Olivia Davies

Call: 2016

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Olivia Davies
Daryl Hughes, Senior Practice Manager

Olivia maintains a consciously broad practice in most areas of Chambers’ work, including public law, planning and environmental law, commercial law, election law, housing law, licensing law, information law, and inquests. Olivia is a member of the Cornerstone Climate team.

Olivia regularly appears before courts, tribunals, public inquiries and inquests for a range of clients, both public and private. Her current private clients include a popular fashion brand in a commercial injunction claim for alleged breach of a licence agreement. Her public work has recently included being part of a team of counsel for three former Post Office sub-postmasters in the Court of Appeal proceedings where their wrongful convictions were overturned after the ‘biggest miscarriage of justice in history’. Olivia’s public clients are often local authorities, whom Olivia represents in a range of cases, from a recent un-led two-week planning inquiry concerning the refusal of permission a 49.9MW solar development on Green Belt land, to complex multi-track possession trials.

Alongside her court work, Olivia often undertakes advisory work for both public and private bodies. Olivia’s public sector advisory clients include the Electoral Commission, to which she was recently seconded for six months to assist with drafting new statutory guidance, and a range of local authorities. Olivia’s private advisory work benefits from her understanding of the needs of commercial clients gained through her time at Latham & Watkins LLP before coming to the Bar. Recent commercial instructions include advising a former sub-postmaster in respect of financial settlement with Post Office Limited concerning claims arising from wrongful conviction.

Olivia has a degree in law from St. Peter’s College, Oxford and a Competition Law LLM from King’s College, London for which she received a Distinction. Olivia read for the Bar at City Law School, with the benefit of an Exhibition from Inner Temple. She was graded Outstanding.

Expertise

  • Housing

    Olivia has a wealth of experience representing both public and private sector landlords in a range of matters, including possession, disrepair, HMO regulation/licence breaches, s 204 homelessness appeals and claims under s 214 Housing Act 2004.

    Olivia is well practised at obtaining orders at summary hearings and full trials.

    Recent instructions include:

    • Obtaining orders for immediate possession and use & occupation (with costs) under the Housing Acts, including in cases of rent arrears and ASB, in both the county court and High Court for both public and private landlords
    • Prosecuting and defending statutory nuisance claims under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 on behalf of both local authorities and private clients
    • Defending landlords in claims under s 214 Housing Act 2004 for breach of the deposit protection rules
    • Securing a mandatory injunction enabling a social landlord to rectify unauthorised works carried out by the tenant to the garden
    • Prosecuting breaches of the HMO Regulations on behalf of Local Authorities
    • Securing a Part 8 injunction for a private client to prohibit the obstruction of a right of way
    • Advising Local Authorities on various disrepair matters and drafting defences to disrepair claims under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
    • Securing settlement in favour of the Local Authority in a s 204 homelessness appeal

    Anti-social behaviour

    Recent instructions include:

    • Securing interim and final ASB injunctions under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014
    • Obtaining closure orders under section 80 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and subsequent extensions of orders under section 82 for the maximum period
    • Representing Local Authorities at committal hearings after breaches of ASB injunctions
    • Drafting grounds of appeal under s 46 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 against the issue of a Community Protection Notice for fly-tipping, leading to the withdrawal of the Community Protection Notice by the Local Authority
    • Securing stalking protection orders (SPOs) under the Stalking Protection Act 2019 and sexual risk orders under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 on behalf of the Metropolitan Police
  • Information Law

    Olivia is one of the contributors to the 6th edition of Information Rights, edited by Philip Coppel KC, having edited the chapters on: the right to information under the FOIA, the general principles of the exemptions to FOIA, and prejudice and the public interest under the FOIA.

    Recent instructions include:

    • An allocation hearing in a DPA claim, in which Olivia successfully argued on behalf of the Defendant that the claim should be allocated to the small claims track.
    • Succeeding on behalf of a Local Authority before the Information Tribunal in striking out an application to certify an offence to the Upper Tribunal for failure to comply with an FTT decision.
    • Advising on prospects of success and drafting pleadings for and against claims made under the GDPR/DPA 2018.
  • Public Law and Judicial Review

    Olivia welcomes instructions in all areas of public law. Olivia’s public law practice benefits from her wide knowledge of other areas of law, making her particularly adept at public law cases which involve interaction with another legal area, such as election or planning law.

    Recent instructions include:

    • Junior counsel to Philip Coppel KC in R (on the application of Waverley Borough Council) v Waverley BC Counting Officer [2024] EWHC 833 (Admin), a judicial review necessary to halt an already commenced neighbourhood plan referendum process after errors in the documents on which voters were deciding were discovered.
    • Junior counsel, with Sam Fowles, to Lisa Busch KC in Hamilton and Ors v Post Office Limited [2021] EWCA Crim 577, representing 3 of the 42 appellants who successfully overturned convictions for crimes of dishonesty in the Court of Appeal.
    • Sole counsel in the High Court, successfully securing an extended civil restraint order for the maximum period of 2 years preventing a claimant from bringing any further claims against the Council without the court’s permission.
    • Junior counsel to Philip Coppel KC in R (Valero Logistics UK Ltd & Greenergy Terminals Ltd) v Plymouth City Council [2021] EWHC 1792 (Admin), a judicial review of a decision to grant planning permission for a commercial heliport.
    • Editor of the 2020 edition of Volume 25(2) of Atkins’ Court Forms on Local Government.
  • Election Law

    Olivia has in-depth knowledge of election law and the way it is enforced having recently completed a 6-month secondment at the Electoral Commission. During her time with the Commission, Olivia assisted with the drafting of new statutory guidance which the Commission was required to produce by the Elections Act 2022. The guidance relates to the new ‘digital imprints’ regime introduced by the Elections Act 2022 which imposes new requirements which apply to those who publish relevant material.

