Charles is particularly highly regarded for his High Court/ judicial review work. He was appointed to the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel (‘C Panel’) at the first opportunity and is experienced well beyond his year of call. He has appeared in more than 20 cases before the Supreme Court, CJEU, Court of Appeal, and High Court. He is equally at home either as sole or junior counsel and has appeared un-led before the Court of Appeal on more than one occasion. He is tactically astute and extremely familiar with Administrative Court litigation, including interim and procedural applications.
His client base is wide ranging and includes commercial clients, central/ local government, and the third sector. He appreciates the roles and objectives of different parties in Administrative Court proceedings and understands the importance of presenting a case tailored to his client.
He has particular experience in cases raising difficult points of public, EU, or international law (for example under the Aarhus Convention).
Recent/ significant cases include:
- R (Hemming) v Westminster CC  UKSC 50 (For the successful Defendant in the leading case on the extent of a claimant’s entitlement to restitution in public law.)
- C-316/15 Hemming v Westminster CC  3 W.L.R. 317 (Compatibility of licensing fees with the Services Directive.)
Court of Appeal
- R (Shirley) v SoSCLG [awaiting judgment] (leading case on the approach to Air Quality in planning.)
- R (Goring-on-Thames PC) v South Oxfordshire DC  EWCA Civ 860 (Sole counsel before the Master of the Roles, McCombe, and Lindblom LJ on the interpretation of 31(2A) Senior Courts Act and the requirement for reasons when permission refused without an oral hearing.)
- R (Tarmac Aggregates Ltd) v SoS Environment  EWCA Civ 1149 (Successful appeal for Tarmac in the leading domestic case on the definition of ‘waste recovery’ under Waste Framework Directive. Establishes that the use of waste to restore a quarry pursuant to a planning condition is a recovery operation.)
- R (Becker) v Hertfordshire CC  EWHC 1974 (Admin) (Successfully resisted a challenge to the grant of planning permission for a green waste facility in the Green Belt. Acting for the Interested Party whose submissions were accepted in preference to the argument advanced on behalf of the Defendant.)
- R (Newey) v South Hams DC  EWHC 1872 (Admin) (Succeeded in establishing that reasons were required for discharging conditions under delegated authority and that the Council had misconstrued NPPF policy on ground conditions.)
- R (Spragge) v Westminster City Council  EWHC 2058 (Admin) (Succeeded in establishing that officer time is recoverable in judicial review and costs are payable to a Defendant where and a claim for judicial review is withdrawn following the grant of permission.)
- R (Delta Merseyside Ltd) v Knowsley MBC  EWHC 757 (Admin) (Successful claim establishing illegality of policy restricting cross-boarder taxi licensing.)
- R (KP JR Management Co Ltd) v Richmond Upon Thames LBC  EWHC 84 (Admin) (Successfully resisted a judicial review regarding marine development on the basis of the approach to the planning unit and the relevance of policy to material change of use.)
- R (Bishop) v Westminster CC  EWHC 3102 (Admin) (Successful appearance for Westminster in a case establishing that planning permission should be quashed where a certificate negligently/ fraudulently obtained and the proper approach to consultation. Obtained an order awarding the Defendant its costs from the Interested Party.)
- R (Rostron) v Guildford BC  EWHC 3141 (Admin) (Judicial review of the approach to setting taxi fairs. Establishes the approach to EU freedom of establishment in this context and its relevance to judicial review on Wednesbury grounds.)
- R (Qin) v Commissioner of Police for Metropolis  EWHC 2750 (Admin) (Successful judicial review overturning refusal of compensation for closing alleged brothels in Soho. Now the leading case on the approach to compensation for Closure Orders.)
- R (Shirley) v SoSCLG  EWHC 2306 (Admin) (Leading case of approach to Air Quality in planning, Permission to Appeal granted.)
- R (Working Title Films) v Westminster CC  EWHC 1855 (Admin) (Successfully resisting judicial review of planning permission for large central London development on grounds relating to provision of facilities under s 106.)
- R (Dilliner) v Sheffield CC  EWHC 945 (Admin) (High profile judicial review, on behalf of Sheffield Tree Protestors, of Sheffield City Council’s/ Amey’s felling of trees in Sheffield under ‘Streets Ahead’ PFI contract on grounds of consultation/ requirement for EIA.)
- R (Harris) v Broads Authority  EWHC 799 (Admin) (Judicial review of decision to ‘rebrand’ the Broads as the ‘Broads National Park’. Considers the ‘Stanford Principle’ and establishes that a decision to act in a way that is objectively misleading is unlawful.)
- R (Lafarge Aggregates Ltd) v SoS Environment  EWHC 2388 (Admin) (Meaning of waste recovery, successful on appeal - see R (Tarmac Aggregates Ltd) v SoS Environment  EWCA Civ 1149 above.)
- Ware v McAllister  EWHC 3086 (QB) (Successfully obtained an injunction restricting publication of journalistic material regarding a developer. The court considered the correct balance between Articles 8 and 10 of the ECHR.)
- R (Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd) v Hillingdon LBC  EWHC 2751 (Admin) (Upholding grant of planning permission for a supermarket where there was a readily inferable explanation for inconsistent decisions.)
- R (Central Bedfordshire Council) v SoS CLG  EWHC 2167 (Admin) (Challenge to decision that CBC has failed to satisfy the duty to cooperate. Permission to appeal granted.)
In addition to appearing in the High Court as part of his planning and environmental work, Charles practices in the following areas:
Charles has considerable human rights experience.
He has acted in cases concerning the right to liberty, freedom of expression, religion, privacy, and property (Articles 5, 8, 9, 10, and A1P1) . He regularly acts for and advises the government in relation to claims for unlawful detention and has appeared both for and against the Metropolitan Police in cases raising human rights issues.
For example, he successfully represented the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in a ground breaking counter-terrorism application as part of operation ONTARIAN, and defeated the Commissioner’s application to close a number of purported brothels in Soho following operation LANHYDROCK.
- Charles has a detailed knowledge and understanding of the law concerning access to and protection of information. Examples of his work include:
- Advising public authorities on Freedom of Information Act/ Environmental Information requests.
- Advising on the data protection implications of surveillance.
- Advising the Government on the approach to applications for anonymity when making a statement in open court in relation to a breach of privacy. He advised the government on its approach to the application in SWS v DWP  EWHC 2282 (QB) up until the final hearing, where the High Court vindicated that approach.
- Obtaining an urgent injunction from the High Court (upheld at trial) preventing the publication of on-line and hard copy material by a journalist in Ware v McAllister  EWHC 3086 (QB).
Asset Confiscation/ Proceeds of Crime
Charles has acted in a number of high value asset confiscation matters. Most recently, he acted for the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in an application to forfeit almost £1m seized in cash. Following more than two years of litigation, including a rare example of a contested application for a production order in which Charles succeeded before HHJ Lewin-Smith, Charles appeared successfully at trial before the Chief Magistrate, with the defendant withdrawing after Charles presented the Commissioner’s case.
Public Law Restitution
Charles has particular experience in relation to claims for restitution against public authorities. He appeared successfully for Westminster before the Supreme Court in the leading case on case on the extent of a claimant’s entitlement to restitution in public law (R (Hemming) v Westminster CC  UKSC 50). He has a detailed understanding of the interaction between public and private law in this area and is presently retained to defend a number of claims for restitution against public authorities. He is also brining a claim for judicial review seeking restitution as a remedy, which has received the permission of the High Court and is due to be heard later this year.