Richard Honey QC’s experience is summarised in the following sections:
Public and administrative law
Richard regularly advises on, and appears in, cases involving public and administrative law issues including judicial reviews. Richard has substantial experience of public law challenges to planning and environmental decisions, as well as other areas of public law, including regulatory judicial review and local government law. Prior to taking Silk in 2021, he was a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of junior counsel to the Crown. Richard has appeared in the Administrative Court in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and Manchester, and the Judicial Review Court in Belfast. He has dealt with cases involving the law of consultation, legitimate expectation, human rights, equalities, mistake of fact, statutory and policy interpretation, procedural fairness, apparent bias, duty of sufficient inquiry, and all the traditional grounds of judicia review. He has also frequently dealt with procedural issues such as standing, delay, costs protection, injunctions and the duty of candour.
Recent and appellate cases include:
- Gladman v SSHCLG & Corby BC & Uttlesford DC  PTSR 993 (HC),  EWCA Civ 104 (CA) – policy interpretation; statutory duties; reasons
- DB Symmetry Ltd v Swindon BC  PTSR 432 (CA) – statutory powers; human rights; proportionality; rationality; validity principle
- Peel Investments v SSHCLG & Salford CC  PTSR 503 (HC),  PTSR 298 (CA) – policy interpretation; statutory duties; reasons
- Compton PC v Guildford BC  JPL 661 – policy interpretation; reasons; rationality; habitats assessment
- Gladman v SSHCLG & Medway Council  Env LR 7 – consultation; policy interpretation; procedural fairness; reasons; habitats assessment
- Burgos & Amayo v SSHCLG & Haringey LBC  EWHC 2792 (Admin) – human rights; equalities; reasons
- R (Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust) v SSfT  EWHC 1786 (Admin) – consultation; environmental/habitats assessment
- Wavendon Properties v SSHCLG  PTSR 2077 – procedural fairness; policy interpretation; disclosure; reasons
- South Glos DC v SSHCLG & Welbeck  EWHC 181 (Admin) – policy interpretation; reasons
- Reference by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland (No 2)  UKSC 1 – devolution; statutory interpretation; governmental powers
- Swale BC v SSHCLG & Maughan  JPL 574 – policy interpretation; reasons
- Re Sands’ Application for Judicial Review  NIQB 80 – statutory duties; policy interpretation; reasons; environmental/habitats assessment
- St Modwen Developments v SSCLG  PTSR 746 (CA) – policy interpretation; mistake of fact; rationality; reasons
- Suffolk Coastal DC v SSCLG & Hopkins Homes  1 All ER 1011 (CA),  1 WLR 1865 (SC) – governmental powers; statutory interpretation; policy interpretation
- Old Hunstanton PC v SSCLG  JPL 205 (CA) – policy interpretation; reasons
- Broadview Energy Developments v SSCLG  JPL 1355 (HC),  JPL 1207 (CA) – bias; apparent bias; procedural fairness
- R (Dillner) v Sheffield CC & Amey  Env LR 31 (HC),  EWCA Civ 977 (CA) – consultation; legitimate expectation; procedural fairness; statutory interpretation; local government powers; environmental assessment
- Howell v SSCLG  EWHC 3627 (Admin),  EWCA Civ 1189 (CA) – statutory interpretation; statutory duties; policy interpretation; reasons
- Koumis v SSCLG  JPL 215 (HC),  JPL 682 (CA) – statutory interpretation; reasons; nullity
- Manchester Ship Canal v United Utilities  1 WLR 2576 (SC) – statutory interpretation
- R (Eaton) v Natural England  Env LR 37 (CA) – Aarhus Convention; costs protection; injunction; biodiversity
- Harris v Registrar of Approved Driving Instructors  RTR 1 (CA) – procedural fairness; statutory interpretation; rationality
Richard Honey QC’s experience as a barrister in the field of environmental law and regulation includes climate change, emissions trading, habitats and protected species, statutory nuisance, waste, contaminated land, pesticides, chemicals, drinking water, watercourses, riparian rights, environmental permitting, packaging waste, nuisance, civil liability for pollution, environmental crime, and environmental information. He also has experience of environmental taxation, having been involved in a number of aggregates levy cases, including MMC Midlands v HMRC  EWHC 683 Ch,  STC 1969.
Richard’s clients have included regulators such as Defra, Natural England and the Environment Agency, regulated operators such as Thames Water, Anglian Water and Severn Trent Water, and businesses of various types. Richard has acted for Natural England in a number of judicial review challenges to species licences, including in relation to developments such as an energy-from-waste plant and an urban extension.
Linked to his wide-ranging environmental law practice, Richard has experience in advising on and litigating environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters, including climate change, emissions trading, biodiversity, and business and human rights. He has advised the UK government on international climate, environmental and biodiversity treaty obligations and advised funders on the environmental assessment of infrastructure projects in west and southern Africa.
