‘Already considered one of the most capable juniors in the market to represent developers, individual objectors and local authorities’
Chambers and Partners 2017
Victoria has a busy Public Law practice with a particular specialism in Planning and Environmental Law. She is currently ranked as one of the top junior barristers at the Planning Bar (Planning Magazine 2017) and has previously been ranked as one of the top juniors under 35 (Planning Magazine 2014, 2015 and 2016). Victoria has extensive advocacy experience which includes twice appearing in substantive appeals before the Court of Appeal in her own right. She also appears regularly at inquiries and informal hearings.
Victoria has gained considerable experience of Public and Administrative Law in cases touching on a range of subject matters. She has been involved in cases across various different courts and tribunals, including at the European Court of Human Rights. This experience includes immigration and asylum law. She regularly appears in the First Tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.
Victoria graduated from Oxford University with an MA in Modern History before completing her law conversion course and bar exams. She then went on to be graded outstanding in her LLM in public international law from the London School of Economics.
She is also a qualified mediator (ADR Group) and is able to mediate between parties on any dispute which is suitable for such.
Environment, Planning & Property
- Dunsfold Aerodrome, Waverley, Representing POW at this inquiry into 1,800 homes (junior to Paul Stinchcombe Q.C.).
- Cala Homes, Barkham Road, Wokingham (junior to Andrew Tabachnik Q.C.).
- Chippenham Local Plan – promoting allocated site at examination in public.
- Canterbury Local Plan – promoting exception site at examination in public.
- Land at Harrowgate Lane, Stockton-on-Tees – inquiry on behalf of the Council (sole counsel).
- Welbeck Strategic Land (August 2015) – junior to John Steel QC at inquiry for 135 homes at West Yelland.
- The Former Alexandra Public House, 50 Park Road, Kingston upon Thames (15 unit scheme) (sole counsel).
- Barwood Development Securities (2014) – junior to Jeremy Cahill QC at inquiry for 125 homes at Bishop’s Tachbrook.
- Muller Properties (2014) – junior to Jeremy Cahill QC at successful appeal for 100 homes at Alsager.
- Barberry Homes (2014) – junior to Jeremy Cahill QC at successful called-in appeal for 500 new houses, 200 unit care facility and also a mixed use local centre. Successfully obtained an Award of Costs.
- South Somerset District Council (2014) – Junior to John Pugh-Smith at inquiry for up to 110 dwellings.
Infrastructure, Energy and Waste
- M4 Corridor around Newport Inquiry – representing Natural Resources Wales at this 5 month inquiry (with Richard Wald).
- Silvertown Tunnel DCO – advising and representing objector (junior to James Strachan Q.C.).
- Energy from Waste Facility, Sussex – advising and representing two parish councils in both enforcement and planning appeal proceedings.
- IBA (Incinerator Bottom Ash) Facility – advising and representing resident in a challenge to grant of permission by Vale of Glamorgan District Council.
- Advising major UK Port operator regarding the development of a new lorry park facility (junior to Stephen Tromans Q.C.).
- Advising local resident on objection to an application for a single wind turbine near Leeds.
- Herefordshire Council – advising on the application of Water Industry Act 1991 in relation to a housing development’s connection into Welsh Water’s drainage network.
- Wind turbine – advising the developer in the throes of a JR challenge to their permission for a wind turbine and representing them in the Court of Appeal.
- Enclosed Composting Facility – advising a developer in preparation for their planning appeal.
Other significant projects
- Dignity Ltd – acting as junior counsel to Peter Village Q.C. in Dignity’s appeal against the refusal of permission for a new crematorium at combined inquiry in March 2017.
- Plaistow and Ifold Parish Councils – Representing the parish councils at upcoming hearing and inquiry into planning appeal, appeal against Enforcement Notice and appeal against refusal of CLUED application in relation to an energy from waste facility in Sussex.
- Waveney District Council – advising on the bringing forward of a council-owned AAP site (granted permission early 2016).
- Riverene Centre Mosque with 9,000 capacity – acting as junior counsel to John Pugh-Smith appearing for a rule 6 party at a three week inquiry in June 2014. The Secretary of State’s decision is expected February 2015.
Neighbourhood Plans and Assets of Community Value
- Appearing in the First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) on behalf of owners and operators of pubs in their appeals against listing.
- Advising multiple owners of pubs and green spaces during the review and appeal process, subsequent to the buildings/spaces being added to various Councils’ List of Assets of Community Value.
- Advising clients as to the merits of bringing challenges to neighbourhood plans and their likely impact upon proposed development.
