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Yaaser Vanderman

Call: 2012

Practice Summary

Yaaser’s practice covers public law and human rights, planning and environmental law and property law (in particular, protests). He regularly appears at the appellate level; in 2019 he appeared in the Supreme Court in 4 cases. He has been appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of Counsel and is called to the Bar of Northern Ireland.

Clients have stated that he is “extremely capable” and have commented on his “exemplaryenergy and commitment” and “very approachable style”. Yaaser has been ranked as one of the top barristers under 35 in the 2018 and 2019 Planning Magazine Law Survey.

He studied undergraduate law at Clare College, Cambridge University before completing postgraduate law degrees at Keble College, Oxford University (BCL) and Harvard Law School (LLM). He was also the 2012 Eldon Law Scholar of Oxford University.

Yaaser also spent a year as the Judicial Assistant to Lord Toulson and Lord Hughes in the Supreme Court, where he worked closely with the Justices on a wide variety of cases.

He previously worked at the South African Human Rights Commission, Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Clinic and the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute.

Yaaser is regularly instructed in high profile cases. These include:

  • Civil liberties and human rights:
    • AM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2020): Successful Supreme Court appeal, following the European Court of Human Right’s decision in Paposhvili, on the circumstances in which removal of a seriously ill individual to another country would result in breach of Article 3 ECHR (inhuman and degrading treatment). The Supreme Court overturned N v SSHD, decided fifteen years ago. This was covered widely in the national press, including on the BBC, the Guardian and the Daily Mail;
    • R (TP and AR) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2018): Acted for the claimants in the first successful challenge to Universal Credit. The case involved a judicial review of Universal Credit and its discrimination against severely disabled persons contrary to Article 14 ECHR together with Article 1 Protocol 1 and Article 8 ECHR. This case has been widely covered in the national press, including in the Guardian, the Independent and the Mirror;
  • Planning and Environmental law:
    • Lambeth LBC v SSCLG (2019) – Supreme Court case on whether an entirely new condition could be implied into a planning permission. Yaaser acted for a local authority;
    • Heathrow Airport 3rd Runway challenge (2019): Judicial review of the proposed expansion to Heathrow Airport in the form of a third runway. There were various challenges to the proposal, including on noise, air pollution and climate change grounds as well as on competition law grounds. National media coverage of the case can be found in the Guardianthe BBC and the Financial Times;
  • Property and Protest:
    • Manchester ship Canal v Vauxhall Motors (2019): Supreme Court case establishing that a licensee can seek relief from forfeiture;
    • Sheffield City Council v Fairhall and others (2017 – 2018): High Court claim to restrain the Sheffield tree protestors based on Article 10/11 ECHR (freedom of expression and assembly) and subsequent committal proceedings. This case was widely covered in the national press, including on the BBC and ITV and in the Guardian; and,
    • Goldsmith College v Persons Unknown (2019): High Court claim against students who had occupied Deptford Town Hall for 136 days. National media coverage of the case can be found in the Guardian.

Summary

Yaaser’s practice covers the breadth of public law issues, including administrative law, civil liberties, commercial/regulatory law, healthcare and community care, environmental law, education, housing, social security, local government and immigration, asylum and citizenship claims. He has been appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of Counsel.

Recent cases include:

  • AM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2020): Successful Supreme Court appeal, following the European Court of Human Right’s decision in Paposhvili, on the circumstances in which removal of a seriously ill individual to another country would result in breach of Article 3 ECHR (inhuman and degrading treatment). The Supreme Court overturned N v SSHD, decided fifteen years ago. This was covered widely in the national press, including on the BBC, the Guardian and the Daily Mail;
  • Advising the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission on various issues, including on abortion;
  • R (Christian Concern) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (2020): Challenge to the Government’s decision to allow both early medical abortion pills to be taken at home during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • DN (Rwanda) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2020): Successful Supreme Court appeal challenging the detention of a foreign national (for the purposes of deportation) on the basis of secondary legislation subsequently found to be ultra vires. In doing so, the Supreme Court overturned the long-standing cases of Draga and Ullah. The case involved examining the scope of Lumba;
  • R (Fratila and Tanase) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2020): Challenge to the Government’s EU pre-settled status regime for EU citizens following Brexit. It is argued that non-entitlement to benefits, despite having limited leave to remain in the UK, is unlawful. The Court of Appeal has granted permission to appeal;
  • Heathrow Airport 3rd Runway challenge (2019): High Court judicial review of the proposed expansion to Heathrow Airport in the form of a third runway. Yaaser acted for the Second Interested Party, Arora Group, one of the principal landowners at and around Heathrow Airport. There were various challenges to the proposal, including on noise, air pollution and climate change grounds as well as on competition law grounds. National media coverage of the case can be found in the Guardianthe BBC and the Financial Times;
  • Jones v Birmingham City Council (2018): Appearing in the Court of Appeal in a human rights challenge to the compatibility of “Gang Injunctions” and the new ASBO regime with the right to a fair trial (Article 6 of the ECHR). This case was covered on the BBC;
  • R (TP and AR) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2018): Acted for the claimants in the first successful challenge to Universal Credit. The case involved a judicial review of Universal Credit and its discrimination against severely disabled persons contrary to Article 14 ECHR together with Article 1 Protocol 1 and Article 8 ECHR. This case has been widely covered in the national press, including in the Guardian, the Independent and the Mirror;
  • Sheffield City Council v Fairhall and others  (2017-2018): High Court claim to restrain the Sheffield tree protestors, based on Article 10/11 ECHR. This case was widely covered in the national press, including on the BBC and ITV and in the Guardian. Yaaser has appeared in several further committal hearings arising from matters occurring after the injunction;
  • R (Williams) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2017): Appearing for the claimant in the Court of Appeal on whether requiring destitute children to pay a fee before obtaining British citizenship is ultra vires and/or a breach of Article 8 and/or 14 ECHR.

