Sancho Brett

Barrister
2011
sbrett@kbgchambers.co.uk
01752 221551
Practice Overview

Sancho is a confident and versatile advocate who appears regularly in the High Court, County Courts and Tribunals and has appeared in the Court of Appeal.  He accepts instructions throughout the Country.  

Sancho is enthusiastic in his approach to his work and thrives on finding effective and creative solutions to difficult issues and challenging cases.  He is very approachable and believes in providing helpful, meaningful and practical advice to his clients.  

Sancho has an exciting practice, split primarily between Planning and Environmental, Property, Construction and Commercial Litigation.  He regularly acts in complicated, high value and high profile cases in each of these areas. He also conducts personal injury cases and general civil litigation including trusts, probate, estates, professional negligence, judicial reviews, and public law.

Sancho is authorised to accept direct access instructions

Legal 500 Recommendations
Legal 500 Recommendation 2022 Edition

Planning & Environment - Tier 1

Sancho advises brilliantly on the technical issues, but also provides fantastic practical advice. He is highly knowledgeable and very adept at reassuring and building strong relationships with clients. Incredibly personable.

Practice Areas

Commercial & Insolvency

In  his previous position as in-house advocate and head of litigation for a large  local authority, Sancho successfully conducted high profile and complex commercial  litigation, including multi-million pound disputes.

Sancho  continues to have an exciting commercial practice in Chambers covering a  broad spectrum of disputes.

Construction

Sancho  often receives instructions in construction cases in the Courts.  He acts for consumers in claims against  builders (claiming and defending), and also acts in disputes for commercial  parties under construction contracts.    Cases often involve repudiatory breach, defective building works,  delay and damages for breach.   Recent  cases have involved defective new build properties, a defective chapel  conversion, defective heating systems, a defective renovation of a school, a defective  concrete supply and defective cavity wall insulations.

Sancho  is familiar with, and often advises on, standard form contracts including JCT  agreements.

Commercial  property

Sancho  regularly advises and represents parties in commercial property  disputes.  He often acts for landlords  in respect of commercial possession claims.

Recent  cases have included acting for a large local authority and airport in respect  of a possession claim concerning a commercial unit which had been damaged in  severe storms.  The tenant issued a  substantial counterclaim.  The case  concerned the interpretation of a break clause.  Possession was granted and the counterclaim  was dismissed at trial.

Other  commercial litigation

Selected  cases include:

• Acting for and advising a large authority  in respect of litigation concerning  high value service and infrastructure  contracts.

• Acting for a large established  partnership in a claim against an estate to obtain declarations and financial  orders concerning dissolution of the partnership.

• Advising policy holders on rights  under insurance agreements.

• Advising a law firm regarding rights  and liabilities following the retirement of a partner.

• Acting for a shareholder in respect  of the recovery of company loans.

• Acting for a retired director of a  limited company in respect of claim against them for breach of duty/trust by  a liquidator.

• Acting for a computer services  provider in an involved dispute over outstanding charges – successful outcome  following a 2 day trial.

• Advising a city authority in  respect of contractual obligations under a planning development agreement.

• Advising a consumer regarding a  defective luxury sports car.

 Licensing

Sancho Brett accepts  instructions in licensing matters.    

Sancho has advised and  represented taxi operators in his former capacity as a solicitor and obtained  successful results at committee meetings and on appeal.   

Sancho previously worked for  a large local authority where he managed the legal team responsible for  proving legal support and advice to the licensing department  and committee members.   Sancho often advised licensing committees on law, procedure and  decisions at committee meetings including in respect of hackney carriage  matters (applications and reviews), premises licensing (including  pubs, bars, restaurants, takeaway food outlets, festivals and other temporary  events, and controversial sex establishments), and street licensing.   Sancho represented the  authority at appeal hearings in the Magistrates Court.  He also  advised and represented the authority in respect of matters of licensing enforcement.  Sancho has  advised on judicial reviews concerning licensing decisions  and licensing policy. 

Sancho  accepts instructions to represent parties at inquests.

Sancho  has attended inquests on behalf of claimants in fatal accident cases.

At  Cornwall Council, Sancho attended inquests to represent the interests of the  local authority.  Sancho also provided  advice to the Coroner.

Local Government & Judicial Review

Sancho has extensive experience in dealing with judicial review cases and representing local authorities in the High Court including in respect of planning matters – please see [insert link for Planning profile]

Other public law instruction since joining Chambers include

• Advising on statutory grounds for qualifying for election and holding office as a member of a city council and the Labour Party Rules.

• Acting for interested party in respect of a judicial review against a decision of a Magistrates’ Court in respect of non-domestic rates liability.

