“Particularly thorough and forensic in his approach, he is highly focused, diligent, confident and concise, and gets right to the heart of the issues.” The Legal 500 2022
Juan is a well-established practitioner in all planning and major infrastructure disciplines (especially energy and transportation development consent orders (DCOs) and Transport and Works Act Orders (TWAOs), housing and regeneration, and iconic schemes, which is complimented by his work in compulsory purchase (acquisition) and compensation (encompassing wayleaves, road and rail infrastructure, land valuation and trespass), highways and rights of way.
Juan is a leading environmental, energy and natural resources practitioner, comprising consenting and enforcement, waste (including shipments and international disposals), contaminated land, climate change, coastal and marine defence, environmental impact assessments (EIA)/SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment), habitats, water, air quality, nuisance, agriculture and sustainability.
Juan’s energy regulatory and disputes practice incorporates the breadth of the energy supply and distribution network infrastructure, code rights, infrastructure wayleave agreements as well as regulation and licensing under the Gas and Electricity Acts, before tribunals and in arbitration and ad hoc mediation.
Juan’s construction and property (commercial) disputes practice typically includes high value construction defects, surety liability, asbestos, estate contracts, overage, and options, with experience across domestic and international jurisdictions (EU, Southeast Asia, UAE) before the Technology and Construction Court (TCC) and Chancery Division, and in arbitration.
Juan also advises on heavyweight environmental and land tax liabilities, including landfill tax (loss on ignition (LOI) sampling, temporary infrastructure, quarry exemptions and organic waste) and the UK Climate Change Levy and CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.
Areas of expertise
Juan has a strong planning law practice and includes the following areas of expertise:
-- Development Consent Orders and Infrastructure
Juan has wide experience of national and major infrastructure, of development consent order-making and examination, and of Transport and Works Act order-making, in addition to related compulsory acquisition and compensation matters. Juan is especially familiar with energy generation (renewables/other) and transportation projects, having worked in conjunction with applicants, infrastructure bodies, energy suppliers and distribution network operators, as well as for objectors. Projects include renewables, strategic road and rail, bridges, tunnel schemes and accommodation works, and town centre improvements. Juan is often instructed to advise from the early design stage of an infrastructure project, and on strategy generally (including optioneering, alternatives and environmental and habitats assessments).
Cases of note:
- Solar and wind - Solar farms and grid connectivity; onshore wind (Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, and East Riding) and offshore wind (Sheringham Shoal).
- Biomass power, energy-from-waste and incineration plants - Advising on digestion processing, gas capture capacity, waste management and transfer processes, and coalescence (Kent, Suffolk, Norfolk, Devon).
- Nuclear - Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station. Advising in connection with DCO conformity and transport assessment (public consultation and planning performance agreement stages: Examination Authority Q&As).
- Road and rail: M20; M25 junctions, links, and relief improvements (Silvertown; Uttoxeter bypass); Northants rail strategic interchange; railway bridge infrastructure (various) - acting for promoters and objectors to wide-ranging strategic transportation schemes and mitigations, in addition to CPO-acquiring road and town centre improvement schemes.
- Wayleaves - Advising electricity companies, landowners and statutory parties (UKPN, EPN, SSE, EDF, RBKC) on wayleave solutions, electrical lines (cable undergrounding and overheads), supporting infrastructure and pylon replacement; digital fixed-line infrastructure wayleaves; related land valuation and compensation, and trespass (various sites).
- Water - Advising landowners and water utilities on water/sewerage supply connections (various sites).
- Mining - Highthorn (Northumberland) opencast mine: co-promoting one of the last UK opencast mines consent applications, considering Paris Agreement commitments, energy mix and security of supply, and mine operational management.
Juan has experience of UK nuclear builds, scoping and site assessment, the DCO process and examination, energy mix and security of supply, related transport, environmental and impact assessments, the development interface with designated and protected sites, interested party objections and consultation, and planning performance agreements.
Cases of Note
- Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station - Advising in connection with DCO conformity and transport assessment (at public consultation and planning performance agreement stages: Examining Authority Q&As).
-- Planning Applications and Appeals
Juan has appeared in over 50 planning inquiries and appeal hearings. Juan advises landowners, developers, national infrastructure bodies, and objectors on urban extension or new settlement housing and care/extra care proposals (18 schemes since 2017), sports, entertainment and leisure uses, luxury business clubs and other economic development, often within the context of greenfield, Green Belt, Conservation Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), National Park, and Opportunity Areas designations, and presumption in favour of sustainable development. Juan acts in relation to tall buildings, iconic schemes, and regeneration. He commonly advises on site assessment, alternatives, five-year supply, housing numbers, viability, and ecological and amenity impacts.