Yaaser is a contributor to Adult Social Care Law (2nd edn, 2019) and Children Social Care Law (2018). He regularly contributes to academic discussion on the development of public law and has been published on several occasions in the Judicial Review and Public Law journalsHe regularly gives talks on public law issues.

Yaaser is a member of ALBA, JUSTICE and he is a Chair of the Executive Committee of the Young Public Lawyers Group.

Prior to joining Chambers, Yaaser worked at the following organisations:

  • Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School;
  • South African Human Rights Commission;
  • Liberty; and,
  • International Bar Association (Human Rights Institute).

Civil Liberties

Much of Yaaser’s work touches on civil liberties and human rights. This ranges from the right to protest to the right to be free from discrimination. He has extensive academic and practical experience on these matters, having worked at the Human Rights Clinic whilst at Harvard Law School, the South African Human Rights Commission, Liberty and the International Bar Association (Human Rights Institute).

His recent cases include:

  • AM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2020): Successful Supreme Court appeal, following the European Court of Human Right’s decision in Paposhvili, on the circumstances in which removal of a seriously ill individual to another country would result in breach of Article 3 ECHR (inhuman and degrading treatment). The Supreme Court overturned N v SSHD, decided fifteen years ago. This was covered widely in the national press, including on the BBC, the Guardian and the Daily Mail;
  • Advising the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission on various issues, including on abortion;
  • R (Christian Concern) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (2020): Challenge to the Government’s decision to allow both early medical abortion pills to be taken at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Claimant argued that this breached the human rights of unborn children;
  • DN (Rwanda) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2020): Successful Supreme Court appeal challenging the detention of a foreign national (for the purposes of deportation) on the basis of secondary legislation subsequently found to be ultra vires. In doing so, the Supreme Court overturned the long-standing cases of Draga and Ullah. The case involved examining the scope of Lumba;
  • Joyce v Birmingham City Council (SSHD intervening) (2018): Court of Appeal human rights challenge to the compatibility of “Gang Injunctions” and the new ASBO regime with the right to a fair trial (Article 6 of the ECHR). The claimants argued for a declaration of incompatibility (s4 of the Human Rights Act 1998). Relying on cases such as R (McCann) v Manchester Crown Court [2003] 1 AC 787 (HL), it was claimed that the civil standard of proof expressly required by the legislation breached Article 6 ECHR. This case was covered on the BBC;
  • Sheffield City Council v Crump (2018): Three committal applications in the High Court with respect to alleged breaches of an injunction by Sheffield tree protestors. The Council brought proceedings against individuals who had continued to carry out direct action to prevent tree-felling notwithstanding an injunction prohibiting this;
  • Sheffield City Council v Teal and Payne [2017] EWHC 2692 (QB): Committal application in the High Court with respect to alleged breaches of an injunction by Sheffield tree protestors.  The case was in the national press, including in the Guardian;
  • Sheffield City Council v Fairhall [2017] EWHC 2121 (QB): Three-day High Court trial for an injunction against Sheffield tree protestors. The case involved direct action by protestors attempting to prevent the felling of trees on the highways in Sheffield. The case involved issues of trespass and nuisance on the public highway and Article 10 (freedom of expression) and Article 11 (freedom of assembly) ECHR. This case was widely covered in the national press, including on the BBC and ITV and in the Guardian.

Yaaser continues to contribute to discussion on the development of civil liberties law and has had articles published in leading public law journals.

Energy, Infrastructure and Commercial

Yaaser has been instructed in some very high profile claims in a broad range of areas, including fracking.

