39 Essex Chambers

Richard Harwood QC

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Practice Areas

Richard specialises in planning, environment, energy, local government, public law and art, acting for developers, landowners, central and local government, individuals and interest groups. He appeared for the successful owner in the only heritage/art case in the Supreme Court (Dill). Other major court cases include Holborn Studios, Thames Tideway Tunnel, Finsbury Park, Hethel, Joicey, BACI, Dale Farm travellers, SAVE Britain’s Heritage, Majed, Mellor, Williams v Powys and the Kensington stripy house case. Recent major inquiries include Lotmead, Wisley and Chiswick Curve. Environmental cases include environmental permitting, nuisance and waste. Major energy cases include renewable heat incentives in the NI Court of Appeal, numerous wind turbine cases and onshore and offshore oil and gas. Local government includes vires, councillor conduct and officer discipline, compulsory purchase, highways, open spaces and markets. Public law includes procurement and judicial review. Art law includes property issues and export licensing.


Joint Head of Chambers, 39 Essex Chambers (2019-), member Bar Library, Belfast (2016-), Local Plans Expert Group (2016). QC 2013, OBE 2013.

Professional Memberships



Author, Planning Enforcement (2020), Planning Permission (2016), Historic Environment Law (2012), co-author Planning Policy (2018). Consultant Editor, Halsbury's Planning volumes (2018). Case Editor, Journal of Planning and Environment Law.