Profile image of John Campbell Q.C.
John Campbell Q.C.
Call 1981
Silk 1998
Door Tenant
Specialism: Planning
John Campbell Q.C. CV
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Tel: 0191 232 1927


John Campbell Q.C.


  • Town & Country Planning
  • Energy Law
  • Administrative and Public Law
  • Professional negligence
  • ADR
  • Public Inquiries

Town and Country Planning and Environment

  • Applications
  • Policy writing
  • Parties’ written cases
  • Presentations to Committees
  • Appeals and Reviews, Public and other Inquiries
  • Windfarms, hydro, biomass, waste and all renewable energy matters
  • Judicial Reviews and Administrative Law particularly in Planning and Environmental issues
  • Local Plans and Examinations in Public
  • Planning Agreements
  • Historic Buildings and Heritage questions
  • National Parks
  • EU Habitats and Birds Regulations, Environmental Law and related matters


  • Compulsory Purchase and Valuations
  • Lands Tribunal – valuation issues, rent reviews
  • Property and Construction disputes
  • Arbitrations, including fishing and farming disputes


  • A number of cases involving solicitors’ surveyors’ and accountants’ negligence


This arbitrary alphabetical list covers the period 2000-2016

About 200 windfarm and other planning cases at Committee, in writing, on appeal to Inspectors and Reporters, and on Appeal and Judicial Review in Scotland, Cumbria, Northumberland, East Yorkshire, North Wales, West Wales, and Norfolk.

Avich & Kilchrenan Community Council – appearance before UN Economic Committee for Europe’s Åarhus Convention Compliance Committee, Geneva, Switzerland

Beauly to Denny OHL Inquiry – major power line inquiry from Beauly (Inverness-shire) to Denny (Stirlingshire)

Bilfinger Berger Siemens CAF Joint Venture - training for Edinburgh Trams Mediation

Coastal Regeneration Alliance – Community Right to Buy under Land reform (S) Act 2003 – wrongful refusal to register lawful interest by Scottish Ministers

David Bines v CNES – [2010] Otter control at a fish farm

Gloag v Perth and Kinross Council and The Ramblers Association – right to roam – right to erect a fence with out planning permission

Gordon & Macphail v The Moray Council – Land Tribunal Valuation dispute for loss of use of a spring feeding a malt whisky distillery

Gordons Trustees – landlord’s resistance to an informally created agricultural tenancy

Grantown on Spey Caravan Park – Certificate of Lawful Use and Development against Planning Authority; success and costs awarded

HMA v Hyslop – farmer carrying shotgun and allegedly threatening ‘lampers’ on his own ground – unanimous acquittal

HMA v Reid – shaken baby death

ICE v Addison – professional body wrongfully expelling Chartered Engineer

Laird v Scottish Borders Council – Planning consent invalidated for ambiguity

Lidl Stores – Nine public inquiries for new stores

Macaskill Stornoway [2009] Lorry noise nuisance case

Mearns Residents Association – flooding – correct interpretation of Council’s obligations to regulate housing permissions

Nairn v Fife Council [2008] Listed Buildings and ransom strip at large Country House

Newton Mearns Residents Association [2014] CSOH – flooding issues, Protective Expenses Order

Packard v Scottish Ministers [2012] – judicial review of windfarm Planning decision – bias and pre-determination by Scottish Ministers alleged

Parry v Highland Council – Contested certificate of lawful use for a fish farm

Pentland-Clark v Maclehose and Others – [2013] 10 year long Will dispute

Pirie and another v NEC – unlawful contract termination of TV distributor’s agreements

Q-Park – Access through designated bridge Airspace valuation

RIAS v Mays – unlawful expulsion of architect from membership of professional body – compensation

S and others – prolonged family dispute among four brothers following sale of a waste recovery business

Scott v McTear – auction house denying liability for compensation after burglary

TMSL v Rannoch Club – unlawful contract termination – compensation

Scottish Parliament Inquiry – 2004 – Inquiry into overspend on the Scottish Parliament Building

Trump International v Scottish Ministers UKSC [2015] judicial review of decision about the correct interpretation of a term in Electricity Act 1989

William Grant & Sons, Distillers [2013] – judicial review of Planning Decision

Wilson v Morton Fraser – Solicitors negligence claim, contested valuation of loss of profit


  • Member of the Scottish Bar since 1981, QC Scotland since 1998
  • Member, Dispute Review Board, Mersey Gateway Crossing 2015-


Regularly gives talks on Planning law and Arbitration to solicitors, local authority staff, students, clients and others and has written a number of articles on Listed Buildings and Built and Natural Heritage issues


  • LLB Edinburgh 1972


John Campbell is a Scottish Queen’s Counsel, qualified to practice throughout the UK.

He graduated from Edinburgh University in 1972, and worked as a solicitor in Scotland until 1978. He was appointed as an Assistant Director of Legal Aid in Hong Kong where he worked in a range of public service legal jobs until appointed a Magistrate in 1980. He returned to Scotland in 1981.He passed Advocate that year, was called to Lincolns Inn in 1990, and took silk in 1998. He was a member of 40 King Street Chambers in Manchester throughout the 1990s.

He has worked in Family Law, both claimant and defendant Personal Injury and industrial disease work, and much earlier, in Crime. He has acquired a lot of agricultural experience, particularly for estates, farms and tenants and in landlord and tenant issues, and has worked widely in promoting arbitration and mediation for farmers, and in rent reviews both in Scotland and around the world. He has been a registered Construction Adjudicator and is currently a Member of a DRB.

He has worked in Town and Country Planning since the mid 1990s and has developed that speciality to include Environmental Law and some Construction Law. He is particularly active in Renewable Energy work on behalf of communities, NGOs, third parties, developers and councils.

His practice today is mainly in Planning and Environmental Law, property and land law, and agriculture and energy work, and he has a specialised practice in all kinds of ADR work and its promotion. He has carried out about 200 public inquiries and a number of related judicial reviews. Outside the law, he is Chairman of Scotland’s largest Building Preservation Trust, and of a University Research Advisory Board.