Regulatory Prosecutions


Members of Drystone Chambers have acted for the defence in a number of cases involving CAA prosecutions. Clients have ranged from private pilots to ATPL holders accused of a variety of offences from paperwork issues through to Reckless Endangerment. Typical clients range from airlines and other commercial operators defending in CAA prosecutions. We have successfully defended prosecutions following aircraft accidents including manslaughter allegations arising out of alleged negligent maintenance.

We have extensive experience in advising from the outset of CAA investigations. In a number of instances (involving both pilots and commercial operators) early advice and the drafting of responses to the CAA has resulted in no further action being taken or warnings/cautions being issued rather than prosecution.

Latterly members have advised upon and drafted aircraft ownership and leasing agreements and aircraft operating agreements for types ranging from light aircraft through to multi-million pound business jets.

Aviation bodies that have sought advice from Chambers include BALPA, the British Parachute Association, GAPAN, the BMAA and the LAA.

Health & Fire Safety, and Environmental Protection

Members of chambers act for and against the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency, Local Authorities, companies and individuals in these discrete but specialist areas of law. In recognition of our expertise, Drystone Chambers has counsel appointed to the Unified List of Specialist Regulatory Counsel in Health and Safety and Environmental Law and approved counsel to the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority.

In health and safety work we act in cases from the most serious offences involving fatalities to non-fatal accidents and technical breaches in all manner of settings including retail environments, restaurants, construction sites and residential homes. We are also able to appear at Inquests and in statutory appeals.

In environmental health matters we act across the full range of offences from acts of pollution and deposits of hazardous waste to fly-tipping and littering. We also act in appeals against Noise Abatement Notices and other statutory notices.

Members of Drystone chambers advise the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and act for the defence in respect of allegations concerning breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. We are able to advise as to as to the sufficiency of due diligence systems and as to the liability of company officers within a corporate structure.


Chambers has a strong history of prosecuting on behalf of the Office of Communications (OFCOM) throughout the United Kingdom. In light of this background we are best placed to offer defence advice and effective representation to both professional and lay clients in relation to this unique and challenging field.

Planning Enforcement

Members of chambers act for Local Planning Authorities, architects, developers and individuals in this specialist area of law.

We are highly experienced in planning enforcement litigation. We appear regularly in the criminal courts in cases covering the spectrum of the offence-creating provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act and associated legislation.

We have conducted cases involving breaches of enforcement, stop and condition notices under the Town and Country Planning Act; demolition or works of alteration to Listed Buildings and buildings in Conservation Areas; control of advertisements infringements; breaches of Tree Preservation Orders and more.

We are able to advise as to the availability or applicability of statutory defences and as to the liability of company officers within a corporate structure.

Our expertise in confiscation perfectly complements this area of law given the significant increase in applications for confiscation being made by local authorities. Frequently we are instructed to appear for both the prosecution and defence in cases that have been committed to the Crown Court under s.70 of the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Whilst our primary expertise is in the criminal arena, we also appear before the Planning Inspectorate and in the High Court on applications for judicial review.

A selection of the cases in which we have appeared appears below:

  • Ali - breach of enforcement notice; confiscation order made in the sum of £1.4 million (the largest such order for planning related offences)
  • Michael Shanly Homes - breaches of Tree Preservation Orders at site of proposed development
  • Piers Rance - prosecution of property developer who demolished house in Conservation Area despite being informed CAC would not be granted. Highest fine on record for offence of this nature
  • Yousaf - breach of enforcement notice; argument as to statutory definition of ‘owner’
  • FL Trading Ltd - prosecution of company and director for carrying out works of alteration to the historic Regal Cinema in Kingston-upon-Thames
  • Barnard Marcus - estate agents’ boards; prohibition on display of advertisements