Nicholas Ostrowski

Call: 2009


"He provides prompt and insightful advice with a friendly and likeable manner."

"Does a thorough job."

Legal 500 [2018]

"An extremely intelligent and skilled advocate, who is unafraid of a hostile court."

"Diligent and enthusiastic."

Legal 500 [2017]


Attorney General List of civil counsel to the Crown (C Panel)
Attorney General's List (C) of specialist regulatory advocates (HSE, ORR and Environment Agency)


BA English Literature & Politics, University of York (First)
MA Legal & Political Philosophy, University College London
Graduate Diploma in Law, City University
Bar Vocational Course, BPP


Nicholas Ostrowski specialises in public, planning and regulatory law and is recommended in the Legal 500 in planning and health and safety law.

He has been appointed to the C Panel of the Attorney General’s list of civil barristers and to the Attorney General’s list of specialist regulatory barristers.

He appears for and against government departments, regulators, local authorities and private companies and individuals in the civil and the criminal courts.



Nicholas is frequently instructed as a specialist public law barrister to represent government departments and other parties including the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in judicial review claims.

Recent public law work includes:

  • Watts v Stewart [2017] 2 W.L.R. 1107 , [2017] H.L.R. 8; [2017] L & T.R. 24 [2017] 1 P. & C.R. DG18 EWCA Civ 1247 (unled at first instance, led by Stephen Hockman QC in the Court of Appeal) – almshouse occupiers and Article 8
  • R (Mohammed) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 447 (Admin) – detention pending deportation for violent offenders
  • R (on the application of HN and SA) (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWCA Civ 123 – (with David Blundell and Mary Glass) Removals to Afghanistan
  • Goring on Thames Parish Council v South Oxfordshire district Council and Environment Agency [2016] EWHC 2898 – Judicial Review into proposed hydropower scheme across the river Thames
  • R (Yousefi) v Secretary of State for the Home Department JR/4468/2016 – return of Hazaris to Afghanistan
  • R (Sakhizadah) v Secretary of State for the Home Department JR/10464/2015 – Article 15(c) violence in Afghanistan
  • R (Oguama) v Secretary of State for the Home Department JR/15810/2016 – service of Notices of Curtailment
  • R (AR & DR) v Environment Agency – judicial review of the Agency after a successful prosecution



Nicholas is a specialist regulatory barrister who has been instructed for and against a wide variety of regulators including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM), local authorities and other regulators such as the Environment Agency, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and Fire and Rescue Authorities. He also appears regularly in Inquests often appearing for parties who are facing potential investigations or sanctions from regulatory bodies.

Recent regulatory work includes:

  • HSE v a local authority – breach of Section 2 Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in relation to an incident involving social workers on a home visit
  • Welwyn Hatfield DC v O and CES – breach of Section 2 Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 resulting in serious incident on an escalator (news report)
  • HSE v SS – breach of section 2 Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by well known manufacturer arising out of a very serious injury sustained after a fall from a factory roof
  • Ofgem v SSE – Mis-selling of energy products and breach of licence conditions by SSE, record fine imposed (with Stephen Hockman QC and Monica Carrs Frisk QC, news report)
  • HSE v BF – defence of a very large food processing business in a prosecution by the HSE arising from a serious injury sustained in a mincing machine (news report)
  • HSE v DPC – defence of a building contractor in a prosecution arising from a serious fall from height in a building site
  • Westminster CC v P & B – Appeal against an Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice (and subsequent prosecution) served on a leading chain of restaurants in central London
  • Crawley BC v G – defence of individual responsible for serious burn injuries sustained in a restaurant
  • London Fire & Rescue Service v P – defence of a director of a large hotel in Central London for breaches of in respect of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
  • London Fire & Rescue Service v MTM – prosecution of a director of a restaurant for breaches of in respect of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
  • Inspector of Health and Safety v PH – appeal against Prohibition Notice served against a nationwide holiday home provider arising from a serious burn sustained in a restaurant kitchen
  • Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service v Z – defence of a large landlord in respect of a string of allegations relating to poor fire safety at rented homes
  • Advising a large chain of restaurants as to potential criminal liability for breach of hygiene law

Recent inquest work includes:

