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Judicial Review

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When a public body or official has made a decision that impacts on an industry, sector or project, sometimes the last available resort is to challenge the decision on legal or procedural grounds by way of judicial review. A party involved in a challenge needs the support of a team who understands their industry and the challenge process.

At CMS, we act for claimants, defendants and interested parties, often in regulated industries and in respect of regulator decisions. We have specialist expertise in challenges to planning, compulsory purchase and other development consent decisions. Understanding our client’s industry and organisation and the relevant powers and procedure under which the decision is made is vital to a successful outcome. Our industry sector experts work together with our disputes and public law specialists to assist clients through the process.

Our Planning Team also advises on minimising risk of challenge through the preparation and promotion of applications, including scrutinising the exercise of powers and decision making procedures.

Public bodies often carry out consultations before making a decision on policy or regulation.  We work with clients throughout this process to analyse the impact of the potential decision on their businesses and industry and to seek a positive outcome through the consultation process to avoid the need for judicial review. Where our clients remain dissatisfied with the final decision, we support them through the analysis – whether there are grounds for challenge on the traditional or evolving bases – and process to a final outcome.

Our experience includes advising:

  • AEG Presents Limited in a judicial review claim and a procurement claim brought by its global rival, Live Nation (Music) UK Ltd, against the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and The Royal Parks relating to the tender process for the 2020-2025 contract for British Summer Time Hyde Park music festival.
  • The Arora Group as an interested party in defending judicial review litigation relating to runway expansion at Heathrow Airport.
  • SSE defending application from NGO to review permission in relation to 300MW capacity windfarm.
  • EDF defending an application by local business to challenge permission in relation to 59 turbine windfarm.
  • Department for Transport on several high profile, multi party public procurement/judicial review and bid costs challenges to its rail franchising decisions.
  • Cory/Wheelabrator JV on the successful defence of a Judicial Review taken by a campaign group aimed at preventing a waste to energy incinerator project.
  • Gravis Solar on a judicial review challenge of Ofgem’s decision to revoke accreditation and withdraw state aid grants subsidies. 
  • Community Windpower in a judicial review of Ministry of Defence policy/decisions on noise budgets.

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Chambers, 2021

Dan Tench is praised as someone who "always has his clients' corner and can litigate in a variety of different contexts."

Chambers, 2021

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Chambers, 2021
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