Richard Drabble QC

Call: 1975Silk: 1995
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Practice Summary

Richard Drabble QC was called to the Bar in 1975 and took silk in 1995. He practices in public law, planning and other local government matters. He has appeared frequently as an advocate at all levels of domestic courts, particularly the Administrative Court as well as the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords. His practice also has a European dimension, with many appearances (in planning, environmental and social security matters) before the ECJ and the European Court of Human Rights and the former Commission. He has appeared for both developers and local authorities in major planning inquiries. He is a former Chairman of the Administrative Law Bar Association and a member of the Planning and Environment Bar Association.

He is recognised as a leader in the fields of administrative & public law, civil liberties & human rights, environment, EU & competition, immigration, local government, planning and social housing.

Richard has acted for a wide range of clients, examples being the Secretary of State in challenges to the Terminal Five planning permission, the Airports and Energy White Papers; and the Olympics CPO; Natural England in the Thames Basin Heath SPA litigation; Associated British Ports in connection with a proposed Harbour Revision Order at Immingham; Amnesty International in the Pinochet medical reports case; the developer in R (Lewis) v Redcar BC and Persimmon and in R (Kides) v South Cambridgeshire DC; JCWI and the AIRE Centre in the litigation concerning alleged marriages of convenience; Quinn Glass in the Court of Appeal hearing about an IPCC permit; 3C Limited in a Commercial Court case about the Landfill Directive; and Mrs Stec; Ms Tsfayo; Mrs Chapman and Mrs Kehoe in their various cases in the European Court of Human Rights. He appeared for the local authorities in the Dibden Bay Inquiry.

Recent cases cover a wide spectrum of issues and clients. They include R (West Berkshire DC) v Secretary of State 2016 1 WLR 3923 (Court of Appeal on affordable housing policy); R(Carmichael) v SSWP 2016 1 WLR 455  (Supreme Court: bedroom tax); Sainsbury’s Supermarket Ltd v Sykes 2017 UKUT 138 (LC) ; rating of supermarket ATM sites; Kiarie v Home Secretary 2017 1 WLR 2380 (Supreme Court: deport first appeal later). He has contributed a chapter on GCHQ in the Lords to “Landmark Cases in Public Law”, published June 2017.

Qualifications

Richard Drabble read History at Downing College, Cambridge.He has lectured frequently on public law matters, particularly recently on human rights issues in planning. Richard is currently Vice-Chair of the Bar Council Law Reform Committee.

Recommendations

The latest editions state –

Chambers UK, administrative & public law – “A barrister with formidable intellect, who has great expertise across a wide range of subject areas and vast experience to draw from. He is a persuasive advocate with an absolute command of his subject matter.” “Good at finding innovative points even in unpromising cases.”

Chambers UK, civil liberties & human rights – “He will find a way to make something complex easy to understand.” “A very effective advocate who chooses points carefully.”

Chambers UK, environment – “He’s got a very gentle manner, is incredibly humble and there’s not a lot he doesn’t know about planning.”

Chambers UK, local government – “He is a very good technician on statutory interpretation and deals with planning, marine planning and bespoke private legislation. He is absolutely superb.” “Richard has formidable intellect and is extremely highly regarded for his expertise across a wide range of subject areas. He has vast experience to draw from and is a persuasive advocate with an absolute command of the subject matter.”

Chambers UK, planning – “Intellectually ahead of the pack.”

Chambers UK, social housing – “Commands authority and has prodigious mental agility and ability.” “He has an all-round ability to see the law from a much wider perspective.”

Legal 500, administrative & public law – “Highly experienced and good to work with”.

Legal 500, EU & competition –  “A fantastic advocate, highly regarded for the most complex cases”.

Legal 500, environment – “Rated very highly”.

Legal 500, immigration – “He is making waves in the immigration arena”.

Legal 500, planning – “Thoughtful and helpful”.

Legal 500, social housing – “A well-respected public law silk with a multi-disciplinary practice”.

Inquiries

Advisory work for Transport for London and the Greater London Aurhority

12/07/2007

Instructed by in-house lawyers at TfL and the GLA; and Herbert Smith

Advisory work for both the GLA and TflL in connection with the collapse of Metronet and the need to create a transfer scheme transferring Metronet’s activities to another company. Very large scale public finance implications.

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Inquiries

European Court of Human Rights decides that Mrs Kehoe’s application is partly admissible

29/06/2007

Following the rejection of her case alleging that the Child Support Act infringed her rights under Article 6 of the Convention, Mrs Kehoe made an application to the European Court of Human Rights. In an admissibility decision made on the 29th June 2007, the Court (Fourth Section) declared her substantial complaints under Articles 6 and 13 admissible. The Court will now proceed to rule on the merits.

Richard Drabble QC is acting for Mrs Kehoe.

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Inquiries

Opinion for Natural England on the Thames Basin Heath SPA

19/03/2007

Instructed by Natural England to write an advice for public use during the EIP of the South East Plan.

Advice concerned the application of Article 6 of the Habitats Directive to housing projects potentially affecting the SPA. Sensitive issue because the projected housing numbers under the SE Plan require building in proximity to the SPA. Opinion considered during the EIP and has been widely considered since.