Richard’s experience of climate change legislation goes back to 2007-2008, when he undertook advisory and drafting work on the Climate Change Bill. He has particular experience of climate change risk assessment and climate litigation risk management, including in relation to implementing the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations and the Equator Principles (EP4). He has acted in a number of contentious climate change cases for BEIS, HM Treasury and UK Export Finance.
Richard has acted for defendants being sentenced under the Definitive Guideline for Environmental Offences in both Magistrates’ and Crown Courts, and was instructed on the first appeal against sentence under the guideline to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division: EA v Thames Water  1 WLR 4411,  Crim LR 739.
Richard’s experience of major infrastructure projects includes schemes under the Planning Act, the Highways Act, the Transport and Works Act and the Electricity Act, and parliamentary hybrid Bill work, having been instructed for a number of HS2 and Crossrail petitioners, including multiple appearances before the select committees for both Bills, in both the Commons and the Lords. He is a member of the Parliamentary Bar Mess.
Richard has provided strategic advice on a variety of infrastructure schemes, including on road and rail schemes for DfT and on flood management schemes for the Environment Agency, including the Oxford flood alleviation scheme, the new Thames Barrier and the River Thames scheme. Richard successfully promoted the £100 million Boston flood barrier TWA Order for the Environment Agency at inquiry.
Richard was part of the team of barristers advising BAA on its proposals for the expansion of Stansted Airport. He was also instructed as junior counsel to London Southend Airport, successfully defending a judicial review of the grant of planning permission for a runway extension, and as counsel for Natural England for the call-in inquiry into the proposals to expand Lydd Airport in Kent.
Richard advised Natural England on the DCO applications for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, Able Marine Energy Park on the Humber, and North West Coast Connections. He has advised Highways England on issues arising from a number of DCO and TWAO schemes. Richard has also advised the Secretary of State on legal issues in relation to rights of entry and the acceptance and examination of a number of DCO applications.
Richard has extensive experience of compulsory purchase, including defending and challenging compulsory purchase instruments in the High Court, and advising and representing numerous CPO promoters (including housing, planning and highway authorities and utilities companies), CPO objectors (including Transport for London and businesses) and CPO development partners. He has advised the Environment Agency on a number of compulsory purchase and rights matters, and various statutory undertakers on their works powers. In recent years, Richard successfully promoted housing, highways, planning, flood defence and utilities CPOs.
Richard’s compulsory purchase work has encompassed for example acquisition of rights over land, compulsory works orders, works powers, powers of entry, omitted interests, vesting, material detriment, accommodation works, temporary possession, the Crichel Down rules, purchase notices and blight notices.
Richard appeared for the successful respondent in Anixter v SSfT, in both the Tribunal ( 1 P&CR 16) and the Court of Appeal ( 1 WLR 2547), concerning the general vesting declaration regime, expiring tenancies and material detriment. He successfully defended the CPO in the High Court in Burgos & Amayo v SSHCLG & Haringey LBC  EWHC 2792 (Admin). He was also junior counsel for the successful claimant in R (Manydown) v Basingstoke & Deane BC  JPL 1188 which concerned ss226 and 227 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Land valuation and compensation
Richard has very considerable experience of disputes relating to land valuation and compulsory purchase compensation. Richard has been instructed in Upper Tribunal Lands Chamber proceedings on behalf of HS2, NNB Generation Co, Network Rail, Crossrail, Transport for London, the London Development Agency, the Greater London Authority, Merseytravel, the Highways Agency / Highways England, the Welsh Ministers, the Environment Agency, the Secretary of State for Transport, National Grid, a port authority, county highway authorities, statutory undertakers and a variety of local authorities. Richard’s work as sole barrister representing acquiring authorities has included matters where up to £70 million in compensation for compulsory purchase was in dispute.
Richard has also represented claimants in compensation cases, including businesses such as Homebase, Moto and Esso, as well as developers, investors, farmers and landowners. He acted as junior counsel for the claimant in arbitration proceedings in Bermuda.
Richard’s experience of compensation disputes includes the full range of issues such as valuation of land taken, severance, injurious affection (s7 and s10), acquisition of rights, rule 6 disturbance, business losses, business extinguishment, rule 3, rule 4, planning assumptions, scheme disregards (statutory and Pointe Gourde), betterment, loss payments, taxation, fees/costs, and Part 1 claims. Richard has also worked on cases involving blight notices and purchase notices, highway stopping-up, planning decisions, flood defences, land drainage, utilities, wayleaves - and cases arising from compulsory purchase orders, DCOs, Transport and Works Act Orders and hybrid Acts.
