Christopher Jacobs

Call: 1994
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Practice Summary

Christopher practices in property, planning and environment, and public law.

Immigration

Christopher is an experienced leading junior in immigration and asylum cases. He has recently acted as leading counsel for the  successful Appellant in Roszkowski v SSHD [2017] EWCA Civ 1893[2018] 1 W.L.R. 2848; [2018] 2 All E.R. 878; [2018] , in which the Court of Appeal examined the lawful scope of statutory provisions enabling the Secretary of State for the Home Department to withhold consent to release immigration detainees after a grant of bail by the First Tier Tribunal. The Court held that the Secretary of State’s continuing withholding of consent to release on bail after cancellation of removal directions following a grant of bail by a First Tier Judge was unlawful and the Appellant was entitled to damages for unlawful detention.

Christopher acted as leading counsel for the successful respondent in the Court of Appeal in MSM (Somalia) v SSHD [2016] EWCA Civ 715, which concerned whether the principle in HJ (Iran) applies in cases where a fear of persecution arises from imputed political opinion.

Recent cases include R. (on the application of BB (Algeria)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department[2016] EWCA Civ 25 ( effect of qualifying for leave under old immigration rules in non transitional cases after new rules came into effect) and R. (on the application of Zermani) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 1226 (Admin) (effect of UE (Nigeria) principle on Art 8 cases outside the rules).

Christopher was counsel for one of the Appellants in the Court of Appeal in Gurung & others v SSHD [2013] 1 W.L.R. 2546,  [2013] I.N.L.R. 634, [2013] EWCA Civ 8, in which a number of dependent children of members of Her Majesty’s Brigade of Gurkhas were successful in appealing against decisions to refuse them entry to the United Kingdom in line with their parents. Christopher acted for the same Appellant, who succeeded in his remitted appeal in the Upper Tribunal, Ghising and others (Ghurkhas/BOCs: historic wrong; weight) [2013] UKUT 00567 (IAC).

Christopher has appeared as junior counsel in the House of Lords and Supreme Court on eight occasions including DD v SSHD [2012] UKSC 54; [2012] 3 W.L.R. 1263; in relation to Article 1F(C) of the Refugee Convention and international armed conflicts and Quila and others v SSHD [2011] UKSC 45, [2011] 3 WLR 836 (raising age limit for sponsoring spouse visa applications from 18 to 21).

Unlawful Detention

Christopher has acted in a number of unlawful detention cases in the Administrative Court and Queen’s Bench Division.  Recent successes in the Administrative Court include (i)  R. (on the application of YH (China)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 92 (Admin);in which an asylum seeker, whose claim was said to be certified, and who was eligible for housing support as an asylum seeker was held to have been unlawfully detained; (ii)  R. (on the application of BS) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 454 (Admin) in which the Court held that the continued detention for two months of an Indian national identified as a victim of torture and sexual abuse, while waiting for verification of an emergency travel document application, had been unlawful and that there had been a failure to act with reasonable diligence.

In 2012 Christopher acted in R (Lamari) v SSHD [2012] EWHC 1895 (Admin), in which the Secretary of State for the Home Department was held to have acted in contempt of court in refusing to release an immigration detainee, after having given an undertaking to do so. Christopher acted in for the same Claimant in the Queen’s Bench Division, [2013] EWHC 3130 (QB), and obtained an award of exemplary damages against the Secretary of State.

Country Guidance

Christopher is currently instructed in the Country Guidance cases in relation to Darfuris from Sudan ( to be heard in 2019) and the Country Guidance relating to members of the Nuba Tribes from Sudan (heard in 2018 – to be concluded n 2019)

He has acted in a number of Country Guidance cases, including : PM and Others (Kabul – Hizb-i-Islami) Afghanistan CG [2007] UKAIT 00089; NM (Christian Converts) Afghanistan CG [2009] UKAIT 00045; BK (Failed asylum seekers) Democratic Republic of Congo CG [2007] UKAIT00098; IN (Draft evaders – evidence of risk) Eritrea CG [2005]UKIAT 00106; FD (Protection – UNMIK – Arif – IFA – Art1D) Kosovo CG * [2000] UKIAT 00001; HGMO (Relocation to Khartoum) Sudan CG [2006] UKAIT 00062 and MM (Darfuris) Sudan CG [2015] UKUT 00010.

Regulatory Judicial Review

Christopher acted for the Traveller Movement in a judicial review action against Ofcom which was heard in the Administrative Court in November 2014, Traveller Movement v Ofcom [2015] EWHC (Admin).

Christopher has acted for doctors in complaints against the General Medical Council concerning registration and in judicial review proceedings and NHSLA damages claims concerning termination of PMS contracts.

Public Inquiries and Inquests

Christopher is currently instructed as counsel for a number of core participants in the independent inquiry in to child sexual abuse. He has previously been involved as counsel in a number of lengthy public inquiries which have focused on the human rights of those affected by the conduct of local authorities and  developers. In 2017 he acted in a test case, a judicial review claim concerning the rights of those in temporary accommodation in the aftermath of the Grenfell fire, who had been evacuated from high rise housing blocks amid concerns over the fire risk posed by cladding.  R. (on the application of Esposito) v Camden LBC 2017] EWHC 3124 (Admin).    

Christopher has acted in inquests relating other to unlawful killings by police shooting and deaths in custody. He has achieved favourable outcomes for relatives of victims.

Riparian Law and Watercourses

Christopher specialises in Water Courses and Riparian rights cases. He acted for the successful Appellants in Hounslow LBC v De Vere & others [2018] EWHC 1447 (Ch), in which the Court, allowing an appeal from the County Court in part, found 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. The court considered the legal character of River Works and determined that, contrary to what was said in Tate & Lyle v GLC [1983] 2 AC 509 at 534D-H, as to the jetties in that case being chattels, they are fixtures.

Christopher is currently instructed in a number of cases concerning water courses, in particular advising as to the rights and rights of a public canal owner, adverse possession in relation to owners of river bank land, damages claims arising from flooding and boundary disputes concerning riparian issues.

Christopher has recently acted in litigation concerning adverse possession of the river bed, Port of London Authority v Mendoza [2017] UKUT 146 (TCC) and  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.

Disputes relating to Trusts – beneficial interest claims

Christopher has recently acted for the successful Respondent in the Court of Appeal in Constandas v Lysandrou [2018] EWCA Civ 613[2018] W.T.L.R. 19, where the Court, considering the test in  Stephens v Cannon   held that in rejecting a claim for beneficial ownership of a property, a judge had been entitled to determine a disputed factual issue by resort to the burden of proof. The evidence before her had been such that it was impossible to reach a conclusion and constituted a situation that could properly be described as exceptional.

Other areas

Christopher acts and advises in a wide range of property law areas, including the following:

  •          Rights to light and reservations of a right to build.
  •          Mortgage repossession
  •          Leases
  •          Boundary disputes
  •          Property related claims for judicial review.

Planning and Environment

Christopher is a member of PEBA. His planning practice includes representation of Claimants in applications for judicial review against grants of planning permission and section 288 challenges against decisions of Inspectors. He has recently advised developers as to affordable housing requirements and the revised NPPF.

Compulsory Purchase

Christopher has advised widely on matters relating to compulsory purchase and compensation.

Urban Regeneration

Christopher has appeared in a number of inquiries, most notably acting for the successful objectors in the Aylesbury Estate CPO public inquiry. The effect of that Inquiry is that Acquiring Authorities must now carefully consider the interests of leaseholders in large compulsory purchase schemes.  He represented the same objectors in a subsequent inquiry, which was settled by consent upon mediation between the parties.

Judicial Review

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; in which the court exercised its inherent jurisdiction and granted a protective costs order to the claimant on her application to quash a grant of planning permission to build a new house in the garden of a property. Such a claim raised “environmental matters” within the scope of the Aarhus Convention 2001.

Christopher subsequently acted as junior counsel in the Secretary of State’s appeal against that decision  (with Richard Drabble QC) –  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, in which the Court of Appeal recognised that the costs regime under 45.41 was “systematically flawed in terms of Aarhus compliance”.

Enforcement

Christopher has acted in a number of appeals and inquiries relating to enforcement of planning control.

Other notable cases

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.

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.

Inquiries

Aylesbury Estate CPO Public Inquiry – Order not confirmed

21/09/2016

Six day public local inquiry. The Order, if confirmed, would have authorised the compulsory purchase of an area of land known in the Development Partnership Agreement as the First Development Site on the Aylesbury Estate in South East London. The Order was for the purpose of facilitating the carrying out of development, redevelopment and improvement on or in relation to the land, in particular, for the purpose of securing the regeneration of the Aylesbury Estate in accordance with the provisions of the Aylesbury Area Action Plan, including the demolition of the existing residential units and the provision of a mixed tenure residential development and associated landscaping.

The Inspector recommended that the Order should not be confirmed and the Secretary of State agreed with that recommendation. The Inspector held inter alia that the acquiring authority had not taken reasonable steps to acquire land interests by agreement; that the interference with the rights of leaseholders under Article 8 and Article 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights was not justified and not proportionate and therefore the purposes for which the CPO was made did not sufficiently justify interfering with the human rights of lessees under section 12(2)A of the Acquisition of Land Act 1981.

The Inspector concluded that the CPO would have significant negative impacts on protected groups were it to be confirmed, thus breaching the Public Sector Equality Duty under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.

The Secretary of State agreed with the Inspector that a compelling case in the public interest for confirming the order had not been made

Christopher Jacobs acted for the successful objectors.

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Inquiries

Aylesbury Estate inquiry

13/10/2015

Christopher acted for the Aylesbury Leaseholders in the Aylesbury Estate Inquiry – decision awaited.

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Inquiries

Aylesbury Estate CPO Public Inquiry – Order not confirmed

21/09/2016

Six day public local inquiry. The Order, if confirmed, would have authorised the compulsory purchase of an area of land known in the Development Partnership Agreement as the First Development Site on the Aylesbury Estate in South East London. The Order was for the purpose of facilitating the carrying out of development, redevelopment and improvement on or in relation to the land, in particular, for the purpose of securing the regeneration of the Aylesbury Estate in accordance with the provisions of the Aylesbury Area Action Plan, including the demolition of the existing residential units and the provision of a mixed tenure residential development and associated landscaping.

The Inspector recommended that the Order should not be confirmed and the Secretary of State agreed with that recommendation. The Inspector held inter alia that the acquiring authority had not taken reasonable steps to acquire land interests by agreement; that the interference with the rights of leaseholders under Article 8 and Article 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights was not justified and not proportionate and therefore the purposes for which the CPO was made did not sufficiently justify interfering with the human rights of lessees under section 12(2)A of the Acquisition of Land Act 1981.

The Inspector concluded that the CPO would have significant negative impacts on protected groups were it to be confirmed, thus breaching the Public Sector Equality Duty under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.

The Secretary of State agreed with the Inspector that a compelling case in the public interest for confirming the order had not been made

Christopher Jacobs acted for the successful objectors.

:

Inquiries

Aylesbury Estate inquiry

13/10/2015

Christopher acted for the Aylesbury Leaseholders in the Aylesbury Estate Inquiry – decision awaited.

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