Practice Areas

Justine Thornton


Justine is highly recommended for her Environmental expertise by both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500. Chambers & Partners also named Justine in the Chambers 100, a list of the top 100 juniors  practising at the Bar across all practice areas.

Clients include Defra, Environment Agency, Welsh Assembly Government, the Marine Management Organisation, the Department for Transport; the Department for Communities and Local Government, EDF Energy; Veolia United Utilities, Bath & North East Somerset Council action groups and individuals.


"Her client skills are phenomenal; she is very calm, focused and knowledgeable, and instantly instils confidence." "A great advocate with a fierce intellect." Chambers & Partners 2014
"Extremely bright, hardworking, and knowledgeable" Legal 500 2013
Sources describe Justine Thornton as "exceptional" in terms of her "clarity of advice" and also single her out for her "excellent grasp of legal and tactical issues" Chambers & Partners 2012
"one of the finest juniors in the field...shows considerable attention to detail, commitment to the cause and great knowledge" Chambers & Partners 2011
"intelligent, thorough, enthusiastic and pleasant." Chambers & Partners 2010
"first-class" Legal 500 2009
"Extremely hard working, bright and knowledgeable" Chambers & Partners 2009


Junior Counsel to the Crown. Member of the Attorney General's C Panel
Advocate for the Welsh Assembly Government (Junior Counsel Panel)
Case Law Editor for Journal of Environmental Law
Co-convenor of UKELA Working Party on Environmental Litigation: 2000 -2008
Government Adviser on environment and biotechnology: 1999-2005
Visiting Lecturer at the Academy of European Law, Trier, Germany: 1998-1999

Significant Cases

KV v R [2011] ECWA Crim 2432 (Court of Appeal Criminal Division)
Doran v Secretary of State and Anor (Court of Appeal) , [2011] EWCA Civ 1798
Georgiou v Secretary of State and Lambeth Borough Council (Court of Appeal), [2011] EWCA Civ 775
United Utilities Water Plc (test case appeals on sewer overflows), 2006 and 2007

Related News

Twenty members of Thirty Nine Essex Street recognised in the 2014 Planning Magazine Legal Survey
Appointments to the Attorney General's Panel of Counsel
Renewable energy and heritage assets: Court of Appeal gives Barnwell judgment
Court of Appeal hears key case on wind turbine heritage impacts
Who can challenge an Inspector’s decision in the High Court?
Six Members of Thirty Nine Essex Street Named in The Chambers 100
Ten members of Thirty Nine Essex Street nominated for Chambers 100 UK Bar
September's Planning, Environment & Property Newsletter available now
Thirty Nine Essex Street receives four nominations for the Chambers Bar Awards 2013
Thirty Nine Essex Street success in Planning Magazine survey
Justine Thornton instructed by Leigh Day in class action against Shell Nigeria
Project splitting in the Court of Appeal – Justine Thornton and Ned Helme appear.
Development consent order for Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station
Justine Thornton and James Burton appeared against each other in the first ever case to come before the First Tier Tribunal, General Regulatory Chamber (Environment).
Justine Thornton is appointed as an advocate for the Welsh Assembly Government
Justine Thornton in the first Court of Appeal decision on the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste regime
Inspectors' reasons and expert evidence
Water Resources Management Plan: inquiry outcome


General Editor of Thomson Reuters Encyclopaedia of Environmental Law
Case Law Editor of the Journal of Environmental Law Oxford University Press
Environmental Law (First and Second editions) Sweet & Maxwell 2009
Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004: A Guide to the New Law Law Society 2005
Taking Responsibility: Personal liability under environmental law Earthscan Publications 2000


Turbines, heritage assets and merits: a change in the wind
Significant UK Environmental Cases 2012-2013
The preliminary reference procedure - referrals to the Court of Justice of the European Union in environmental cases (with Richard Drabble QC and Dr V Heyvaert) (forthcoming)
Inspectors Reasons and expert evidence Journal of Planning and Environmental Law 2013
Significant UK Environmental Cases 2012 - 2013 Journal of Environmental Law (forthcoming)
Significant UK Environmental Cases 2011-12 Journal of Environmental Law
Environmental Judicial Review

Related Newsletters

Planning, Environment & Property Law Newsletter - March 2014
Planning, Environment & Property Law Newsletter - February 2014
Planning, Environment & Property Law Newsletter - December 2013
Planning, Environment & Property Law Newsletter - September 2013
Environmental and Planning Newsletter - March 2012

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