Our Highways and Rights of Way team has a broad range of experience in dealing with issues concerning both Rights of Way and Highways. Members have acted for local authorities, the highway authorities themselves, developers, and of course members of the public who may be adversely affected by a proposal for a new right of way or the upgrading of a footpath to a bridleway.

Members of both teams can advise on the law in this area – often a complex mix of common-law and statutory principles. They appear in court on these issues and also in statutory inquiries under, for example, the Countryside & Rights of Way Act when new rights of way are being promoted or opposed, and when issues such as the ‘right to roam’ have to be decided.

Cases are dealt with under individual members’ entries but have included the case of the footpath that disappeared into the River Severn and the rights and duties that existed as a result.

Many members of the team have experience in handling cases concerning Highways and Road Access and we have dealt with a number of Inquiries involving these complicated issues.

All our team members can accept instructions direct from industry professionals under the Licensed Access scheme. This allows members of licensed organisations, such as the RICS, to instruct us without having to go through a solicitor.

Public Access

Some members of the team are also available to act, where appropriate, for members of the public, as well as commercial and non-commercial organisations, under the Public Access scheme. Read more.


The team delivers workshops and seminars in Chambers and regional centres. We also provide training on behalf of local Law Societies and in conjunction with firms of solicitors and also councils. We can also provide tailored in-house training for particular firms. If you would like any further information please contact Paul Nuttal 0117 923 4742 or email: [email protected].

Highways & Rights of Way Team

Peter Wadsley

  • Call: 1984

Peter specialises in planning & local government law, environment law and licensing. He heads the Public & Administrative Law Practice Group at St John’s Chambers. He also has extensive experience in public rights of way inquiries and associated...

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Charles Auld

  • Call: 1980

Charles has specialised in land-related matters for over 30 years. He has great experience of boundary litigation, restrictive covenants, easements and public rights of way. He regularly appears in Court; in the First-tier Tribunal (especially on land registration...

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John Sharples

John Sharples

  • Call: 1992

John is a very experienced adviser and advocate and has practised in the area of Highways and Public Rights of Way for many years. He is ranked in Band 1 for both real estate litigation and chancery in...

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Tim Leader

Timothy Leader

  • Call: 1994

Tim appears regularly at public inquiries and has handled all kinds of proposals, including those for housing development (with a focus on those raising issues relating to the need for housing and housing land supply), employment, retail, listed...

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Matthew White

Matthew White

  • Call: 1997

Matthew successfully defended Young v Merthyr Tydfil CBC [2009] PIQR P23: a more modern restatement of the principle in Gautret v Egerton (1866-67) LR 2 CP 371 and McGeown v Northern Ireland Housing Executive [1995]1 AC 233 that,...

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Harry Spurr

  • Call: 2001

Harry acts for landowners, local and other public authorities and regulators, individuals, community groups and other parties in relation to a range of disputes concerning land.  He is known in particular for his expertise in highways / public...

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Seminars & Events

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