Public Rights of Way and Town and Village Greens
- Shropshire County Council – promoting the Shropshire Council (Parish of Llanyblodwel) Modification Order 2010 (two footpaths and one bridleway).
- Shropshire County Council – promoting the Shropshire Council (Footpath Additions, Parish of Pontesbury) Modification Order 2013 (two footpaths).
Traffic and Highways
- M4 Corridor around Newport Inquiry – representing Natural Resources Wales at this upcoming 5 month inquiry (with Richard Wald).
- Silvertown Tunnel DCO – advising and representing objector (junior to James Strachan Q.C.).
- Highways England – advising and representing Highways England in relation to a number of civil claims occurring out of incidents on the highway.
- Leicester City Council – advising and representing the council at an inquiry into a proposed Traffic Regulation Order pedestrianizing part of the city.
Environmental and Rural
- Acting for appellant in an appeal against the revocation of two waste permits and against two Enforcement Notices at inquiry in January 2017 (junior to Stephen Tromans Q.C.).
- Contaminated land – representing housebuilder in called-in part 2A inquiry following the service of a remediation notice by Walsall Borough Council (junior to Stephen Tromans).
- Advising numerous litigants on the merits of instigating environmental judicial review claims.
- Peak District – advising the local authority in bringing contempt of court proceedings.
- Defending the operator of an abattoir against a prosecution brought in response to the alleged emission of noxious smells.
- Staffordshire County Council – advising the local authority in preparation for proceedings before the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.
- Peak District National Park Authority – advising on bringing injunction proceedings against recalcitrant quarry owner.
- Assisted Martin Kingston QC and Hugh Richards in advising on the renewal of minerals permissions at Elstow South (2012).
- Currently acting as sole counsel on behalf of a property investor and major UK retailer in respect of numerous appeals across the country.
- R(on the application of Midcounties Co-operative Ltd) v Swindon BC  EWHC 3775 – acted as junior to Tim Jones on behalf of the successful defendant council defending a planning permission for a Morrison’s supermarket. They also successfully obtained a full award of costs.
- Land at Clydesdale Thorpe Lane, Tingley, Wakefield – Representing landowner at two day enforcement inquiry (January 2016).
- Representing family of travelling show-people at 3-day enforcement and CLUED inquiry (January 2016).
- London Borough of Redbridge, providing advice and representing the authority at upcoming enforcement inquiry (October 2015).
- Representing multiple landowners in prosecutions for breach of Enforcement Notices.
- Stratford Borough Council – advising as to bringing a prosecution for unauthorised works to a listed building (2013).
- Certificates of Lawful Use – advising a private developer as to the meaning and effect of a CLEUD (2013).
- King’s College London, Advising SAVE BRITAIN’S HERITAGE on their opposition to recent controversial development proposals at the university (junior to Richard Harwood Q.C.).
s106 and Community Infrastructure Levy Work
- Advising both local authorities and developers on CIL payments.
- Office of the Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner – advising and representing the police at both hearings and inquiries in order to secure s106 contributions.
- Herefordshire Council – advising the council as to whether a request for educational contributions are compliant with regulation 122 of the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010.
Plan-making / Challenges
- Chippenham Local Plan – representing landowner at examination (2015-16).
- Canterbury Local Plan – representing landowner at examination (2015-16).
- University of Kent (instructed by Farrer & Co) – acting as junior counsel in promoting the University’s interests at Canterbury’s Local Plan.
- Leicestershire Police – representing the Police’s interests at Earl Shilton and Barwell’s Area Action Plan.
- Assisted and took notes for the Inspector at the Solihull Local Plan (2013).
- Assisted Martin Kingston QC and Hugh Richards in preparing a challenge to core strategy (2012).
- BDW Trading – assisted Hugh Richards in preparing representations to an inquiry into the Litchfield Local Plan (2012).
- Victoria’s experience includes making out-of-hours applications for injunctions to prevent environmental damage and also urgent in-hours applications. Most recently this has been to prevent the ploughing of a Local Wildlife Site in Warwickshire.
- Rugby Borough Council, advising generally as to Purchase Notices, amount of compensation and the likelihood of success of a CPO.
- West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (Avon Nunn Mills, Northampton) Compulsory Purchase Order (2012) – assisted Ian Dove QC and Hugh Richards at this CPO inquiry.
Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Work
- Representing a family of travelling showpeople at their enforcement appeal against Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council.
- Dover Borough Council – currently advising the council with regards to two gypsy and traveler sites in their area.
- Leicester City Council – advising the council in dealing with two large planning applications for traveller sites (2013).
- Objecting to development on a Church Tower in Kensington.
