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Philip Kolvin

Dr Alex Williams

Called
2017
Telephone
020 7242 4986
Clerk
Sam Collins
CV
Email

Alex joined Cornerstone in 2018 and accepts instructions in all of Chambers' core areas.

Alex is developing a broad practice that focuses primarily on public law and human rights, with an emphasis on social housing and planning, but also encompasses commercial law, licensing and information law.

He advises, drafts and regularly appears in both the civil and criminal courts for central and local government and private clients. As a pupil he appeared as junior counsel at a major 3-week planning inquiry and assisted his supervisors with a broad range of work involving High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court proceedings.

Formerly Lecturer in Law and Co-Director of the Human Rights Centre at Durham University, Alex is a distinguished academic writer with years of high-level research experience and internationally-recognised expertise in public law and human rights.

Alex's PhD concerned the applicability of judicial review and human rights obligations to non-state actors. His research is particularly relevant to hybrid bodies such as housing associations who are facing public-law challenge, whether as defendants to a claim, or as claimants on the receiving end of a public-law defence. As an academic lawyer his advice was often sought by barristers and solicitors having to grapple with these issues. He also acted as a consultant to the Law Commission.

Alex has published widely in the field of public law and human rights in high-profile journals such as the Law Quarterly Review, Modern Law Review, Public Law and Judicial Review. He has lectured to expert audiences in many countries across the world. He is co-author of a major public-law textbook, Text, Cases and Materials on Public Law and Human Rights (4th edn, Routledge, 2016), which serves as core reading on many undergraduate law courses in England and Wales. In addition to his tenured post at Durham University he has held visiting fellowships at Cambridge University, University College London and UNSW, Sydney.

Alex studied at Cambridge (BA, MA), Durham (MJur, PhD) and BPP (BPTC). As a student he received a number of awards for academic and mooting achievement, scored the highest marks in his year in two BPTC modules including 99% in Judicial Review, and appeared before the First-tier Tribunal on social security matters as a Free Representation Unit advocate.

Overview

Alex is keen to apply his considerable research expertise in the field to his practice. His recent experience as a pupil includes:

  • Dulgheriu v Ealing London Borough Council [2018] EWHC 1667 (Admin): assisted Kuljit Bhogal and Tara O'Leary in their successful defence of a Public Spaces Protection Order creating a no-protest zone around the local Marie Stopes clinic.
  • Davies v Hertfordshire County Council [2018] EWCA 379: assisted Andy Lane and Tara O'Leary in successfully resisting an appeal on public-law grounds against a local authority's decision to repossess tied accommodation from a former school caretaker.
  • R (Cherished Marks Sussex Ltd) v Secretary of State for Transport (April 2018, Administrative Court, unreported): assisted Estelle Dehon in successfully defending a judicial review claim in respect of the Government's vehicle licensing regime.

Overview

Alex already has a busy practice in the social housing field, mostly representing local authorities and housing associations in proceedings for possession, injunctions, closure orders and domestic violence protection orders.

Events

Cornerstone Barristers Housing Conference 2018
02.10.2018

1
Hosted by the Cornerstone Housing Team, the conference will provide a thorough analysis of the latest developments in housing law and policy, as well as practical advice on a wide....

Seminar - Public law defences to possession claims
06.06.2018

1
This seminar seeks to explain and explore the myriad public law and discrimination challenges often seen in defences to residential possession claims brought on discretionary and/or mandatory grounds. It is aimed....

Overview

Alex has a growing planning practice. He recently acted for a local authority as junior to Emma Dring at a major 3-week planning inquiry, and is acting for the defendant in a visual amenity prosecution brought by a local authority under s 216 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. As a pupil he assisted Estelle Dehon with devising the arguments for two High Court hearings: Amstel Group Corp v SSCLG [2018] EWHC 633 (Admin) and Squire v Shropshire Council [2018] EWHC 1730 (Admin). He also has experience of drafting grounds for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

News

Response to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee's inquiry on fracking
24.04.2018
Some of our planning barristers have responded to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee's inquiry into planning guidance on fracking. You can read the response here.  Our barristers have extensive experience in....

Overview

Alex is keen to continue building on his experience in the commercial law field. He regularly drafts and appears in court on behalf of private clients in commercial tenancy and other contractual disputes. He was recently involved, as junior to Philip Coppel QC, with drafting pleadings in complex High Court litigation involving a global investment bank.

Overview

Alex has experience of both freedom of information and data protection law including the new GDPR, on which he has given training to local authorities and housing associations. As a pupil he assisted Estelle Dehon with the drafting of a complex information sharing agreement between a number of public authorities.

Alex's Publications:

1st September 2018

  • 'The Pointlessness of Section 6(5) HRA 1998' [2018] Judicial Review 128-244.
  • 'Judicial Review and Monopoly Power: Some Sceptical Thoughts' (2017) 133 Law Quarterly Review 656-682.
  • 'Public Authorities and the HRA 1998: Recent Trends' [2017] Judicial Review 247-262.
  • 'Public Functions and Amenability: Recent Trends' [2017] Judicial Review 15-26.
  • 'The British Bill of Rights Debate: Lessons from Australia' [2016] Public Law 471-490 (with George Williams).
  • Text, Cases and Materials on Public Law and Human Rights (4th edn, Routledge, 2016) (with Helen Fenwick and Gavin Phillipson).
  • 'Strasbourg's Public-Private Divide and the British Bill of Rights' [2015] European Human Rights Law Review 617-630.
  • 'Public and Private: Neither Deep Nor Meaningful?', in Kit Barker and Darryn Jensen (eds), Private Law: Key Encounters with Public Law (Cambridge University Press, 2013) 45-88 (with William Lucy).
  • 'The Scope of Section 6 HRA Revisited' UK Constitutional Law Blog (28 October 2013)
  • 'Horizontal Effect and the Constitutional Constraint' (2011) 74(6) Modern Law Review 878-910 (with Gavin Phillipson).
  • 'A Fresh Perspective on Hybrid Public Authorities under the Human Rights Act: Private Contractors, Rights-Stripping and "Chameleonic" Horizontal Effect' [2011] Public Law 139-163.
  • 'What is a Public Authority?', in David Hoffman (ed), The Impact of the UK Human Rights Act on Private Law (Cambridge University Press, 2011) 48-65.
  • 'Devolution', in Helen Fenwick and Gavin Phillipson, Text, Cases and Materials on Public Law and Human Rights (3rd edn, Routledge, 2010) 232-294 (with Gavin Phillipson).
  • 'YL v Birmingham City Council: Contracting out and "functions of a public nature"' [2008] European Human Rights Law Review 524-531.
  • Planning and Environment Bar Association
  • Social Housing Law Association

News

Response to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee's inquiry on fracking

24th April 2018

Some of our planning barristers have responded to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee's inquiry into planning guidance on fracking. You can read the response here.  Our barristers have extensive experience in....

EVENT

Cornerstone Barristers Housing Conference 2018

2nd October 2018

1

Hosted by the Cornerstone Housing Team, the conference will provide a thorough analysis of the latest developments in housing law and policy, as well as practical advice on a wide....

EVENT

Seminar - Public law defences to possession claims

6th June 2018

1

This seminar seeks to explain and explore the myriad public law and discrimination challenges often seen in defences to residential possession claims brought on discretionary and/or mandatory grounds. It is aimed....