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Inquiries

Judgment in 3C Waste Limited on Landfill Directive

25/10/2006

In an important judgment delivered on 25th October in the Commercial Court, David Steel J has granted 3C Waste Limited (a landfill site operator) a declaration about the combined impact of Article 10 of the Landfill Directive (1991/31/EC); regulation 11 of the Landfill (England and Wales Regulations 2002 SI 2002/1559 and conditions contained in landfill permits on contracts that were already in existence when the legislation came into force. The declaration will have considerable practical impacts on landfill operations. The case is 3C Waste Limited v Mersey Waste Holdings Limited and Merseyside Waste Disposal Limited. The judge held that Article 10 of the Directive was intended to affect existing contracts, with the result that the obligation to charge the “full cost” attributable to the deposit of waste applied after the date the legislation bit even if the contract price was lower. On the facts of 3C the result was that, if it is subsequently established that “full cost” is as a matter of fact higher than the contract price, the contract was suspended under a force majeure clause from the date of the imposition of a permit condition requiring compliance with regulation 11. The defendants were refused permission to appeal.

Richard Drabble QC appeared for the claimant, 3C.

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Inquiries

Divisional Court uphold Brian Haw’s challenge

29/07/2005

The Divisional Court upheld Mr Haw’s challenge that the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 only applied to new demontstrations and not to those which were continuing at the date of commencement of the Act.

Richard Drabble QC and Zoe Leventhal acting for Mr Haw. Nathalie Lieven for the Home Secretary.

www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-2-1713566,00.html

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Inquiries

Hearing for judicial review of Airports White Paper

13/12/2004

Richard Drabble QC, Tim Mould and Carine Patry act for the Government.

David Smith and Dan Kolinsky act for the London Borough of Wandsworth, the London Borough of Hillingdon and three local interest groups.

As “The Lawyer” noted on 13 September,

“Landmark Chambers and 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square have monopolised the case, which is set down for six days in December in the High Court.””

www.thelawyer.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=111937&d=11&h=24&f=23

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Inquiries

Dibden Bay Deep Sea Container Terminal (Nov 2001 – Dec 2002)

01/12/2002

Major inquiry into new container port at Southampton. Ran from November 2001 to December 2002. Richard Drabble QC and Graeme Keen acted for New Forest DC and Hampshire CC, the principal opponents to the scheme. David Elvin QC and David Forsdick acted for RSPB. David Smith acted for Defence Estates/MOD.

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Inquiries

Advisory work for Transport for London and the Greater London Aurhority

12/07/2007

Instructed by in-house lawyers at TfL and the GLA; and Herbert Smith

Advisory work for both the GLA and TflL in connection with the collapse of Metronet and the need to create a transfer scheme transferring Metronet’s activities to another company. Very large scale public finance implications.

:

Inquiries

European Court of Human Rights decides that Mrs Kehoe’s application is partly admissible

29/06/2007

Following the rejection of her case alleging that the Child Support Act infringed her rights under Article 6 of the Convention, Mrs Kehoe made an application to the European Court of Human Rights. In an admissibility decision made on the 29th June 2007, the Court (Fourth Section) declared her substantial complaints under Articles 6 and 13 admissible. The Court will now proceed to rule on the merits.

Richard Drabble QC is acting for Mrs Kehoe.

:

Inquiries

Opinion for Natural England on the Thames Basin Heath SPA

19/03/2007

Instructed by Natural England to write an advice for public use during the EIP of the South East Plan.

Advice concerned the application of Article 6 of the Habitats Directive to housing projects potentially affecting the SPA. Sensitive issue because the projected housing numbers under the SE Plan require building in proximity to the SPA. Opinion considered during the EIP and has been widely considered since.

:

Inquiries

Judgment in 3C Waste Limited on Landfill Directive

25/10/2006

In an important judgment delivered on 25th October in the Commercial Court, David Steel J has granted 3C Waste Limited (a landfill site operator) a declaration about the combined impact of Article 10 of the Landfill Directive (1991/31/EC); regulation 11 of the Landfill (England and Wales Regulations 2002 SI 2002/1559 and conditions contained in landfill permits on contracts that were already in existence when the legislation came into force. The declaration will have considerable practical impacts on landfill operations. The case is 3C Waste Limited v Mersey Waste Holdings Limited and Merseyside Waste Disposal Limited. The judge held that Article 10 of the Directive was intended to affect existing contracts, with the result that the obligation to charge the “full cost” attributable to the deposit of waste applied after the date the legislation bit even if the contract price was lower. On the facts of 3C the result was that, if it is subsequently established that “full cost” is as a matter of fact higher than the contract price, the contract was suspended under a force majeure clause from the date of the imposition of a permit condition requiring compliance with regulation 11. The defendants were refused permission to appeal.

Richard Drabble QC appeared for the claimant, 3C.

:

Inquiries

Divisional Court uphold Brian Haw’s challenge

29/07/2005

The Divisional Court upheld Mr Haw’s challenge that the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 only applied to new demontstrations and not to those which were continuing at the date of commencement of the Act.

Richard Drabble QC and Zoe Leventhal acting for Mr Haw. Nathalie Lieven for the Home Secretary.

www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-2-1713566,00.html

:

Inquiries

Hearing for judicial review of Airports White Paper

13/12/2004

Richard Drabble QC, Tim Mould and Carine Patry act for the Government.

David Smith and Dan Kolinsky act for the London Borough of Wandsworth, the London Borough of Hillingdon and three local interest groups.

As “The Lawyer” noted on 13 September,

“Landmark Chambers and 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square have monopolised the case, which is set down for six days in December in the High Court.””

www.thelawyer.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=111937&d=11&h=24&f=23

:

Inquiries

Dibden Bay Deep Sea Container Terminal (Nov 2001 – Dec 2002)

01/12/2002

Major inquiry into new container port at Southampton. Ran from November 2001 to December 2002. Richard Drabble QC and Graeme Keen acted for New Forest DC and Hampshire CC, the principal opponents to the scheme. David Elvin QC and David Forsdick acted for RSPB. David Smith acted for Defence Estates/MOD.

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