Roy Martin QC

Roy Martin QC

Call: 1990 QC: 2008


"He commands the courtroom like no other."

"An excellent senior counsel to have on your side."

Legal 500 [2017]

" of the best planning QCs at the Bar, he's very direct and also very commercial. As one of the longest-standing advocates he has a wealth of experience and is very good at cutting to the chase. He gets the job done and clients really like him".

Chambers UK Bar Guide [2016]

"He is easy to speak to and explains things well."

Legal 500 [2015]

Scope of practice

  • Land and property
  • Arbitration
  • Commercial
  • Planning, energy and environmental
  • Compulsory purchase and compensation
  • Transport and infrastructure
  • Occupational pensions law


Roy Martin has practised as a senior counsel principally in land, property, infrastructure, environmental and commercial law both in England and Wales and in Scotland. He is now increasingly focussing on dispute resolution both as an appeal court judge and as an arbitrator. He has experience as an international commercial arbitrator and as a domestic arbitrator. He has been approved as an international arbitrator by the International Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the London Court of International Arbitration.


Posts and Appointments (present and former)

Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey
Chairman, Police Appeals Tribunals
Temporary Sheriff
Chairman (part-time), Industrial Tribunals
Vice Dean and Dean of the Faculty of Advocates
Bencher of Middle Temple
Member of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland
Co-chair of the Forum for Barristers and Advocates of the International Bar Association and the International Council of Advocates and Barristers
Honorary Professor of the University of Glasgow School of Law
Honorary Member of the Australian Bar Association
Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland



Roy Martin is a practising member of the Bar in England and Wales as well as in in Scotland. He was called in England and Wales in 1990 and took silk in 2008. He has also been a member of the Bar in Scotland since 1976 and was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2010. He was admitted to the Bar of New South Wales in 1987.

Throughout his career at the Bar, Roy has practised primarily in the areas of land and administrative law. In the 1980s, he was responsible for the prosecution of local government councillors in the High Court of Justiciary for fraud and false claims for expenses. He has appeared in many of the most significant planning inquiries that have taken place in England and Scotland. He acted for the developer in relation to an appeal under the Channel Tunnel Railway Link Act 1996 concerning the redevelopment of St Pancras Station. In Scotland, he was instructed for the developers in the Harris Superquarry inquiry, the proposed Gartcosh gas fired power station inquiry, the Princes Street Galleries inquiry and the Cockenzie power station gas re-powering inquiry. He has acted for promoters and objectors in a number of transport schemes before Parliamentary Commissioners and the Scottish Parliament.

He has appeared as leading counsel in the House of Lords and Supreme Court. He acted in the application for judicial review resulting from the existence of nuclear particles on a beach adjacent to the former Dounreay Nuclear facility and in a judicial review concerning the use of fuel derived from sewage in a coal fired power station. He appeared in the judicial reviews arising from the proposal to break up former US Navy “ghost ships”. In 2008, he acted for the licence holder in an inquiry in relation to conditions imposed under the Radioactive Substances Act 1993. Also in 2008, he was appointed as counsel to the public inquiry into a serious explosion (ICL Inquiry) which occurred in Glasgow in 2004 and which resulted in over forty deaths and injuries which was called by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the Scottish Ministers under the Inquiries Act 2005. From 2010 to 2013 he represented the Planning Service of Northern Ireland at the public inquiry and in proceedings concerning a proposed retail development at Sprucefield, near Lisburn. In 2015, he was instructed to represent the City of Edinburgh Council at the public inquiry into the Edinburgh Tram project.

Since 2010, he has also acted in a number of matters concerning the amendment of occupational pension schemes. He has appeared in cases in the High Court, County Court and Magistrates Court. He has represented various developers in connection with judicial review of planning decisions, and in proceedings concerning commercial disputes on topics such as a share purchase agreement and the provision of bank finance. He has represented landowners and an acquiring authority in disputed claims over compensation for compulsory purchase.

In recent years, his practice has increasingly involved dispute resolution. In 2013, he was appointed as a Judge of the Courts of Appeal of Jersey and Guernsey. From 2013 to 2015, he was one of three co-arbitrators in an international commercial arbitration concerning a dispute over the value of mineral reserves in relation to a share purchase agreement. He has also served as an arbitrator in domestic disputes and as a legal adviser to an arbitrator. He is a Chairman of Police Appeals Tribunals and was previously a part-time chairman of Industrial Tribunals.

Roy also continues to practise in Scotland as a member of Terra Firma Chambers (Edinburgh).


Cases in the House of Lords and Supreme Court

  • H v J & CM Smith (Whiteinch) Limited 1990 SC (HL) 63
  • Bovis Construction (Scotland) Limited v Whatlings Construction Limited [1995] 75 BLR 1
  • City of Edinburgh Council v Secretary of State for Scotland and Revival Properties Limited [1997] 1 WLR 1447
  • Bank of Scotland v Brunswick Developments (1987) Limited (No 2) 1999 SC (HL) 53
  • Axis West Developments Limited v Chartwell Land Investments Limited 1999 SLT 1416
  • Standard Commercial Property Securities Limited v Glasgow City Council [2007] JPL 758
  • G Hamilton (Tullochgribban Mains) Limited v The Highland
    Council [2012] UKSC 31, [2013] JPL 106
  • L Batley Pet Products Limited v North Lanarkshire Council [2014] UKSC 27, [2014] 3 All ER 64

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