Christopher Jacobs

Call: 1994

Christopher has a mixed public law, property and planning practice.

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Practice summary



Public and Administrative


Practice Summary

Christopher advises and represents clients at all levels from the Supreme Court to the First-tier Tribunal.

Christopher has particular experience in public inquiries. Most notably he currently represents 156 subpostmaster Core Participants in the Post Office Horizon IT public inquiry. He has also represented core institutional and complainant core participants in IICSA and the Brook House Inquiry. In property law, Christopher has acted in a number of cases involving water courses and riparian rights and specialises in this area.

In planning law matters, Christopher has acted in a number of significant public inquiries dealing with compulsory purchase orders and urban regeneration schemes. He acted for the objectors to a regeneration scheme in the Aylesbury Estate CPO Public Inquiry.  He also acts in relation to judicial and statutory review of planning decisions.


Christopher specialises in Compulsory Purchase Public Inquiry work.

He undertakes written work and advocacy in the following areas:

  • Statutory Review applications under Section 288 TCPA 1990
  • Judicial reviews of grants of planning permission
  • Public Inquiries and appeals against planning decisions
  • Enforcement appeals and Inquiries.
  • Criminal proceedings in enforcement related matters.

He has represented objectors to large developments in the following inquiries:

  • Aylesbury Estate CPO 2016 – 2018
  • Harrow Manorway CPO 2018
  • Woodberry Down CPO 2018.

Christopher is currently instructed by a freeholder in relation to the proposed demolition and redevelopment of the Cressingham Gardens Estate in Lambeth and was instructed for a resident freeholder in a related judicial review application R (on the application of Plant) v Lambeth LBC [2022] EWHC 3079 (Admin) .

Christopher acted for a developer in the Court of Appeal in a case concerning the meaning of reserved matters in outline applications for planning permission, Crystal Property Limited v SSCLG [2016] EWCA Civ 1265.

Christopher acted for the successful Claimant in R. (on the application of Seventeen De Vere Gardens (Management) Ltd) v Kensington and Chelsea RLBC [2016] EWHC 2869 (Admin) in which a Local Planning Authority decision to decline to determine a planning application under section 70C Town and Country Planning Act 1990 quashed.

Christopher acted for the successful claimant in a judicial review of LB Hackney’s decision to grant planning permission in relation to a development which concerned the application of BRE guidelines to a children’s playground, R (on the application of Watt) v Hackney LBC [2016] ACD 115.

Christopher represented the successful claimant in Venn v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2013] EWHC 3546 (Admin); [2014] J.P.L. 447 and appeared with Richard Drabble KC in the Secretary of State’s appeal in the same case – SSCLG v Venn [2015] 1 W.L.R. 2328 [2015] C.P. Rep. 12 [2015] 1 C.M.L.R. 52 [2015] Env. L.R. 14 [2015] J.P.L. 573 [2014] EWCA Civ 1539. The case concerned the scope under CPR r.45.41 of the availability of protective costs orders for environmental cases falling within the Aarhus Convention 2001

In October 2011, Christopher represented the travellers at the Dale Farm site in Basildon in proceedings in the Administrative Court and in the Court of Appeal – R (on the application of Sheridan & others) v Basildon District Council [2011] EWHC 2938 (Admin) in relation to a judicial review of enforcement action and rights of children.


Christopher specialises in Water Courses and Riparian rights cases. He has advised extensively in the following areas:

  • Legal duties and obligations in relation to Ports
  • Coastal erosion
  • Commercial leases
  • Boundary disputes
  • Easements
  • Adverse possession
  • Injunctions
  • Rights of light and remedies
  • Highways.

Christopher’s notable cases include:

  • Bernel Ltd v Canal and River Trust [2021] EWHC 16 (Ch) in which the court accepted that riparian rights can derive from artificially piped water and considered whether a claimed culverted natural watercourse was a land drain or sewer. The court also considered the acquisition of prescriptive rights to drain land by way of easement.
  • Hounslow LBC v Devere [2018] EWHC 1447 (Ch). [2018] L.L.R. 764. The Court considered the legal character of River Works and held that Vessel owners had trespassed onto local authority land when mooring their vessels to posts holding up a riverside walkway. However, they had not interfered with the local authority’s rights when mooring their vessels to structures which were sunk into the river bed.
  • Port of London Authority v Mendoza [2017] UKUT 146 (TCC) – whether the act of mooring a boat was insufficient, by itself, to evidence an intention by the boat owner to take adverse possession of the river bed beneath the boat and whether it was possible to acquire title through adverse possession to the bed of a river that was subject to public navigation rights.
  • In 2015 he represented the successful Respondent in the Property Tribunal in a dispute with the Port of London Authority over whether PLA was entitled to register land above Mean High Water on the Thames riverbank, Morlandia v PLA.

