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Michael Brendan Brett

Practice Profile

A Third Six pupil, Michael welcomes instructions across all of Chambers’ practice areas.

Michael started his Third Six in October 2019 after completing pupillage and practising as an employed barrister in the Governmental Legal Department. He has worked at the Department for Transport and Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, and undertook his Second Six at FTB.

Michael’s areas of practice include:

  • public and human rights law;
  • planning and environment;
  • international and EU law;
  • rights of way, highways, and waterways;
  • information law;
  • licensing;
  • anti-social behaviour law.

Before coming to the Bar, Michael studied Ancient and Modern History at Somerville College, Oxford. After completing the GDL he obtained a Master of Laws degree from University College, London.


Public law

In chambers and in Government, Michael has gained experience across a wide range of public law issues, at policy development, operational, and litigation stages, including in relation to:

  • the scope and exercise of secondary and delegated powers;
  • adequacy of consultation;
  • procedural fairness;
  • duty to give reasons;
  • legitimate expectations;
  • public sector equality duty;
  • Human Rights Act 1998;
  • immigration law and unlawful detention.


Michael has experience of a variety of planning issues:

  • judicial review, statutory review, and statutory appeals;
  • enforcement appeals;
  • permitted development rights;
  • the interpretation of planning policy;
  • section 106 obligations and conditions;
  • injunctive relief and connected committal proceedings;
  • other development related issues such as covenants and easements.

Environmental law

Michael has gained experience in this field, including:

  • private and statutory nuisance;
  • statutory compensation claims;
  • the Renewable Heat Incentive Regulations;
  • energy efficiency regulation of energy-using products;
  • SEA and EIA Directives;
  • Aarhus Convention claims, in particular the costs capping regime;
  • Habitats Directive and Regulations.

International, EU and domestic EU Exit law

Michael has experience advising on international, EU, and EU Exit 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;
  • Aarhus Convention;
  • Habitats Directive and Regulations.

Highways and waterways

Michael has experience advising and litigating in respect of:

  • 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;
  • alterations to the definition map and statement.


Michael appears regularly before local authority licensing subcommittees in relation to reviews of premises licences, including the summary review of alcohol-related premises licences.

He also appears before magistrates' courts in appeals against licensing decisions.  

Information law

Michael has experience advising public authorities and private parties on the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations, including the making and challenging of disclosure decisions.

Police and anti-social behaviour law

Michael frequently appears before the magistrates' courts in relation to applications under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, including closure orders.

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