Juan also advises widely on developer and surety liabilities, estate contracts, and overage and options.
Juan has particular experience of onward Planning Court challenges.
Cases of note:
- Residential: 1,250 units, Kent - promoting regeneration of 50 ha+ of best and most versatile (BMV) agricultural land.
- Tall Buildings, central London - Shell Centre, SE1 redevelopment - co-promoting eight buildings (up to 37 storeys) for residential, retail and community/leisure uses.
- Thameside West, Silvertown - Advising London Mayor for Planning & Regeneration on Direction for Tall Buildings redevelopment, site clearance and flood defence within an Opportunity Area.
- Longines Global Champions Tour, Kensington Palace Gardens (inaugural London equestrian tournament) - Promoting for consortium companies.
- Iconic development - Burberry Building, Haymarket, SW1 (promoting for Principality of Monaco); 12 Hay Hill, Mayfair W1 (luxury business members club: promoting for consortium companies); Portland Place, Marylebone W1 (residential; set for The King’s Speech: promoting).
- Wireless Festival, Finsbury Park N4 - Promoting for Ticketmaster UK/festival organiser.
- UK leading horticulturist hubs, Kent - advising on farm hub viability and planning implications of crop rate of return, crop modelling, costs and pricing, yield and productivity, and usability of alternatives.
-- Compulsory Purchase and Compensation
Juan is highly knowledgeable in compulsory purchase (acquisition) and compensation, which often coincides with wayleaves or infrastructure consenting. Juan represents landowners and acquiring authorities, typically in energy, transportation, town regeneration and housing-specific contexts, and is experienced at public inquiry (prematurity, optioneering, alternatives, consultation and negotiation failures) and in Lands Tribunal proceedings, as well as in complex compensation assessments (CPOs/other). Juan is experienced in compensation, in both litigation and mediation, including against HS2 and for/against infrastructure bodies (Network Rail, energy suppliers and distribution network operators, utilities), involving planning assumptions, business/management time loss, betterment, ransom, access, amenity impacts and material detriment, saleability, hypothetical purchase assessment, and general valuation.
Cases of Note:
- Energy infrastructure - Necessary wayleaves for pylons and electric lines: advising (at pre-compensation strategy stage) electricity distribution operator and landowners on easements, planning betterment and saleability, compensation assessments for Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) references, and trespass (various).
- Energy infrastructure - Implied wayleaves: advising landowners on trespass/injurious affection claims, advising on development valuations, ransom land strips and damages (e.g. London Borough of Southwark v Kingpin Ltd; Vumpine (University of Manchester) v SoS) (various).
- Rail infrastructure - Statutory compensation references involving Network Rail Infrastructure Limited as compensating authority, under Railway Regulation Act 1842 agreements; interference to business from urgent rail safety works; permitted remediation and reinstatement to riverbed sections under licensee control.
- Road infrastructure and parking - Highways England (A2 & Ebbsfleet Junction) CPO ; Essex County Council (Chelmsford City Centre) (Cycle Route) CPO ; Leicester City Centre CPO ; Leeds City Council (East Leeds Orbital Road) CPO ; A50 Trunk Road (Uttoxeter Growth Corridor) CPO ; M20 Lorry Park, Kent (in conjunction with Operation Stack) .
- Telecommunications infrastructure - Advising London local authorities on compensation liabilities from a  district-wide, digital fixed-line infrastructure wayleave agreement; mast developments (various).
- Ransom valuation claims (various).
- Landowner blight notices, including from electrical lines and supporting infrastructure (corona discharge, general material detriment and saleability) (various).
-- Planning Enforcement
Juan advises landowners and enforcing authorities on complex planning enforcement matters, throughout the process, including on the vires of enforcement action, the formulation of notices, procedural compliance, and expediency, in planning and waste planning.
Cases of note:
- Park Crescent, W1.
- Millennium Hotel, W1.
- Howard de Walden Estate, W1.
- Tideway Wharf, Battersea, SW14.
- Kensington W8: unit amalgamations and basement redevelopment; conditioned construction management plan breaches.
- Waste processing facility, Suffolk: County inert waste crushing, storage and transportation mixed use.
- Hampstead Garden Suburb: unauthorised residential development (various).
