David Manley QC

David Manley QC


36 Young Street, Manchester, M3 3FT
DX: 718188 MCH 3
Direct Dial: 0161 832 9082


5 Park Square, Leeds, LS1 2NE
Direct Dial: 0113 242 1123


Embassy House, 60 Church Street,
Birmingham, B3 2DJ
Direct Dial: 0121 200 3570

Clerked by:
William Brown
Mark Ronson



David specialises in planning, environmental and particular aspects of administrative and public law. He represents a significant number of nationally and regionally known housebuilders both in planning inquiries and judicial review proceedings.  In the last 12 months he has represented landowner/developers at several Local Plan EiPs and is currently retained by Stratford-on-Avon BC to guide their proposed Plan through the EiP process.   His environmental practice is busy and he is retained by Lancashire and North Yorkshire Councils to give ongoing advice in respect of “fracking” issues.   Other examples of recently completed environmental cases are the Arpley site in which he represented Warrington MBC and the Butterley Reservoir case in which he successfully represented Yorkshire Water in seeking extensive repairs to a listed spillway.  He is a specialist in Village Green work and regularly sits as an Inspector as well as representing landowners and developers in resisting TVG applications.    He is an experienced CPO practitioner having recently successfully concluded the Edge Hill Phase 3 CPO Inquiry. He also specialises in resisting claims for listing of Assets of Community Value

Year of Call: 1981

Year of Silk: 2003

Areas of Expertise
  • Administrative & Public Law and Local Government
  • Environmental
  • Planning


Chambers UK 2017

"He is well prepared and analyses the issues, and provides punchy, straightforward advice." "He is an excellent source of local advice, an exceptional advocate and easy to talk to."

"He provides both pragmatic and extremely comprehensive legal advice. He is a highly effective advocate with a very client-focused approach." "He carries a lot of respect; when he speaks everybody listens and his reputation goes before him. He is very effective at thinking on his feet. Because of his experience and knowledge he is a force to be reckoned with."

Legal 500 2017

‘A clear and strategic advocate.’

‘Very knowledgeable and easy to work with.’

Chambers UK 2016

"He is absolutely excellent to work with. He delivers the goods." "He is top-draw, one of the best."

"A very forensic advocate." "He won't have anything of cutting corners. He knows what will happen under cross-examination."

Chambers UK 2015

"He's thorough, and gets to the point, and doesn't always just tell you what you want to hear. He explains the law accurately and in an understandable way. He's very personable, so it is always a good experience working with him." "He is a very strong advocate. He's confident and excellent at cross-examination. He gets to the bottom of every case and knows the detail."

"He's incredibly intellectual but very approachable as well - he gives very commercial advice, he's quick to respond and he's a brilliant advocate. Very client-friendly." "He's the king of inquiries."

Legal 500 2015

"Approachable and easy to work with"

"He has a great presence in the inquiry forum, both as an advocate and as an inspector"

Chambers UK 2014

David's preparation is thorough and he has a very sound approach to the analysis of planning cases. He is balanced in his presentation of cases at appeal and provides thoughtful advice in conference.

He has a keen eye for detail and what really matters in a case; he's a very polished advocate.

Chambers UK 2013

David Manley's QC practice covers all aspects of planning and environmental law work, and has a particular emphasis on the renewable energy sector. He is well known for his inquiry and judicial review work, and he recently appeared in the Todmorden public inquiry in relation to an application challenging the development of a wind farm.

David Manley QC is head of the planning team at the set and receives excellent client feedback for his "good knowledge" and the quality of his advocacy. "He has a good grip on the case before him and a certain commanding presence which puts people at ease. When he acts as an advocate he brings out a bit more of the terrier in him." Although primarily an inquiry practitioner, he also appears in judicial reviews on a regular basis.

Chambers UK 2012

David Manley acts for both public and private sector bodies in environment and planning cases, where his primary focus is on the energy and waste sectors. Ever even-handed, his recent work has included representing several wind farm developers as well as acting for residents opposing wind farm developments. "He is extremely good at taking a lot of information on board quickly to present a coherent argument," note those who instruct him.

..has worked on several renewable projects recently, including the release of land from a registered common to allow two wind farms to be built. Observers note that he is "highly accomplished, smooth and very polished on his feet."

Chambers UK 2010 - David Manley QC is said to be,

"An excellent all-round advocate who is incredibly enthusiastic in the way he presents his case - his arguments are very energetic, while his advice is really practical

and straightforward.  He draws praise for his work with the giants of the nuclear industry and has a strong track record in waste management proceedings. Extremely intelligent and a strong advocate".


Year of Call: 1981 (Inner Temple)

Joined Chambers: 1981  

University: Leeds

Degree: BA (Hons)

QC: 2003  

Chambers UK Logo 2016

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