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Alex Shattock

Call: 2018

Practice Summary

Alex has a broad practice and accepts instructions in all areas of Chambers’ work. His recent instructions include matters in the Court of Appeal, High Court, County Court, Magistrates’ Court and various tribunals. He has a particular interest in education, immigration, human rights, planning and environmental law.

Alex has a doctorate in public international law from the University of Cambridge. His research was fully funded by the WM Tapp studentship in law, one of the university’s most competitive postgraduate scholarships.

He previously worked in a category B secure prison and at the Law Commission of England and Wales. At the Law Commission he was a member of the ‘Planning Law in Wales’ project and the ‘Automated Vehicles’ (driverless cars) project, where he engaged with leading stakeholders including Tesla, Bosch, Oxbotica, the Department for Transport, the Home Builders Federation, and the Welsh Government.

In his spare time he enjoys films, video games, and Scandinavian heavy metal music.

Planning and Environment Law

Alex practices in all aspects of planning and environmental law. Recent instructions include:

  • Junior on a four-day public inquiry in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire (Land south of Peafield Lane), considering issues such as highways, 5 year housing land supply, landscape and out-of-date development plan policies.
  • Appearing on behalf of objectors at a public hearing at City Hall in front of the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, opposing a large development of several residential tower blocks (up to 16 storeys high) along the M1 motorway.
  • Bringing a private prosecution for highway obstruction on behalf of TfL in the magistrates’ court.
  • Advising objectors to a ‘Garden Village’ extension.

He regularly advises clients on planning issues such as Green Belt development, the duty to consult, enforcement time limits and the General Permitted Development Order.

During pupillage he assisted Zack Simons with the Supreme Court case Wright v Resilient Energy Severndale Ltd. He has also worked on a variety of matters involving compulsory purchase, waste disposal, the Wheatcroft Principles, section 106 obligations and Flood Risk Assessments.

Public Law

Alex has a broad public law practice. He has appeared for claimants in the High Court as sole counsel on several occasions in unlawful detention and false imprisonment cases. He regularly advises claimants, local authorities and central government. Recently he has been instructed on public law cases involving special educational needs assessments in schools, Housing Benefit, Universal Credit, asylum and immigration, age assessments and the vires of public authority actions. He is on the government’s ‘Junior Junior’ scheme.

During pupillage Alex assisted with all stages of the judicial review process, from pre-action letters to grounds of appeal, both claimant and defendant. He is familiar with all grounds of challenge, including the various human rights and public sector equality aspects of judicial review claims. He has also researched education law issues such as school exclusions, unregistered schools and challenges to special educational needs budgets.

At the Law Commission, Alex was employed in the Public Law group and worked on several reform projects dealing with complex public law and regulatory problems. He is also familiar with public law issues relating to prisons, having worked for a year at HMP Hewell in Worcestershire, a Category B secure prison.

Human rights Law

Alex has a keen interest in human rights law. He has drafted several County Court and High Court pleadings that involve human rights challenges. He recently advised a planning objector on a potential human rights challenge to certain provisions of the planning acts, considering issues such as potential remedies and limitation under the Human Rights Act 1998. He has also assisted with the drafting of an application to the European Court of Human Rights in a mental health detention case that was heard by the Supreme Court.

During pupillage Alex worked on a variety of different human rights cases, including potential human rights challenges to e.g. passport revocations, free nursery school provision, immigration decisions, the Rehabilitation of Offenders’ Act, a refugee resettlement scheme, the probate rules, and injunctions requiring the takedown of YouTube videos.

He accepts pro bono instructions and is a legal reviewer for the charity Freedom From Torture.

Education Law

Alex has a strong education law practice and been instructed on a variety of education matters. He has been instructed by several local councils in SEN appeals in the First-tier Tribunal, considering issues such as whether an EHC plan should be made, choice of placement, overprovision, unreasonable public expenditure, and whether non-NHS approved treatments can be included in an EHC plan.

Recently he was instructed by Ofsted in a significant judicial review of a report brought by the educational establishment in question.

Immigration Law

Alex regularly appears in immigration and asylum hearings, in the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and High Court. He has appeared in the Upper Tribunal in several deportation cases and has a particular expertise in cases involving the EEA Regulations.

He also regularly advises on unlawful detention and false imprisonment cases, including merits and quantum issues.

International Law

Alex has an in-depth knowledge of international law. During his PhD he taught students on the undergraduate international law module. His doctoral research considered issues such as terrorism, military intervention, self-determination, neutrality and the UN Charter. He has presented his research at several academic conferences and at the UK Law Commission. His research on civil wars was cited in Professor Gray’s International Law and the Use of Force (4th ed), the leading academic textbook on military intervention.

Recently Alex has been instructed on cases involving international human rights obligations, the extra-territoriality of UK discrimination legislation and the UNHCR.

During pupillage Alex assisted David Blundell with a case concerning Palestinian refugees and the overlapping mandates of two UN organisations. He worked on cases involving passport revocations and the Royal Prerogative. He also researched the protection of children’s rights and religious freedom at a regional and international treaty level, and a variety of procedural and substantive issues in EU law, such as the use of precedent in the CJEU and the drafting history of the SEA Directive.

Property Law

Alex has worked on a variety of unusual property cases involving issues such as historic rights of light, electricity wayleaves, conveyancers’ professional negligence, dilapidations and the new Electronic Communications Code. He regularly appears in the County Court in possession hearings and other property matters, including overreaching, service charges and compulsory acquisition under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987.

