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Richard Clarke

Call: 2009
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Practice Summary

Richard is an experienced and versatile advocate who specialises in all aspects of property litigation including commercial and residential landlord and tenant, easements, covenants, boundaries and injunctions. Richard also has significant experience in public law cases, particularly those where public and property law overlap, as well as a growing practice in costs law.

Richard often acts unled in complex and high-value litigation, including at appellate level. Richard has been appointed to the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel (C panel) and is qualified to accept to public access instructions.

Richard’s cases of note include:

  • Acting as sole counsel for the Lord Chancellor before the Divisional Court in an appeal concerning whether investigative costs, incurred pre-issue, are recoverable by a private prosecutor under the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985: Football Association Premier League v Lord Chancellor [2021] 1 W.L.R. 3035; [2021] Costs L.R. 415; [2021] 2 Cr. App. R. 16;[2021] Crim. L.R. 866.
  • Acting as sole counsel for the Chief Land Registrar in a complex judicial review concerning the meaning of s73(5) of the Land Registration Act 2002: R (Sensar Ltd) v Chief Land Registrar [2021] EWHC 13 (Admin); [2021] 4 W.L.R. 35.
  • Acting on the behalf of an investor seeking to enforce a guarantee arising from an investment in a restaurant. The guarantor resisted liability on the basis that they had been forced to sign it under duress and that the interest payable was an unlawful penalty clause. The Court upheld the guarantee, finding that the agreement was not void by reason of duress and the interest clause was not an unenforceable penalty.
  • Representing the claimant in a mortgage repossession claim for c.£1,000,000 arrears. Issues included whether the terms of the mortgage amounted to a clog on the equity of redemption and whether the mortgage and/or claimant’s conduct created an unfair relationship pursuant to section 140 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
  • Acting (led by David Lock QC) for the interested party in judicial review proceedings successfully challenging the decision to close the Corby Urgent Care Centre and replace it with a same-day GP access hub. Issues included whether there was legitimate expectation of consultation and whether the decision was vitiated by an unrecognised conflict of interest ( (on the application of Buckingham) v NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Group [2018] EWHC 2080 (Admin); [2018] A.C.D. 111).
  • An urgent possession claim against trespassers in the High Court where there was risk of hazardous waste being deposited on the land.
  • Acting on behalf of an NHS Trust to recover a hospital bed against a patient who refused to leave.
  • Acting on behalf of a landlord to recover possession of a dwelling house sub-let as a traveller pitch without their consent.

Property Law

Richard has a broad property practice encompassing commercial and residential landlord and tenant as well as real property matters. Richard also has significant experience in public law cases, enabling him to act and advise in those cases where property and public law overlap – for example disposals of land at an undervalue and where the vires of a public sector landowner are challenged.

Landlord and tenant

Richard regularly advises and acts in both residential and commercial landlord and tenant cases. Richard has a busy advisory practice which includes advising landlord and tenants:

  • On the correct construction of leases.
  • On the validity of notices.
  • On their rights under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
  • In forfeiture claims, for both commercial and residential premises.
  • On applications for consent and whether consent has been unreasonably withheld.
  • On high value disrepair and dilapidation claims.

Richard is an experienced trial advocate. Recent work includes acting on the behalf of an investor seeking to enforce a guarantee arising from an investment in a restaurant. The guarantor resisted liability on the basis that they had been forced to sign it under duress and that the interest payable was an unlawful penalty clause. The Court upheld the guarantee, finding that the agreement was not void by reason of duress and the interest clause was not an unenforceable penalty.

Richard has particular expertise in complex or unusual possession claims.  Richard’s past cases include:

  • Advising landlords on the status of occupiers where the basis of occupation is unclear/informal, including whether the occupiers are licensees or tenants. Richard recently successfully acted for the landlord in a possession claim to recover a public house where a former tenant had admitted a third party to the premises who then sought to claim a tenancy by estoppel.
  • Representing the claimant in a mortgage repossession claim for c.£1,000,000 arrears. Issues included whether the terms of the mortgage amounted to a clog on the equity of redemption and whether the mortgage and/or Claimant’s conduct created an unfair relationship pursuant to section 140 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
  • Representing the landlord in residential possession proceedings, successfully arguing at trial that the occupier was a licensee rather than a tenant, and successfully defending the judgment on appeal.
  • An urgent possession claim against trespassers in the High Court where there was risk of hazardous waste being deposited on the land.
  • Acting on behalf of an NHS Trust to recover a hospital bed against a patient who refused to leave.
  • Acting on behalf of a landlord to recover possession of a dwelling house sub-let as a traveller pitch without their consent.

Richard regularly appears in the First-Tier Tribunal in residential service charge cases.

