James Findlay KC

Silk: 2008 | Call: 1984

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James Findlay KC
Daniel Gatt, Senior Practice Manager

James Findlay KC, called 1984, is and for many years has been recognised in both Legal 500 and Chambers UK as a leading practitioner in the fields of planning and environment, local government, administrative and public, and licensing law. He was a previous Head of Chambers and currently sits on its management board.

Chambers UK 2023 notes that “James is one of the very best planning advocates operating across the UK”. He habitually handles judicial reviews and statutory appeals at many of the highest courts in the UK, including the Supreme Court.

His practice also includes Compulsory Purchase, Commercial & Regulatory and Property work.

His client base is broad, including private developers, planning consultants, local authorities as well as individuals via direct access. He continues to be retained by Guildford BC, leading a team from Cornerstone Barristers, following successful adoption of their Local Plan. His practice is varied, from representing the NFU before Select Committees on HS2 to appearing at licensing hearings.

James was called as an Advocate in Scotland in 2008 and took silk there in 2017. He is Vice-Chair of Terra Firma Chambers and is Chair of the Scottish Planning, Local Government and Environmental Bar Group, and is recognised as a leading practitioner in Scotland in the Guides for similar areas of law as in England, Chambers UK 2023 identifying him as the leading counsel at the Scottish Bar on planning and Legal 500 2023 as the “top planning silk in Scotland”. 

Supreme Court appearances include:

Trump v Scottish Ministers [2015] UKSC 74
Uprichard v Scottish Ministers [2013] UKSC 21
Tesco Stores Ltd v Dundee City Council [2012] UKSC 13
Welwyn Hatfield v SOSCLG [2011] UKSC 15, [2011] 2 A.C. 304
Multilink Leisure Developments v North Lanarkshire Council [2010] UKSC 47
R (Sacker) v West Yorkshire Coroner [2004] UKHL 11
Al-Ameri v RBKC [2004] UKHL 4
Birmingham v Oakley [2001] 1 A.C. 617