-- Local Plans
Juan acts for landowners, developers, objectors and planning authorities, in submitting local plan representations and in related statutory challenges brought under s113 Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (PCPA) 2004. Juan recently advised on aspects of the geographically largest Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD) within England and Wales.
-- Judicial Review and statutory challenges
Juan frequently acts in related Administrative Court proceedings on behalf of landowners, developers and objectors, whether defending or resisting planning permissions approving development, including in judicial review, and statutory challenges brought under s288 Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) 1990 and s.113 PCPA 2004.
Cases of note:
- Aireborough Neighbourhood Development Forum v Leeds City Council  EWHC 1461 (Admin) (s.113 PCPA 2004 claim);  EWHC 2183 (Admin) (Relief) - Proposed housing allocations/broad locations for growth in Green Belt (geographically largest UK development plan adoption/examination).
- Thornhill Estates Ltd v SSCLG  EWHC 3663 (Admin) - Housing benefits and mitigations.
- R (oao Network Rail) v SSEFRA  EWCA Civ 2069 - Housing enablement in connection with highway stopping up.
- Mansell v Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council  EWCA Civ 1314 - Planning fallback implementation; presumption in favour of sustainable development.
- Kendall v Rochford District Council  Env LR 21 - Adequacy of environmental impact assessment (SEA/EIR); reasonable alternatives assessment; compliance with Statement of Community Involvement.
- Cogent LLP v Rochford District Council  EWHC 2542 (Admin) - SEA challenge to core strategy housing policies; general housing locations; reasonable alternatives.
- South Northamptonshire Council v SSCLG  EWHC 11 (Admin) - Due priority of statutory development plan in decision-making; national and regional need for onshore wind development.
- R (oao Save Britain’s Heritage) v SSCLG and Gateshead MBC  EWHC 2919 - meaning of demolition in EIA development; ‘salami-slicing’ and phased regeneration; lawfulness of prior approval.
-- Highways and Rights of Way
Juan is an experienced practitioner in highway law, highly contentious rights of way matters, and pedestrian/vehicular access rights. Juan advises widely on highway construction defect and repair liabilities (developer and surety), erosion, subsidence, flooding, obstruction, nationally strategic traffic management systems and multi-agency contingencies (e.g. Operations ‘Brock’ and ‘Stack’), the National Cycling Network, and highway authority duties.
Juan has represented infrastructure bodies, landowners and objectors at more than 20 public inquiries, inviting definitive map modification order (DMMO) confirmation (Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981; Highways Act 1980; Town and Country Planning Act 1990). Landmark Administrative Court proceedings at which Juan has represented, involving leading rights of way judgments, include R (oao Ramblers Association) v SSEFRA  EWHC 716 (Admin) (statutory incompatibility and illegality) and R (oao Network Rail) v SSEFRA  EWCA Civ 2069 (development, necessity and stopping up).
Juan addresses national transportation groups, including the Northern Transport and Infrastructure Development Forum (reformulation of Northern Powerhouse initiative in synchrony with highway redevelopment and the UK’s transport growth strategy).
Cases of note:
- Advising on Operation Brock HGV traffic management system, for remediating Port of Dover/Eurotunnel disruption, in conjunction with A20 Dover Tap queuing system and Kent Access Permitting.
- Advising on private maintenance responsibilities for the National Cycling Network, in conjunction with ameliorating highway damage caused by the River Tyne and riverbank erosion.
- Cheddar Gorge: highway damage and flood risk.
- Promoting Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) s.120 Highways Act 1980 and other orders for the extinguishment or diversion of public rights over operational railway land and moor land (various).
- Promoting/objecting to the creation, substitution or extinguishment of public rights of way (arguing statutory and common law dedication; use ‘as of right’; statutory incompatibility; illegality; s57 of the British Transport Commission Act 1949; Railway Clauses Consolidation Act 1845) (various).
- R (oao Ramblers) v SSEFRA  EWHC 716 (Admin) - s.31, Highways Act 1980; deemed dedication and statutory incompatibility.
- R (oao Network Rail) v SSEFRA  EWCA Civ 2069 - s.259, Town and Country Planning Act 1990; stopping up in conjunction with development build-out.
Juan has a heavyweight environmental law practice and advises on all aspects of SEA and EIA (all development), biodiversity and habitats, conservation, all major environmental designations and protections, net zero and climate change implications, air quality, biodiversity gain, coastal defence, marine licensing and protection, flooding, riparian rights, water and sewerage, land contamination and pollution controls, and nuisance, across the varying contexts of infrastructure and development consenting, regulation, enforcement, offences and civil liability.