Christopher has advised owners of beaches and seafront land and local authorities in relation to proceedings concerning coastal erosion. He also advises in cases involving boundary dispute issues in relation to riparian land.

Christopher’s reported property cases include:

  • Constandas v Lysandrou [2018] EWCA Civ 613. Christopher acted for the successful Respondent in the Court of Appeal, which reviewed the test for whether a judge was entitled to resort to the burden of proof when considering a disputed claim as to beneficial ownership of a property.
  • Ofulue v Bossert [2009] 2 WLR 749 (House of Lords, adverse possession, acknowledgment of title).

Public and Administrative

Christopher Jacobs has been practising in a range of administrative and public law areas for more than 25 years.

Judicial Review

Christopher is a judicial review specialist and advises and represents clients in judicial review challenges across the public law spectrum. He is an acknowledged human rights expert and has developed an expertise in planning and property-related claims.

Christopher frequently represents local authorities in judicial claims brought against them and regularly advises local authorities on public law related matters.

Notable cases in which Christopher has acted include:

  • R (on the application of Paling v (1) Ipswich Magistrates’ Court (2) Mid-Suffolk District Council [2021]. Christopher represented a local authority in a challenge concerning the fairness of a hearing before magistrates. The application was heard on 20 July 2021 and judgment is awaited.
  • R (on the application of Granger-Taylor) v High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd [2020] EWHC 1442 (Admin). The Court considered a challenge to the HS2 Scheme based on inherently dangerous engineering operations in the Euston area and whether the decision to proceed amounted to a justiciable breach of the rights guaranteed to a nearby homeowner under Article 8 ECHR and Protocol 1. Article 1.
  • R (on the application of Seventeen De Vere Gardens (Management) Ltd) v Kensington and Chelsea RLBC [2016] EWHC 2869 (Admin). Christopher acted for the successful claimant management company in a case where a Planning Applications Committee had unlawfully declined to determine a revised application for retrospective planning permission which was subject to a pre-existing enforcement notice.
  • R (Traveller Movement) v Office of Communications [2015] EWHC 406 (Admin) – a challenge to Ofcom’s decision not to uphold a complaint that Channel 4 had breached broadcasting standards in relation to the TV programmes My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and Thelma’s Gypsy Girls.
  • Venn v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2014] EWCA Civ 1539 | [2015] 1 W.L.R. 2328 | [2014] 11 WLUK 778 | [2015] C.P. Rep. 12 | [2015] 1 C.M.L.R. 52 | [2015] Env. L.R. 14 | [2015] J.P.L. 573. Christopher was led by Richard Drabble QC in an important appeal (having acted for the Claimant at first instance) in relation to the scope under CPR r.45.41 of the availability of protective costs orders for environmental cases falling within the Aarhus Convention 2001.
  • Binbuga v SSHD [2019] EWCA Civ 551. Christopher acted for the appellant in a case in which the Court of Appeal considered the impact of social environment and upbringing on the ‘social and cultural integration’ test in deportation cases.
  • Roszkowski v SSHD [2017] EWCA Civ 1893; [2018] 1 W.L.R. 2848; [2018] 2 All E.R. 878; [2018]. Christopher represented, as leading counsel, the successful appellant in the Court of Appeal where the Court reviewed the lawfulness of the detention of an EU national deportee following the Secretary of State’s refusal to release after a grant of bail.
  • (on the application of BS) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 454 (Admin). Christopher acted for the successful Claimant in an unlawful detention judicial review claim where the continued detention for two months of an Indian national identified as a victim of torture, while waiting for verification of an emergency travel document application had been unlawful, in particular because SSHD had failed to act with reasonable diligence.
  • MSM (Somalia) v SSHD (UNHCR intervening) [2016] EWCA Civ 715. Christopher represented, as leading counsel, the successful appellant asylum seeker in the Court of Appeal, which ruled that the principle in HJ (Iran) applies in cases where a fear of persecution arises from imputed political opinion.
  • Gurung & others v SSHD [2013] 1 W.L.R. 2546, [2013] I.N.L.R. 634, [2013] EWCA Civ 8, in which Christopher represented one of a number of successful dependent children of members of Her Majesty’s Brigade of Gurkhas in the Court of Appeal. The appellants were successful on a historic injustice Article 8 ECHR argument when appealing against decisions to refuse them entry to the United Kingdom in line with their parents.

