Environment

Francis Taylor Building is consistently recognised as a leading set for environmental law and is ranked in the top tier by both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500.

Francis Taylor Building is consistently recognised as a leading set for environmental law and is ranked in the top tier by both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500.

Francis Taylor Building is consistently recognised as a leading set for environmental law and is ranked in the top tier by both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. The latest Chambers and Partners notes that “members of FTB have a wealth of experience handing regulatory issues and criminal liability cases. Its barristers act for large companies, environmental campaign groups and individuals. Barristers at the set have recently been involved in numerous high profile cases including advising on the environmental issues involved in the planning application for increasing capacity at London Luton City Airport and another regarding noise nuisance outside Reading Station”.  The Legal 500 notes that “solicitors are impressed by the standard of advice and the positive, collaborative attitude of the barristers”.  

Members regularly appear in leading cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court as well as undertaking public and statutory inquiries, Crown Court and magistrates’ court work.  Members have also appeared at the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg and in the past, the Court of Justice of the European Union and the House of Lords.  Recent Supreme Court cases include Coventry v Lawrence, R (Morge) v Hampshire CC, Manchester Ship Canal v United UtilitiesFish Legal & Shirley v Information Commissioner and Dover DC v CPRE Kent.

Members are instructed to act for government, regulators, industry, corporate clients and private individuals and groups on wide ranging issue relating to the regulation of the environment including:

  • Nature conservation and the protection of habitats and species
  • Nuisance
  • EIA, SEA
  • Climate change
  • Air quality
  • Emissions trading
  • Pollution
  • Contaminated land
  • Water resources management
  • Waste
  • Conservation
  • Flooding
  • Environmental crime
  • Environmental Information
  • Environmental permitting and regulation
  • Environmental aspects of ESG
  • International environmental law

Members act in public, private and commercial proceedings.

Academic Panel member Professor Áine Ryall is Chair of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee having previously been Vice-Chair from November 2021 and a member of the Committee from 2015.
 

Recent and significant cases in which members have appeared include:

Climate Change

  • Mozambique: R (Friends of the Earth) v Secretary of State for International Trade & Ors [2023] EWCA Civ 14
  • R (Cox) v Oil and Gas Authority [2022] EWHC 75 (Admin)
  • R (Friends of the Earth Ltd) v SSBEIS [2022] EWHC 1841 (Admin) [2022] HRLR 18
  • R (ClientEarth) v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy [2021] EWCA Civ 43
  • Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy [2021] EWHC 1633 (Admin)
  • R (oao Friends of the Earth Ltd) v Heathrow Airport Limited [2020] UKSC 52 
  • Friends of the Earth and Others v. Secretary of State for Transport [2020] EWCA Civ 214
  • R (Packham) v Secretary of State for Transport [2020] EWCA Civ 1004 

Air Quality

  • R (Shirley) v Secretary of State [2019] EWCA Civ 22

Nuisance

  • Newcastle under Lyme BC v Walleys Quarry Ltd
  • Coventry v Lawrence [2015] UKSC 50, [2014] UKSC 12 & [2014] UKSC 46, [2014] UKSC 46 and [2014] UKSC 13 (PDF)
  • Coventry v United Kingdom 6016/16 [2022] ECHR 816 
  • Reading Borough Council v Great Western Railways and Network Rail Limited
  • Sokol v (1) Caudwell Properties (2) Cantillon
  • Austin v Miller Argent [2015] 1 WLR 52 (CA)

SEA, EIA and Habitats Directive

  • R (Morge) v Hampshire CC [2011] UKSC 2
  • R (Keir) v Natural England [2021] EWHC 1059 (Admin) 
  • Pearce v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy [2021] EWHC 326 (Admin)
  • Canterbury City Council v Secretary of State [2019] EWHC 1211 (Admin)
  • R (Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust) v Secretary of State for Transport and Another [2019] EWHC 1786 (Admin)
  • Holiday Extras v Crawley BC [2016] EWHC 3247 (Admin)
  • R (Bain) v Secretary of State for Transport CO/642/2021 
  • R (Evans) v Basingstoke and Deane BC [2013] EWCA Civ 1635
  • Bowen-West v SSCLG [2012] EWCA Civ 321; [2012] Env LR 22
  • Loader v Secretary of State [2012] EWCA Civ 869
  • R (Barker) v Secretary of State & Bromley LBC [2006] EUECJ C-290/03
  • R v Secretary of State ex parte Wells [2004] ECR I-723, ECJ Case C-201/01
  • Berkeley v. SSETR (HL) [2001] 2 AC 603 

Waste

  • R (New Earth Solutions (West) Ltd) v Environment Agency [2022] EWHC 1883 (Admin)
  • R (Protreat Ltd) v Environment Agency [2018] EWHC 1983 (Admin); [2018] P.T.S.R. 2090
  • R (Thames Water Utilities Ltd) v Bromley Magistrates' Court (Case C-252/05) [2007] 1 WLR 1945 and [2008] EWHC 1763 (Admin); [2009] 1 WLR 1247
  • OSS Group Ltd v Environment Agency [2007] EWCA Civ 611; [2007] Bus LR 173

Water

  • R v Thames Water Utilities Ltd [2015] EWCA Crim 960; [2015] 1 WLR 4411

 

30
Jul' 21
Permission Granted in JR of the Oil and Gas Authority Strategy

Mrs Justice Thornton has granted permission for a judicial review against the Oil and Gas Authority and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy regarding their decision to adopt The Oil and Gas Authority Strategy.

