Michael Fry

Call: 2011  
Practice areas:
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Practice Profile

Michael Fry is an administrative and public law barrister with a strong specialism in planning and environmental law. He is ranked consistently in the leading legal directories and legal publications.

Michael is particularly well known for his major infrastructure planning work and his cutting-edge injunction practice. In the past year, Michael has appeared in the Supreme Court, several Court of Appeal hearings, promoted three Development Consent Orders, acted in over 30 judicial reviews, appeared in numerous planning hearings and inquiries, secured an anti-trespass injunctions over the land required for the HS2 Scheme and the M25 and Kent motorways and A roads, and committed to prison a number of people found in contempt of court. 

Michael is instructed regularly to lead teams of junior counsel and solicitors. He practiced previously as an employed barrister at a global elite law firm for 5 years, and has also spent a 9 month secondment in house, so understands the pressures and level of service required by professional and lay clients. 

He is currently a member of the Attorney General’s B Panel of Counsel, in which role he has delivered advice directly to Secretaries of State and Ministers in conference. 

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Michael is an expert in promoting major infrastructure projects. His experience is wide ranging, and he has been instructed to advise on projects including nuclear power stations, nuclear waste facilities, gas fired power stations, roads, railways, onshore wind, tidal range generating stations, oil and gas pipelines, airports, ports, and waste treatment facilities.

He has particularly strong experience in projects promoted under the Planning Act 2008. He has been instructed in over a dozen DCO applications. Although he mostly promotes projects (as one of the few junior barristers who have led DCO applications and examinations under the 2008 Act), he has also acted for interested parties such as local authorities, statutory undertakers and objectors. 

Present instructions include linear infrastructure DCOs, water company development, and advising a major statutory undertaker on development and maintenance of its critical assets across a 100 year window.

Michael is ranked as a leading junior. He accepts instructions in all areas of planning and development work.

Recent work includes: 

  • advising on the promotion of major housing, university accommodation, private members clubs, research/medical facilities, retail and warehouse development;
  • regular planning hearings and inquiries;
  • acting in enforcement appeals for unauthorised development;
  • advising on Community Infrastructure Levy policy and acting in CIL enforcement proceedings in the Magistrates’ and on appeal in the High Courts;
  • Local Plan work include promoting Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan and the West of England Combined Authority Joint Spatial Plan (led by Suzanne Ornsby KC); and
  • advising a committee of backbench MPs on planning legislation, explaining the potential impact of legislation and drafting amendments.

As a senior planning lawyer in a busy City practice, Michael advised corporate and private clients on a wide range of matters under the Town and Country Planning regime. Due diligence and planning reports for major property acquisitions, and reviewing the planning position of assets was a large part of Michael's practice. He has particular expertise in statutory interpretation, and advises regularly on permitted development and CIL issues. He has drafted many complex section 106, 38 and 278 agreements so is well versed in the construction of planning conditions. 
Michael has a particular interest in heritage issues, and regularly advises in relation to Conservation Areas and listed building consent. Clients have included the Government of Afghanistan, high net-worth individuals and the Imperial War Museum. 
Michael is also familiar with more niche planning regimes, and advises regularly on advertisement consent, proceedings of crime, trees, and assets of community value.

Michael is a member of the Attorney General’s C Panel of junior counsel to the Crown, and advises Government on a wide range of issues. He has developed a broad public law practice and accepts instructions in related areas. He is most active in public law judicial review, and advises regularly on scope and implementation of local authority powers. He is frequently instructed in relation to procedural issues, costs protection and the availability of strike out/summary judgment.

Recent work includes references to the local government ombudsman, proceedings arising out of notices of entry, information law, car registration, public sector equality duty, disability claims and local authority duties regarding online portals. 

Michael is an experienced environmental lawyer, and advises on EIA and SEA particularly in relation to major infrastructure planning. He has a particular interest in long-term environmental planning and supporting infrastructure. 

He advises Government departments and regulators in respect of environmental issues. Recent instructions include extensive advice to Government on the environmental impact of certain fisheries policies and the introduction of alien species, advising a statutory undertaker on climate change issues, advising National Highways on air quality assessment, and the approach to habitats and protected species.

Ranked in the major legal directories, Michael is one of the leading claimant junior barristers in injunction and committal cases arising out of protest activities. He has acted or advised in relation to the most significant recent cases involving anti-trespass injunctions, advises the Government on injunctions, and undertakes training of Government Departments.  