Approximately 40% of cases in which Christopher has drafted letters before claim or grounds for judicial review have resulted in Respondents conceding at the pre-action, pre-permission of post permission stages of the claim.

Public Inquiries and Inquests

Christopher is currently instructed in the following public inquiries:

  • Post Office Horizon IT Public Inquiry: Christopher represents (with Sam Stein KC) 137 former sub-postmasters who were convicted, prosecuted, sued, dismissed or reputationally damaged as a consequence of the Post Office scandal. The Inquiry has been ongoing since November 2001 and is due to continue until summer 2024. Christopher made detailed submissions before Sir Wyn Williams (the Inquiry Chair) in April 2023 during a hearing which led to an interim report to Parliament on the question of compensation for subpostmasters.
  • The Covid-19 Inquiry: Christopher has been instructed to represent the Traveller Movement in Module 4 of the Covid-19 Inquiry, which will investigate the institutional conduct and responses by various groups to the Covid vaccination programme. The hearings are due to commence in July 2024.
  • The Brook House Inquiry: Christopher acted for a core participant Detention Custody Officer in the Brook House Inquiry, which addressed institutional failings in safeguarding detainees at an Immigration removal centre. The final report of the Inquiry is awaited.

Other Public Inquiries Christopher has worked on:

  • The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA): Between 2018 and 2023 Christopher represented over 60 core participants in IICSA, which was the largest ever Public Inquiry in England and Wales. Christopher represented core participants (victims and survivors, whistleblowers and senior members of staff within local authorities) in the following strands of the IICSA Inquiry.
  • Nottinghamshire Councils Investigation
  • Roman Catholic Church – Archdiocese of Birmingham Investigation
  • Accountability and Reparations Investigation phase 1
  • Roman Catholic Church – English Benedictine Congregation and Ealing Abbey
  • Residential Schools Investigation
  • Accountability and Reparations Investigation phase 2
  • Roman Catholic Church – Wider Investigation
  • Lambeth Council Investigation
  • Organised Networks Investigation
  • Allegations of child sexual abuse involving the late Lord Janner of Braunstone.

Christopher has conducted seminars and advised institutions on the criteria for Core Participant status in the forthcoming COVID-19 Public Inquiry.


Landmark's barristers often work at the intersection of our core practice areas; bringing a wide range of skills, knowledge and experience to bear on a particular dispute or issue facing a client.

Our focus is always on achieving the best possible outcome for our client. By viewing the client's objectives in a holistic way - and not purely through the lens of one rigidly-defined legal area - we deliver the best possible advice and representation in complex matters that engage multiple specialist areas of law. 

Whether it's providing support as an individual cross-practice barrister or a cross-disciplinary team of Landmark counsel, we are able to draw on an outstanding array of complementary skillsets and knowledge bases. This often achieves a better result than instructing multiple barristers from different specialist sets. This also improves the quality of client care through increased levels of communication, quicker response times, and a coordinated approach to clerking and fees, made possible by our team-based cross-practice approach.

Please contact our practice management team for more information.


EU Law post-Brexit

Local Government

Public Interest Litigation



Compulsory Purchase and Compensation

Marine Planning and Harbour Orders

Neighbourhood Planning

Planning Appeals, Inquiries and Hearings

Planning Judicial and Statutory Reviews


Boundary and Ownership Disputes

Easements and Profits a Prendre

Land Registration and Adverse Possession

Land Registration and Adverse Possession

Squatters and other Trespass

Trusts of Land and other Equitable Claims


Judicial Review

Public Inquiries and Inquests

High Court Planning

Human Rights and Civil Liberties


Property Judicial Review



EU Law post-Brexit

Local Government

Public Interest Litigation


Dedicated and extremely knowledgeable."

Legal 500

Qualifications and achievements


  • Planning and Environmental Bar
  • Property Bar Association

Practice Managers

Contact our friendly and helpful Practice Managers for more information about our barristers and services or to make an enquiry.

Ben Connor

Ben Connor

Practice Director

020 7421 2483

Zoe Bluck new

Zoe Bluck

Practice Manager

020 7421 1301

Jamie Lal new

Jamie Lal

Assistant Practice Manager

020 7421 1309

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