"An extremely personable, efficient and hardworking advocate."
"Has an excellent eye for detail and provides advice expediently."
Recommended in Consumer Law and Licensing
Legal 500 
"He simply never fails to impress me with his forensic attention to detail and flexible dynamic thinking."
"He can come in last minute and turn a case around for his client."
Chambers UK Bar Guide 
"Advises in a number of high-profile projects."
Legal 500 
"He can have a case file for five minutes and know it inside out straight away. He doesn't get caught out by curve balls." "The advice he gives to clients is clear and concise."
Chambers UK Bar Guide 
"Organised and quick-thinking."
Legal 500 
“He is exceptionally personable and garners the trust of his clients”
Legal 500 
"Excellent at identifying issues and setting out the way forward."
Legal 500 
Appointed to the List of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health & Safety and Environmental Law (List A).
Professional Licensing Practitioners Qualification (PLPQ)
Stuart is an experienced Regulatory and Public Law specialist. Invariably, he acts against other experienced counsel or Queen’s Counsel. He concentrates on four broad specialist areas: Licensing; Planning and Environmental law; Public and Administrative Law (including Judicial Review); and Regulatory law.
Click onto the specific subject area below:
Stuart is ranked as a ‘leading junior’ in Licensing by The Legal 500 for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018/19, 2020 and in Chambers and Partners for 2019. He is a member of the Institute of Licensing (IOL) and is holder of the Professional Licensing Practitioners Qualification (PLPQ). Stuart is well known as a licensing specialist and has real depth and breadth of experience in all licensing matters, including but not exclusively; alcohol and entertainment, gambling, taxis and PHV’s, SIA licensing, special treatments, firearms, as well as cases involving alleged breaches in relation to HMO licences. In Taxi and PHV licensing he often acts for the United Cabbies’ Group and other taxi associations in respect of taxi and PHV licensing law and practice. He appears both at licensing sub-committee review hearings in a range of licensing cases, appeals to the magistrates’ and crown courts and also at appeals and by way of case stated and in judicial review proceedings and is frequently asked to advise on all licensing matters, including local government licensing policy and relevant legislation. He represents companies, trade associations, individuals, local licensing authorities and other responsible authorities. He is a regular lecturer on all licensing matters.
Selection of Recent Cases
- Objector v Windmill Club (Westminster Licensing Sub-committee): Successfully represented the objectors in opposing the sexual entertainment venue’s application to renew its licence. The case was widely reported in the national press.
- Advising a well know national chain of fast food restaurants on the correctness of the local licensing authority’s stance that a full fresh premise licence application rather than a variation was necessary after the restaurant had undergone structural change.
- Taxi association: advised on potential challenges to the authority’s policy and decisions in respect of means of payment for fares, the lawfulness of Uber’s operations, plying for hire and other significant licensing matters
- S v. L.B. of Newham: Appeal against a refusal to grant a new licence in CIZ
- B v London Borough of Redbridge: Appeal against removal of DPS
- T v TFL: Advising regarding an appeal against the refusal of a Hackney Carriage Licence
- DD v. LB of Southwark: Appeal against the suspension of a bar’s premises licence for public nuisance
- W Berks v J: Appeal to the crown court on behalf of a local authority in taxi licensing case concerning the authority’s policy on wheelchair access.
- D Hackney Driver’s and PHV Driver’s Association v. Dacorum Borough Council: Successfully represented the association in opposing the introduction of a policy which would have lowered the entry test requirements for new licensees in the borough.
- Residents v M Restaurant and LB Southwark: Successfully represented the residents in their review of the premises licence for a restaurant.
- Ali v. Sheffield City Council: successful in acting for the local authority in opposing this appeal of a decision to revoke the appellant’s PHV licence.
- C v. Canterbury City Council: successfully acted for the applicant for a new premises licence which was opposed by the Licensing Authority.
- NT Ltd v London Borough of Havering: represented this fast food premises in its appeal against the licensing authority’s decision to revoke its licence for repeated immigration offences, and was successful in quashing the decision and having costs partially awarded against the Council.
- The C v Canterbury City Council: appeal against the decision of the licensing sub-committee to reduce the operating hours of this bar. The matter was settled to the satisfaction of the Appellant.
- Advising a London borough on applications it received for the renewal of sexual entertainment venues.
