Denis Edwards

Barrister

Call date: 2002

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Background

Denis Edwards practises in public law, EU law and commercial law. His extensive judicial review practice includes all of the fields of local government law, including planning, education law and community care. His EU law practice includes environmental law, public procurement, VAT, the four freedoms and social security law.  In addition, he has appeared in several professional negligence and commercial contracts cases, including two leading cases in Scotland on the construction of performance bonds.

Denis has represented both claimants and defendants, including central and local government in numerous judicial review claims and appeared in courts and tribunals at all levels, including the Supreme Court, House of Lords, Court of Appeal, High Court, Upper Tribunal, First Tier Tribunal and Employment Tribunal. He has extensive experience of acting for and advising claimants and regulatory bodies in several areas governed by EU law, including VAT, health and safety at work, environmental law, data protection and information law.

Denis is also an Advocate in Scotland, where he practises from Terra Firma Chambers. He has appeared in several cases in the Court of Session in Scotland, underlining that his dual qualification is useful in cross-border cases.

  • “Recommended for planning, education and community care matters”, Legal 500 (2016)
  • “He has an impressive range of legal knowledge and is able to reduce things down to a level that makes things look simple”, Chambers and Partners (2016)
  • "Notable expertise in environmental, planning, education law and community care", Chambers and Partners (2015)

 

Notable Cases

  • Saint Prix v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2012] UKSC 49 (Supreme Court and ECJ: whether a pregnant woman retains "worker status" in EU law)
  • R (Payne and Cooper) v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2012] 2 WLR 1 (Supreme Court: test cases concerning the lawfulness of deductions from social security benefits after a Debt Relief Order is obtained)
  • Fleming & Conde Nast! v. Commissioners for Revenue & Customs [2008] 1 WLR 195 (House of Lords: concerning the supremacy of EU law over national law and the general principle that national law must respect the full effectiveness of EU law. The case was described by the Financial Times as the leading VAT case of the decade)

 

  • South Lanarkshire Council v. Aviva [2016] CSOH 83 (construction of performance bond and whether bond’s condition had been satisfied by written notice)
  • South Lanarkshire Council v. Coface SA [2016] CSIH 15 (construction of commercial contracts; construction of performance bond guaranteeing compliance with environmental obligations)
  • R (Brown) v. Carlisle City Council and Stobart Air Limited [2014] EWHC 707 (Admin) (whether planning permission ‘bought and sold’; alleged breach of EU state aid rules and EU environmental law)
  • Scottish Environmental Protection Agency v. Liquidators of Scottish Coal Limited (Court of Session, Inner House) [2014] SLT 259 (whether liquidators have the power to disclaim environmental licences and permits held by the insolvent company; whether there can be ‘ownerless land’ in Scotland; what EU environmental law requires of domestic law on insolvency)
  • Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance v. Wokingham Borough Council [2013] EWHC 802 (Admin) (failure of decision-maker to consider guidance and challenge to strategic environmental assessment)
  • R (M and W) v. Hounslow London Borough Council [2013] EWHC 579 (Admin) (meaning of 'home' for the purposes of a local authority's home to school transport duties)
  • R (Rogerson) v. Secretary of State for Defence [2012] EWHC (Admin) (meaning of ''relevant change of circumstances'' in war pensions legislation)
  • SS (Sri Lanka) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 76 (Court of Appeal: whether Upper Tribunal had erred in law by rejecting evidence of persecution)
  • Huhtala v. HMRC [2011] STC 2226 & [2012] UKFTT 79 (TC) (whether expenses associated with a house boat used for researching and writing a book were ‘wholly and exclusively’ incurred for the purposes of trade)
  • R (Tilianu) Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2011] 4 All ER 174 (Court of Appeal: whether self-employed persons retain a right to reside under EU law for the purposes of claiming job seekers allowance).
  • Macaw Properties Ltd v. HMRC [2012] UKFTT 167 (application of the Rompelman principle to finding business purposes. Case concerned the intention to convert the largest country house in England into a luxury hotel and whether expenditure incurred for preparatory acts were exempt from VAT).
  • R (P) v. Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead) [2010] EWHC 1408 Admin (acting for the Claimant in his successful challenge to the local authority's decisions concerning his post-16 education). West County Vending Services Ltd v. HMRC [2010] UKFTT 124 (whether VAT chargeable on food supplies 'on the premises': meaning of 'premises' for VAT purposes)
  • Indigo Services (UK) Ltd v. Colchester Institute [2010] EWHC 3237 (QB) (first UK case under regulation 47H of the Public Contracts Regulations, considering the appropriate test for applications to lift the automatic stay on signing an awarded public contract).
  • Jennings v. HMRC [2010] UKFTT 49 (meaning of 'dwelling' for the purposes of Value Added Tax Act 1994 Sch.8 Group 5 Note 13 and its relationship with s.35 of the Act).
  • (AS) Sri Lanka v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWHC 1763 Admin (intensity of judicial review over human rights claims)
  • R (D) v. Bromley IAP [2007] EWCA Civ 1010 (natural justice in school exclusion appeals)

Qualifications and Appointments

  • LLB Glasgow University
  • LLM Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Canada
  • Junior Counsel to the Crown (2008 - 2013)
  • Professional Consultant, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Council Member, Statute Law Society
  • Committee Member, UK Association of European Law

 

 

 

             
             
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