Justine Thornton QC

Year of call:

+44 (0)20 7832 1190

“She is very sought after”


“A great advocate with a fierce intellect”

“Her client skills are phenomenal”

“Excellent judgment “
Chambers & Partners / Legal 500

Justine Thornton has been appointed to become a High Court Judge, with effect from 25 February 2019.  From 2006 – 2018, Justine Thornton QC specialised in environmental, planning and energy law.  She was widely regarded as a leader in her field and was instructed on some of the biggest transport and energy infrastructure projects in the UK.  She was Counsel in one of the longest environmental trials in the UK over environmental damage in Colombia.  She acted in the largest environmental settlement to date in the UK, arising out of an oil spill in Nigeria.

Justine stood out for her experience in representing all sides in controversial high profile projects.  Clients included: Department for Energy and Climate Change; EDF; Southern Water; Department for Transport; Greenpeace; Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs; United Utilities; the Environment Agency; Friends of the Earth, as well as local residents concerned to protect the environment.

From May 2017 – January 2019 Justine sat as a Deputy High Court Judge. She also sat as a  Recorder during 2018.   In 2015, she was appointed a Visiting Professor of Law at University College London, Faculty of Law.  On being appointed to the High Court Bench she will step down from her role as Visiting Professor and take up position as a Distinguished Judicial Visitor with the Faculty at University College, London.

Practice Areas:

  • Planning Environment and Property
  • Energy and Natural Resources
  • Administrative and Public
  • Information Rights


  • Energy
  • Infrastructure


“She is very sought after” (Chambers & Partners)

Sources describe Justine Thornton as “exceptional” in terms of her “clarity of advice” and also single her out for her “excellent grasp of legal and tactical issues” (Chambers & Partners)

“A great advocate with a fierce intellect.” (Chambers & Partners)

She has a fantastically charming and engaging advocacy style” (Chambers & Partners)

Her client skills are phenomenal; she is very calm, focused and knowledgeable, and instantly instils confidence.” (Chambers & Partners)

Her courtroom manner is terrific and she is dedicated, hard working and cheerful in her approach” (Chambers & Partners)

She is on top of everything and pleasant to deal with providing excellent judgement and a good rapport with clients” (Legal 500)

“Excellent with clients even when faced with a large number of individual claimants in the context of a group action.” (Legal 500)

A team player, who is quick to grasp the key points and assimilate complex and dense material” (Legal 500)

She gets very complex sets of facts over to the Judge very effectively” (Chambers & Partners)

“A safe pair of hands who gives pragmatic advice” (Chambers & Partners)

Extremely bright, hardworking, and knowledgeable” (Legal 500)

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

Barrister portfolio


Click the + icon next to any barrister to add their profile to this portfolio.

Barrister Call CV Email