Housing Act 2004
Stuart represents landlords and local authorities in prosecutions under the Housing Act 2004 in respect of various offences connected with Houses in Multiple Occupation ( HMO’s) and other licensing requirements under the Act. In addition he advises and represents in appeals to the Residential Property Tribunal.
Selection of Recent Cases
- London Borough of Camden v D: Successfully defending a landlord against a prosecution under the Housing Act alleging that his property was an HMO without being licensed as such. Stuart was able to argue that the property was not, in law, an HMO and that therefore no offence had been committed.
Click here for news item
Click here for coverage in Local Government Lawyer
- Stuart has been advising a local authority on its policy for managing and regulating selective licences and the limits to charges for such a process.
- Stuart has successfully argued that a prosecution for HMO offences was an abuse of process and managed to persuade the prosecutor to withdraw proceedings.
Planning and Environmental
This is one of Stuart’s main areas of practice and is complimented by his other specialist areas which often overlap with it. Stuart’s main interest lies in Town and Country Planning and Enforcement. He regularly advises and appears at inquiries in such matters. His enforcement works covers the full range of expertise required to practice in this area including representation at hearings and inquiries and in the High Court and extends to cases where there has been a breach of planning control resulting in a criminal prosecution. Stuart is ideally placed to deal with the sometimes complex overlap between planning and criminal law and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, which these cases often involve, due to his substantial experience in both legal disciplines. Stuart’s environmental practice also covers a wide range of subject areas, with a particular focus on waste and also statutory nuisance.
Selection of Recent Cases
- Planning Inquiry: Mirza v LB Barking and Dagenham: Inquiry concerning an enforcement notice in respect of the change of use from part storage and retail use to a retail furniture business.
- Re K: Advice concerning service under section 329 TCPA 1990 within the context of an appeal to the High court by way of case stated.
- Planning Inquiry: Ali v LB Newham: Challenge to an enforcement notice on the grounds that the change of use was immune from enforcement action.
- Planning Inquiry: (current) LB Brent: Challenge to an enforcement notice served in relation to car parking around Wembley Stadium on the grounds of immunity and other grounds.
- Planning Inquiry: (current) Acting for the local Planning Authority in respect of an enforcement notice alleging a material change of use.
- F v LB Hammersmith and Fulham: Advising in respect of a Planning Inquiry and whether there were any merits of an appeal to the High Court.
- R v Elmbridge Borough Council: Advising a resident on challenging the legality of a decision to grant planning permission.
- Mirza v LB of Newham  EWCA Crim 929: An appeal to the Court of Appeal in respect of the defence under section 179(3) Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
- LB of Newham v Mirza (Snaresbrook Crown Court): successfully represented the Defendant at her sentencing and in POCA proceedings, helping to secure a relatively low fine and confiscation order.
- LB of Hillingdon v H: represented the Defendant in a prosecution under section 179 TCPA 1990. The Defendant changed his plea to guilty and reached agreement on a confiscation figure whilst securing a relatively low fine.
- LB of Hackney v Manorgale Ltd: a successful prosecution under section 179 TCPA 1990 involving a legal argument as to the effect of an enforcement notice where there has been a subsequent grant of planning permission.
- LB of Hackney v Reichman: a successful prosecution under section 179 TCPA 1990 involving lengthy legal argument as to the correct construction of the requirements of an enforcement notice where there has been an amendment by the planning inspector.
- LB of Hackney v Scharf: successful prosecution under section 331 and 179 TCPA 1990 for a breach of an enforcement notice. The Defendant had challenged the Council’s power to prosecute in the High Court by way of judicial review but was unsuccessful. He was then convicted in the criminal proceedings as the director of the company that owned the property in question.
- LB of Hackney v. L: POCA proceedings resulting from large scale breaches of TCPA
- LB of Newham v. S: POCA proceedings from beach of TCPA
- Advising regarding alleged offences under the Building Regulations and the legal definition of ‘Caravan’.
- N v London Borough of Ealing: current case acting for the local authority in this appeal against the service of an abatement notice under section 80 Environmental Protection Act 1990, requiring the abatement of noise alleged to have been emitted from industrial premises.
- P v Liverpool City Council: successfully represented this bar and restaurant in an appeal against the service of an abatement notice. After negotiations and works done the council withdrew the notice.
- Bedford Borough Council v S: successful prosecution under section 33 Environmental Protection Act 1990.
