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Nicholas Grant

Call: 2016
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Practice Summary

Nick joined Chambers in 2019.  He specialises in planning and infrastructure, compulsory purchase, environmental and rating law.

He has regularly appeared led and unled in public inquiries, the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal, High Court, and Court of Appeal. He is on the Attorney General’s C-panel of counsel, and is ranked as one of Planning Resource Magazine’s top planning barristers under 35.

Prior to starting pupillage, Nick was Judicial Assistant to Lady Justice Arden (now Lady Arden) in the Court of Appeal, where he assisted on cases covering tax, public, EU, competition, planning, and data protection law. Before that, he taught Environmental Law at UCL during his BPTC. While studying for an LLM at Harvard Law School, he was a Senior Editor for the Harvard Business Law Review Online, clerked (equivalent to being a Judicial Assistant) for three judges in the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and represented prisoners before disciplinary tribunals.

He is a contributor to the upcoming 4th edition of Friston on Costs and A practical guide to planning law and rights of way in National Parks, the Broads, and AONBS (Law Brief, 2020). He was previously an editor both of Garner’s Environmental Law and the Encyclopaedia of Housing Law and Practice.

Nick is direct access qualified and regularly undertakes pro bono work through Advocate, the Environmental Law Foundation and the KCL Human Rights and Environment Clinic.

Planning and Infrastructure

Nick has a busy and varied planning practice, and frequently deals with complex developments raising both planning and property law issues. He is frequently instructed both on large energy and infrastructure projects and in housebuilding appeals. He is currently ranked as one of Planning Resource Magazine’s top planning barristers under 35.

Recent planning and infrastructure inquiry and advisory work includes:

  • Led by James Maurici QC, successfully representing the applicant Menter Môn in a four-week TWAO inquiry related to the Morlais project, off the coast of Anglesey (TWA/323412). It is the world’s first tidal stream demonstration zone, and remains one of the largest tidal consents in the world.
  • Led by Richard Turney, currently advising and will represent the applicant in a DCO for a major solar farm.
  • Led by Sasha White QC, he has been instructed in various housebuilding appeals including Land North of Ansford Hill App/R3325/W/20/3259668 (successfully), and Land at Havant Road APP/Z1775/W/21/328771 (pending).
  • Led by James Maurici QC, appearing for Berkeley Homes in a 4 week call-in inquiry in Kent (App/M2270/V/21/3273015).
  • Representing Berkeley Homes in the Examination in Public of the Tunbridge Wells Local Plan.
  • Led by James Maurici QC, working as part of the Government’s legal team responding to the written intervention of WWF in R (Plan B Earth) v Secretary of State for Transport [2020] EWCA Civ 214.
  • Appearing, unled, for a Rule 6(6) party in a 3 week planning inquiry into a proposed energy from waste plant in Horsham, Sussex (APP/P3800/W/18/3218965).
  • Appearing, unled, for a Rule 6(6) party in a tall tower inquiry in Ealing (App/A5270/W/21/3268157).
  • Appearing, unled, for a Rule 6(6) party in an inquiry into an application to build to warehouses in Rickmansworth (App/P1940/W/21/3289304)
  • Advising developers on rights to light issues.

Recent High Court work includes

  • R (Phelan) v London Borough of Ealing CO/391/2022: represented the London Borough of Ealing successfully resisting a claim for judicial review of its new civic centre.
  • Mosudisa v SSHCLG CO/946/2022: represented the defendant successfully resisting claim for statutory review of an inspector’s decision to refuse permission for conversion to multiple residential units.
  • Goodman v SSHCLG CO/1088/2022: represented the defendant successfully resisting claim for statutory review of Inspector’s decision to refuse permission to change of use from holiday let to permanent C3 usage.
  • Diego Doporto Ltd v SSHCLG CO/1389/2022: represented claimant in challenge to inspector’s decision on an enforcement appeal. Matter settled on favourable terms.
  • Advising and drafting a pre-action letter on behalf of a local resident. The matter settled with the developer amending the scheme.

Recent s. 106, CIL and enforcement work includes:

  • Led by Tim Mould QC, drafting proceedings on behalf of a local authority to recover unpaid s. 106 contributions totalling some £3 million.
  • Advising a local planning authority on enforcing a s. 106 obligation maintain a listed asset, and on how to deal with an application to discharge the said obligation.
  • Advising and drafting proceedings for a local authority to claim unpaid CIL.
  • Led by Dan Kolinsky QC, drafting proceedings for the enforcement of a section 106 Agreement in connection with a major development.
  • Advising on the enforceability of a s. 52 TCPA 1971 Agreement and the extent to which it could be considered an estate contract and/or local land charge.
  • Drafting proceedings and appearing in both the High Court and County Court for injunctions against travellers under s. 187B TCPA 1990.
  • Representing the Defendant in a prosecution bought by a London Borough for failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice over 6 years.
  • Representing the Applicants in a two-day inquiry in an s. 174 appeal against an enforcement notice and s. 195 appeal against a refusal to grant a certificate of lawful development (APP/C5690/C/18/3206481 and APP/C5690/X/18/3204048)
  • Advising local residents on a potential judicial review of a local council’s failure to undertake enforcement action.

Nick is a member of the UK Environmental Law Association, the Planning and Environment Bar Association, the National Infrastructure Planning Association, and the Compulsory Purchase Association.

CPO, Highways, and Greens

Recent CPO work includes:

  • Led by James Maurici QC, representing the Applicant Menter Môn in a three-week TWAO inquiry related to the Morlais project, off the coast of Anglesey (TWA/323412). The inquiry included an application for a CPO.
  • Led by Rob Walton QC, advising the promotor of a CPO for a major regeneration scheme near Birmingham.
  • Led by Tim Corner QC, advising a local authority on various methods to acquire land in order to precipitate a major development.
  • Led by Richard Turney, currently instructed on a DCO for a major solar farm, including CPO elements.
  • Led by Guy Williams, drafting proceedings to the Upper Tribunal in a claim for compensation arising from the construction of the Crewe Green Link Road. The claim settled for £1m more than first offered.
  • Advising acquiring authorities (both statutory undertakers such as National Highways and local authorities) on defending and strategy in compensation claims. Drafting proceedings in the same.
  • Regular instructions by the Department for Transport on a variety of planning, property, public and compulsory purchase matters arising all phases of the HS2 project, and other major rail projects.
  • Advising on a CPO sought under the Airports Act 1986.
  • Advising acquiring authorities on complex disputes arising out of blight notice provisions.
  • Advising long leaseholders of a flat on their best strategy to navigate an impending local authority CPO.

Recent Highways work includes

  • Representing objectors in a Public Rights of Way Inquiry in Knapton (ROW/3212585).
  • Representing the OMA in a public Rights of Way hearing in Kent (ROW/3280233).

Recent public space and village green work includes:

  • Advising a leading conservation charity on public authorities’ duties regarding the disposal of public open space subject to a statutory trust.
  • Advising a local residents group on the CPO of assets following their designation as an ACV.
  • Helping to draft a successful response to a petition for the listing of certain assets as an ACV.
  • Advising local residents and helping draft an objection to an application to release land which is part of a registered village green.

Nick is a member of the UK Environmental Law Association, the Planning and Environment Bar Association, the National Infrastructure Planning Association, and the Compulsory Purchase Association. He is currently ranked as one of Planning Resource Magazine’s top planning barristers under 35.

Environment

Having studied environmental law in both the UK and USA, and taught environmental law at UCL, Nick is keen to take any cases which involve an environmental dimension.  Recent work includes:

  • Unled, successfully representing the Environment Agency in a water abstraction appeal concerning the River Wensum (APP/Wat/594).
  • Unled, instructed by the Secretary of State in a judicial review arising from an inquiry into an environmental permitting decision.
  • Led by James Maurici QC, representing the Applicant Menter Môn in a three-week TWAO inquiry related to the Morlais project, off the coast of Anglesey (TWA/323412). This involved numerous issues of onshore and offshore ecology.
  • Advising local residents and helping draft their statement of case, resisting application to release land which is part of a registered village green, including on ecology and biodiversity issues.
  • Working as part of the government’s team (led by James Maurici QC), responding to the written intervention of WWF in the recent Heathrow expansion case (in R (Plan B Earth) v Secretary of State for Transport [2020] EWCA Civ 214), focusing on arguments relating to the incorporation and meaning of “sustainable development” in international law.
  • Advising an energy company on requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
  • Advising on a potential judicial review of a planning permission issued without an EIA screening opinion.
  • Advising on a potential complaint to the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee.

Nick is a member of the UK Environmental Law Association, the Planning and Environment Bar Association and a contributor to Garner’s Environmental Law.

Public Law including Rating

Nick is regularly instructed on a variety of public law, public procurement, and state aid matters.

Recent instructions include:

  • Advising on the Secretary of State’s funding powers to deliver major projects in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
  • Advising the VO and drafting the statement of case for the Upper Tribunal in an appeal bought against the VO’s determination of Rateable Value of a hereditament.
  • Representing the appellant in an oral renewal of a judicial review and appeal by way of case stated against a liability order imposed by the magistrates court in a rating matter.
  • Successfully representing the Listing Officer in the VTE an appeal against the LO’s decision to list a hereditament as self contained units (Godwin v Virk (2022) VT00001528).
  • Advising on the places of religious worship exemption in a rating matter.
  • Advising on the meaning of a hereditament for rating purposes.
  • Advising on the procurement of software through the Government’s G-Cloud framework.
  • Advising on the extension of publicly procured contracts.
  • Advising on the use of central purchasing
  • Drafting particulars of claim in a breach of contract and public procurement claim following termination of a service agreement and exclusion of the provider from an ongoing procurement competition.
  • Advising on a judicial review of the grant of planning permission for failing to undertake an EIA assessment.

He is also regularly asked to give procurement and state aid training to a number of clients, including local authorities. He is a member of the Procurement Lawyers Association and the Administrative Law Bar Association.

Property

Nick has been instructed on the full spectrum of property matters, much of which still supports his planning and CPO work.

Recent work includes:

  • Representing the successful Respondent, unled, in Marlborough Knightsbridge Management Ltd v Fivaz [2021] EWCA Civ 989, which concerns the oft-disputed meaning of “landlord’s fixtures”.
  • (Led by Justin Bates) Hussain v Waltham Forest LBC [2019] UKUT 339 (LC) and [2020] EWCA 1539, a case concerning the application of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 to local authority HMO licensing decisions.
  • Led by Myriam Stacey QC, appearing before HHJ Johns QC in AHGR Ltd v Kane-Laverack (County Court at Central London, 27.09.21), the leading case on live/work units.
  • Cattermole v Jordan (Ref 2019/0777, Judge Tozer QC), a two-day boundary determination case which is the leading case on the application of the Court of Appeal’s decision in Cherry Tree Investments Ltd to boundary disputes.
  • Doyle v Wajda (CCLC, 20 Feb 2020, HHJ Parfitt), representing the Defendant in a two-day boundary dispute.
  • Advising developers on rights to light liability and strategies.
  • Drafting proceedings and appearing before the High Court to obtain injunctions requiring the removal of travellers.
  • Drafting proceedings in a commercial dilapidations claim relating to a property in Carnaby Street.
  • Advising a law firm on frustration and force majeure issues in a commercial license agreement arising from the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Representing a former professional footballer in Rent Repayment Order proceedings in the FTT, obtaining reductions of 75% across multiple RROs.

Nick is a member of the Property Bar Association and the Chancery Bar Association. He is also an Assistant Editor of the Encyclopaedia of Housing Law and Practice.

Costs

Nick has a busy costs practice. He has recently appeared twice on costs matters in the High Court, one arising following an appeal from a split trial, the other dealing with costs following an unsuccessful application for judicial review. He dealt with costs matters following conclusion of the Court of Appeal hearing in Hussain v Waltham Forest LBC [2020] EWCA Civ 1539. He is regularly instructed to advise and appear on costs management matters, including those where costs management, costs budgeting, and a contractual entitlement to costs have all been put in play. He regularly deals with disputes over the order as to costs. He has advised on disputing litigation costs sought by a freeholder against his lessee, on the detailed costs assessment process, on the quantum of recoverable costs by a successful solicitors’ firm, quantum where a claim had been reallocated between tracks, and both advised on and resisted an application for the recovery of costs by a litigant in person. He has also advised on security for costs applications, at both first instance and at the appeal/permission to appeal stage.

Moreover, in light of his environmental, planning, and CPO expertise, he regularly advises on costs matters in these areas.  Recent work includes:

  • Appearing before the Senior Courts Costs Office in Powerrapid v Harlow DC [2021] 12 WLUK 141, currently the leading case on the ambit of a costs award made by the Secretary of State following planning and CPO inquiries.
  • Advising on recoverable quantum following an award of costs in a planning inquiry.
  • Advising a Parish Council on its entitlement to Aarhus costs protection.
  • Advising acquiring authorities on how to mitigate costs risks arising from a CPO compensation reference.
  • Examining the basis of costs at permission stage in a judicial or statutory review, and whether that is compliant with the Aarhus convention.

In addition, Nick has experience of detailed assessment hearings, advising on Bills, PODs and replies, arguments concerning the entitlement to interest on costs and at what levels, issues arising from non-party costs orders, and obtaining and/or setting aside default cost certificates.

Qualifications and Appointments

  • University College London – LLB (First Class)
  • Harvard Law School – LLM
  • BPP University – BPTC
  • September 2021 – appointed to the Attorney General’s C panel of counsel

Awards

  • UCL: Richard Fitzgerald Prize for academic, social and communal contribution to UCL Laws
  • UCL: International Corporate Rescue Prize for the highest mark in LLB Company Law
  • UCL: Highest mark in LLB Environmental Law
  • BPP University: Excellence Award
  • Inner Temple: Major Scholarship for the BPTC
  • Inner Temple: Lawson Moot (Winner)
  • Inter-Inns of Court Mooting Competition (Winner)

Publications

Articles and Presentations

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