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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 has appeared in public inquiries, the First-tier Tribunal, County Court, Upper Tribunal, High Court, and Court of Appeal. He accepts instructions in all areas of Chambers’ practice.

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 currently an assistant editor of Garner’s Environmental Law and the Encyclopaedia of Housing Law and Practice, and contributed to A practical guide to planning law and rights of way in National Parks, the Broads, and AONBS (Law Brief, 2020).

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

Nick is fast developing a varied planning practice. He is regularly instructed by the Department for Transport on a variety of planning, property, public and compulsory purchase matters arising from HS2 and other major rail projects.

Recent planning permission and policy 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).
  • Led by James Maurici QC, 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.
  • 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, 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 leading conservation charity on Transport and Works Act Orders.
  • Advising a leading conservation charity on Marine Licences.
  • Advising and representing local residents in successfully resisting a c. 20 storey tower block in Ealing. The matter has now gone to appeal.

Recent s. 106 work / CIL includes:

  • 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 enforcement of a s. 106 Agreement as a debt claim.
  • 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.

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

  • 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.

Compulsory Purchase, Assets of Community Value, Town and Village Greens

Nick is fast developing a varied practice which regularly involves advising and acting in matters relating to compulsory purchase, town and village greens, and assets of community value.

Recent 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 includes an application for a CPO.
  • 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.
  • 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 on the extension of notices to treat.
  • Led by Tim Corner QC, advising a local authority on various methods to acquire land in order to precipitate a major development.
  • Advising acquiring authorities on the application of the Equality Act 2010 to their decisions.
  • 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.
  • 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 grounds 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. The matter is now progressing to inquiry.

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.

Property and Insolvency

Nick is developing a busy and wide-ranging property and insolvency practice.

Recent real property work includes

  • Representing the Defendant in a two-day boundary dispute in Central London County Court before HHJ Parfitt.
  • Drafting proceedings seeking injunctions against travellers in the High Court and County Court and appearing before the same.
  • Drafting proceedings in an application for an injunction to restrain a breach of a restrictive covenant.
  • Advising and drafting documentation in an application 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 on whether a rent review had been instituted out of time.
  • Drafting proceedings in a commercial dilapidations claim relating to a property in Carnaby Street.
  • Advising on whether a commercial tenant had given vacant possession of a Property.
  • 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 and residential property work includes

  • (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.
  • Advising on a professional negligence claim arising from a solicitors drafting of a lease extension.
  • Representing a defendant at trial in a claim for breach of a sale contract.
  • Representing a former professional footballer in Rent Repayment Order proceedings in the FTT, obtaining reductions of 75% across multiple RROs.
  • Acting for property owners seeking the end of a trust imposed under the Inheritance (Provision for Families and Dependants) Act 1975.
  • 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 the liquidators of an insolvent company on disclaiming a lease the company shared with another tenant, and drafting the relevant paperwork.
  • 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 Secretary of State’s funding powers to deliver major projects.
  • Representing a claiming 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.
  • Advising on the places of religious worship exemption in a rating matter.
  • Advising on the meaning of a hereditament for rating purposes.
  • Advising on cases concerning the Equality Act 2010 and compulsory purchase decisions.
  • 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.
  • 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 and the Administrative Law Bar 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:

  • 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 involves 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 a leading conservation charity on Transport and Works Act Orders.
  • Advising a leading conservation charity on Marine Licences.
  • 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.
  • 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 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:

  • Drafting a defence in proceedings from an alleged breach of a commercial 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 Swiss foundation on a potential breach of contract claim bought by an English company relating to alleged breaches of a services agreement.
  • Advising a contractor on an alleged breach of contract claim bought by a sub-contractor.
  • 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. 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

  • 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

  • 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

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