Harry Spurr

Year of call: 2001

Harry Harry

Harry is a specialist in planning, environmental and other aspects of local government and regulatory law concerning the use of land, such as highways, and town and village greens.  He acts as advocate, and in an advisory role, for developers, landowners and other private parties, councils, regulators and other statutory bodies.  He has appeared in a substantial number of high-profile, high-value cases.

He is also an experienced commercial mediator, with a practice encompassing a wide range of commercial and civil dispute types.  He has a particular interest in mediation in disputes involving local government and other public bodies.

Harry practised for 15 years as a planning and environmental specialist from leading chambers (including Francis Taylor Building and Landmark Chambers) where he was regarded as one of the top young barristers in his field, and leading international law firm Hogan Lovells LLP.  He subsequently became a successful entrepreneur, creating and running, among other enterprises, a successful renewable energy business.  

Following the sale of his company’s energy portfolio to a foreign public utility, he practiced for some years as a specialist commercial mediator at IPOS Mediation before returning to the Bar to resume his practice alongside his mediation work.

Harry is the author of a substantial number of articles on his specialist areas, and regularly speaks at seminars and webinars.


As a specialist planning lawyer, Harry acts as advocate and advisor to a wide range of private and public sector parties, including landowners, developers and other private parties, district, county, borough and unitary authorities, and other statutory bodies such as Historic England and the Environment Agency.  He has appeared in the full range of forums and tribunals: planning appeals, call-in inquiries, enforcement appeals, development plan proceedings, judicial review and other Administrative Court proceedings, prosecutions and injunctions. 

Having practised at leading London chambers Francis Taylor Building and Landmark Chambers, Harry’s experience of the planning system ranges across the spectrum, and includes a significant number of high-profile cases.  

This experience includes, among other development types: urban extensions and new communities, major infrastructure development, local plans, major residential schemes, supermarket and other retail development, office and warehouse development, industrial processes, waste collection and disposal, residential care villages, holiday and caravan resorts, car-parking, listed buildings and conservation areas, gypsy sites, betting shops and public houses.


Harry acts for private and public sector clients in a broad range of cases in the environment and local government fields.  These include landowners, operators, councils and regulators, and he has appeared before a variety of tribunals, including inquiries, hearings, various categories of appeal, and in the civil and criminal courts. 

His experience includes nuisance and statutory nuisance, wind and other renewable energy projects, town and village greens, highways, footpaths and other rights of way, environmental permitting, riparian duties, water abstraction, waste collection and disposal, and various categories of licensing cases.


Harry mediates disputes arising in a wide range of fields across the commercial spectrum, including commercial contractual disputes, partnership and shareholder conflicts, property claims, financial products, professional negligence cases, and schools and education. He also has a particular interest in promoting mediation in cases involving public bodies, such as local government or other regulatory authorities engaged in performing their statutory functions. 

Harry is also a member of leading mediation chambers IPOS Mediation, a conciliator for CEDR, and works as an experienced volunteer community mediator for two charities, helping to resolve conflict within deprived communities in social housing.

Harry’s background as an entrepreneur, dealing with the commercial realities of negotiation at the coal face in business, puts him in a position that is rare for a mediator-barrister; it means that he is unusually well-placed to understand not only the legal context that frames disputes, but also the commercial and other practical influences that lie at their heart. This experience is of particular value in the deal-making environment of mediation.

The variety of his professional experience means that he is comfortable accepting instructions in a wide range of civil and commercial law disputes. In addition, Harry is one of a small number of mediators with extensive experience of the law concerning environmental and land use regulation and other matters subject to public authority oversight, such as planning, licensing, and nuisance.

Harry is known for an approach to mediation that is characterised by informality, flexibility, and responsiveness. This unstuffy approach is accompanied by a commercial awareness that reflects his career in business, and a sensitivity to the emotional aspects of conflict that he has developed from his work in the challenging community mediation sector.


For further information and enquiries please contact: Lisa Frostup 


  • Planning and Environmental Bar Association (PEBA)
  • UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA)


  • Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR)
  • ADRgroup
  • Inns of Court School of Law
  • Exeter University