Juan has particular expertise in renewables and waste (hazardous/other) within UK, EU and other international jurisdictions (including Southeast Asia and UAE) and advises operators and enforcement bodies on the waste hierarchy (Waste Directive), UK waste processing and management best practice, incineration and gasification recycling processes, and gas capture, from both operator and regulator perspectives. Juan has represented a series of UK-based energy-from-waste and recycling operators, including as part of extra-territorial litigation engaging multiple environmental regulators and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in relation to large-scale waste repatriations from Sri Lanka, India and the Middle East.
Juan advises and lectures on the climate change and air quality implications of development and facility operations, and land remediation. Juan advises regularly on the interface between infrastructure planning, energy and environmental law spheres in respect of net zero and climate change, most recently in connection with the UK Government’s North Sea Transition Deal 2021 and British Energy Security Strategy 2022.
Cases of Note
- Advising energy-from-waste operators.
- Advising landowners on environmental processes in conjunction with strategic coastal defence, public consultation, and flood infrastructure EIA.
- Advising landowners on hydrology impacts of development (including hydro-ecology, discharge consenting from waste releases, marine modelling and licensing).
- Representing a landowner in high value leachate contamination claim.
- Advising Cheddar Gorge landowner on fluvial process, flooding and land erosion liabilities.
- Advising major UK horticultural hub on estate-wide soil classification, enrichment, and a business viability appraisal on hail risk in conjunction with major redevelopment.
- EA v Hughes  EWHC 2484 (QB) -- Acting for operator, resisting Environment Agency (EA) enforcement against a waste transfer facility and onsite combustible waste disposals; restraint order and committal proceedings.
- R (oao Save Britain’s Heritage) v SSCLG and Gateshead MBC  - Lawfulness of prior approval; meaning of ‘demolition’ in EIA development; ‘salami-slicing’ in the context of phased redevelopment of Bridging Newcastle Gateshead regeneration scheme.
-- Environmental Tax
Juan acts for appellants in HMRC landfill tax assessments on appeal (valuations up to £6m), in mediation and litigation before the First-tier and Upper Tribunals. Juan also advises more generally on environmental taxes, levies, exemptions and allowances, including on the UK Climate Change Levy and UK CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (fuel exemptions and capital allowance discounting).
Cases of Note:
- Landfill tax assessment [£2.4m value]: First-tier Tribunal (Tax) .
- Hardship certification for appeal (Finance Act 1994) [£4m+ value]: HMRC review .
- Landfill tax assessment appeal of [£2m+ value]: First-tier Tribunal (Tax) : quarry and dredging exemptions.
- Landfill tax assessment and penalty appeal [£5m+ value]: First-tier Tribunal (Tax) : LOI testing, cell buffer layering, temporary infrastructure off-setting, and taxable disposals.
Energy and Natural Resources
Juan’s comprehensive energy law practice encompasses commercial energy disputes and compensation, energy infrastructure consenting and energy regulation.
Juan advises UK energy suppliers and distribution operators in respect of energisation (I/DNOs) and the various power generation industries including renewables, oil and gas, and electricity on wide-ranging matters including network connection agreements, on/off-site power purchase agreements (PPAs), transportation networks, transmission above ground installations (AGIs), network code rights, electricity Capacity Market National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO) decision-making, regulation and enforcement under the Gas and Electricity Acts, and codes and licences (Ofgem and Energy Ombudsman), in arbitration and ad hoc mediation, and proceedings.
Juan has also represented a series of UK energy-from-waste and recycling operators, including as part of extra-territorial litigation engaging multiple environmental regulators and NGOs in relation to large-scale waste repatriations from Sri Lanka, India and the Middle East
As part of his infrastructure consenting practice, Juan is experienced in infrastructure wayleave agreements, decommissioning arrangements, and the strategic implications of UK energy strategies for promoting renewables (including biomass) and cleaner energy growth, climate change, decarbonisation and greenhouse gas emission reduction, and maintaining security of supply.
Cases of note:
- Advising developers on the net zero and climate change emergency declaration implications of energy, commercial and residential development.
- Acting for a consortium of UK energy-from-waste facilities (including a port operator) in UK, EU and non- Organisation for E
- Advising recycling facilities on multilateral agreements (including the Basel Convention) governing the licensing and transfer of waste to UAE, and UK/UAE repatriation controls.
