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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. As such, his practice encompasses Administrative & Public law, Planning & Environmental law, Information law, Licensing, Housing and Inquests & Inquiries. 

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 currently volunteers for the Bar Pro Bono Unit, the Environmental Law Foundation and Southwark Law Centre. He has previously volunteered for 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

Planning Inquiries

John regularly acts in planning inquiries both on his own and as a junior for Parish Councils, District Councils and private individuals. His inquiry experience to date includes:

- Representing a Rule 6 party in a two week planning inquiry involving housing land supply, landscape and highways issues.

- Representing a Parish Council in a two week enforcement inquiry involving travellers and gypsies. 

- Assisting Estelle Dehon in a two week planning inquiry involving housing land supply and heritage issues in which Estelle, acting for the local authority, successfully resisted a residential scheme of up to 200 units.

- Being led by Dr Ashley Bowes in a 6 day 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. 

- Representing a local authority in a two day enforcement inquiry involving off-airport parking in which the local authority successfully resisted an appeal on grounds (a) and (d). 

Court Experience

During pupillage, John assisted in various High Court and Court of Appeal cases on environmental law and planning law issues. He has acted as sole counsel in various environmental law matters including:

- Conducting a local authority's first prosecution under the Health Act 2006 in relation to the use of Shisha pipes within an enclosed premises.

- Acting for a defendant in an environmental prosecution concerning waste transfer notes.

His High Court and Court of Appeal experience includes:

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

An LPA's failure to respond within the required 28 days to an application under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 ("the GPDO 1995") for a determination as to whether its prior approval would be required, will not allow development which is not "permitted development" to become "permitted development" by default.

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

The High Court held that curtilage is not simply a land use, and accordingly that using land as incidental to the enjoyment of a dwelling house is not determinative of that land being curtilage.

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)

Challenge in respect of permission granted by the Secretary of State for hydraulic fracturing works to take place in Lancashire.

Advisory Work

John regularly undertakes planning and environmental advisory work. Recent advisory work includes issues concerning:

- Differences between C2 and C3 use

- Allotment land

- Application of s106 planning obligations

- Implementation of a forty year old planning permission

- Enforcement issues and variation of conditions.

- Construction of ambiguous conditions and implied conditions

- Article 3(1) GDPO and its relationship to prior approval consent

- Building Regulations

- Fracking

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. He also regularly provides pro bono advice and assistance to the Environmental Law Foundation. 

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....

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

John has a broad public law and judicial review practice. He has experience in advising both public bodies and private clients in this area. His public law work spans many of Chambers' practice areas including planning and environmental, licensing, inquests and inquiries, local government and data protection. Further details of John's work in these areas of practice can be seen within the 'practice areas' tab on his profile. In brief, John's recent public law experience includes:

- Instructed by the Department of Communities and Local Government as part of the Grenfell Tower public inquiry 'junior junior' team

- Instructed by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in order to consider various legislative amendments required in the context of the new Data Protection Bill

- Acting for a local authority, with Ashley Underwood QC, in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

- Acting for Uber, with Philip Kolvin QC, in Delta Merseyside and Uber Britannia Ltd v Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council [2018] EWHC 757 (Admin) where the Claimants successfully quashed the Council's 'predominant use' policy directed at private hire drivers.  

- Drafting summary grounds of defence in immigration proceedings on behalf of the Home Office. 

- As a pupil, assisting 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) concerning unlawful detention. 

Overview

John accepts instructions in all areas of licensing law. Some of his experience to date includes:

- Being led by Philip Kolvin QC in the case of Delta Meryside and Uber Britannia Ltd v Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council [2018] EWHC 757 (Admin), in which he and Philip acted for Uber and successfully quashed the Council's 'predominant use' policy directed at private hire drivers.

- Assisting Philip Kolvin QC in drafting written submissions on Article 49 TFEU in the case of Rostrun v Guildford Borough Council [2017] EWHC 3141 (Admin), in which Philip acted for the successful local authority in resisting a taxi driver's appeal.

- Successfully acting for a local authority in defending an appeal against the suspension of a premises licence. 

- Successfully acting for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in resisting an appeal against its revocation of a licence.

- Assisting 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.

John also provides pro bono support and advice to street traders through his membership of Southwark Law Centre's pro bono panel of barristers. In this regard, he is currently advising and assisting traders who are being relocated in the Peckham Rye Station redevelopment and Elephant and Castle shopping centre redevelopment. 

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....

Overview

John has a broad range of experience in housing law and property matters.

Court Work

John regularly appears on behalf of landlords in possession claims against tenants and trespassers. His housing experience also extends to drafting proceedings and advising clients on prospects of success, particularly in the context of s204 homelessness appeals. 

John also has experience acting on behalf of landlords in applications for injunctions whether for breach of tenancy agreements or to prohibit anti-social behaviour and also has more general experience in landlord and tenant disputes and housing licensing matters. 

As a pupil, John assisted Dean Underwood and Ranjit Bhose QC in the Court of Appeal case of Southern Housing Group v Ahern [2017] EWCA Civ 1934which provides useful guidance as to the approach of the county court to public law defences based on alleged breach of policy. 

Advisory Work

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. His advisory work extends to disrepair claims, non-residential landlord and tenant disputes and claims by leaseholders for breach of covenant. 

News

The Editor speaks
29.03.2018
It will not surprise anybody to hear that this has been a busy period for all those involved in housing. On a personal level, that has included a successful appearance....

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

    John has a particular interest in data protection and information law having sat with information law specialists Estelle Dehon and Philip Coppel QC during pupillage.

    As a result, he has been instructed to advise and assist the Department of Culture, Media and Sport on various issues arising in respect of the new Data Protection Bill.

    More recently, he was led by Estelle Dehon in a long running damages claim against a public body for alleged breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998.

    John's knowledge of information law complements his planning and environmental law practice. As a result, he regularly undertakes advisory work in relation to the Environmental Information Regulations.

    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

    John has a particular interest in inquests and inquiries. His experience to date includes:

    - Acting for a local authority responsible for various safeguarding matters at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

    - Instructed as a 'junior junior' for the Department of Communities and Local Government in relation to the Grenfell Tower public inquiry

    - Assisting Estelle Dehon, acting on behalf of a local authority, at a two-day inquest involving the death of a minor under police protection powers.

    Overview

    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 particular experience of liability orders for Council Tax and Non-domestic Rates and has successfully acted in set aside applications on behalf of ratepayers.

    John is currently acting for a local authority in a high value dispute over allotment land and has been instructed by DCLG as a 'junior junior' for 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.

    More recently, he has gained experience of summary judgment and strike out applications in the context of contractual disputes at both County Court and High Court levels. 

    John is a member of JUSTICE, UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA), the Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA), the Planning and Environment Bar Association (PEBA), the Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA) 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.

    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....

    News

    The Editor speaks

    29th March 2018

    It will not surprise anybody to hear that this has been a busy period for all those involved in housing. On a personal level, that has included a successful appearance....

    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....