His recent cases include:

  • Heathrow Airport 3rd Runway challenge [2019]: High Court judicial review of the proposed expansion to Heathrow Airport in the form of a third runway. There were various challenges to the proposal, including on noise, air pollution and climate change grounds as well as on competition law grounds. National media coverage of the case can be found in the Guardianthe BBC and the Financial Times;
  • R (Preston New Road Action Group) v SSCLG and Cuadrilla [2018] EWCA Civ 9: A Court of Appeal challenge to the first horizontal fracking wells in the UK. The claim involved, amongst other things, air quality and climate change issues and whether the Environmental Impact Assessment was flawed. The claimants argued that the Secretary of State had not properly taken into account the climate change effects of the proposed fracking. It was also argued that the Secretary of State was not sufficiently cautious about other safety issues;
  • R (Eider Power Reserve Ltd) v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (2018): A High Court challenge to the payment structure of the electricity Capacity Market. The claim was based on unlawful discrimination, breach of A1P1 ECHR, legitimate expectations and State aid issues;
  • Vtesse v VO (2018): A challenge to the rating valuation of Vtesse’s fibre network, including whether BT’s network had received State aid.
  • R (Burton) v SSCLG and Cuadrilla (2017): A High Court challenge to a decision made in relation to fracking sites in Lancashire. A decision by the Secretary of State that a further inquiry should take place to reinvestigate highway safety issues was challenged as unlawful;
  • R (Moore) v SSCLG [2016] EWHC 2736 (Admin): Judicial review of the Secretary of State’s decision to grant consent to a local authority to appropriate allotment land for redevelopment. The decision was challenged on the bases of irrationality, misdirection, A1P1 ECHR and legitimate expectations. Yaaser appeared in the High Court for the National Allotment Society (interested party).

Healthcare

Yaaser has a keen interest in healthcare issues and his practice covers a whole range of related areas. This includes consent issues, whether NHS bodies have acted within their powers, contractual issues and human rights claims.

His recent cases include:

  • Advising the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission on various issues, including on abortion;
  • R (Christian Concern) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (2020): Challenge to the Government’s decision to allow both early medical abortion pills to be taken at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Claimant argued that this was constitutionally improper, a breach of legitimate expectations in light of previous statements that the abortion rules would not change, ultra vires the Abortion Act 1967 and a breach of the Human Rights Act 1998;
  • R (Good Law Project) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (2019): Yaaser acted for the Claimant in a challenge to the Government’s approach to medicines shortages following Brexit. Regulation 9 of the Human Medicines (Amendment) Regulations 2019 allows the Government to issue Serious Shortage Protocols where shortages of medicine are foreseen. This allows pharmacists unilaterally to substitute a different medicine or strength, quantity or pharmaceutical form of a medicine prescribed by a doctor. The challenge was brought on the basis that the Government does not have the power to do this, no equality impact assessment was carried out and the informal, private consultation undertaken was inadequate. National media coverage on the case can be found in the Guardian and in The Times;
  • Advising on issues relating to the practice of using mesh to treat women with Stress Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Organ Prolapse [2019];
  • Advising clients on eligibility for Continuing Healthcare and, more generally, on the National Health Service Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (Responsibilities and Standing Rules) Regulations 2012, the 2009 Complaint Regulations and the Ombudsman procedure;
  • Hearings before Pharmacy Appeals Committee (2018);
  • Medical tests and consent (2017): Involving a challenge to testing of certain disorders by NHS trusts and the manner in which they reveal the result. The claim involves issues of consent, the common law right of self-determination to make medical decisions and data protection.
  • Evicting patients from hospital beds (2017): A claim to evict from hospital a patient that refused to leave – involving Article 8 ECHR issues (right to privacy);
  • Contractual issues (2017): Based on the proper construction of a hospital’s lease with the relevant NHS body, the issue was whether the NHS body was able to sublet the property to a third party. This involved construction of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and the Health and Social Care Act 2012 West Essex Primary Care Trust Property Transfer Scheme 2013.

Yaaser is a contributor to Adult Social Care Law (2018, LAG) and Children Social Care Law (2018, LAG).

He has given talks on healthcare issues to leading firms and is also a contributor to Landmark’s Healthcare blog. His paper on freeing up beds in hospitals can be found here.

Social Security

Yaaser regularly advises on, and acts in, social security and benefits cases.

His recent cases include:

  • R (Fratila and Tanase) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2020): Challenge to the Government’s EU pre-settled status regime for EU citizens following Brexit. It is argued that non-entitlement to benefits, despite having limited leave to remain in the UK, is unlawful. The Court of Appeal has granted permission to appeal;
  • Kader v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2020): An appeal on whether refugees’ ineligibility for the Sure Start Maternity Grant, if their first child was born abroad, amounts to discrimination under EU law and the ECHR;
  • R (TP and AR) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2019): Acted for the claimants in the first successful challenge to Universal Credit. The case involved a judicial review of Universal Credit and its discrimination against severely disabled persons contrary to Article 14 ECHR together with Article 1 Protocol 1 and Article 8 ECHR. This case has been widely covered in the national press, including in the Guardian, the Independent and the Mirror. On the facts of this case, the claimants suffered a significant decrease in entitlements following their transfer from legacy benefits to Universal Credit;
  • Universal credit case (2017): Instructed in relation to a local authority’s decision to transfer an individual from legacy benefits to Universal Credit. The transfer was triggered by his forced relocation to another property resulting in a significant reduction in his monthly benefits. The Secretary of State subsequently reversed its decision;
  • EU pension entitlement (2017): Involving spousal entitlement to an EU pension. This centred on the meaning of Annex VIII of Regulation No 31 (EEC) laying down the Staff Regulations of Officials and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community.