Recently he has been instructed in several cases property cases involving doctors’ partnerships and NHS funding-linked rent clauses.

During pupillage he assisted Toby Watkin with several ‘urban explorer’ cases involving injunctions against trespassers who scale tall and iconic buildings in London and film their exploits. These cases involved difficult issues regarding service of documents, quia timet injunctions and injunctions against persons unknown. In particular he assisted Toby in the reported case Ansco Arena Ltd v Law, which involved urban explorers climbing onto the tent of the O2 Arena (the Millennium Dome). This was the first reported case in which it was successfully argued that a private nuisance could originate from the internet- in this instance, the urban explorers’ YouTube videos.

Qualifications

PhD in public international law, University of Cambridge. Supervised by Professor Christine Gray. Thesis title: The legal limits of intervention by invitation of government in civil wars. Funded by a full scholarship and maintenance grant.

BPTC, University of Law. Inns of Court Major Scholarship.

LLM in public international law, London School of Economics. 1st in year.

BA in jurisprudence, University of Oxford. New College Scholar.

Alex attended state comprehensive schools and was the first in his family to go to university.

Alex is an alumnus of the Hague Academy of International Law, a centre for advanced international legal studies based in the Peace Palace at the Hague, Netherlands. He was the only British scholar to obtain a place on the 2014 Hague Academy public international law programme.

Scholarships and prizes

Scholarships

WM Tapp Studentship in Law, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Full tuition and living costs paid for a 3-year PhD.

Lord Denning Scholarship (major Inns of Court BPTC award), Lincoln’s Inn.

Hardwicke Entrance Award, Lincoln’s Inn.

New College Scholar, New College, Oxford. For distinction in law exams.

Prizes

Opinion writing subject prize, University of Law. For the highest mark in the opinion writing exam.

Best Journal Entry prize, Legal Cheek. For an essay on sovereign immunity from domestic criminal prosecution. Presented at the ‘Legal Cheek Awards’.

Shortlisted for the Harry Porter Prize (top 3 entries), Cambridge Footlights. The Footlights’ annual prize for an original comedy play script.

Georg Schwarzenberger Prize in Public International Law, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London. For highest overall achievement in public international law across the University of London law schools in a given year.

First Prize, New Statesman/Beatrice Webb Memorial Trust Essay Competition. For an essay on post-war economic policy. £1,000 award presented in Parliament. Essay published in the New Statesman magazine.

Lawyers’ Alumni Prize, LSE. For ranking 1st out of 251 graduate law students.

Blackstone Prize, LSE. For best overall LLM results in public international law subjects.

LSE/African Prisons Project Human Rights Moot prize, LSE. Full funding for an internship in Uganda, for winning the Human Rights Moot.

Publications

Dinner Party Conversation’, European Journal of International Law.

Slaying the Giants’, New Statesman essay prize winner.

What would happen if the Queen went on a crime spree?’, Legal Cheek prize winner.

Inquiries

Residential scheme dismissed on appeal on grounds including unresolved highways matters

15/11/2019

The Secretary of State has dismissed an appeal seeking outline planning permission for up to 240 dwellings in the open countryside adjacent to Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire.

His Inspector noted that whilst the local planning authority did not assert that the proposal would cause an unacceptable impact on highway safety, or that the residual cumulative impacts on the road network would be severe, there were an “unusually high” number of unresolved matters in relation to the potential highways impact of the appeal scheme. Having regard to the recent High Court judgment in Satnam Millenium Ltd v SSHCLG [2019] EWHC 2631 (Admin), the Inspector was not satisfied that there would not be an unacceptable effect upon highway safety or a severe residual cumulative impact on the road network.

Whilst the Inspector found that the local planning authority could demonstrate a five year housing land supply, she concluded that the ‘tilted balance’ in para. 11 of the NPPF nevertheless applied because the most important policies for determining the appeal were, taken as a whole, out-of-date. However, the Inspector’s conclusion was that the highways harm (to which she attached extremely substantial weight) together with the other harms that she had identified would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the appeal scheme.

The appeal decision can be found here.

Heather Sargent and Alex Shattock appeared for the local planning authority, Mansfield District Council.

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Inquiries

Residential scheme dismissed on appeal on grounds including unresolved highways matters

15/11/2019

The Secretary of State has dismissed an appeal seeking outline planning permission for up to 240 dwellings in the open countryside adjacent to Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire.

His Inspector noted that whilst the local planning authority did not assert that the proposal would cause an unacceptable impact on highway safety, or that the residual cumulative impacts on the road network would be severe, there were an “unusually high” number of unresolved matters in relation to the potential highways impact of the appeal scheme. Having regard to the recent High Court judgment in Satnam Millenium Ltd v SSHCLG [2019] EWHC 2631 (Admin), the Inspector was not satisfied that there would not be an unacceptable effect upon highway safety or a severe residual cumulative impact on the road network.

Whilst the Inspector found that the local planning authority could demonstrate a five year housing land supply, she concluded that the ‘tilted balance’ in para. 11 of the NPPF nevertheless applied because the most important policies for determining the appeal were, taken as a whole, out-of-date. However, the Inspector’s conclusion was that the highways harm (to which she attached extremely substantial weight) together with the other harms that she had identified would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the appeal scheme.

The appeal decision can be found here.

Heather Sargent and Alex Shattock appeared for the local planning authority, Mansfield District Council.

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