Tom Cosgrove KC

Joint Head of Chambers
Silk: 2017 | Call: 1994

Contact my clerk

Tom Cosgrove KC is a leading planning and public law silk. He was appointed silk in 2017, and is ranked in Band 1 for planning by Chambers UK Bar. Since April 2020 he has been Joint Head of Chambers at Cornerstone. In 2020 he was elected as a Governing Bencher of the Inner Temple. In July 2022 he was elected as Vice-Chair of the Planning and Environment Bar Association (PEBA).

His work covers a broad range of areas and developments including retail, energy, heritage, commercial, employment, residential and leisure proposals, nationally significant infrastructure projects and judicial review/statutory challenges. He is regularly instructed by leading house builders, retailers, private companies, planning authorities, public bodies and interest groups throughout the country.

He advises clients on all aspects of planning and public law and has been involved in major public inquiries for the last 20 years addressing issues of housing, heritage, retail development and employment land use. During 2013 and 2014 he was instructed to advise and appear in relation to one of the largest inquiries ever to take place in the UK. More recently, he has appeared at examinations in relation to nationally significant infrastructure projects, numerous local plan examinations, and acts regularly at major high-profile inquiries for developers and local authorities relating to residential/mixed use proposals.

In 2021 Tom was shortlisted for Environmental/Planning Silk of the Year by Chambers and Partners, and has been again in 2023. He is a member of Cornerstone Climate, our centre of excellence for climate litigation.

He has been consistently listed over several years in the legal directories of leading barristers where he is noted as being “a superb silk for planning matters” (Legal 500 2021). In the 2022 Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 publications he is described as having a “masterful appreciation of the key issues” and as being “extremely effective in presenting the case” with “incisive in cross-examination”.  He “provides fantastic, clear and concise advice and is really great with clients.”

Tom aims to provide an unstuffy, focused approach that understands his clients and their needs, providing them with clear and comprehensible advice.

He was the general editor of the first edition of Cornerstone on the Planning Court and regularly writes articles and delivers seminars on aspects of planning law.

Beyond planning, Tom takes a keen interest in legal education and issues relating to diversity, recruitment and training for barristers generally. He was a Member of the Bar Standards Board Professional Conduct Committee (2013-2017) and was an Advisory Board member for TWLL (2018-2020 – Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law programme, run by Thomson Reuters). He is currently a member of the Inner Temple scholarships and outreach committee and acts as a mentor for student applicants seeking to pursue a career at the Bar as part of the Inner Temple Mentoring Scheme. In February 2023, Tom was appointed a Chair of the Bar Tribunal and Adjudication Service’s disciplinary panel.