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    "He is a tenacious advocate who really fights his corner."

    Chambers and Partners, Juan Lopez

Juan Lopez

Juan Lopez

Year of call: 2002

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

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Juan Lopez

Practice Profile

Juan is recognised as a leading junior in The Legal 500 2021 (Planning; Agriculture). Commentaries in the UK directories, including Chambers and Partners UK Bar and the Planning Magazine’s Planning Law Survey (juniors), in which Juan has been rated over many years previously, include: “commercially aware”, “extremely professional and diligent” and an “accessible and tenacious practitioner who has achieved some spectacular results” who demonstrates “a relaxed and clear style”.

Juan acts in all areas of major infrastructure (including energy), planning, environment, highways, rights of way and agriculture, compulsory purchase, land valuation and compensation. He regularly works with developers, landowners, surveyors, utilities and national infrastructure bodies (including Network Rail, and TfL) as well as city and local authorities. He combines these areas with his command of related property fields as well as less frequented areas such as railway law, water law and environmental taxation. Juan has extensive public law experience in related judicial review and statutory challenge work (having been ranked 1st (in 2015) by the Planning Magazine’s Planning Law Survey (Juniors) for his total Court attendances).

  • "Very knowledgeable, concise, proactive and user friendly."  Legal 500, 2021

  •  "Juan is very tenacious and is aware of the political dimension associated with working on behalf of a local authority."  Legal 500, 2021

  • "Commercially aware and prompt with advice."  Legal 500

  • "Accessible and tenacious" practitioner "who has achieved some spectacular results'' and who is ''not afraid to put his hard hat on when going into battle'' The Legal 500

  • "A very confident and clear advocate, with a relaxed and direct style" Chambers and Partners

  • "Extremely professional and diligent" Chambers and Partners


Highways, Rights of Way and Agriculture
Public Law
Compulsory Purchase and Land Valuation
Property Law
Private Law Claims (Other)
Injunctions and Restraint Orders


Juan advises and represents on a significant range of infrastructure projects, including in respect of the DCO process, and including schemes under the Electricity Act, the Transport and Works Act, and the Planning Act.

Notable UK energy and natural resource infrastructure work has included (as sole barrister):

  • Electricity wayleaves: representing network operators, including UKPN and EPN (BEIS, formerly DECC consenting); multiple sites
  • Wayleaves (other: SSE, EDF) 
  • Largest remaining opencast coal mine in England (BanksMining; Northumberland County Council)
  • New and existing Accommodation and Substitute works (Network Rail; all Routes)
  • High Speed Two (representing landowner objectors)
  • Highways infrastructure (schemes promoted by Highways England and mitigation schemes in connection with promoting residential development)
  • Utilities infrastructure (electricity: UKPN, EPN, SSE, EDF; water/sewerage: Anglian Water; Thames Water; Severn Trent), representing utility companies and landowners
  • Renewables: resisting onshore wind schemes in Cambridgeshire and Northants

Transportation projects include those promoted by Highways England and a high number of mitigation schemes in connection with residential development and compulsory purchase.

Juan’s infrastructure work overlays with his UK and international experience in waste production, management and transfer (engaging the Basel Convention on transfrontier waste shipments to Sri Lanka and the Middle East: high profile waste repatriation claims, ongoing).


Juan acts on major planning projects, including housing. Juan promotes significant residential schemes, and often advises from inception.

Ongoing instructions (as sole counsel) include promoting a 1250 units scheme in Kent.

Planning Inquiries, Hearings and related:

Juan has in depth experience of planning inquiries and hearings. Significant and recent instructions (as sole counsel, all promoting (unless otherwise stated)) include: 

  • Numerous, sizeable residential schemes, promoting (including a scheme of up to 1,250 units (Kent) - ongoing);
  • 9 x residential schemes, including 2 called-in (of up to 770 units) in Leeds (Leeds City Council), since 2017 (resisting)
  • Tall Buildings: including Shell Centre, South Bank, redevelopment: 8 buildings (up to 37 storeys) for residential, retail and community/leisure uses (led by Douglas Edwards QC)
  • Tideway Wharf hotel redevelopment
  • Iconic Burberry Building, Haymarket SW1, on behalf of the Principality of Monaco (change of use)
  • Inaugural (and subsequently staged) Longine Global Champions Tour equestrian tournament (adjacent to Kensington Palace and Gardens)
  • Hay Hill W1 complex (alleged change of use)
  • Contentious Hampstead Garden Suburb schemes
  • Contentious amalgamations and basement redevelopments, Kensington & Chelsea
  • Redevelopment of G1 Darsham Hall (resisting) 