- Environment Agency v G: defending in an EA prosecution for carrying out a waste operation without the required permit. Lengthy legal argument and expert evidence being called resulted in a much reduced benefit figure being made in POCA proceedings.
Public and Administrative Law (including Judicial Review)
Stuart’s practice is almost exclusively focused on cases which have, at their heart, decisions by public bodies, affecting companies, other organisations or individuals in different ways. This can include decisions by regulators or local authorities in respect or permits, licences, planning permissions, regulatory enforcement or prosecutions as well as other decisions of public bodies and connected matters. He is regularly instructed to advise and act in relation to the bringing or resisting of judicial review claims, statutory appeals and appeals by way of case stated, as well as acting and advising in other public and administrative law matters generally, but in particular in the following areas:
- Regulation and regulatory enforcement
- Prosecutions and criminal justice/surveillance/RIPA
- Law enforcement
- Powers and decisions of inferior courts and tribunals
- Planning and Environmental
- Local Government
- Human Rights
- Anti-social behaviour
- Information Law (Data Protection/F.O.I – see Regulatory Law section below)
Stuart regularly advises in respect of local authority policies, powers and duties both for Councils and for organisations and individuals affected by those powers and policies.
Selection of Recent Cases:
- Judicial Review of a local authority’s decision to refuse to grant a licence for the Claimant’s music festival shortly before it was due to take place.
- Judicial Review of the Food Standards Agency’s decision not to grant approval for the Claimant’s abattoir on animal welfare grounds
- Judicial Review by a claimant seeking to challenge the local authority’s delegated power to bring a prosecution for a breach of planning enforcement notice and the significance of a failure to give reasons for prosecuting the director of the company.
- Acting for a local authority in resisting a claim for Judicial Review in respect of a certificate of lawful use in the context of consideration as to whether there had been compliance with a planning enforcement notice.
- Advising a police force on the scope and meaning of section 196C of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in respect of a request by a local planning authority for police assistance on conducting planning enquiries on a site where other agencies were also present purporting to be acting under the Act.
- A challenge to a magistrates’ court’s decision to allow an application by the defence in an environmental prosecution to stay the proceedings on the basis that the original proceedings had been dismissed for want of a prosecutor and the new proceedings were therefore unlawful.
- A case concerning the power of the magistrates’ court to re-open civil proceedings in that court.
- Advising a property development company on the merits of challenging a Breach of Condition Notice by way of Judicial Review
- Advising an objector to a grant of planning permission the merits of challenging the decision alleged to be contrary to the local plan, by way of Judicial Review.
- Advising and representing a taxi Association in a challenge to a licensing authority’s proposed policy on granting new PHV and taxi licences.
Stuart is a specialist regulatory barrister who appears in the criminal courts in criminal and civil appeals and proceedings as well as in tribunals. Much of the work in this area requires a thorough grasp of EU law and Regulations and can be technically complex. Stuart is experienced in dealing with such complex regulations as well as the sometimes technical and scientific expert evidence that is often central to these type of cases. He is very familiar with the sentencing guidelines in respect of Health and Safety, Food Safety and Hygiene and Environmental offences. He undertakes work across a range of regulatory fields but in the following in particular:
FOOD/ANIMAL WELFARE LAW
Advice and representation is provided in cases relating to all breaches of the food safety and hygiene laws including prosecutions and other non-criminal proceedings, particularly in respect of the service of notices, under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013. He is a member of the Food Law Group and lectures widely on Food Law. He is often asked to advise companies in respect of investigations by local authorities or the Food Standards Agency. He is a specialist in all areas of food law, and other connected matters such as laws and regulations concerning health and nutrition claims, packaging and labelling, human medicines, and animal welfare and proceedings under the Welfare at the Time of killing Regulations. He acts for both the regulator and the regulated and has represented or acted against some well-known food business operators in the past.
Selection of Recent Cases
- NMT v FSA: appealed the regulator’s decision made under Article 31(2) (c ) EU Regulation 882/2004, not to grant conditional or full approval for the operation of the Appellant’s abattoir.
- LB of Hillingdon v Poundland: acted for the local authority in this prosecution and sentence for offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.
- LB of Ealing v T: prosecution involving contamination of foods with salmonella.
- 6 OZ Burger Ltd v Portsmouth City Council: regulation 8(10) of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013. This involved the service of a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice (HEPN) in relation to the serving of ‘pink’ burgers and the LA seeking a declaration that, at the time the notice was served, the health risk condition (that there was an imminent risk to health) was satisfied.