  • Inquest into the death of DB – death in custody
  • Inquest into death of MF – death by smoke inhalation arising from a fire in a block of flats
  • Inquest into the death of ML – representing the prison service after a death in custody at a two week long Article 2 inquest, issues include the proper use of restraints and complex medical causation
  • Inquest into the death of DB – representing the Prison Service after suicide of a man in custody
  • Inquest touching the death of PS – representing a fork lift truck hire company after death of a man who died of crush injuries
  • Inquest touching the death of AB – death of a woman in complex circumstances which is the subject of a Serious Case Review
  • Inquest touching the death of LP – representing the Prison Service after a death in custody, issues included the adequacy of the checking of prisoners
  • Inquest touching the death of EC – representing the family after death of a woman who died of head injuries after falling over at a hospital during a mammogram


Planning & Environmental

Nicholas is a specialist planning and environmental barrister who represents Local Planning Authorities, developers and Interested Parties in planning inquiries and hearings as well as giving advice across a broad range of planning matters. He has particular experience of enforcement matters at the High Court, in enforcement inquiries and at trial for breach of statutory notices and is a contributor to Garner’s Environmental Law, a leading publication in this area.

Recent planning work includes:

  • R (Holborn Studios + Del Brenner) v LB Hackney – [2017] EWHC 2823 (Admin); [2018] P.T.S.R 997; [2018] J.P.L. 567; [2018] J.P.L.467 – judicial review into the appropriate standard of consultation to occur after amendments made to a planning application
  • Coles v Lichfield DC [2016] EWHC 3059 (Admin) – proper application of Planning Enforcement Orders
  • Hackney LBC v Manorgale [2015] EWHC 2025 (QB) – planning injunctions under S.187B TCPA 1990
  • Application for housing development in the open countryside – issues of housing land supply
  • Application for extension/basement development in Conservation Area in Central London – heritage issues raised
  • Numerous large confiscation orders sought (and resisted) for breach of planning law
  • Numerous successful applications on behalf of London Councils for s.187B TCPA 1990 injunctions in the High Court to restrain work in breach of planning control

Recent environmental law work includes:

  • Environment Agency v Stone and Salhouse [2018] EWHC 994 – important appeal against conviction by landowner for offences instigated by tenant
  • Anthony Hall v Environment Agency [2018] 1 W.L.R. 1433; [2018] Env L. R. 11; [2017] EWHC 1309 (TCC) – test case brought by the Agency on the correct statutory interpretation of the Water Resources Act 1991 and whether those who suffer flooding from the Agency must claim damages under the system of statutory compensation
  • Public Inquiry into abstraction form the Rivers test, Itchen and Candover – acted for Fish Legal in this public inquiry under the Water Resources Act 1991 into proposed abstraction by Southern Water, issues of drought modelling and fish impact
  • EA v Q, S and S – successful prosecution on behalf of the Agency against the operator, landowner and company director for breach of a ariety of environmental offences arising at a waste transfer station dealing with waste mattresses
  • EA v KA – defence of a director charged with operating a waste disposal site in breach of an enforcement notice
  • Defence of a Harley Street doctor accused of the alleged unauthorised deposit of clinical waste in central London
  • Appeal against enforcement notice served against a scrap metal dealer for alleged breaches of environmental permit
  • Prosecution for breach of section 33 Environmental Protection Act 1990 for an unauthorised fly-tipping site resulting in significant sentences and application for orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act
  • Application for injunction alleging noise nuisance emanating from local business


Civil & Commercial Law

Nicholas appears in the Queens Bench Division and the Chancery Division as well as in in multi track and fast track trials across different areas of law including housing, and contractual disputes normally with an environmental, planning or regulatory element. He has experience of applying for interim relief including freezing injunctions and other urgent applications in the High Court and has a busy advisory practice.



Nicholas is a member of the Bar Pro Bono Unit and has appeared pro bono in a variety of matters.
In 2012 Nicholas was awarded a Pegasus scholarship by Inner Temple and worked with a number of environmental and planning lawyers in the United States.
Nicholas was awarded the David Karmel and Prince of Wales Scholarships by Gray’s Inn for his legal studies.
Prior to commencing practice at the Bar, Nicholas worked at the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry and worked at at the Independent Jamaican Council of Human Rights.



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