    Olivia’s election knowledge extends to the interaction between election law and other regimes, such as the law governing neighbourhood plan referenda, having been junior counsel to Philip Coppel KC in R (on the application of Waverley Borough Council) v Waverley BC Counting Officer [2024] EWHC 833 (Admin), a judicial review necessary to stop an already commenced neighbourhood plan referendum process, after errors in the documents on which voters were deciding were discovered.

    Olivia also has experience of more ‘traditional’ electoral judicial review. She was Junior counsel to Philip Coppel KC in R (on the application of) R. (on the application of Evans) v Electoral Commission [2021] EWHC 1818 (Admin), in which the Commission successfully defended a challenge by the Labour Party to the Electoral Commission’s process for dealing with applications to change political parties’ “registered descriptions”.

  • Commercial and Regulatory

    Olivia has experience assisting both local authorities and private clients in commercial disputes.

    Recent instructions include:

    • Representing a company that owns a gambling website in a contractual/tortious claim by multiple claimants in respect of their gambling losses.
    • Advising a local authority on whether it had breached a contract with a supplier by terminating an agreement for services.
    • Advising a local authority on procurement considerations arising from agreements between the authority and a commercial entity in respect of a proposed retail development.
    • Advising a local authority on its available contractual remedies under a construction agreement when the works had overrun.
    • Successfully representing the Claimant in a small claims track trial brought in respect of sub-standard building work.
    • Successfully representing a public body in an application to set aside default judgment in a financial claim.
    • Drafting pleadings in a High Court claim for breach of a loan agreement. Editor of the 2021 volume of Atkins’ Court Forms on Bills of Sale.
  • Climate Litigation

    Olivia welcomes instructions with an environmental element. Olivia’s recent planning inquiry experience has focused on both led and unled appeals against the denial of permission for solar farms. This experience encompasses both valued and non-valued landscapes and Green Belt and non-Green Belt sites.

    Olivia’s High Court experience includes current instructions (as junior counsel to Wayne Beglan) on a challenge to the application of biodiversity net gain policy in respect of a Green Belt housing development.

    Olivia is a member of the Cornerstone Climate team.

  • Inquests and Inquiries

    Olivia welcomes inquest instructions from interested persons. She has experience of issues including prevention of future death reports and allegations of neglect.

    Recent instructions include:

    • Representing a local authority in a three-day inquest concerning a death in hospital of a local authority care home resident.
    • Representing a local authority in a two-day inquest concerning a death in the home of someone in receipt of social care.
  • Planning and Environment

    Olivia has a wealth of experience as both led and unled counsel across the full range of planning matters. Olivia welcomes instructions in all areas, whether it be section 78 or enforcement appeals (hearings or inquiries), planning prosecutions, or High Court challenges.

    Recent unled instructions include:

    • Sole counsel in a two-week inquiry representing a local authority in respect of the refusal of permission for a 49.9MW solar development on Green Belt land, raising issues of harm to Green Belt openness, and loss of BMV land.
    • Sole counsel representing a local authority in a four-day inquiry concerning the refusal of permission for 60 retirement homes, raising issues of character and appearance and pedestrian safety.
    • Sole counsel for the Defendant in a planning prosecution, successfully avoiding the commencement of POCA proceedings.
    • Sole counsel for the local authority in a planning prosecution, leading to the imposition of a significant fine, and successful defence of an application to halt the proceedings as an abuse of process.
    • Sole counsel representing a local authority in numerous one-day appeal hearings concerning the refusal of permission for housing developments, involving application of the tilted balance.
    • Sole counsel representing a local authority in a planning hearing concerning an appeal against an enforcement notice relating to the construction of a static caravan park outside the redline of a permission.

    Recent led instructions include:

    • Junior counsel to Josef Cannon KC representing a local authority in three multi-week inquiries concerning the refusal of permission for housing developments on Green Belt land, raising issues of harm to Green Belt openness, landscape harm and 5-year housing land supply.
    • Junior counsel to Harriet Townsend in a three-week inquiry concerning the refusal of permission for a solar farm, raising issues of harm to landscape, heritage and BMV land.
    • Junior counsel to Estelle Dehon KC representing a local authority in a four-day inquiry concerning the refusal of permission for a solar farm in a designated strategic landscape, raising issues of landscape harm.
    • Junior counsel to Philip Coppel KC in Valero Logistics UK Ltd & Greenergy Terminals Ltd v Plymouth City Council [2021] EWHC 1792 (Admin), a judicial review concerning the grant of planning permission for a commercial heliport on a site located among fuel storage depots.
    • Drafting grounds of resistance on behalf of a local authority in relation to a judicial review claim concerning the grant of planning permission for a sewage pumping station.
  • Licensing

    Olivia welcomes instructions in all areas of licensing law. She has experience in magistrates’ court appeals, summary reviews and licensing sub-committee meetings.

    Recent instructions include:

    • Acting as legal advisor to a licensing sub-committee at the review of a premises licence after noise complaints.
    • Successfully defending an appeal against a local authority’s revocation of the private hire licence of a driver who entered into inappropriate conversations with a child.
    • Successfully defending an appeal against a local authority’s grant of a premises licence to a primary school.
    • Representing multiple local authorities at appeals in the magistrates’ courts against the revocation of premises licences in cases including breaches of immigration law and incidents of violent disorder.
    • Representing the Metropolitan Police at a summary review of a premises licence following a violent brawl, with the police’s recommendation for licence modifications being adopted by the sub-committee.