Landmark Chambers wins as HS2 rail ruling handed down

Landmark Chambers has been the big winner in the HS2 high-speed rail judicial reviews, in which judgment was handed down this morning.

Mr Justice Ouseley upheld just one of the nine challenges to the government scheme, handing a victory to Landmark’s Tim Mould QC, who was instructed for the Government.

Five judicial reviews were brought by four protest groups, including 18 councils, campaign group High Speed 2 Action Alliance (HS2AA), which represents more than 70 affiliated groups and residents’ associations, and a golf club.

Landmark picked up mandates on three cases, with Nathalie Lieven QC instructed for the council groups, led by Buckinghamshire County Council, David Elvin QC instructed for HS2AA on planning issues, and Rupert Warren QC for Heathrow Hub.

They were joined by Matrix Chambers’ David Wolfe QC, who was instructed for HS2 Action Alliance on blight issues, and St John’s Chambers’ David Fletcher, instructed for Aylesbury Park Golf Club.

Fletcher, the only junior to lead a case, was instructed by Sharpe Pritchard partner David Griffith. He was successful in arguing that there had been unfairness in the consultation process.

The Government declared victory after Ousely J upheld just one challenge, finding that it was unlawful because inadequate information had been provided to consultees on what was to become the unheralded basis for the decision and the Secretary of State had not conscientiously considered HS2 Action Alliance’s consultation response.

HS2AA brought two separate claims led by two separate legal teams. Its claims included, among other things, that there had been an absence of a cumulative impact assessment.

The legal line-up:

Buckinghamshire County Council turned to Harrison Grant Solicitors partner Kate Harrison, who instructed Landmark Chambers’ Nathalie Lieven QC and Kassie Smith from Monckton Chambers

HS2 Action Alliance Limited was represented by Landmark Chambers’ David Elvin QC and Charles Banner, who were instructed by SJ Berwin partner Simon Ricketts

Heathrow Hub Limited was represented by Landmark Chambers’ Rupert Warren QC, who was instructed by Nabarro partner Christopher Stanwell and senior associate Rob Bruce

Matrix Chambers’ David Wolfe QC, instructed by Leigh Day & Co partner Richard Stein, advised HS2 Action Alliance Ltd and others

St John’s Chambers’ David Fletcher instructed by Sharpe Pritchard partner David Griffiths for Aylesbury Park Golf Club and others

Landmark Chambers’ Tim Mould QC, Landmark Chambers’ James Maurici, Jacqueline Lean and Richard Turney instructed by The Treasury Solicitor