The annual Law Survey from Planning Magazine includes 36 rankings for barristers from Landmark Chamber’s planning team representing more than a quarter of all the spots featured across the UK in this year’s survey.
Heather Sargent tops the rankings for planning juniors under 35. A third of all barristers in the under 35 category call Landmark Chambers their professional home.
18 of Landmark’s QCs are featured in the top silks list; the most of any chambers featured.
Rupert Warren QC, in third place, is described as “forensic and well-connected”. His recent caseload has included complex schemes in London, such as the redevelopment of the London Fire Brigade’s former headquarters at 8 Albert Embankment. In the High Court, he successfully defended the government’s changes to the use classes and permitted development regime. One legal professional stated, “His advocacy was brilliant and very light-touch.”
Russell Harris QC is among those climbing the most places this year rising from eleventh to seventh. “He’s the king of complex and contentious tall building schemes in central London,” says one solicitor. These have included the proposed Tulip observation tower in the City of London, where Harris acted for the appellant in a multi-party public inquiry that took place partly online.
Reuben Taylor QC of Landmark Chambers climbs ten places to sixteenth spot from last year’s ranking. His recent successes have included securing a DCO for the planned works to upgrade the A303 near Stonehenge, on behalf of government agency Highways England, and defending a test case challenge to Milton Keynes Council’s five-year housing land supply at call-in inquiry. “An excellent advocate and a very good team member,” one legal professional says of him.
Entering the list of silks for the first time, Matthew Reed QC was described by one solicitor as “friendly, approachable, technically good and having all-round quality”. His caseload has included successfully defending the grant of a housing and mixed-use development in Dorset.
The full list of ranked silks is below.
Zack Simons takes the lead in the juniors’ table, with Richard Turney occupying the number two spot, the Landmark Chambers duo having reversed their 2020 placings. Landmark barristers’ occupy half of the top ten spots in the listing including Heather Sargent in joint fourth. Heather also takes top place in the under-35s table.
Pointing to his successful blog and media presence, Zack is described as “pretty unflappable and able to rise to new challenges”. Recent work includes advising the promoters of a number of major residential schemes, including the Highsted Park garden village, a proposed expansion of Kent Science Park in Sittingbourne. He is also acting on a proposal for a new stadium for Cheshunt Football Club, together with 163 homes and 4,000 square metres of commercial floorspace.
Richard Turney is said to be “the stand-out junior of choice” and an “exceptional, bright and enduring star”. Another legal professional stated, “I suspect he is getting towards QC-dom.” His recent caseload has included acting for Heathrow Airport in its successful appeal to the Supreme Court that resurrected the prospects of a third Heathrow runway. He also assisted energy company Orsted in securing development consent for the 2.4GW Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm off the Norfolk coast.
Guy Williams of Landmark Chambers shares seventh place and is among the highest risers in the juniors category, moving up from 15th last year. He appeared for government conservation body Historic England at last year’s inquiry relating to redevelopment proposals for Anglia Square in Norwich, successfully arguing for refusal of its planned 20-storey tower and large blocks. One voter observes: “He is very astute, has superb attention to detail and his advice has an eye on commercial pragmatism, not just the legal technicalities.”
The full list of ranked juniors is below.
Juniors under 35
Heather Sargent is ranked as the top junior under 35, as well taking fourth place in the overall juniors list. She is described as “a strong and impressive advocate”. Her recent caseload included he successful defence of an appeal against Lambeth Council’s refusal of permission for a residential scheme including a 29-storey tower. She is also acting for the acquiring authority in relation to confirmation of a compulsory purchase order for a £29.4 million road scheme and advising on an appeal against the refusal of a 1,200-home scheme in Warrington.
Anjoli Foster climbed seven places on last year’s ranking. Described by one legal professional as “very accessible and very empathetic”, Foster’s successes have included representing Wokingham Borough Council in the first planning inquiry to consider the impact of Covid-19 on housing delivery.
Landmark’s ranked silks are:
Rupert Warren QC
Russell Harris QC
David Elvin QC
Neil Cameron QC
Sasha White QC
James Maurici QC
Reuben Taylor QC
Tim Corner QC
Robert Walton QC
Paul Brown QC
Matthew Reed QC
Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC
Scott Lyness QC
Christopher Boyle QC
John Litton QC
Neil King QC
Jenny Wigley QC
Graeme Keen QC
Planning Magazine first published the survey in 1998. They describe the rankings as based on the annual survey, which asks solicitors, consultants, developers and local authorities to rate their top barristers. Only those working in roles that could involve them in commissioning or instructing a law firm or barrister, and who received an invitation from Planning or were members of Lawyers in Local Government, the National Infrastructure Planning Association or the Planning Officers Society, were eligible to vote.