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Philip Kolvin

John Fitzsimons

Called
2016
Telephone
020 7242 4986
Clerk
Sam Collins
CV
Email

John accepts instructions in all areas of Chambers' work. In particular, John is developing a broad practice in Administrative & Public law, Planning & Environmental law, Data Protection and Freedom of Information and Housing.

John regularly appears in a range of courts and inquiries both on his own and as a junior. He can also be instructed directly as a public access barrister.

John joined Chambers in September 2017 after completing pupillage under the supervision of Andy Lane, Dean Underwood, Estelle Dehon and Philip Coppel QC. He is now developing a versatile practice encompassing all areas of Chambers' work. He is regularly instructed by a wide variety of public and private clients including local authorities, central government and housing associations.

Before coming to the Bar, John worked at the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and as a paralegal in a leading Irish law firm. He interned at JUSTICE and the Court of Justice of the European Union and tutored Public Law and European Law to undergraduate and postgraduate law students.

John has a degree in Law and French from Trinity College Dublin and a BCL degree from the University of Oxford (Worcester College).

John enjoys volunteering and is always looking for new volunteering opportunities. He is a Bar Pro Bono Unit volunteer and has previously volunteered with the Free Representation Unit, the Irish Innocence Project, the Voluntary Tuition Programme of Trinity College Dublin and Vocalise Prison Debating.

John is accredited for public access work. This means he can be instructed by anyone directly. Enquiries about this are welcomed.

Overview

John gained substantial experience of planning and environmental law during pupillage and is now developing his own practice in this area.

John has experience acting for local authorities in prosecuting environmental offences, including conducting one local authority's first prosecution under the Health Act 2006 in relation to the use of Shisha pipes within an enclosed premises. John also has experience acting for defendants in environmental proceedings.

During pupillage John assisted Estelle Dehon in a two week planning inquiry resisting a residential scheme of up to 200 units which involved housing land supply and heritage issues. He was subsequently instructed as a junior with Dr Ashley Bowes in a planning inquiry involving heritage and landscape issues in which he and Dr Bowes successfully resisted the proposed housing scheme, despite the existence of a housing land supply deficit.

During pupillage, John assisted in various High Court and Court of Appeal cases on environmental law and planning law issues. These include:


- Keenan v Woking Borough Council [2017] EWCA Civ 438 (assisting Estelle Dehon as a pupil)

- Burford v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2017] EWHC 1493 (Admin) (assisting Estelle Dehon as a pupil).

- Preston New Road Action Group and Gayzer Frackman v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2017] EWHC 808 (Admin) (assisting Estelle Dehon and Marc Willers QC as a pupil).

John is comfortable with planning and environmental advisory work and during pupillage advised on a range of matters including, the application of a s106 planning obligation, implementation of a forty year old planning permission, enforcement issues and variation of conditions.

John also has an excellent understanding of the needs of clients in the environmental and planning sectors, having been seconded to a local authority's planning team during pupillage.

Cases

Housing scheme refused in-spite of 3-year land supply
11.09.2017
Ashley Bowes and John Fitzsimons have successfully represented Braintree District Council to resist an appeal for 65 residential units at Finchingfield Road, Steeple Bumpstead, Essex. The Inspector accepted the Council's submission....

Overview

Data Protection and Freedom of Information
John has a particular interest in data protection and information rights having sat with information rights specialists Estelle Dehon and Philip Coppel QC during pupillage. As a result, he has been instructed by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport on matters relating to the new Data Protection Bill and is currently acting in a long running damages claim against a public body for breach of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Local Government
As a pupil John gained an insight into local government work following a secondment to a local authority's planning team. He also assisted Philip Coppel QC with a range of local government matters including advisory work in relation to the execution of deeds. John has also assisted Andy Lane in advising on appeals against liability orders for unpaid council tax.

Immigration
As part of the GLD "junior junior" scheme, John has experience in drafting summary grounds of defence for immigration proceedings.

As a pupil, John assisted Estelle Dehon at a substantive judicial review in the High Court (R (on the application of Muhammad v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 745 (Admin) on unlawful detention and assisted with substantive judicial reviews in the Upper Tribunal.