Education

Yaaser has a substantial interest in education issues. His recent matters include:

  • R (Sandwell MBC) v Secretary of State for Education (2019): Acting for the Council in a judicial review of the Secretary of State’s allocation of Basic Need Funding for 2020/21. This relates to the amount of capital funding granted to local authorities to provide for increases in students. The Council claimed that the nil allocation awarded by the Secretary of State was unlawful. The claim was worth over £10m;
  • Advising a local authority on the relocation of schools to alternative sites;
  • Challenges to decisions made by the Education and Skills Funding Agency;
  • Advising one of the largest suppliers of summer school education on their Tier 4 sponsor status.

He has given talks on education issues, including on Fundamental British Values and more recently on the calculated grades regime resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was formerly a Governor at his local school.

Housing

Yaaser does housing work in both the County Court and High Court. He has dealt with all types of challenges to decisions made under Part 6 (allocation of housing) and Part 7 (homelessness) of the Housing Act 1996. Yaaser brings particular expertise to this area, having cross-cutting experience in related property work on landlord and tenant disputes.

His recent cases include:

  • Kirkham v Royal Borough of Greenwich (2018): Housing Act appeal in relation to Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996.
  • R (Edward) v Royal Borough of Greenwich [2017] EWHC 1112 (Admin): High Court committal hearing. The claimant sought permission to commit two of Greenwich’s officers for making a false statement of truth in a previous judicial review.
    R (Edward) v Royal Borough of Greenwich [2016] EWHC 3410 (Admin): High Court judicial review of decisions made with respect to housing allocation (Part 6 of the Housing Act 1996) and homelessness (Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996). The case included arguments on procedural unfairness, irrationality, breach of a legitimate expectation, unlawful deviation from policy, breaches of the Equality Act 2010 and various breaches of the ECHR.
  • Ogunfeitimi v Royal Borough of Greenwich (2016): Housing Act appeal on whether the claimant was eligible for housing assistance. The claimant raised arguments on the interests of her children and Article 8 ECHR.
  • R (Jalal) v Royal Borough of Greenwich (2016): High Court judicial review on whether a duty was owed to the claimant’s children as “children in need” (s17 of the Children Act 1989) and whether taking the accommodation away violated the claimant’s Article 8 ECHR right.

Immigration, Asylum and Citizenship

Yaaser has appeared at all levels including the Supreme Court in asylum, immigration and citizenship cases.

His recent cases include:

  • AM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2020): Successful Supreme Court appeal, following the European Court of Human Right’s decision in Paposhvili, on the circumstances in which removal of a seriously ill individual to another country would result in breach of Article 3 ECHR (inhuman and degrading treatment). The Supreme Court overturned N v SSHD, decided fifteen years ago. This was covered widely in the national press, including on the BBC, the Guardian and the Daily Mail;
  • DN (Rwanda) v SSHD (2019): Supreme Court case on whether the detention of a foreign national (for the purposes of deportation) on the basis of secondary legislation subsequently found to be ultra vires amounted to false imprisonment. The case involves examining the scope of Lumba;
  • R (Fratila and Tanase) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2020): Challenge to the Government’s EU pre-settled status regime for EU citizens following Brexit. It is argued that non-entitlement to benefits, despite having limited leave to remain in the UK, is unlawful. The Court of Appeal has granted permission to appeal;
  • R (Elahi) v SSHD (2019): Precedent-fact ETS judicial review on whether the claimant obtained leave on the basis of cheating in an English language test;
  • R (Williams) v SSHD (2017): Two-day hearing in the Court of Appeal on whether requiring destitute children to pay a fee before obtaining British citizenship was ultra vires the primary legislation and/or a breach of Article 8 and/or 14 ECHR. The substantive hearing was preceded two weeks earlier by a preliminary hearing in the Court of Appeal. At this preliminary hearing, it was decided that the substantive hearing should go ahead notwithstanding that the claimant himself had now obtained citizenship;
  • R (Elmalhouf) v SSHD (2017): High Court claim involving an ex-diplomat from Libya (member of the International Maritime Organisation based in London), his immigration status, and whether the Secretary of State had wrongfully retained his and his family’s passports for several months. This case followed Estrada v Al-Juffali [2016] 3 WLR 243 and R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex p Bagga [1991] 1 QB 485;
  • CS (Morocco) v SSHD (2017): Appearing in the Upper Tribunal in a case involving Zambrano issues where a third country national parent of an EU citizen child engages in criminal conduct.