- Advice to a chain of bars in London regarding an interview by the local authority investigating allegations of Food Hygiene breaches. A detailed written response was drafted and the matter resolved successfully.
- Riley v R: appeal against conviction for this food business operator who had allegedly caused a cow unnecessary suffering after it had fallen in his abattoir on way to be slaughtered. Expert evidence was served to show that there was no breach of animal welfare and that his actions were necessary to prevent suffering and serious injury to his staff and others working there. The case was withdrawn by the prosecution.
- R v C: (current case) Defending this large poultry processing site alleged to have caused unnecessary suffering to livestock.
- Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency v C: (current case) representing this company in an investigations by the regulator under the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.
- Oxfordshire CC v D ltd: (current) defending a company in respect of allegations that it placed misleading information on labels on health supplements and made misleading claims about the products.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Stuart is frequently instructed in cases involving allegations under the Health and Safety at Work Act as well as other safety legislation. In addition, he advises organisations during the early stages of an investigation. Stuart is frequently instructed by companies defending action taken by the HSE or Local Authorities but also prosecutes as well. He has provided a number of seminars on the sentencing guidelines to business and local authorities.
Selection of Recent Cases
- HSE v C: sentence for a company that pleaded guilty to several serious breaches under the Act as well as fire safety breaches.
- HSE v Burrows: Represented the defendant on his plea to offences under the HSW Act and offences under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
- London Borough of Enfield v M Ltd: prosecution (current) of a company (regarding chemicals in plastic toys) under the REACH regulations, EC Regulation 1907/2006.
CONSUMER PROTECTION/TRADING STANDARDS
Stuart has a long history of providing representation and advice to businesses in relation to a wide variety of trading standards and consumer protection cases. Many cases have concerned trademark infringement and others under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations and Fraud. He has a wealth of experience defending and prosecuting cases involving infringements to copyright or trademarks. He has lectured widely on the subject and has recently acted in cases where large scale breaches of the law resulted in proceedings against individuals and companies. He is therefore fully conversant with subsequent Proceeds of Crime applications that often follow such cases.
- West Berkshire District Council v Andrews: Offences under the CPUTR (Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations).
- West Berkshire District Council v. A: Trademark offences.
- West Berkshire District Council v. R: Offences under CPUTR and fraud.
- West Berkshire District Council v. C: Offences under CPUTR
- Birmingham City Council v. C and T: Consumer Credit Act offences.
- Birmingham City Council v. S and S: Consumer Credit Act offences.
- Birmingham City Council v. T and others: Consumer Credit Act offences.
- Birmingham City Council v. J: Consumer credit Act offences.
- Birmingham City Council v G: Financial Services and Markets Act prosecution regarding unauthorised lending.
- Hillingdon v ZL: Defending in the sentence and POCA proceedings of this prosecution for Trademark offences.
- Advising a company which provides devices to assist the elderly and disabled, on an investigation by Trading Standards for offences under the CPUTR and also in respect of a restraint order made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002..
INFORMATION LAW (Including GDPR)
Stuart is able to advise and represent individuals, public bodies or commercial or other organisations on a range of information law matters including:
- Freedom of Information Act 2000
- Environmental Information Regulations 2004
- Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
- Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in May 2018. Stuart is able to assist clients with advice and training in readiness for this significant legal development. He is currently committed to providing such training to various local authorities in the very near future. Much of the law regarding information rights is pertinent to Stuart’s other areas of specialist practice and he often deals with such issues where these specialisms overlap. Cases include the following:
- Advising a hotel chain on its obligations under the DPA in respect of requests for disclosure connected with an allegation made against one of its staff which was being investigated by the police.
- Advising a local authority on their duties of disclosure and their obligations under the DPA in the context of environmental litigation.
- Advising a police force on its data protection obligations concerning its methods for investigating online crime.
OTHER REGULATORY AND PUBLIC LAW INCLUDING INQUESTS
Stuart has advised and represented clients in Police disciplinary hearings, Football Association hearings, and acted for teachers, doctors, dentists and other professionals. His experience of regulatory law within the civil and criminal spheres means he is able to adapt his advocacy style and tactics to different regulatory forums and environments to great effect .He advises on responding to internal investigations where his previous experience as an investigator is an added advantage. He has acted for families and others in inquests and is comfortable with inquisitorial processes.