John Pugh-Smith

Associate member (Call Date: 1977) email
John Pugh-Smith

He is very experienced: he is very realistic about litigation and gives clients an honest view. He is approachable, friendly and knowledgeable, and fun to work with too.”

Chambers and Partners 2019

John Pugh-Smith’s principal practice area is town and country planning with related environmental, real estate, local government and parliamentary work. He is also an experienced alternative dispute resolver. As an active promoter of conflict resolution, particularly in the public sector, he is one of the specialist advisers to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Alternative Dispute Resolution. In recognition of John’s wide-ranging planning and mediation experience, he has been appointed to and a member of the Design Council’s Highways England Design Review Panel. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and works in association with CIArb’s Dispute Appointments Service. He is also a member of the RICS President’s Appointments Panel.

Court and tribunal experience

Recent appearances in the High Court, County Court, Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), Planning Inquiries and Hearings, and, Parliamentary Select Committees


MA. (Oxon) (1976)
Bar Finals (1977)
Accredited mediator (CEDR – 2005)
Fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (2018)


Gray’s Inn
Planning & Environment Bar Association (Member)
Compulsory Purchase Association (Member)
Civil Mediation Council (Registered Mediator)
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Fellow)
RICS DRS President’s Panel (Member)
Bar Council ADR Committee (Member)


Planning, Property & Compensation Reports (Sweet & Maxwell): Joint Editor
How to Master Commercial Mediation (Bloomsbury): Contributor
Shackleton on the Law and Practice of Meetings (currently at 14th Edition) (Sweet & Maxwell): Joint Editor
Neighbours and the Law (currently at 5th Edition) (Sweet & Maxwell): Originating and co-author
Environmental Law (currently at 2nd Edition) (Oxford University Press): Joint editor and contributor
Archaeology in Law (Oxford University Press): Co-author


R (North Norfolk Planning Watch Ltd CIC) v North Norfolk District Council [2017] EWHC 3345 (Admin) – use of prescribed application form for demolition of an unlisted building in a conservation area.

R (Community Against Dean Super Quarry Limited) v Cornwall Council & Shire Oak Quarries [2017] EWHC 40 (Admin) – enforcement of EIA development-delay- inadequate consideration of Habitats Regulations – retrospective planning application – declaration of illegality refused

R (Roskilly) v Cornwall Council & Shire Oak Quarries Limited [2015] EWHC 3711 (Admin) – Environmental Impact Assessment. Planning permission with negative scoping opinion overridden by later positive screening direction.

Saunders v Caerphilly County Borough Council [2015] EWHC 1632 (Ch) – Compulsory Purchase Order compensation. Application of the Limitation Act 1980 ss.9, 29(5) to claim requiring Authority to refer matter to Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber).