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Nicholas Grant

Call: 2016
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Practice Summary

Nick joined Chambers in 2019, following completion of a third six during which he was supervised by Myriam Stacey and Charles Banner QC. Prior to coming to Landmark, he completed pupillage in a leading commercial/construction set.

He accepts instructions in cases concerning Planning and Compulsory Purchase law, Property law, Administrative, Public and Procurement Law, Environmental law, Commercial Dispute Resolution, and Costs. This broad spectrum of expertise allows him to effectively advise and act in multiple sectors including (but not limited to):

  • Infrastructure: he was part of the Government’s team in R (Plan B Earth) v Secretary of State for Transport [2020] EWCA Civ 214, is regularly instructed by the Department for Transport in relation to multiple planning, property and compulsory purchase matters arising from the HS2 project, and often advises and acts in telecoms matters;
  • Energy: he represented, unled, a rule 6 party at a three week planning inquiry into an Energy from Waste plant in Sussex, and is currently advising on claims arising under both planning and private law from the operation of an electricity generation plant;
  • Housing: he has acted in a planning inquiry concerning a 400-home development in Newmarket, has represented householders in a planning enforcement appeal, acts across the full spectrum of landlord and tenant disputes, and is regularly instructed in matters arising from the regulation of the private rental centre (including most recently representing the claimant in Hussain v Waltham Forest LBC [2019] UKUT 339 (LC) and securing a 75% reduction on a Rent Repayment Order made against a former professional footballer);
  • Commercial services: he advises on both commercial disputes between private parties (recent work includes an England/Switzerland services dispute and a US/UK sale of goods dispute) and the procurement of commercial services by public authorities (recent work includes advising on and drafting proceedings in a breach of contract and breach of Public Contracts Regulations dispute).

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 University College London 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 currently an assistant editor of Garner’s Environmental Law and the Encyclopaedia of Housing Law and Practice.

Planning and Compulsory Purchase

Nick is fast developing a varied planning and compulsory purchase practice. He is regularly instructed by the Department for Transport on a variety of planning, property, public and compulsory purchase matters arising from Phase One, 2a and 2b of the HS2 project.

Recent planning permission and policy work includes:

  • Led by James Maurici QC and Andrew Byass, being part of the Government’s legal team 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.
  • Representing, unled, 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, led by David Elvin QC and with Luke Wilcox, in a called in planning inquiry for a mixed use development including 400 homes near Newmarket (APP/H3510/V/14/2222871).
  • Led by David Elvin QC, advising on an application for a certificate of lawful use or development in Wales.
  • Advising a parish council on the judicial review of a planning permission.
  • Advising local residents on the prospects of judicially reviewing a planning permission issued without compliance with the EIA regime.
  • Advising a developer on its rights under an 1830s railway statute.

He also regularly undertakes planning enforcement work. Recent instructions include:

  • 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.

Aside from the regular instructions by the Department for Transport, he also regularly advises on CPO matters. Recent work includes, for example, advising long leaseholders of a flat on their best strategy to navigate an impending local authority CPO.

He has also recently gained experience of advising: a landowner on how best to get their land allocated in a draft local plan; the imposition of additional requirements at reserved matters stage; the merits of a potential judicial review on daylight/sunlight grounds; and the application of the 5 year housing land supply requirement.

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

Property and Insolvency

Nick is developing a busy and wide-ranging property practice,  (housing, commercial, and real property) and insolvency practice. Due to his planning and public law practice, he is also regularly instructed to simultaneously advise and act for persons aggrieved at local authorities’ failure to take action.

Recent real property work includes:

  • Representing the Defendant in a two-day border dispute in Central London County Court before HHJ Parfitt.
  • Advising and representing the applicants in a hearing to enforce a Tomlin Order following settlement of a border dispute.
  • Acting in possession proceedings by one set of trespassers claiming possession against another set of trespassers.
  • Advising on a potential claim in both private and statutory nuisance based on noise generated by an adjacent power station.

Recent commercial property work includes:

  • Advising a law firm on frustration and force majeure issues in a commercial license agreement arising from the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Appearing in and drafting proceedings in a number of 1954 Act lease renewals, many in the telecoms context.
  • Advising and representing an intermediate landlord in a claim for unpaid service charges.
  • Advising on, and drafting proceedings in, a claim against a landlord for unreasonable refusal to consent to a change of use.
  • Advising on the application and termination of the 1954 Act, and potential compensation claims.
  • A number of claims arising on commercial insolvency (see below).