While the focus of his practice is injunctions under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, anti-social behaviour injunctions, and anti-trespass injunctions, Michael has wide-ranging experience within the jurisdiction and has acted in injunction and committal proceedings arising from shareholder disputes, parking disputes and industrial action.

Michael holds a MA (Hons) in Social and Political Sciences from Christ's College, Cambridge. He was graded Outstanding on the Bar Professional Training Course, and received a Commendation for his Graduate Diploma in Law. He is a Major Scholar and Exhibitioner of the Inner Temple and received a BPTC Outstanding Award.

Michael completed the commissioning course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and holds a City and Guild Graduateship in Leadership and Management.

Before starting his career at the Bar, Michael was an Army officer for almost a decade, serving in the Blues & Royals. He continued in the Army Reserve for a further four years. Away from legal practice, Michael chairs a medical charity, Nerve Tumours UK, is a governor of Tonbridge School, and a liveryman of the Skinner's Company.

Michael had a wide variety of roles before joining the Army, including running nightclubs, analysing public policy and working as a lobbyist.

  • PEBA (Planning and Environmental Law Bar Association)
  • NIPA (National Infrastructure Planning Association)
  • CPA (Compulsory Purchase Association)
  • SAL (Society of Asian Lawyers)

Privacy Notice

Nov' 23
Supreme Court Confirms that “Newcomer” Injunctions are Permissible in Equity

This morning, 29 November 2023, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in Wolverhampton City Council & Ors (Respondents) v London Gypsies and Travellers & Ors (Appellants) [2023] UKSC 47 (which was known as Barking & Dagenham in the High Court and Court of Appeal).

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Aug' 23
Hugh Flanagan Appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel of Approved Counsel and Michael Fry to the B Panel

FTB is delighted to announce that Hugh Flanagan has been appointed to the Attorney General's A panel of approved counsel and Michael Fry to the B panel. The appointments take effect on 1 September 2023 for a period of five years.

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May' 23
High Court Grants 12-Month Extension to National Highways Protestor Injunction

Michael Fry led by Myriam Stacey KC has successfully secured a 12-month extension to an injunction imposed as part of measures to deter protesters from disrupting some of England’s busiest roads at the High Court.

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Feb' 23
Court of Appeal Confirms the Basis for Final Precautionary Prohibitory Injunctions

The Court of Appeal has allowed the appeal in National Highways Limited v Persons Unknown and others [2023] EWCA Civ 182, a judgment which will assist claimants seeking to conclude claims involving precautionary injunctions, particularly in relation to protestors. 

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Back to Barristers

“An exceptionally bright mind with innovative outlooks – a renaissance barrister”

Legal 500

“Michael is always extremely personable and unflappable even under pressure. His advice and advocacy is clear and concise and delivery was pitch perfect, never over the top but always firm and to the point.”

Legal 500

“He combines a tremendous intellect with exceptional knowledge well beyond his call and his tactical and strategic nous is extremely impressive. He has a fantastic manner with clients.”

Legal 500

“Michael Fry is renowned for his work in transport infrastructure, representing a number of large-scale clients in their pursuit of injunctions. He frequently acts for National Highways and HS2.”

Chambers and Partners

"Michael is a very clear and effective advocate."

Chambers and Partners
Dec' 23
Online Lunchtime Briefing – Injunctions & Committals: Case Law Update

Does the court have the power to grant an injunction which binds unidentified people at the time when the order is granted who do not present any risk at the time of the injunction order but may do in the future? If the Court grants alternative service provisions, does the Claimant have to prove actual knowledge in an application for committal?

Two recent judgments will be of particular interest in the planning and protestor jurisdictions, but will have wider implications for injunctions and committals in other areas of law. Join FTB’s experts for a lunchtime case law update as they discuss the Supreme Court’s judgment in Wolverhampton City Council v London Gypsies and Travellers (which was Barking & Dagenham in the Court of Appeal) which is due to be handed down on Wednesday 29 November, and the judgment of Mr Justice Soole in National Highways Limited v Kirin, a committal case which has wide implications in respect of alternative service provisions for any injunction.

Leading the discussion will be FTB’s Andrew Fraser-Urquhart KC, Michael Fry, Charles Forrest and Michael Feeney.

This briefing will be held from 1-2pm and will be hosted on Zoom. There is no charge to attend but places must be reserved in advance using the booking link below.  Please note that registration will close at 12.40 on Friday 1 December.

Book now