Ian Barker, Partner and Head of Real Estate here at Manchester law firm Berg warns that Judicial Reviews are becoming the new Data Protection Act, being brought into play to create delays,
get-outs or fudging of property deals and disputes.
The contingency cost of a Judicial Review is being recommended to more and more advisers to developers and landowners for inclusion in their development project budgets.
"Regardless of how fair the reviewed original decision was, if you’ve got a big enough budget, and cash to spare, then you can literally buy time through a Judicial Review. JRs are increasingly seen as a solution for when things don’t quite go your way for
your business or organisation -" he said.
"However JR’s simply unravel that original decision, and force another decision, and quite possibly another and another – they don’t actually have any real teeth.
"We’ve recently supported clients who have been victim of this stalling tactic. One gained approval for the acquisition of development land only for a rival bidder to take Judicial Review action to challenge the decision to sell the site to our client. The
outcome was costs of tens of thousands of pounds & over 12months delay only to end up in pretty much the same position with approval being re-issued.
"When it comes to generating obstruction or delay to entirely reasonable and realistic development plans it is clear why it appears the Judicial Review is becoming the new Data Protection Act. Action needs to be taken to remove this delaying tactic – potentially
through some sort of legal procedural change. At the moment JRs are costing businesses, local authorities and the country money it simply doesn’t have, and at the same time stalling revenue generative construction projects."
For more information about any of the above or for practical commercial advice on this or any other aspect of property law, please contact
Ian Barker, Head of the Berg Real Estate Department on 0161 833 9211 or email him at
The information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Berg or any of its partners or employees. Professional legal advice should
be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.