Richard was the barrister who represented the acquiring authority in the first compensation claim to reach the Tribunal arising from the 2012 Olympics CPO, where some £2m was in dispute (Singh v LDA  RVR 41). He also represented the acquiring authority in Welford v Transport for London, both in the Tribunal ( RVR 200) and in the Court of Appeal ( RVR 172).
Richard was instructed as junior counsel for a county highway authority defending a compensation claim of around £15m arising from a road scheme (see Clemdell v Dorset CC  RVR 318), and the injurious affection cases of Moto Hospitality v Secretary of State for Transport  1 WLR 2822 and Bourne Leisure v Great Yarmouth Port Authority  RVR 371. He was also junior counsel in William Hill v Crossrail  RVR 258.
Richard has appeared as sole counsel for the successful respondents in cases such as Ramac v Kent CC  RVR 207, Miller v NRIL  RVR 305, Elitestone v National Grid Gas  RVR 392, and 599 Developments v NNB Generation  RVR 64 on Hinkley Point C.
Richard represented the Secretary of State in Harringay Meat Traders v SSCLG  PTSR 436, a High Court challenge to a decision on a certificate of appropriate alternative development appeal.
Richard has also been instructed for defendants in professional negligence litigation arising from the conduct of Tribunal proceedings.
Richard has also been instructed by HMRC solicitors in High Court and tribunal rating and valuation cases, including Listing Officer v Callear  RVR 34 and a number of Upper Tribunal cases concerning the valuation of public houses for rating purposes.
Agriculture and rural affairs
Richard also has considerable advocacy and advisory experience of the law in relation to commons and village greens. As a barrister, Richard has successfully represented a number of landowners objecting to village green applications at inquiry. He has also acted in judicial review proceedings for and against registration authorities, and advised registration authorities and landowners. Richard has also sat as an inspector at inquiries on a number of occasions. He is co-editor of Gadsden & Cousins on Commons and Greens (3rd edition, 2020) published by Sweet & Maxwell.
Richard has experience of countryside law, and has advised Natural England on a number of matters connected with national park and AONB designations. He was junior counsel for Natural England in the re-opened South Downs National Park inquiry, where the inspector was persuaded to change his recommendation, to support the confirmation of the park largely as designated by Natural England. He advised Natural England on the establishment of the South Downs National Park Authority and on national park and AONB management issues. Richard represented Natural England at the inquiry which led to the successful confirmation of the orders to modify the boundaries of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks to include additional land.
Richard is familiar with the law of highways and has advised on a range of matters including public and private rights of way, street works, traffic management, traffic regulation, parking, roads orders and highways development. He has been instructed by the Secretary of State to defend High Court proceedings challenging public rights of way inspectors’ decisions on definitive map modification and stopping up orders.
Richard’s practice includes a significant element of planning law. Richard regularly advises on and appears in public law challenges to planning decisions, for claimants, defendants and interested parties. This includes judicial reviews, challenges to planning appeal decisions under s288, and local plan challenges under s113. He has particular experience of litigation relating to the interpretation of the NPPF, housing land supply, and environmental and habitats assessment. Richard’s advisory work for MHCLG included legislative reforms, special development orders, local plan intervention, propriety matters, a wide variety of planning casework decision-making, and the OxCam Arc.
Richard’s planning inquiry work often has an environmental aspect and has included wind farms and airports. He has also appeared at inquiries successfully resisting appeals for housing schemes involving housing land supply arguments and has advised and represented local planning authorities promoting local plans.
Richard is a full member of the Bar Library in Belfast, having been called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2013. He has advised a number of local authorities on both development management and development plan matters, including Mid Ulster DC, Fermanagh & Omagh DC and Derry City & Strabane DC. He has appeared before the Judicial Review Court and the Planning Appeals Commission. Richard appeared for the applicant in the judicial review case of Re Sands  NIQB 80 and represented Chris Murphy in his application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in relation to the construction of the A6. He also appeared for the Alternative A5 Alliance in their 2016 judicial review of the programme for government, the 2016 roads inquiry, the 2017-2018 High Court challenge, and their intervention in the Reference by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland (No 2)  UKSC 1. Richard is currently instructed, with Gregory Jones QC, in a judicial review of three mineral prospecting licences. Richard is a member of the Northern Ireland Planning Bar Association and the Environmental and Planning Law Association of Northern Ireland.
Arbitration and mediation
Richard has considerable experience of arbitration and mediation. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He has advised on arbitration law and procedure in connection with Lands Tribunal and other domestic and international arbitration proceedings and has represented parties in both international and domestic arbitrations. Richard has been a member of the CIArb Faculty and taught on a number of the CIArb’s domestic and international arbitration courses. He has acted as a party representative in numerous successful mediations, including disputes on compensation for compulsory purchase