In chambers and in Government, Michael has gained experience across a wide range of public law issues, at policy development, operational, and litigation stages. Michael is well-versed in advising on both substantive and procedural public law matters, including the scope and exercise of secondary and delegated powers; procedural fairness (including adequacy of consultation, the duty to give reasons, and legitimate expectations), the discharge of the public sector quality duty.
He has also advised and appeared in judicial reviews relating to immigration law and unlawful detention.
Planning and Infrastructure Planning
Michael has experience of a variety of planning issues, including:
- judicial review, statutory review, and statutory appeals against planning decisions;
- enforcement appeals;
- permitted development rights;
- section 106 obligations and conditions;
- injunctive relief and connected committal proceedings, and criminal prosecution for planning-related offences; and
- other development-related issues such as covenants, easements, and the appropriation of land by local planning authorities.
Michael regularly appears as sole counsel at planning inquires and at local plan examinations.
In addition to consenting under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Michael has experience in respect of development consent for nationally significant infrastructure projects under the Planning Act 2008. He recently acted as junior in the successful quashing of the Norfolk Vanguard offshore windfarm on the basis of a failure to carry out an adequate environmental impact assessment.
Michael welcomes instructions from all those interested in the planning process, including local authorities, developers, local residents, and community groups.
Michael has gained experience in this field, including:
- private and statutory nuisance;
- statutory compensation claims;
- the Renewable Heat Incentive Regulations;
- sanctions imposed under the Green Deal, and appeals against those sanctions;
- energy efficiency regulation of energy-using products;
- SEA and EIA Directives;
- Aarhus Convention claims, in particular the costs capping regime;
- Habitats Directive and Regulations; and
- fire safety measures in residential accommodation and sports grounds.
Commmons and Town and Village Greens
Michael advises on matters under the Commons Act 2006 and Commons Registration Act 1965, including making and resisting applications for the registration of land as town and village greens, and applications under Schedule 2 of the Commons Act 2006 to amend the register of common land. He has recently acted in town and village green matters in Somerset and the Vale of Glamorgan.
Highways and Waterways
Michael has experience advising and litigating in respect of:
- the express and implied dedication of highways;
- stopping up orders;
- extinguishment of rights of way under Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006;
- highway maintenance and drainage;
- riparian rights, including rights to flow in natural and non-natural waterways; and
- alterations to the definitive map and statement.
International, EU and Domestic EU Exit Law
Michael has experience advising on international, EU, EU Exit law, and retained EU law in relation to:
- international road safety law, including autonomous vehicles;
- type-approval of vehicles under international and EU law;
- regulation of energy-using products;
- the provisions of and powers under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018;
- State Aid and the General Block Exemption Regulation;
- SEA and EIA Directives and their implementing UK legislation in England and Wales;
- the Aarhus Convention, including access to information (under the Environmental Information Regulations) and procedural (including costs capping in judicial review);
- Habitats Directive and Regulations.
Licensing and Cannabis Law
Michael provides advice and advocacy to local authorities, the police, and private parties in licensing matters, including:
- reviews and summary reviews of premises licences;
- appeals to the magistrates’ courts against licensing decisions taken by local authorities;
- police and local authority powers to enforce against licensable activities undertaken without authorisation;
- Mandatory, additional, and selective licensing schemes for Houses in Multiple Occupation;
- Home Office licensing of controlled drug possession, supply, and import/export. Michael is part of FTB’s trail-blazing cannabis law group.
Police and Anti-social Behaviour Law
Michael advises police authorities and appears before the magistrates' courts in respect of civil matters, including:
- Closure orders against residential and commercial properties and community protection notices under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, and community protection notice;
- Seizure and forfeiture of cash detained under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002;
- Civil orders under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 including sexual risk orders, sexual harm prevention orders. He also has experience of stalking prevention orders and applications for removing notification requirements.