paul Coveney, Senior Clerk
Andrew Briton, Principal Clerk
Max Smy, Clerk

020 7353 8415


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