Land Registration

Richard appeared as sole counsel for the Chief Land Registrar in R (Sensar Ltd) v Chief Land Registrar [2021] EWHC 13 (Admin); [2021] 4 W.L.R. 35, a complex judicial review concerning the meaning of s73(5) of the Land Registration Act 2002 which also included an issue as to whether a previous judicial review gave rise to an estoppel.

Boundaries, easements, restrictive covenants, adverse possession

Richard acts and advises on real property issues including boundaries, easement, covenants and adverse possession.  Past work includes:

  • Advising a servient landowner on the nature and extent of a right of way over their land.
  • Advising a tenant on acquiring a loft space above their demise by adverse possession and/or encroachment.
  • Acting for a landowner before the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) in an adverse possession application regarding neighbouring land.
  • Advising landowners on the enforceability and construction of restrictive covenants over their land, as well on applications to the Upper Tribunal to modify and discharge restrictive covenants.
  • Drafting a defence and counterclaim in High Court proceedings over the correct location of a boundary, and whether the boundary had moved by reason of adverse possession.

Enfranchisement

Richard advises on lease extension and enfranchisement issues, including parties’ rights under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Development Act 1993 and the validity of notices.

Costs Law

Richard has a growing costs practice. Recent cases include:

  • Acting as sole counsel for the Lord Chancellor before the Divisional Court in an appeal concerning whether investigative costs, incurred pre-issue, are recoverable by a private prosecutor under the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985: Football Association Premier League v Lord Chancellor [2021] 1 W.L.R. 3035; [2021] Costs L.R. 415; [2021] 2 Cr. App. R. 16;[2021] Crim. L.R. 866.
  • Acting for a public authority in a detailed assessment arising from a personal injury claim.
  • Advising parties on issues relating to cost budgeting.
  • Acting on behalf of a claimant in a relief from sanctions application arising from a failure to comply with an unless order to pay costs.

Public Law

Richard has significant experience in public law cases, enabling him to act and advise in those cases where property and public law overlap.

Richard worked as an employed barrister for the Government Legal Department before joining chambers in April 2013. Richard was appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown (Attorney General’s C Panel) in 2018.

Past cases include:

  • Football Association Premier League v Lord Chancellor [2021] 1 W.L.R. 3035[2021] Costs L.R. 415; [2021] 2 Cr. App. R. 16;[2021] Crim. L.R. 866. Acting as sole counsel for the Lord Chancellor before the Divisional Court in an appeal concerning whether investigative costs, incurred pre-issue, are recoverable by a private prosecutor under the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985.
  • R (Sensar Ltd) v Chief Land Registrar [2021] EWHC 13 (Admin); [2021] 4 W.L.R. 35. Acting as sole counsel for the Chief Land Registrar in a complex judicial review concerning the meaning of s73(5) of the Land Registration Act 2002.
  • (on the application of Buckingham) v NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Group [2018] EWHC 2080 (Admin); [2018] A.C.D. 111 – led by David Lock QC, Richard acted for the Interested Party in these judicial review proceedings successfully challenging the decision to close the Corby Urgent Care Centre and replace it with a same day GP access hub. Issues included whether there was legitimate expectation of consultation and whether the decision was vitiated by an unrecognised conflict of interest.
  • R (Tarmac Trading Ltd) v Hertfordshire County Council[2016] EWHC 2794 (Admin); a challenge to the Defendant’s grant of planning permission for an inert waste recycling facility in the green belt (led by James Maurici QC).
  • R (Cruelty Free International) v Secretary of State for the Home Department[2016] EWHC 1644 (Admin): a case concerning whether the Defendant had correctly applied the requirements of EU law when granting an animal testing centre an exemption from the need to provide dogs with outside access.
  • R (Whitby) v (1) Secretary of State for Transport (2) Network Rail[2015] EWHC 2804 (Admin); [2016] EWCA Civ 444: Richard acted on behalf of the Network Rail in this challenge against significant railway development in Manchester on heritage grounds.

Qualifications

Academic
Richard graduated with a LLB (first class) from Southampton University in 2006 and completed the Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) at Oxford University in 2007-2008.  He completed the Bar Vocational Course in 2008-2009.