Overview

John has a broad range of experience in housing law and property matters. He regularly appears on behalf of landlords in possession claims against tenants and trespassers. John's experience of possession claims also extends to drafting proceedings and advising clients on prospects of success.

John regularly acts on behalf of landlords in applications for injunctions whether for breach of tenancy agreements or to prohibit anti-social behaviour.

John was supervised by Andy Lane and Dean Underwood during his pupillage. As a result, he also gained experience in homelessness appeals, landlord and tenant disputes, housing licensing matters and complex possession proceedings.

John is comfortable advising clients on a wide range of housing issues and has particular experience in drafting advices in the context of homelessness appeals and right to buy applications.

As a pupil, John assisted Dean Underwood and Ranjit Bhose QC in the case of Southern Housing Group v Ahern [2016] EWCA Civ...(judgment pending).

News

Cornerstone Housing Newsletter May 2017
04.05.2017
The Cornerstone Housing Newsletter includes...

  • The Editor Speaks - Andy Lane
  • The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017: opportunities, challenges - Matt Lewin
  • Contracting  out Homelessness decisions - Peggy Etiebet
  • Funding for Supported Housing: Lost between the....

  • Cornerstone Housing Newsletter - February 2017
    06.02.2017
    The Editor Speaks - Andy Lane   The Housing and Planning Act 2016 Update - Tara O'Leary Homelessness Reduction Bill update 2016/17 - Matt Lewin Neighbourhood Planning Bill 2016/17 - Liam Wells Recent Housing....

    Events

    Seminar: Understanding data protection (GDPR) and surveillance in social housing
    14.03.2018

    1
    With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force on 25th May 2018, it is important for those involved in social housing to be aware of their obligations and....

    Overview

    As a pupil, John assisted Estelle Dehon with drafting submissions to the Coroner for a two-day inquest involving the death of a minor under police protection powers.

    John is currently instructed as a "junior junior" for the Department of Communities and Local Government in relation to the Grenfell Tower public inquiry.

    Overview

    John welcomes instructions in regulatory and commercial law.

    As a pupil, John assisted in drafting submissions to the Pensions Regulator in response to a Warning Notice. He has also advised clients in relation to insolvency proceedings and has experience in enforcing judgment debts in the County Court.

    Overview

    John accepts instructions in all areas of licensing law.

    As a pupil, John assisted Philip Kolvin QC with a wide-ranging review of employment practices within the taxi and private hire industry for a well-known private hire company.

    Cases

    Taxi licensing policy quashed
    08.02.2018
    On Wednesday 7th February, the High Court quashed Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council's intended use policy for private hire drivers. The case will be of interest to licensing authorities and industry....

    John is a member of JUSTICE, UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA), the Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA) and the Social Housing Law Association (SHLA)

    John is a member of Lincoln's Inn and is a recipient of the Inn's Hardwicke Entrance Award, Lord Denning Scholarship, Buchanan prize and Hubert Greenland Scholarship.

    Case

    Taxi licensing policy quashed

    8th February 2018

    On Wednesday 7th February, the High Court quashed Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council's intended use policy for private hire drivers. The case will be of interest to licensing authorities and industry....

    Case

    Housing scheme refused in-spite of 3-year land supply

    11th September 2017

    Ashley Bowes and John Fitzsimons have successfully represented Braintree District Council to resist an appeal for 65 residential units at Finchingfield Road, Steeple Bumpstead, Essex. The Inspector accepted the Council's submission....

    News

    Cornerstone Housing Newsletter May 2017

    4th May 2017

    The Cornerstone Housing Newsletter includes...
  • The Editor Speaks - Andy Lane
  • The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017: opportunities, challenges - Matt Lewin
  • Contracting  out Homelessness decisions - Peggy Etiebet
  • Funding for Supported Housing: Lost between the....

  • News

    Cornerstone Housing Newsletter - February 2017

    6th February 2017

    The Editor Speaks - Andy Lane   The Housing and Planning Act 2016 Update - Tara O'Leary Homelessness Reduction Bill update 2016/17 - Matt Lewin Neighbourhood Planning Bill 2016/17 - Liam Wells Recent Housing....

    EVENT

    Seminar: Understanding data protection (GDPR) and surveillance in social housing

    14th March 2018

    1

    With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force on 25th May 2018, it is important for those involved in social housing to be aware of their obligations and....