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High Court Refuses High Profile Urgent Interim Injunction Application Against HS2

Saira Kabir Sheikh QC
Michael Fry

Yesterday afternoon (1 February 2020) Saira Kabir Sheikh QC and Michael Fry were instructed to resist an application for urgent consideration and urgent interim relief made by a trespasser currently in a tunnel below Euston Square Gardens. The occupation is very high profile, and has been featured on all the major new networks and newspapers, for example:

The Sun 
The Guardian 
The BBC 

The Claimant sought prohibitory and mandatory injunctions to prevent HS2 from carrying out any further operations to remove the trespassers from the tunnels, amongst other steps.  
 
Following written submissions, Mr Justice Robin Knowles CBE refused the application for interim relief, and instead granted HS2’s cross-application. The judge ordered that the Claimant cease any further tunnelling activity, to provide details of the protestors in the tunnels, to provide details of the tunnels themselves, and to cooperate with HS2 to leave the tunnel safely. In his brief reasons, Mr Justice Knowles quoted from HS2’s submissions, and found that “the situation that the Claimant is in is very dangerous” and that “the safest course requires the Claimant to leave voluntarily, but he refuses that option. This also puts others at risk, including (prospectively) rescue workers.”

Saira Kabir Sheikh QC and Michael Fry were instructed by Jim McAvan of HS2 Legal and the Government Legal Department.