Scholarships
Queen Mother Scholar (Middle Temple)
Harmsworth Entrance Exhibition Scholar (Middle Temple)

Advocacy Prizes
Winner of the Norton Rose prize for best speaker in the Murdoch University International Maritime Arbitration Moot 2006 in Perth, Australia
Winner of the University of Southampton Mooting Competition 2004-05, awarded the Mocatta Moot Prize
Winner of the University of Southampton Mooting Competition 2003-04, awarded the Mocatta Moot Prize

Inquiries

Secretary of State grants permission for called-in Swindon solar park

20/03/2015

The Secretary of State has granted planning permission for a large solar park at a former airfield at Wroughton, Swindon. The application was made by Swindon Commercial Services Limited and the Science Museum. The proposed ground mounted PV solar arrays would on a 67 hectare site would provide c. 40MW generation capacity. The application site lies within the North Downs AONB and was opposed by Natural England, the AONB Unit and English Heritage.

The proposals will generate enough renewable electricity for c 12,000 hones. In addition it would provide an income stream to assist the Science Museum with the preservation and conservation of 35,000 larger objects of national importance as well as half a million library and archive texts it stores in hangers on the former airfield. The items stored include a 140 tonne hot metal printing press, the world’s first Hydrogen fuel car, two Trident missiles, a number of airliners and the Tucker Snow Cat.

James Maurici QC appeared for the applicants, Swindon Commercial Services Limited and the Science Museum, instructed by Pegasus Planning.

Richard Clarke appeared for Swindon Borough Council.

Scott Lyness appeared for English Heritage.

For press coverage click here

:

Inquiries

Called-in Swindon solar park inquiry closes

19/09/2014

A called-in inquiry into a proposed large solar park at a former airfield at Wroughton, Swindon has now closed. The application was made by Swindon Commercial Services Limited and the Science Museum. The proposed ground mounted PV solar arrays would on a 67 hectare site would provide c. 40MW generation capacity. The application site lies within the North Downs AONB.

The proposals will generate enough renewable electricity for c 12,000 hones. In addition it would provide an income stream to assist the Science Museum with the preservation and conservation of 35,000 larger objects of national importance as well as half a million library and archive texts it stores in hangers on the former airfield. The items stored include a 140 tonne hot metal printing press, the world’s first Hydrogen fuel car, two Trident missiles, a number of airliners and the Tucker Snow Cat.

Swindon Borough Council resolved to grant planning permission in December 2013 but the application was called in by the Secretary of State.

The inquiry sat for 7 days commencing on Tuesday 9 September 2014 and closing on Friday 19 September 2014.

For press coverage, click here.

James Maurici QC appeared for the applicants instructed by Pegasus Planning.

Richard Clarke appeared for Swindon Borough Council.

Scott Lyness appeared for English Heritage.

:

Inquiries

Secretary of State grants permission for called-in Swindon solar park

20/03/2015

The Secretary of State has granted planning permission for a large solar park at a former airfield at Wroughton, Swindon. The application was made by Swindon Commercial Services Limited and the Science Museum. The proposed ground mounted PV solar arrays would on a 67 hectare site would provide c. 40MW generation capacity. The application site lies within the North Downs AONB and was opposed by Natural England, the AONB Unit and English Heritage.

The proposals will generate enough renewable electricity for c 12,000 hones. In addition it would provide an income stream to assist the Science Museum with the preservation and conservation of 35,000 larger objects of national importance as well as half a million library and archive texts it stores in hangers on the former airfield. The items stored include a 140 tonne hot metal printing press, the world’s first Hydrogen fuel car, two Trident missiles, a number of airliners and the Tucker Snow Cat.

James Maurici QC appeared for the applicants, Swindon Commercial Services Limited and the Science Museum, instructed by Pegasus Planning.

Richard Clarke appeared for Swindon Borough Council.

Scott Lyness appeared for English Heritage.

For press coverage click here

:

Inquiries

Called-in Swindon solar park inquiry closes

19/09/2014

A called-in inquiry into a proposed large solar park at a former airfield at Wroughton, Swindon has now closed. The application was made by Swindon Commercial Services Limited and the Science Museum. The proposed ground mounted PV solar arrays would on a 67 hectare site would provide c. 40MW generation capacity. The application site lies within the North Downs AONB.

The proposals will generate enough renewable electricity for c 12,000 hones. In addition it would provide an income stream to assist the Science Museum with the preservation and conservation of 35,000 larger objects of national importance as well as half a million library and archive texts it stores in hangers on the former airfield. The items stored include a 140 tonne hot metal printing press, the world’s first Hydrogen fuel car, two Trident missiles, a number of airliners and the Tucker Snow Cat.

Swindon Borough Council resolved to grant planning permission in December 2013 but the application was called in by the Secretary of State.

The inquiry sat for 7 days commencing on Tuesday 9 September 2014 and closing on Friday 19 September 2014.

For press coverage, click here.

James Maurici QC appeared for the applicants instructed by Pegasus Planning.

Richard Clarke appeared for Swindon Borough Council.

Scott Lyness appeared for English Heritage.

:

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