DEPARTMENT PROFILE

39 Essex Chambers

Environment

10 ranked barristersBand 1London (Bar)UK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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Ranked Barristers

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39 Essex Chambers is a premium set whose members are instructed in complex environmental matters ranging from impact assessments to air quality cases and Japanese knotweed disputes. Barristers at the set act for a range of key players including the government and local councils, as well as energy and natural resources companies. A number of members have recently been instructed in relation to the promotion of the HS2 infrastructure project and the ongoing challenges to the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

Client service:

"My overall impression is of a very professional, modern chambers. The clerking service is excellent." Andrew Poyser is the deputy senior clerk for planning, environment and property law.

Strengths:

Catherine Dobson
Well-regarded junior held in high esteem by instructing solicitors and known in the market for her role in the recent judicial review of the government’s decision regarding the third runway at Heathrow Airport. She manages a dynamic environmental practice and has recently advised on matters ranging from noise nuisance to waste disposal. She has accrued impressive expertise pertaining to the water and nuclear sectors.
"She is superbly intellectual and analytical." "She is very responsive, gives very good guidance and is easy to work with."
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in the environmental judicial review of the government’s decision to support an additional runway at Heathrow.

Strengths:

James Burton
Has a broad environmental law remit and is particularly active representing individual and group claimants in actions relating to noise nuisance, flooding and other alleged violations. He has recently handled a number of disputes relating to airspace and other aviation matters.
"He is very impressive. His attention to detail is great and he's very precise." "He demonstrates meticulous preparation."
Recent work: Acted for two claimants in a dispute with Thames Water and Barnet LBC in respect of repeated flooding believed to originate from a fractured pipe and requiring the claimants to vacate their home for over five years.

Strengths:

James Strachan QC
Acts for airports, oil terminals, waste operations and wind farms faced with environmental litigation. He is also consulted for advice on environmental concerns surrounding large development projects.
"His advice has been cool, calm and collected, and very accurate and strategic." "He is a seasoned pro."
Recent work: Continued to act for HS2, promoting the Fradley to Crewe phase.

Strengths:

Jonathan Darby
Impressive junior handling environmental matters as part of a broad practice. He regularly acts in nuisance claims and issues surrounding flooding and property damage.
"He's extremely responsive, very sharp and on the ball. He combines good technical advice with a high degree of commerciality."
Recent work: Advised the Department for Transport on various aspects of the HS2 project.

Strengths:

Nigel Pleming QC
Known for his public law work, such as his part in the challenge to the third runway at Heathrow Airport. He advises clients on a variety of environmental matters, including marine issues.
"Formidable. He has an extremely impressive manner and a persuasive way of structuring arguments."
Recent work: Continued to act for several London borough councils and Greenpeace in their challenge to the government's support for the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

Strengths:

Richard Harwood QC
Advises on nuisance and criminal regulatory matters in environmental law, and is an expert on Environmental Impact Assessments. He is also highly regarded for his work in planning law.
"His cross-examination is really impressive and forensic." "He's a solid advocate and a safe pair of hands."
Recent work: Acted for Greenpeace in its challenge to the consents for oil exploitation in the Vorlich field.

Strengths:

Richard Wald QC
An excellent choice for claims of environmental damage, acting for both claimants and defendants. He is particularly in demand for his advice relating to waste management and air quality.
"Conscientious and diligent." "An amazing advocate."
Recent work: Acted for a minerals extraction company in an appeal against the minerals planning authority's refusal to permit the construction of silt lagoons for processing extracted aggregates.

Strengths:

Rose Grogan
Well-regarded junior who has an expanding environmental practice. She is noted for her representation of NGOs and government clients, and has tackled a raft of pertinent matters including air quality, contamination and noise violations.
"She is brilliant on air quality."
Recent work: Continued to advise the Mayor of London on challenges by ClientEarth to the government's National Air Quality Plan.

Strengths:

Stephen Tromans QC
Outstanding barrister in the fields of environmental, energy, natural resources and planning law. He is highly esteemed for his work on air pollution and waste issues.
"He is absolutely first-class both in legal knowledge and in his manner. My go-to QC on any difficult environmental issues." "He is the barrister you go to for environmental law if you want to win the case." "He is very good at testing robustness and good at analysing emerging concepts."
Recent work: Acted for BP in a challenge by Greenpeace to the consents for the Vorlich oil field project.

Strengths:

Victoria Hutton
Increasingly well regarded for her planning and environmental expertise. She has advised on an array of matters including the impact of soil contaminants, road developments and complex renewable energy projects. She acts for consortiums, individuals, local authorities and developers.
"Her knowledge is excellent and she is very easy to work with."
Recent work: Acted for a group of archaeologists opposing the Stonehenge Tunnel Development Consent Order, arguing that the tunnel would cause significant heritage harm and would amount to a breach of the World Heritage Convention.

Environment Department

39 Essex Chambers

firm
Department location

81 Chancery Lane

London

Greater London

UK

WC2A 1DD

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Ranked Barristers

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Silks (QC)

London (Bar)

Environment


James Strachan QC
Band 2
Nigel Pleming QC
Band 2
Richard Harwood QC
Band 2
Richard Wald QC
New Silks
Stephen Tromans QC
Star Individuals

Juniors

London (Bar)

Environment


Catherine Dobson
Band 2