Local Government

Yaaser has worked for a number of local governments on a broad range of public law issues. This has involved ongoing advice and representation on long-standing issues as well as one-off assistance. He regularly advises on issues relating to State aid, elections, community care, planning, education, housing and property issues.

His recent cases include:

  • Lambeth LBC v SSCLG (2019) – Supreme Court case on whether an entirely new condition could be implied into a planning permission.
  • R (Sandwell MBC) v Secretary of State for Education [2019]: Acting for the Council in a judicial review of the Secretary of State’s allocation of Basic Need Funding for 2020/21. This relates to the amount of capital funding granted to local authorities to provide for increases in students. The Council claimed that the nil allocation awarded by the Secretary of State was unlawful. The claim was worth over £10m.
  • Advising a local authority on the legality of holding a referendum on a local issue at the same time as the local elections [2019]. This also involved issues relating to purdah.
  • Acting for Sheffield City Council against tree protestors: Since March 2017, Yaaser has been advising and representing Sheffield City Council following direct action by protestors attempting to prevent the felling of trees on the highways. His assistance can be split into various phases:
    • There was, initially, an interim injunction application in the High Court. This was followed by a 3-day trial in the High Court on issues of trespass and nuisance on the public highway and Article 10 (freedom of expression) and Article 11 (freedom of assembly) ECHR. Following the hearing, an injunction was granted. This case was widely covered in the national press, including on the BBC and ITV and in the Guardian;
    • Yaaser continues to advise and act for Sheffield City Council following alleged breaches of the injunction by protestors. This has culminated in several committal applications in the High Court; proceedings have been brought against individuals who continue to carry out direct action to prevent tree-felling notwithstanding the injunction prohibiting this. This has been in the national press, including in the Guardian.
    • Yaaser acted in the High Court proceedings for renewal of the injunction in summer 2018.
  • R (Kerry) v SSHCLG (2020): High Court challenge to the refusal of planning permission for a rabbit farm near Hambleton Peninsula. Yaaser acted for Rutland County Council.
  • R (Edward) v Royal Borough of Greenwich (2017): Yaaser acted for Greenwich in a High Court committal hearing. The claimant sought permission to commit two of Greenwich’s officers for making a false statement of truth in a previous judicial review.
  • Assisting Wiltshire Council (2017): Yaaser was instructed by Wiltshire Council to assist defending a proposed judicial review of its complaints process and governance issues.
  • R (Edward) v Royal Borough of Greenwich (2016): Yaaser acted for Greenwich in a High Court judicial review of decisions made with respect to housing allocation (Part 6 of the Housing Act 1996) and homelessness (Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996). The case included arguments on procedural unfairness, irrationality, breach of a legitimate expectation, unlawful deviation from policy, breaches of the Equality Act 2010 and various breaches of the ECHR.
  • Ogunfeitimi v Royal Borough of Greenwich (2016): Yaaser acted for Greenwich in a Housing Act appeal on whether the claimant was eligible for housing assistance. The claimant raised arguments on the interests of her children and Article 8 ECHR. 
  • R (Jalal) v Royal Borough of Greenwich (2016): Yaaser acted for Greenwich in a High Court judicial review on whether a duty was owed to the claimant’s children as “children in need” (s17 of the Children Act 1989) and whether taking the accommodation away violated the claimant’s Article 8 ECHR right.
  • Civil restraint orderYaaser has advised a local authority in relation to the merits and prospects of obtaining a civil restraint order against a particular individual.

Yaaser regularly gives talks and training to local authorities, including recently a webinar on remote decision-making by local authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Animal Welfare

Yaaser is engaged in animal rights’ issues and has worked closely with Cruelty Free International.
His recent cases include:

  • Animal testing: Advising on the legality of regtox testing.
  • Greyhounds: Advising on the regime dealing with the welfare of greyhounds.
  • Chimpanzees shipped to the UK: Instructed by an animal rights NGO in relation to an urgent judicial review against the Animal and Plant Health Agency and Secretary of State of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This was in relation to a decision to grant seven import permits for the import of seven chimpanzees from Georgia, USA to a zoo in Kent. The claim involved the UN Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species, the EU Regulation putting this into effect (Council Regulation 338/97) and the domestic legislation dealing with enforcement (Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1997).

Summary

Yaaser’s practice covers the breadth of planning and environmental work. He has appeared in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court as well as at several Inquiries and hearings. He has been appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of Counsel. Yaaser was ranked as one of the top barristers under 35 in the 2018 and 2019 Planning Magazine Law Surveys.