Read more
21
Feb' 20
Lady Dido Berkeley Acquitted in Extinction Rebellion Prosecution

On 20 January, Lady Dido Berkeley was acquitted by City of London Magistrates’ Court of the offence of knowingly failing to comply with a condition imposed on a public assembly contrary to section 14(5) of the Public Order Act 1986.

Read more

"An excellent set with standout expertise in this area of law." "It has real strength-in-depth in the environmental area." "The set is always able to provide advice from somebody who is experienced in any area of environmental law, however obscure."

Legal 500, 2024

"Francis Taylor Building is my first choice set. I have worked with a mix of juniors and silks and have consistently received a great service. I know that whatever the subject matter, there will be a barrister with the requisite expertise and/or experience."

Legal 500, 2022

"A consistently high-performing set with a wealth of counsel to choose from."

Legal 500, 2022

"The service is efficient and friendly." "It is a very strong chambers, and the clerks should get a special mention as they facilitate that."

Chambers and Partners, 2022
30
Jul' 21
Permission Granted in JR of the Oil and Gas Authority Strategy

Mrs Justice Thornton has granted permission for a judicial review against the Oil and Gas Authority and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy regarding their decision to adopt The Oil and Gas Authority Strategy.

Read more
21
Feb' 20
Lady Dido Berkeley Acquitted in Extinction Rebellion Prosecution

On 20 January, Lady Dido Berkeley was acquitted by City of London Magistrates’ Court of the offence of knowingly failing to comply with a condition imposed on a public assembly contrary to section 14(5) of the Public Order Act 1986.

Read more

King's Counsel

Simon Bird KC

Call: 1987 | Silk: 2009

Robert McCracken KC

Call: 1973 | Silk: 2003

Andrew Tait KC

Call: 1981 | Silk: 2003

Michael Humphries KC

Call: 1982 | Silk: 2003

Morag Ellis KC

Call: 1984 | Silk: 2006

Craig Howell Williams KC

Call: 1983 | Silk: 2008

Douglas Edwards KC

Call: 1992 | Silk: 2010

Gregory Jones KC

Call: 1991 | Silk: 2011

Suzanne Ornsby KC

Call: 1986 | Silk: 2012

James Pereira KC

Call: 1996 | Silk: 2014

Saira Kabir Sheikh KC

Call: 2000 | Silk: 2014

Andrew Fraser-Urquhart KC

Call: 1993 | Silk: 2015

Andrew Fraser-Urquhart KC

Call: 1993 | Silk: 2015

Hereward Phillpot KC

Call: 1997 | Silk: 2015

Alexander Booth KC

Call: 2000 | Silk: 2016

Jeremy Phillips KC

Call: 2004 | Silk: 2018

Richard Honey KC

Call: 2003 | Silk: 2021

Meyric Lewis KC

Call: 1986 | Silk: 2023

Junior Counsel

Philip Petchey

Call: 1976

Timothy Comyn

Call: 1980

Emyr Jones

Call: 1999

Kate Olley

Call: 1999

John Jolliffe

Call: 2005

Mark Westmoreland Smith

Call: 2006

Professor Pavlos Eleftheriadis

Call: 2006

Cain Ormondroyd

Call: 2007

Annabel Graham Paul

Call: 2008

Hugh Flanagan

Call: 2008

Rebecca Clutten

Call: 2008

Ned Westaway

Call: 2009

Isabella Tafur

Call: 2009

David Graham

Call: 2010

Michael Fry

Call: 2011

Alexander Greaves

Call: 2012

Caroline Daly

Call: 2013

Charles Streeten

Call: 2013

Charles Forrest

Call: 2014

Merrow Golden

Call: 2014

Horatio Waller

Call: 2014

Daisy Noble

Call: 2015

Charles Merrett

Call: 2016

Esther Drabkin-Reiter

Call: 2017

Brendan Brett

Call: 2017

Conor Fegan

Call: 2018

Jonathan Welch

Call: 2019

Flora Curtis

Call: 2019

Michael Rhimes

Call: 2019

Mark O’Brien O’Reilly

Call: 2021, 2023 (Ireland)

Michael Feeney

Call: 2021

Stephanie Bruce-Smith

Call: 2021

Claire Nevin

Call: 2021