Stephen Sauvain QC

Stephen Sauvain 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
Gary Smith
Mark Ronson


"He is the go-to barrister for all matters related to highways and his knowledge in this area is unsurpassed."

Chambers UK


Stephen is a leading practitioner who does advisory work in all aspects of highways  and road traffic regulation law and related aspects of local government law, compulsory purchase and environmental law.

Areas of Expertise

Planning & Environment

Planning & Environment

Village Greens

Long experience of village green applications and issues as advocate and as locally appointed Inspector.

Significant Reported Cases

R. (on the application of Newhaven Port and Properties Ltd) v East Sussex CC [2015] UKSC 7 – registration of a tidal beach as a Town or Village Green; conflict with statutory powers; effect of byelaws

Compulsory Purchase Law and Compensation: all aspects.

MWH Associates Ltd v Wrexham CBC [2012] EWCA Civ 1884 - Compensation in respect of the making of modification orders; Derogations; Landfill; Mineral permission; Mining operations.

Mortell v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2009] EWCA Civ 1274 - challenge to a compulsory purchase order involving a major Pathfinder development – issues of human rights.



Planning and Environment Bar Association

Northern and North Eastern Circuits






Assistant Boundary Commissioner (2000)



Highway Law (Sweet & Maxwell) 5th Ed. 2013

Encyclopaedia of Highway Law: General Editor

Chairman of the Independent Committee on the Review of Parking Documentation 2008

Law Relating to Local Government DETR Research Report (with Colin Crawford, Andrew Coulson and Michael Clarke November 2000

Joint Working Arrangements revisited after the Local Government Act 2000 - Journal of Local Government Law 2002

County and District Joint Working Arrangements- Journal of Local Government Law 1998

Bridges: responsibility to repair them - 1997 ROWLR s.5.1, p. 31 et seq. (with Ross Crail)

New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 - Current Law annotations

Highways Act 1980 - Current Law annotations



Chambers UK 2018

"The top man on highways work."

"His knowledge is encyclopaedic – he is every practitioner's bible."

"He is very good, his attention to detail is excellent and he gives sound advice."

Legal 500 2018

‘Clients appreciate his style of calm, collected authority.’

‘He has expertise in judicial reviews.’

Chambers UK 2017

"He has an excellent rapport with clients and is very empathetic." "He is a solid performer."

"He is excellent, his attention to detail is superb and he provides sound advice."

"He is the go-to barrister for all matters related to highways and his knowledge in this area is unsurpassed. He has an easy-going manner with both his instructing solicitors and clients which creates a good working relationship." "A brilliant planning QC and an excellent orator."

Legal 500 2017

‘A clear, concise and highly reputable expert in judicial reviews.’

‘Widely recognised as the leading authority on highway matters.’

Chambers UK 2015

"He's very much a gentleman - very clever but also a clear thinker. He has a convincing way of presenting things that always makes it sound like the most obvious thing at the time. He is very much an advocate's advocate."

"He is extremely knowledgeable, and very approachable and easy to talk to." "He is very incisive, has very good tactical insights and is frankly extremely good value for money."

"He's fantastically knowledgeable and intelligent and he has a fantastic, quite dispassionate approach - he can see the wood for the trees, and his experience is second to none." "He's a brilliant planning QC who provides an extremely thorough service, and he's an excellent orator."

Legal 500 2015

'He has unsurpassed knowledge of highways and compulsory purchase law.'

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