Yaaser has a particular interest in environmental issues and infrastructure. He is also often instructed to advise on the merits of challenging planning decisions as well as CIL, s106 contributions, affordable housing and enforcement issues. In addition, he has worked on compulsory purchase cases and State aid issues.

His most recent cases include:

  • Lambeth LBC v SSCLG (2019) – Supreme Court case on whether an entirely new condition can be implied into a planning permission. Yaaser is acting for a local authority;
  • Paul Newman New Homes v SSHCLG (2020): Court of Appeal challenge to the proper interpretation of paragraph 11 of the NPPF (2018) and, in particular, the circumstances in which the tilted balance is and is not engaged;
  • Heathrow Airport 3rd Runway challenge (2019): Judicial review of the proposed expansion to Heathrow Airport in the form of a third runway. Yaaser acted for the Second Interested Party, Arora Group, one of the principal landowners at and around Heathrow Airport. There were various challenges to the proposal, including on noise, air pollution and climate change grounds as well as on competition law grounds. National media coverage of the case can be found in the Guardianthe BBC and the Financial Times;
  • East-West Rail scheme (2020): This is a £1bn project in which Yaaser successfully acted for Network Rail in a planning inquiry that spanned 10 weeks in relation to the reinstatement and upgrading of the train line between Oxford and Cambridge, including new stations and platforms on the route;
  • R (Kerry) v SSHCLG (2020: High Court challenge to the refusal to grant planning permission to a rabbit farm near Hambleton Peninsula. Yaaser acted for Rutland County Council;
  • R (Preston New Road Action Group) v SSCLG and Cuadrilla [2018] EWCA Civ 9: A Court of Appeal challenge to the first horizontal fracking wells in the UK. The claim involved, amongst other things, air quality issues and whether Environmental Impact Assessment was flawed;
  • R (Crantock Parish Council) v Cornwall City Council (2018): Acting for the Parish Council in relation to a challenge to a large residential scheme in Crantock;
  • Acting for the Government on various challenges to residential schemes in Central Bedfordshire;
  • R (AB) v LB of Hammersmith and Fulham and Fordstam Ltd (2017): A challenge to the decision to grant planning permission for the new Chelsea FC stadium. This was based on air quality, procedural fairness and unlawful conditions;
  • R (Fishron Properties Ltd) v Basingstoke and Deane BC (2017): Judicial review of a decision by the local authority to dispose of a site to a third party (hotel) with an exclusivity clause that hotel use not be allowed for any other lease in the area. The case also involved potential breaches of the Competition Act 1998.

Yaaser is a member of UKELA and frequently gives talks on planning and environmental issues.

Infrastructure

Yaaser has a particular interest and expertise in infrastructure.

His recent cases include:

  • Heathrow Airport 3rd Runway challenge (2019): High Court judicial review of the proposed expansion to Heathrow Airport in the form of a third runway. There were various challenges to the proposal, including on noise, air pollution and climate change grounds as well as on competition law grounds. National media coverage of the case can be found in the Guardianthe BBC and the Financial Times;
  • East-West Rail scheme (2020): This is a £1bn project in which Yaaser successfully acted for Network Rail in a planning inquiry that spanned 10 weeks in relation to the reinstatement and upgrading of the train line between Oxford and Cambridge, including new stations and platforms on the route. It involves various issues including:
    • Ecology;
    • Other environmental impacts;
    • Transport impacts;
    • Engineering and construction issues; and,
    • Compulsory acquisition;
  • R (Preston New Road Action Group) v SSCLG and Cuadrilla (2018): A Court of Appeal challenge to the first horizontal fracking wells in the UK. The claim involved, amongst other things, interpretation of various local development plan policies and paragraph 109 NPPF. It also involved procedural fairness issues following deviation from the statement of common ground;
  • R (Burton) v SSCLG and Cuadrilla (2017): A challenge to a decision made in relation to fracking sites in Lancashire. A decision by the Secretary of State that a further inquiry should take place to reinvestigate highway safety issues was challenged as unlawful;
  • Ofgem and electricity transmission infrastructure (2016): Involving an application by a third party for electricity transmission infrastructure and other issues related to Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects and Development Consent Orders.

Environmental

Yaaser has been instructed in some very high profile environmental matters in a broad range of areas, including fracking, Premiership football stadiums, building on public parks and land appropriation. He has particular experience in air quality and climate change issues.