Recent housing work includes:

  • (Led by Justin Bates) Hussain v Waltham Forest LBC [2019] UKUT 339 (LC) (Holgate J and President Siobhan McGrath), a case concerning the application of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 to local authority HMO licensing decisions.
  • Representing a former professional footballer in Rent Repayment Order proceedings in the FTT, obtaining a reduction of 75%.
  • Acting for the landlord in a fair rent review hearing under the Rent Act 1977.
  • Acting in the full spectrum of residential possession proceedings, including those featuring Rent Act 1977 protected tenancies.
  • Advising defendant tenants in a claim for unpaid residential service charges.
  • Advising on and drafting proceedings in a number of dilapidations cases.
  • Advising leaseholders on a claim in nuisance, trespass, breach of covenant of quiet enjoyment against their neighbours in a complex case where both they and their neighbour were both freeholders of the building and leaseholders of separate flats.
  • Advising on rights of first refusal under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987.

Recent insolvency and bankruptcy work includes:

  • Advising and representing the administrators of an insolvent company on a landlord’s application for permission to forfeit a lease under the Insolvency Rules.
  • Acting in and advising on a possession claim against a tenant who was in turn bringing counterclaims for harassment and unlawful eviction, when the tenant became bankrupt.
  • Advising a company on the best way to obtain property previously held on trust by another member of its corporate group, following dissolution of that member.
  • Representing companies in the Companies Court winders list.

Recent personal property work includes:

  • Acting for a judgment creditor resisting a claim for conversion after seizing bound goods.

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.

Public Law, Public Procurement, and State Aid

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

  • Advising on the application of public procurement law to structured “golden brick” transactions following the decision in R (Faraday Development Ltd) v West Berks Council [2018] EWCA Civ 2532.
  • 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 local residents on a potential judicial review of a local council’s failure to undertake enforcement action under both the planning and statutory nuisance regimes.
  • 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.

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:

  • Working as part of the government’s team (led by James Maurici QC and Andrew Byass), 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 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.
  • While working with David Elvin QC, gaining experience of advising the government on post-Brexit environmental regulation.
  • Working on cases examining the compatibility of aspects of the costs regime with the Aarhus convention,
  • Working on cases (now settled) concerning the interpretation of the WEEE Regulations.

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

Commercial Dispute Resolution

Throughout his time at Landmark and before, Nick has gained a wide range of experience in the commercial dispute resolution context – both in litigation and arbitration. Recent instructions include:

  • Advising a Swiss foundation on a potential breach of contract claim bought by an English company relating to alleged breaches of a services agreement.
  • Advising on and drafting a defence in an international sale of goods claim.
  • Representing a claimant creditor in a claim bought for non-payment under a Consumer Credit Act 1974 regulated contract.
  • Drafting statements of case and advising defendants in a claim for unpaid debts under a commercial services agreement, including a potential counterclaim for negligence and breach of contract.
  • Advising a construction adjudicator on the best strategy for recovering unpaid fees, and drafting statements of case.
  • Representing creditors in the Companies Court Winding Up list.

As a pupil, he has worked on cases which include issues of agency, corporate attribution, the interpretation of large-scale construction and PFI contracts, subrogation in the insurance context, and the interpretation and effect of indemnities, bonds, guarantees, and warranties.

Prior to his studies at Harvard, Nick worked on Lloyds Bank’s review of sales of Interest Rate Hedging Products to sophisticated businesses.

Costs

Nick is fast developing a busy costs practice. Most recently, he has advised on a Parish Council’s entitlement to Aarhus costs protection. During pupillage Nick has also gained experience of a number of costs issues, including the correct basis of costs at judicial statutory review permission stage, and whether that is compatible with the Aarhus convention; the interaction of costs management orders, costs capping orders, and a party’s contractual entitlement to costs; and applications for security for costs.

Qualifications

  • University College London – LLB (First Class)
  • Harvard Law School – LLM
  • BPP University – BPTC

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

  • ‘Mandating corporate environmental responsibility through a new directors’ duty’ (2015) Environmental Law Review 17(4), 252-265.
  • Contributor to Garner’s Environmental Law.
  • Assistant Editor of the Encyclopaedia of Housing Law and Practice.

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