In addition to a wealth of varied general planning advisory work, Juan has much experience in strategising the formulation of development proposals, including:

  • Overage (75% overage clause; valuation of £9M+ for landowner - ongoing)
  • Estate contracts discharge/variation (housebuilders)
  • Easements and profits (including restriction to access; disturbance to fishing embankment and rights), foreshore rights, and trespass (Network Rail)
  • Complex Chancery Division declaration proceedings for the release of affordable housing obligations and offset payment liabilities (Allied Irish Bank (UK))

Local Plans:

Juan has advised in connection with many local plans (UK & NI), acting for both landowners and local authorities. From 2018, Juan acted for Leeds City Council on major parts of what, over recent years, has been the most geographically-extensive local plans/processes in England.

Juan has also lectured widely on local plan regimes. In 2019 (Belfast) Juan addressed the representatives of each of the local planning authorities of Northern Ireland, together with the Northern Ireland Department for Infrastructure, on local plan making.

Planning Enforcement:

Injunction proceedings, acting for both applicants and defendants and large-scale advertisement control (A40, W12: comprising 40+ removal notices, thought to be the largest consolidated advertisement enforcement programme undertaken by a local authority in recent times); high profile direct action; protected tree proceedings.


    Highways, Rights of Way and Agriculture

    Juan is known as a leading practitioner in highway law, all rights of way matters and aspects of agriculture law. Significant reported judgments, overlaying with key rights of way legislation and the evolution of public/private rights claims, include: R (oao Ramblers) v SSEFRA [2017] EWHC 716 (Admin) (Highways Act 1980; statutory incompatibility); R (oao Network Rail) v SSEFRA [2018] EWCA Civ 2069 (TCPA 1990; scope of s.259 TCPA stopping up).

    Juan speaks widely on highways and transport matters. In 2020 Juan addressed the Northern Transport and Infrastructure Development Forum on the reformulation of the Northern Powerhouse initiative, for projected transport growth. He also conducts in-house seminars with major infrastructure bodies and County Councils.

    Juan’s agriculture law experience includes advising one of the top two largest soft and top fruit farm holdings in the UK on matters including consenting and strategising on agricultural practice.


    Juan has a significant environmental law practice. He frequently advises on Strategic Environmental Assessment, Environmental Impact Assessments, Habitats and conservation more widely, in the context of his infrastructure, planning and environmental permitting work.

    Juan also has much experience in waste (hazardous/other), in the domestic, EU and international law fields. He advises on UK waste management sites and licensing, both from private client and both domestic and international regulatory perspectives. He presently acts for a number of prominent UK-based waste recycling centres in connection with extensive environmental litigation, engaging several environmental authorities and NGOs, arising from extra-territorial, large-scale waste repatriation from Sri Lanka, India and Middle East (Basel Convention).

    Juan also advises on air quality, land remediation (including leachate) claims, flooding, and mining impacts.

    Juan also acts in landfill tax assessments and appeals (including a landfill tax assessment appeal of £5M+ value, before FTT (Tax) - ongoing)

    Public Law

    Juan’s planning and highways/rights of way-related cases, incorporating a wide range of local government law principles, at first instance and on appeal (as sole Counsel) include:

    • Network Rail v Welsh Ministers [2020] (WCA 1981, Sch.15 para 12 confirmation; Railway Regulation Act 1840 and the Regulation of Railways Act 1968 – ) (Permission sought)
    • Aireborough Neighbourhood Development Forum v Leeds City Council [No.3] (relief)
    • Aireborough NDF v Leeds City Council [No.2] (s.113 TCPA: Inspector’s reasoning and housing supply calculation erroneous)
    • Aireborough NDF v Leeds City Council [No.1] (standing of unincorporated association in s.113 TCPA claim)
    • Thornhill Estates Ltd v SSCLG (development benefits and mitigation)
    • Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd v SSEFRA (s.259 TCPA stopping up enabling residential development)
    • Mansell v Tonbridge & Malling BC (fallback implementation; presumption in favour of sustainable development) [*Important Planning Court case]
    • R (oao Ramblers) v SSEFRA (s.31 HA dedication; statutory incompatibility)
    • Mordue v SSCLG (heritage asset significance)
    • Wood v SSCLG: (green belt/village development)
    • Kendall v Rochford District Council (SEA/SA; reasonable alternatives)
    • R (oao Save Britain's Heritage) v Gateshead MBC (Demolition under EIA)
    • R (oao Gibson) v Mid Sussex (SEA/SA; reasonable alternatives)
    • South Northamptonshire Council v SSCLG (due priority of statutory development plan in decision-making; national and regional need for renewables)
    • Cogent LLP v Rochford District Council (SEA challenge to Core Strategy housing policies; general housing locations; reasonable alternatives)
    • R (oao Coleman) v London Borough of Barnet (Equality Act 2010, s.149)
    • R (oao Save Britain's Heritage) v SSCLG and Gateshead MBC (lawfulness of prior approval; meaning of ‘demolition’ in EIA development; ‘salami-slicing’ in the context of the Bridging Newcastle Gateshead multi-phase regeneration scheme; R (oao Save Britain's Heritage) v SSCLG (2) Gateshead MBC (Admin))

    Compulsory Purchase and Land Valuation

    Juan is experienced in Lands Tribunal proceedings. He represents CPO objectors against housing, planning and highway CPOs and is experienced in the assessment of compensation arising from compulsory purchase and other statutory compensation. Juan has been instructed in compensation proceedings against HS2. Juan is presently representing bodies, including Network Rail, in other statutory compensation proceedings. 

    Juan’s compensation work often engages issues including planning assumptions for the assessment of compensation, injurious affection, business and management time loss, Pointe Gourde, betterment, and ransom value.

    Notable instructions include:

    • Necessary wayleaves for electric lines: advising electricity companies (pre-compensation), including on related planning strategies, easements, compensation assessments under UT(LC) references; trespass claims (- ongoing)
    • Implied wayleaves: representing landowners on trespass/injurious affection claims (led by Guy Roots QC - ongoing); advising on development valuations and damages
    • Advising London local authorities on 2020 district-wide, digital fixed line infrastructure wayleave agreements
    • Representing HS2 landowners
    • Resisting highways and utilities CPOs (including A50 Growth Corridor (Uttoxeter))
    • Ransom valuation claims, including enhanced value
    • Blight notices (including compensation)
    • Costs liability following service of discontinuance notice under CPR r. 38.3 (Mount Cook Land)
    • London Borough of Southwark v Kingpin Ltd; Vumpine (University of Manchester) v SS: resisting inclusion of residential order property (planning assumptions relevant to valuation and ransom land) (led by Robin Purchas QC)

    Property Law

    Juan advises generally on real property, including rights of light, drainage, adverse possession, proprietary estoppel, easements and restrictive covenants, and party wall disputes. Juan's commercial & residential landlord and tenant experience includes leases and forfeiture.

    Private Law Claims (Other)

    Complimenting his infrastructure and planning practice, Juan is also instructed in construction law-related fields including high value highway repair liabilities and defective highway surfacing and drainage (Cheddar Gorge landowner; South Gloucester Council - £2M+ civil claim ongoing; Business and Property Courts/Chancery Div.).

    Juan also combines his experience of central and local government law, litigation experience, and dedicated commercial approach, with advising on the contractual and tortious liabilities of public authorities, professional negligence and other claims (proprietary estoppel and unjust enrichment claim over ‘land-take’ agreement – ongoing).

    Injunctions and Restraint Orders

    Juan has experience in prohibitory relief applications against unauthorised trespass and development, and is familiar with drafting and challenging complex orders in large, multi-claimant and defendant proceedings. Juan also has experience in restraint orders and resisting asset recovery. 


    • National Infrastructure Planning Association
    • Planning and Environment Bar Association
    • Compulsory Purchase Association
    • United Kingdom Environmental Law Association


    Publications, Qualifications and Achievements

    • Contributor, Butterworths Planning Law Service (Infrastructure section), intended for publication in 2021
    • Contributor, The Law of Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions, OUP [2011]
    • Contributor, Gambling Law (planning section), [2014]


    • Called to the Bar of England and Wales [2002]
    • Sir Thomas More Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn) [2002]
    • ICSL, London (BVC: Very Competent) [2003]


    • Since 2019 Juan has been undertaking a series of school visits, promoting access to the Bar, especially for the less-represented


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