His recent cases include:

  • Heathrow Airport 3rd Runway challenge (2019): High Court judicial review of the proposed expansion to Heathrow Airport in the form of a third runway. Yaaser acted for the Second Interested Party, Arora Group, one of the principal landowners at and around Heathrow Airport. There were various challenges to the proposal, including on noise, air pollution and climate change grounds as well as on competition law grounds. National media coverage of the case can be found in the Guardianthe BBC and the Financial Times;
  • Upton Historic Parkland Conservation Group v SSCLG (2019): Yaaser acted for the successful Claimant, resulting in the quashing of a decision by an Inspector that granted prior approval to the developer to change an agricultural barn into flexible commercial use. This had been applied for under the Town and Country (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, Schedule 2, Part 3, Class R. The High Court found that the Inspector had applied the wrong test;
  • R (Preston New Road Action Group) v SSCLG and Cuadrilla (2018): A Court of Appeal challenge to the first horizontal fracking wells in the UK. The claim involved, amongst other things, air quality issues and whether Environmental Impact Assessment was flawed;
  • R (AB) v LB of Hammersmith and Fulham and Fordstam Ltd (2017): A challenge to the decision to grant planning permission for the new Chelsea FC stadium. This was based on air quality, procedural fairness and a challenge to the conditions in the planning permission;
  • R (Burton) v SSCLG and Cuadrilla (2017): A challenge to a decision made in relation to fracking sites in Lancashire. A decision by the Secretary of State that a further inquiry should take place to reinvestigate highway safety issues was challenged as unlawful;
  • Building on open space (2017): Yaaser assisted a local community in Newcastle in relation to a permission for development on their neighbouring open space;
  • R (Moore) v SSCLG (2016): Judicial review of the Secretary of State’s decision to grant consent to a local authority to appropriate allotment land for redevelopment. The decision was challenged on the bases of irrationality, misdirection, A1P1 ECHR and legitimate expectations. Yaaser appeared in the High Court for the National Allotment Society (interested party).

Residential and General Planning

Yaaser regularly acts in, and advises on, challenges to planning decisions for applicants, local authorities and the Secretary of State. He also has significant experience on issues ranging from CIL liability to affordable housing.

His recent cases include:

  • Lambeth LBC v SSCLG (2019) – Supreme Court case on whether an entirely new condition can be implied into a planning permission. Yaaser is acting for a local authority;
  • Paul Newman New Homes v SSHCLG (2020): Court of Appeal challenge to the proper interpretation of paragraph 11 of the NPPF (2018) and, in particular, the circumstances in which the tilted balance is and is not engaged;
  • R (Kerry) v SSHCLG (2020: High Court challenge to the refusal to grant planning permission to a rabbit farm near Hambleton Peninsula. Yaaser acted for Rutland County Council;
  • R (Crantock Parish Council) v Cornwall City Council (2018): Acting for the Parish Council in relation to a challenge to a large residential scheme in Crantock;
  • Acting for the Secretary of State on various challenges to residential schemes in Central Bedfordshire (2018);
  • Acting for Aldi in a High Court challenge brought by a rival supermarket to a development in Swindon;
  • R (Fishron Properties Ltd) v Basingstoke and Deane BC (2017): Judicial review of a decision by the local authority to dispose of a site to a third party (hotel) with an exclusivity clause that hotel use not be allowed for any other lease in the area. The case also involved potential breaches of the Competition Act 1998;
  • Challenge to Garden Villages (2017): Challenging the Government’s decision to award funding to one of the 14 proposed new garden villages. This focused on the lack of housing need and flaws in the draft Local Plan relied upon by the Government;
  • No McDonald’s Resident Action Group Inquiry (2016): Sole counsel in a 2-week inquiry for the No McDonald’s Kenton Residents’ Action Group (Rule 6 party) between McDonald’s and Newcastle City Council. It related to a proposed development near one of the biggest secondary schools outside of London. The claim involved issues of transport safety, design and health policy; 
  • Land at 349 Glovershaw Lane (2016): Sole counsel for the applicant at a hearing in a claim that a parcel of land of interest to the applicant should be from the register of common land as it was wrongly registered as common land several decades ago;
  • Sheffield City Council v Oakleigh Homes 2013 Ltd (2016): A claim involving enforcement of payments agreed with developers in s106 agreements;

Community Infrastructure Levy and s106 contributions: Yaaser regularly advises on CIL liability, s106 contributions, pooling restrictions and related issues. In his most recent CIL appeal, Yaaser successfully saved a housebuilder £165,000.

Enforcement

Yaaser frequently advises on and appears at enforcement matters in inquiries, hearings, the Magistrates’ Court and the Crown Court.

His cases include:

  • London Borough of Brent v (1) BSH 3 Ltd (2) Hallmark Estates Ltd (2017): A claim where the local authority argued that the defendants’ had failed to comply with improvement notices (Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004) and were, therefore, guilty of criminal offences. Yaaser succeeded in proving that the local authority had acted ultra vires and that there was a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with the notices.
  • London Borough of Brent v Clear Channel UK Ltd (2017): Yaaser appeared in Willesden Magistrates Court on behalf of the defendant. The local authority argued that the defendant, an advertising company, had failed to comply with an Advertisement Removal Notice.
  • Gardeners Farm Inquiry (2016): Appearing on behalf of Maldon District Council at an inquiry in an appeal against an enforcement notice issued by the local authority. The issue was whether a building had been used as a self-contained dwelling for at least four years.
  • R v Lashmar (2016): A claim in Chelmsford Crown Court where the local authority argued that the defendant had failed to comply with enforcement notices and had, therefore, committed criminal offences.
  • Ghetia Ltd v London Borough of Newham (2016) – The appellant appealed a notice (s215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) related to the appearance of its shop following redevelopment of Romford Road.