- Advising UK energy-from-waste and incineration plant operators (Kent, Suffolk, Norfolk, Devon) on facility capacity for gas capture and digestion processing.
- Advising electricity distribution operator on Capacity Market NGESO regulation.
- Advising on continued permitting of renewable gas/anaerobic digester (energy-from-waste) development; the implications of renewable gas energy generation for the natural gas grid; quantification of ‘green energy’ outputs (slurry; food waste).
- Advising an agricultural enterprise on energy law implications of agricultural biomass-to-pharmaceutical processing.
- Acting for applicants and objectors in wayleave applications, in conjunction with schedule 4 Electricity Act 1989; electricity distribution licensing; Engineering Recommendation P2/7; electricity circuit diversion; the Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002; Ofgem’s Health Index.
- Co-promoting one of the last working UK surface/opencast mines, considering Paris Agreement commitments in conjunction with UK energy mix and security of supply, wetlands and marine protection, clean energy growth, and operational management.
Juan represents developers, contractors, landowners, sureties and local authorities in construction disputes and litigation arising in connection with a wide range of construction defects and failures, defective repair, asbestos, and disruption. Juan appears in the TCC, Chancery Division and Commercial Court.
Juan also writes on the developing influence of energy and environmental law principles, standards and practices, on construction and engineering disputes and litigation, especially in respect of renewable energy technologies and infrastructure, as well as on the UK construction industry’s drive to maximise energy conservation and efficiencies (in particular, under the Building Regulations and Energy Performance Directive objectives, within the context of (delivery and embodied) decarbonisation and net zero and sustainability engineering in defect and repair claims).
Cases of Note:
- Representing claimant in breach of contract and declaration claim for defective (phased) construction, alignment and levelling-off of carriageways (TCC).
- Representing claimant in breach of contract claim to enforce surety provisions under s38 Highways Act 1980 agreement in respect of engineering and construction failures (TCC).
- Advising sports track tenant on potential freeholder liabilities arising from occupational exposure to asbestos sheeting contained within track bunds, the consenting arrangements for future bund excavation and relocation works, and asbestos burial and soil contamination in connection with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
- Advising a landowner on defective flood drainage works, arising from land slippage, obstructing access to Cheddar Gorge.
- Advising a consortium of retail businesses on defective construction of coastal defence scheme, including land erosion implications, the geotechnical assessment of remedial optioneering, and wave action impact assessment and strategic management.
- Advising a landowner on contractual liabilities in conjunction with pier stabilising and redevelopment works, scaffolding and the implications of proximate coastal defence works.
- Representing a rail infrastructure body in relation to alleged underbridge defects, repair responsibilities, and maintenance works, ground and riverbank reinforcement works.
- Advising a major bus transportation operator on defective junction design and modelling (network loading) preceding a highways safety audit for over-capacity links.
- Advising a residential property owner adjoining an underpass undergoing extension and repair works.
Juan is experienced in commercial disputes and litigation, particularly in respect of energy, infrastructure planning and all areas of environmental licensing.
Juan acts in commercial disputes involving and property and land and marine development. He appears in the Commercial Court, TCC, Chancery Division and First-tier and Upper Tribunals (Property; Lands Chamber).
Juan advises on wayleaves (including Electricity Act 1989 applications), easements and restrictive covenants (including pedestrian or vehicular rights), trespass, infrastructure decommissioning liabilities, proprietary estoppel (including representation estoppel), overage (including calculation, discharge and ADR), options, planning performance and development agreements (including estate contracts), marine and dredging rights, and riparian and mooring rights (including in conjunction with repair obligations and fishing).
Commentaries across the UK Bar directories, including The Legal 500 2021, Chambers and Partners UK Bar and the Planning Magazine’s Planning Law Survey have rated Juan over many years, and say:
“Very professional and diligent. A highly skilled advocate and able to turn the tables from friendly to challenging cross-examination at a moment’s notice. Uses his experience to open up unforeseen opportunities during cross-examination. A real future star QC.” The Legal 500 
“Robust. Well-organised. Great presentation.” The Legal 500 
“…a force in matters concerning climate change, flood alleviation, coastal defence schemes and ecology.” The Legal 500 
“…commercially aware...extremely professional and diligent.” The Legal 500 
“...accessible and tenacious practitioner who has achieved some spectacular results.” The Legal 500 
“Very knowledgeable, concise, proactive and user friendly.” The Legal 500 
“...a tenacious advocate who really fights his corner.” The Legal 500 
“...a relaxed and clear style...” The Legal 500