The top five planning barristers

The top-rated planning siliks in the sector from The Guide to Planning Lawyers 2011-12

 1. Chris Katkowski QC "Courteous but razor-sharp", Katkowski is a public inquiry specialist acting mostly for developers and corporate firms, including EDF Energy on its Hinkley Point nuclear plant project. He helped Tottenham Hotspur Football Club secure permission for its White Hart Lane stadium revamp. On the public sector side, Katkowski has been acting for councils opposing Preston's Tithebarn scheme. Notable past successes include central London's Heron Tower and Shard of Glass commercial schemes and the London Gateway port on the Thames.

2. Tim Corner QC Corner, rated for his "invariably sensible and practical advice", has a versatile practice extending to compulsory purchase, housing, retail and major infrastructure projects. In the public sector, he has been acting for Barnsley Council in a test case on waste disposal issues and the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation on a judicial review of a new town centre in east London. Corner's private cases include a Hadley Homes scheme in Waltham Forest and a UK Coal surface mine in County Durham.

3. Martin Kingston QC Highly regarded for "attention to detail", Kingston's diverse practice attracts business from way beyond his Midlands base. Recent cases range from a retirement village in North Yorkshire and a quarry extension and tourism development in County Durham to an energy-from-waste plant in Derbyshire and a legal challenge to a conservation area designation in east London. Urban extension projects for Barwood Land at Raunds, Northamptonshire, and Fleet Marston in Buckinghamshire highlight his versatility.

Robin Purchas QC4. Robin Purchas QC "Encyclopaedic legal knowledge" and an "intricate grasp of detail" make Purchas the first choice for many promoters of infrastructure, town centre, new settlement, commercial and leisure schemes, and he also has experience as a mediator in planning disputes. Current and recent cases include a major housing scheme near Reading and compensation claims on a National Grid project in Bedfordshire. Purchas's knowledge of conservation and heritage issues came to the fore in recent inquiries in London and Hertfordshire.

Russell Harris QC5. Russell Harris QC Harris combines legal, planning and design knowledge with "commitment and enthusiasm" in a planning practice based around tall buildings and other large-scale developments in London, major infrastructure and energy and legal challenges to planning and related consents. He is involved in several large-scale projects in London, such as Chelsea Barracks and the Commonwealth Institute, as well as advising the mayor on the revised London Plan. Harris is advising National Grid on projects to feed renewable energy into its infrastructure.

More from The Guide to Planning Lawyers 2011-12


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