Year of Call: 1997
Colin practises in all aspects of public law, specialising particularly in local government law, planning, environment, and judicial review.
Since joining Chambers after an academic career, he has developed an extensive practice advising on all aspects of local authority law, including powers, constitutional matters, reorganisation, standards and probity, ombudsmen, finance, judicial review, trading, best value, and procurement.
He has acted for a wide variety of local authorities, central government, police and fire authorities, monitoring officers, the Standards Board, companies, private individuals, councillors, and various universities. While much of this is advisory work, he has also appeared in the Court of Appeal, High Court, and before the Adjudication Panels for England and Wales, the District Auditor, the Valuation Tribunal, the First Tier Tribunal, and he has both advised and appeared before local standards committees.
He is also an editor of the Encyclopedia of Local Government Law and of Cross on Local Government Law.
He was the lead author of the study for DETR which informed, and he advised further on, the enactment of the wellbeing powers under Part I of the Local Government Act 2000, and in turn he was part of the team commissioned by ODPM to undertake a major three year review of the use of these powers.
He was also an assessor for the DETR evaluating the new model constitutions issued by the Department.
He was also appointed to conduct an extensive independent investigation into complaints about, and the operation of, a local authority's planning service.
In addition to local government law, he also advises in planning and environmental law advising and appears for local authorities, developers and third parties in the High Court and Court of Appeal on judicial reviews relating to local government, planning and highways matters, on s.288 and other statutory appeals, and applications for injunctions in planning and highways matters.
He is a CEDR Accredited Mediator and is a firm believer in alternatives to litigation. He will act as mediator in a wide range of disputes, but is particularly well suited to disputes involving public authorities and sensitive political issues.
He also maintains an active interest and advises on ombudsmen and other non-judicial grievance remedying mechanisms.
In addition to the extensive local government practice outlined above, and being instructed in over 150 inquiries, including several major inquiries, he has been heavily involved in matters of legal reform and undertakes a number of consultancy roles and training for public authorities. He also publishes widely in these areas, and his writing has been cited and approved in court.
He undertakes training for both officers and elected members to suit the needs of the particular authority.
He is a member of the Board, and an examiner, of the Law Society's Post Qualification Diploma in Local Government Law & Practice and is a frequent speaker at professional conferences.
His expertise extends beyond the domestic jurisdiction, and he has been:
- a consultant on local government law for the Foreign Office "Know How" fund for the former Czechoslovakia and then the Czech and Slovak Republics.
- a consultant for the European Commission on local government for Poland, Latvia and Lithuania
- a consultant for the European Commission on procedure for major development projects in Russia
- a part-time consultant for four years in Argentina in regard to redesigning the planning system.
Ian Frank Harrison v Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government & Cheshire West & Chester Council (successor to Vale Royal Borough Council)  EWHC 3382 (Admin), (2010) Env LR 17 (relationship of planning and environmental controls)
R (on the application of Satnam Millennium Ltd) v Warrington Borough Council  EWHC 2648 (Admin)  JPL 673 (status of Key Diagram in development plan)
Arrowcroft Group plc v First Secretary of State  EWHC 1067 Admin (challenge to Secretary of States decision on call-in)
Warrington Borough Council v Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions and Rawlinson  JPL 1168 (Court of Appeal) (commented on  JPL 514);  EWHC 635 (Admin)(High Court)(affordable housing and green field development)
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) v. North Yorkshire County Council 14 December 2000, LAWTEL 14/12/2000, C7201035 (Court of Appeal); LAWTEL 15/5/2000 (High Court) (challenge to highway order, leave to appeal to House of Lords refused)
R. v. Commissioner for Local Administration in North and North-East England, ex. p. Liverpool City Council  1 All ER 462;  LGR 571; (2000) 2 LGLR 603 (Court of Appeal) (challenge to Ombudsman's decision)
Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession 2013 says :
"Colin Crawford maintains a broad local government practice, and recently advised councils on austerity measures and potential challenges to them, infrastructure policies and probity. "
Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession 2012 says:
"Colin Crawford continues to impress. His forte lies in public law, particularly in all aspects of local government law, judicial review, planning and environmental law. He is also considered an authority on standards issues and recently acted for the Standards Committee of Craven Council in the matter of a complaint against a councillor. In a different vein, he recently advised on various aspects of electoral law in the Isle of Man, including absent and proxy voting, and also in relation to the actions of the Registration Officer."
Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession 2011 says:
Colin Crawford has a broad public law practice and is hailed for his "extremely practical advice and supportive, approachable manner."
Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession 2010 says:
Colin Crawford has carved himself a niche advising on local government finance, powers and probity issues and his practice continues to go from strength to strength.
He is a great example of the talented juniors Kings has to offer.
Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession 2009 says:
Colin Crawford has a profile that continues to rise as more and more people identify him as "one of the most promising juniors in the field."
His sweeping practice covers planning, CPO and highway law but he is particularly noted for his expertise in local government finance, administration and powers.
Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession 2007 says:
"In addition to planning Colin Crawford covers local government finance, constitutions and probity issues".
Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession 2006 says:
"Colin Crawford's practice is evenly divided between planning work and more general local government issues. He is particularly well known for his experience of local government finance and knowledge of local authorities constitutions and ethical standards".
Member of the Board of the Law Society's post-qualification Diploma in Local Government Law & Practice and is an examiner for the Diploma.
Planning and Environment Bar Association.
Administrative Law Bar Association.
British and Irish Ombudsman Association.
UK Environmental Law Association.
Northern and North Eastern Circuits
Career & Education
Degree: LLB, 1975 (Politics & Law); LLM, 1984 (Research on Planning Law & Policy)
Called: 1997 Middle Temple (by exceptional route)
Joined Chambers: 1998
Other Career Details: Colin previously taught at the Universities of Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Reading and Stanford.