Paul Brown KC

Call: 1991

Silk: 2009

Paul's practice covers planning and environmental, public and local government law.

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Practice summary

Planning

Public and Administrative

Cross-practice

Practice Summary

Paul’s practice covers all aspects of planning and environmental law, public and local government law. His clients include national and regional housebuilders and other developers, local planning authorities, central government, environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth and private individuals. He has extensive experience in the High Court and Court of Appeal, as well as at Public Inquiries and Hearings.

Recent, high profile cases include:

RAF Scampton and RAF Wethersfield: instructed by the Secretary of State for the Home Department in defending the challenges to the use of these two sites to house asylum seekers

Ashchurch Rural Parish Council v. Tewkesbury Council: instructed by the appellant in the Court of Appeal hearing on this successful challenge to the Environmental Impact Assessment of the “bridge to nowhere”

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities v. Smith: instructed by PINS in the Court of Appeal in this challenge to the use of Appeal Planning Officers to assist Inspectors in making appeal decisions

West Cumbria Coal Mine: instructed by Friends of the Earth in their objection (on climate change grounds) to the development of a new coal mine in Cumbria.  Appeared at the inquiry in 2021, and instructed in the subsequent High Court challenge

R (Rights:Community:Action) v. Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communitiesinstructed by the claimant in the widely publicised challenge to the amendments to the General Permitted Development Order and the Use Classes Order, which introduced new permitted development rights to build upwards and the new Use Class E.

Westferry Printworks: instructed by Westferry Developments Ltd to promote the redevelopment of this site near Canary Wharf to provide 1524 new homes in 5 stepped towers.

Rother Valley Railway CPO: instructed by local landowners to object to the compulsory purchase of their land to extend the route of a heritage steam railway.

Paul’s recent local plan work includes Mid-Sussex Site Allocations DPD (for the LPA); St Albans Local Plan and Maidstone Borough Local Plan (acting for supporting developers);  Tandridge Local Plan and Tunbridge Wells Local Plan (acting for objectors).

Before taking silk in 2009, Paul was a member of the Treasury A Panel, where he acted for a wide range of government departments including DCLG, DEFRA, the Ministry of Justice, the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Education. In 2014, he was the legal adviser to the Committee on the Review of Planning Guidance, led by Lord Taylor.  A member of the Joint Planning Law Committee responsible for organising the Oxford Planning Conference for more than 10 years, he chaired the Planning and Environmental Bar Association and was Joint Head of Landmark Chambers between 2019 and 2022.

Planning

As a specialist in town and country planning, Paul acts for developers, central government, local planning authorities and third party interest groups at all stages of the planning process. His experience covers most areas of planning law, including residential and retail development, minerals and waste, airports, windfarms, highways, compulsory purchase and enforcement. Paul’s wider public law practice has given him a particular expertise in statutory challenges and applications for judicial review, where he has acted for claimants, defendants and interested parties.

Recent cases of note include:

  • Ashchurch Rural Parish Council v. Tewkesbury Council: instructed by the appellant in the Court of Appeal hearing on this successful challenge to the Environmental Impact Assessment of the “bridge to nowhere”.
  • Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities v. Smith: instructed by PINS in the Court of Appeal in this challenge to the use of Appeal Planning Officers to assist Inspectors in making appeal decisions.
  • West Cumbria Coal Mineinstructed by Friends of the Earth in their objection (on climate change grounds) to the development of a new coal mine in Cumbria.  Appeared at the inquiry in 2021, and instructed in the subsequent High Court challenge.
  • R (Rights:Community:Action) v. Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communitiesinstructed by the claimant in the widely publicised challenge to the amendments to the General Permitted Development Order and the Use Classes Order, which introduced new permitted development rights to build upwards and the new Use Class E.
  • R (Ocado) v. London Borough of Islingtoninstructed by Ocado in this application for judicial review of the revocation of a lawful development certificate.
  • advising landowners in compensation claims associated with the compulsory purchase orders for Crossrail.
  • the London “basement wars” saga (in which Paul acted for the owner of the much-publicised “stripey house” in Kensington and Chelsea).

Public and Administrative

Examples of Paul’s work include: representing the Appellant in the Supreme Court in Hotak v London Borough of Southwark (concerning the definition of vulnerability in the context of a local authorities housing duties under s. 189 Housing Act 1996); acting for the operator of an anaerobic digestion facility in proceedings for the judicial review of the amendments to the Renewable Heat Incentive Regulations; advising Medical Justice and successfully representing victims of torture who have been detained in breach of the Secretary of State’s own guidelines in their claims for false imprisonment; and advising the Department for Education on its Free Schools Programme.

Before life as a barrister, Paul completed his PhD in Administrative Law at Cambridge in 1989, and lectured in Public Law at King’s College, London (1989-1991) and at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand (1985).

Paul is particularly interested in human rights, and has lectured and written widely on Article 6.

Cross-practice

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.

Energy

Highways and Rights of Access

Local Government

Public Interest Litigation

Public Works Projects

Specialisms

Commercial/Retail

Compulsory Purchase and Compensation

Development Consent Orders

Development Contribution: Section 106 and CIL

Development Plans and other planning policy

Energy

Environment

Green Belt

Heritage

Highways, Footpaths and Rights of Way

Infrastructure

Marine Planning and Harbour Orders

Minerals and Waste

Neighbourhood Planning

Planning Appeals, Inquiries and Hearings

Planning Enforcement and Injunctions

Planning Judicial and Statutory Reviews

Residential

Specialisms

Procurement and Subsidy Control

Specialisms

Energy

Highways and Rights of Access

Local Government

Public Interest Litigation

Public Works Projects

"
An exceptional inquiry advocate, who is excellent with clients, extremely proactive, very commercial and on the ball."

Chambers and Partners

Chambers Top Ranked UK Bar 2024 Uk leading silk 2024

Qualifications and achievements

Qualifications

  • LLB (Hons) (1st Class); Gold Medal in Law: University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand (1982-1985)
  • PhD; Tapp Scholar, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (1986-1989)

Recommendations

Practice Managers

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

Michael Gooch new

Michael Gooch

Senior Practice Manager

0207 421 1305

Jonathan Barley new

Jonathan Barley

Practice Manager

0207 421 2480

Noel Pudney new

Noel Pudney

Assistant Practice Manager

020 7421 1398

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