Property

Yaaser has specialist expertise in property law and human rights issues, particularly relating to trespassers, protestors and Persons Unknown. He regularly advises, and appears in court, on these matters. He has also advised on and appeared unled in several committal applications in the High Court.

On general property issues, Yaaser appeared in Manchester Ship Canal v Vauxhall Motors (2019), a Supreme Court case on whether a licensee can seek relief from forfeiture. Yaaser has subsequently been instructed in follow-on claims where licensees have sought relief from forfeiture when their licence has been terminated.

On protests and injunctions, Yaaser has been involved in the following matters:

  • Yaaser has acted and advised in protest cases involving energy companies, security companies and park authorities;
  • Goldsmith College v Persons Unknown (2019): High Court claim against students who had occupied Deptford Town Hall for 136 days. National media coverage of the case can be found in the Guardian;
  • Acting for Sheffield City Council against tree protestors (2017-2018): Since March 2017, Yaaser has been advising and representing Sheffield City Council following direct action by protestors attempting to prevent the lawful felling of trees on the highways. His assistance can be split into three phases:
    • There was, initially, an interim injunction application in the High Court. This was followed by a 3-day trial in the High Court on issues of trespass and nuisance on the public highway and Article 10 (freedom of expression) and Article 11 (freedom of assembly) ECHR. Following the hearing, an injunction was granted: Sheffield City Council v Fairhall. This case was widely covered in the national press, including on the BBC and ITV and in the Guardian;
    • Yaaser continues to advise and act for Sheffield City Council following alleged breaches of the injunction by protestors. This has culminated in 8 committal applications in the High Court before Males J, in most of which Yaaser has acted unled; proceedings have been brought against individuals who continue to carry out direct action to prevent tree-felling notwithstanding the injunction prohibiting this. These have included Sheffield City Council v Teal and PayneSheffield City Council v Crump and Sheffield City Council v Brooke. These have been in the national press, including in the Guardian;
    • Yaaser acted in the High Court proceedings for renewal of the injunction in summer 2018;
  • Acting for City Pride Ltd against urban explorers (2019): Yaaser was instructed in relation to injunctions against Persons Unknown who were trespassing on the Landmark Pinnacle building site in Canary Wharf. This building will be one of the tallest residential towers in London and the trespassers were scaling the tallest crane in Europe for their urban exploration activities;
  • Acting for Arch Co (2019): Yaaser was instructed in relation to injunctions against Persons Unknown who were trespassing and conducting music raves in railway arches in London. Arch Co had previously purchased the railway arches for £1.5bn from Network Rail.

Yaaser regularly gives talks on these issues, including a recent webinar on “Injunctions against protestors” following Canada Goose v Persons Unknown (2020), Birmingham CC v Afsar (2020), Cuadrilla v Lawrie (2020) and Ineos v Persons Unknown (2019).

Qualifications

Qualifications 

  • Harvard Law School – LLM
  • Oxford University, Keble College – BCL (Distinction)
  • Cambridge University, Clare College – MA (Hons) in Law (Double First)

Scholarships and Awards

  • Cambridge-Harvard Exchange Scholar
  • Eldon Law Scholar (most promising Oxford University graduate intending to practise at the Bar)
  • Commercial Remedies highest mark in the year (Oxford University)
  • Queen Mother Scholar (Middle Temple)
  • William Senior Prize for Law (highest in Clare College)
  • James William Squire Scholar (Cambridge University)
  • Foundation Scholar (Honorary) (Cambridge University)
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association Bursary Award
  • International Bar Association Educational Trust Scholar
  • Phoenicia Scholar (Bar European Group Conference)
  • ALBA Scholar (ALBA summer conference)

Publications

2017          “Right to Protest and Direct Action” [2017] JR 338

2017         Freeing up beds in hospitals – can a hospital patient be evicted?”

2016         “Substantive Legitimate Expectations” [2016] 3 Judicial Review 174

2013       “RT and KM v Secretary of State for Home Department – Problems with core/margin
reasoning in claims of persecution [2013] Judicial Review 26

2012       ‘The Right to a Fair Trial in Tariq v Home Office: taking blind shots at a hidden target’
[2012] Judicial Review 70

2012        ‘Ultra Vires Legitimate Expectations: an argument for compensation’ [2012] Public Law
85

2011        ‘Patmalniece and Lord Walker’s Dissent: does he have a point?’ published on UK
Supreme Court Blog (run by Matrix Chambers and Olswang)

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