Recent High Court/Court of Appeal Work
- Denbighshire County Council v Welsh Ministers – Sole counsel for Defendant at substantive hearing June 2017.
- Ricki Shasha et al v Westminster City Council  EWHC 3283 (Admin);  P.T.S.R.306; J.P.L. 539 – Sole counsel for Claimant.
- Roden v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  EWHC 2701 (Admin) – Sole counsel for the Secretary of State.
- R(oao Surringer) v Vale of Glamorgan Council – Sole counsel in a challenge to planning permission for an IBA processing plant.
- Gering v Natural England, 2014 – Sole counsel in a challenge to a negative screening opinion issued by Natural England which allowed the ploughing of a Local Wildlife Site in the absence of an Environmental Statement, interim injunction to prevent ploughing granted by Lewis J, permission to JR granted by Lang J on all grounds, Natural England recently consented to judgement.
- Exeter St James Form, 2014 – Sole counsel successfully representing the Neighbourhood Forum in commencing the pre-action measures in preparation for the judicial review of a planning consent at Exeter Cricket Club. This led to re-negotiations over the scheme’s design and the Forum withdrawing its High Court challenge. (http://www.exeterstjamesforum.org/news/esjf-newsletter-24)
- R(oao Christopher James Holder) v Gedling Borough Council and Mr and Mrs Charles Jones EWCA Civ 599 – Sole counsel in this case involving material considerations and the court’s exercise of discretion
- R(on the application of Midcounties Co-operative Ltd) v Swindon BC  EWHC 3775 – Acted as junior to Tim Jones on behalf of the successful defendant council defending a planning permission for a Morrison’s supermarket. Full award of costs.
- JB Trustees Ltd v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  EWHC 3555 (Admin) – junior to Satnam Choongh.
Press and Publications
Victoria is currently co-authoring (with Richard Harwood Q.C.) a book on planning policy, due to be published by Bloomsbury in 2017.
‘Timely Challenge’, Procurement & Outsourcing Journal (2015)
‘The Localism Agenda: Assets of Community Value’, Encyclopedia of Local Government Law Bulletin, Sweet & Maxwell (2015)
‘The Localism Agenda: Neighbourhood Plans’, Encyclopedia of Local Government Law Bulletin, Sweet & Maxwell (2015)
‘Pickles Disregards Emerging Strategy’, Planning Magazine (11 July 2014)
‘Planning Practice Guidance: An overview’, RTPI Blog (16 March 2014)
Victoria’s has a broad Public Law practice. She has recently been elected to the Attorney General’s C Panel of counsel.
Her recent work includes:
- Judicial Review challenges
- Planning s288 challenges
- Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
- First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber)
- Human Rights and Civil Liberties
- EC Law
- Healthcare Law
- Prison Law
Immigration, Asylum & Nationality
- Acting on behalf of a number of appellants in their asylum / protection appeals to the First-Tier and Upper Tribunal (cases include refugee convention issues, humanitarian protection, articles 8, 3, 2 and 9 of the ECHR).
- Acting on behalf of appellants in business immigration appeals.
- Deportation appeals before the First-Tier and Upper Tribunal.
- Judicial review applications on behalf of clients who do not benefit from a right of appeal.
- Emergency injunction applications.
- JZ(Zambia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department EWCA Civ 116 – Successful appeal against deportation following an arson offence committed during the 2011 riots.
- LO(Somalia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Upper Tribunal) – Successful appeal against deportation. FTT decision upheld in the UT.
- MSM(Somalia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department – Dealing with whether the expression of a protected right is a peripheral matter or part of core identity – it also deals with the status of concessions by the Secretary of State – junior to S.Chelvan.
- CB(India) and SB(India) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (permission granted by Elias J on 26 March 2014) – Flagrant breach of Article 8 ECHR to remove to India a lesbian couple in a civil partnership. Acting as junior counsel to S.Chelvan.
- SAS v France – Assisting as part of a team of barristers in case before the ECHR.
- Blaise Mendouo and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department – Acting as junior counsel to S. Chelvan in the successful asylum appeals of the 2012 Olympic Cameroonian Boxing Team.
Victoria qualified as a mediator in 2009 (accredited by the ADR Group). She is available for instruction, both as a mediator and as a mediation advocate.
“She impressed when tackling legal conundrums.” Chambers UK 2018
“She is fluid in her addresses to court and has an exceptional writing ability.” Chambers UK 2018
“She’s very efficient and has a commercial acumen that isn’t always present in juniors.” Chambers UK 2018
“She has a good eye for detail and a grasp of the commercial goals.” Chambers UK 2018