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    "A genuine star, who is a real team player and a pleasure to work with."

    Chambers and Partners, James Pereira QC

James Pereira QC

James Pereira QC

Year of call: 1996 (QC 2014)

Practice areas: Planning, Environment, Compulsory Purchase and Compensation, Major Infrastructure Projects, Rating, Public Law, European Law

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James Pereira QC

Practice Profile

James Pereira Q.C. specialises in planning, environmental, local government and administrative law, compulsory purchase and compensation. He enjoys both contentious and non-contentious work, loves advocacy of any kind, and finds a great deal of pleasure working with others to realise his clients’ ambitions.

James is consistently ranked among the top silks in his field.  He was nominated as Real Estate, Environment and Planning Silk of the Year by the Legal 500 Bar Awards for 2016, 2017 and 2019, and regularly ranked in the top planning silks in Planning Magazine review of the UK planning bar. Before taking silk he was the number one in Planning Magazine's survey of the Junior Planning Bar for three consecutive years (2012, 2013 and 2014), and twice named 'Junior Barrister of the Year' in Planning and Environmental Law by Chambers and Partners Directory of the UK Legal Profession.

James is the co-author of leading text books in compulsory purchase, compensation, infrastructure planning and environmental law. He is a Visiting Professor of Law at King’s College, London where he teaches European environmental law to masters’ students.

James is dedicated to optimising professional performance. He is a trained organisational, relationship and systems coach (International Coaching Federation accredited training) and NLP Master Practitioner. In 2018 he founded a niche coaching practice for lawyers, law firms and other professionals (, to provide individual and organisational coaching and skills training services.  For nearly half a decade he has co-written a regular column in The Lawyer entitled "Loving Legal Life", giving advice on leadership, professional performance and workplace well-being. He has written on the same topics in the Bar's own journal, Counsel Magazine.   He is in demand as a speaker on these topics. He tweets as @JamesPereiraQC. 

James understands that the decision to instruct Leading Counsel is an important one.  He is always willing to meet potential clients to discuss how best he can meet their needs, prior to a decision to instruct him.

  • "Intuitive and instinctive, and very client and solicitor friendly, putting clients at ease no matter how choppy the waters. He is also a compelling advocate and impressive court performer."  Chambers and Partners, 2020

  • "He is extremely approachable and user-friendly. He has a refreshing and innovative approach and is very knowledgeable. He is quick to think on his feet." "An excellent communicator and lateral thinker."  Chambers and Partners 2020

  • "An absolute master at identifying the key issues, he has complete mastery of his subject and is very commercially astute."  Legal 500 2020

  • "Effervescent and clever – quick-witted and very much a team player."  Legal 500 2020

  • "...a pleasure to work with - clever, fast, efficient and an excellent advocate on his feet."  Legal 5020 2014

  • "...a calm, authoritative and dogged advocate." Chambers and Partners 2017

  • "Clients love him as he is really personable but also a tough advocate." Chambers and Partners 2017

  • "A genuine star, who is a real team player and a pleasure to work with."  "Part of the newer breed of silks, he is very versatile and totally dedicated."  Chambers and Partners 2016

  • 'Incredibly quick at assimilating huge amounts of information and focusing on what really matters' Chambers and Partners 2015

  • "He is first-class, particualrly when it comes to Development Consent Orders and EU environmental impact legislation".  "He really knows his law, and knows how to present aruguments." Chambers and Partners 2015

  • 'A very astute operator who never disappoints on the day' Chambers and Partners 2015

  • 'He has excellent legal and communications skills, and is tenacious and very calm under pressure - a star' Chambers and Partners 2014

  • James offers a 'razor-sharp mind, and a relaxed and appealing style of advocacy' and 'always exceeds expectations'.  The Legal 500, 2013

  • '...excellent, very clever and a nice guy as well.'  Chambers and Partners 2012

  • 'Impresses with his diligence, legal strategy and advocacy.'  The Legal 500, 2012

  • ' extremely persuasive man to put in front of a High Court judge'  Chambers and Partners 2011

  • ' excellent advocate, a very good communicator and excellent to work with.'  The Legal 500, 2010

  • '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

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 & Appointments

  • Called to the Bar in 1996 (Middle Temple), took silk 2014
  • 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 Professor in Environmental Law, King's College, London (current)
  • Council member of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (2011-2013)
  • 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.
  • Member of the Society of Neuro-Linguistic Programming
  • Other: Gourmet Essentials certificate, Le Cordon Bleu, London (2010); Leith's Sauce Workshop (2012); Grade 8 piano (currently self-teaching jazz improvisation); Creativity Workshop, Lisbon (2017); Voice and Communication Workshop (London 2017); Ironman 70.3 Triathlon finisher (2016, 2017).

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Annual Compulsory Purchase and Land Valuation (Hybrid) Seminar

Registration from 1.30pm.  Seminar from 2- 5.30pm.  Drinks reception from 5.30-6.30pm.