Sam Kharabanda Groom

Call: 2020

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Sam is a second-six pupil currently under the supervision of Matthew Feldman and Sarah Salmon. He accepts instructions in all of Cornerstone’s practice areas.

Sam was previously supervised by Dr Ashley Bowes, under whose supervision he assisted with the full range of planning work undertaken on behalf of developers, local authorities, and private individuals.

Before pupillage, Sam worked as the judicial assistant to Lord Justice Bean, as a volunteer with Liberty’s Advice and Information service, and as a research assistant in constitutional law and animal rights law.

Professional background

As the judicial assistant to Lord Justice Bean in the Court of Appeal, Sam worked on a wide range of civil and criminal cases. These included:

  • Judicial reviews in the context of investigatory powers and law enforcement ([2021] EWHC 27 (Admin), ([2021] EWHC 272 (Admin), [2021] EWHC 710 (Admin));
  • Appeals concerning Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 ([2020] EWCA Civ 1586, [2020] EWCA Civ 1587) and the interpretation of service charge covenants ([2021] EWCA Civ 431);
  • Appeals concerning challenges to the London Streetspace Plan ([2021] EWCA Civ 1197) and to the classification of a footpath as a bridleway ([2021] EWCA Civ 1098);
  • An appeal concerning Part III of the Data Protection Act 2018 ([2021] EWCA Civ 42);
  • The quashing of subpostmasters’ convictions in the Post Office scandal ([2021] EWCA Crim 577).

As a volunteer with Liberty, Sam wrote responses to queries from members of the public concerning their rights. These involved police powers and duties, equality rights against employers and public authorities, and the interception of emails by public authorities.

As a research assistant at the Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law, Sam contributed to the world’s first textbook about animal rights law, which has just been published. As a research assistant to Dr Raffael Fasel, Sam mainly worked on the intellectual history of constituant power.


  • Planning and Environment

    Under the supervision of Dr Ashley Bowes, Sam worked on cases including:

    • The test case concerning section 106 contributions sought by an NHS Trust ([2023] EWHC 263 (Admin));
    • The (ongoing) test case concerning whether Appropriate Assessment is required at the stage of discharging planning conditions on a reserved matters approval;
    • The judicial review of the decision to grant development consent in respect of the Sizewell C nuclear power station;
    • The progress of a draft Local Plan at regulation 19 stage;
    • Planning appeals (inquiry and hearing format) concerning residential development on greenfield and brownfield sites;
    • High Court challenges to the adoption of a local plan and to grants of planning permission.

    Sam also wrote advice in respect of applications for planning permission and for certificates of lawful development.

  • Housing

    Under the supervision of Matthew Feldman and Sarah Salmon, Sam has gained experience of a range of matters relating to housing, including:

    • Drafting a skeleton argument and an advice in relation to two claims for possession pursuant to Ground 5, Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1985 (obtaining a tenancy by deception);
    • Considering an appeal under section 204 of the Housing Act 1996 focussing on issues of suitability;
    • Drafting a note on procedure and a skeleton argument for a statutory nuisance claim under section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990;
    • Considering a claim for remedies including an urgent injunction for alleged breaches of terms of a lease;
    • Working on a claim for possession involving the EUSS provisions of the Immigration Rules (Appendix EU);
    • Providing advice and research in relation to an unlawful eviction claim;
    • Drafting a Defence and Counterclaim to a possession claim based on a notice to quit raising issues relating to public law, housing benefit, disrepair and the Equality Act 2010.

    As a judicial assistant, Sam worked on appeals concerning Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 ([2020] EWCA Civ 1586, [2020] EWCA Civ 1587) and the interpretation of service charge covenants ([2021] EWCA Civ 431).

  • Public Law

    Most of Sam’s work touches on issues of public law.

    As a judicial assistant, Sam worked on a number of cases involving important principles of constitutional and administrative law and human rights.

    • In R (Privacy International) v Investigatory Powers Tribunal [2021] EWHC 27 (Admin), the court applied fundamental constitutional principles to the Home Secretary’s practice of issuing thematic CNE warrants to the intelligence agencies.
    • In R (QSA) v National Police Chiefs’ Council [2021] EWHC 272 (Admin), the court considered a claim for the deletion of historic conviction records from the PNC, whose retention allegedly violated the claimants’ rights under Article 8 ECHR.
    • In R (Kind) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 710 (Admin), the court reviewed (on rationality, procedural fairness, and human rights grounds) the decision to refuse the application for DV clearance by the appointee to the role of Head of Investigations at IPCO.

    As a research assistant to Dr Raffael Fasel, Sam conducted research in French and English into the intellectual history of constituent power, which is the power to create a constitution.