Personal Injury

Sancho regularly represents claimants and defendants in personal injury cases.  He regularly advises on liability, causation, damages, tactics, procedure and costs (in writing and in conference), as well as regularly drafting statements of case and conducting advocacy including at CCMCs and trials (on the fast track and multi-track).

Recent  cases have included:

• Successfully representing a  claimant in a claim for damages at a 3-day trial involving detailed and  conflicting expert evidence concerning fibromyalgia.

• Successfully representing a  claimant who received a substantial award in damages at trial in respect of a  permanent eye injury following an accident at work.

• Successfully defending an appeal in  respect of a case management decision concerning time limits under CPR 7.6 in  a substantial multi-party lung disease case.

• Obtaining an order for sale to  secure costs liability in respect of a fundamental dishonesty case.

• Acting for a pupil in respect of a  sports injury at school.

• Sancho has a number of cases  concerning farming injuries.

Sancho  also undertakes credit hire cases.

Planning & Environment

Sancho is regularly instructed in planning matters by local authorities and has conducted many high profile and significant cases.  He also advises and represents applicants and objectors.  

Sancho has been conducting judicial review hearings in the High Court for over 7 years with numerous reported decisions (see below). These have included permission hearings, final hearings and appeals in the Court of Appeal.  His instructions relate to a wide range of planning issues including EIA development, affordable housing, wind turbines, noise, duty to take enforcement action, habitats ,interpretation of policy, reasons challenges, weight of planning considerations, heritage assets and irrationality.

Sancho is very experienced in advising on planning enforcement matters and has obtained numerous injunctions for local authorities to restrain breaches of planning control.  He has also prosecuted criminal offences for such breaches.

Sancho previously used to manage a team of planning lawyers at a large local authority and therefore has a unique understanding of how local government works.  This means that he can provide practical and targeted advice in a flexible manner which suits his clients and he is used to working closely with planning officers

 Highways

Sancho  also receives instructions in respect of matters concerning the Highways Act  1980.  Instructions have included:

• Acting for a highway authority in  respect of an application for an order pursuant to Section 130B.

• Acting for local  authority in respect of  a challenge  concerning a Section 143 Notice.

• Advising on enforcement  in respect of dangers affecting the highway.

 Professional Negligence

Sancho receives instructions in professional negligence cases.   Recent cases have included:

• Acting on behalf of an estate in respect of a significant claim against solicitors (the former executors) for professional negligence and breach of trust.

• Defending allegations of professional negligence against a firm of solicitors in response to a claim for outstanding fees.

• Advising on potential claims against conveyancing solicitors.

Property & Housing

Landlord & Tenant

Sancho  has a wide ranging property practice.    He is instructed regularly on complex commercial possession cases and provides  his clients with a holistic advice which benefits from his experience in  planning, highways, public law, trusts, agricultural matters and commercial  law.  He also appears in the First-Tier  Tribunal (Property Chamber) on a wide variety of matters including leasehold  and land registration cases.

Recent  landlord and tenant cases include:

• Acting for a large local authority  and airport in respect of a possession claim concerning a commercial unit  which had been damaged in severe storms.   The tenant issued a substantial counterclaim.  The case concerned the interpretation of a  break clause.  Possession was granted  and the counterclaim dismissed at trial.

• Acting for a farmer regarding the  termination of an agricultural tenancy.

• Advising commercial landlords on  forfeiture proceedings.

• Representing a long leaseholder in  an application for a declaration of a breach under Section  168 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.

• Acting in longstanding and involved  litigation concerning service charges under long leases in respect of holiday  lodges.

• Advising a landlord in respect of  an application by a tenant for a new tenancy involving complicated technical  legal arguments about the applicability of the Telecommunications Code.

• At Cornwall Council, Sancho  provided extensive advice and assistance to the Council’s large property  department, which held a significant property portfolio.  He also advised Cornwall Housing Limited,  which managed social housing properties for the Council across the County, on  a regular basis.  

Park & Mobile Homes

Sancho dealt with a range of cases involving park and mobile homes and their regulation in his capacity as a solicitor advocate for Cornwall Council including:

• Advising and representing the Trading Standards team to obtain one of the first Enforcement Orders made under the Enterprise Act 2002 against an owner of mobile homes in respect of breaches of consumer protection legislation.

• Advising multi-disciplinary teams in respect of enforcement and protection measures relating to mobile homes.

• Acting in prosecutions against mobile homeowners regarding breaches of Licence conditions and health and safety offences.

Real Property

Sancho  has a wide Land Law practice.   He  appears regularly in the Courts and the First-Tier Tribunal (Property  Chamber) on a wide variety of matters including:

• Applications for injunctions  (interim and final)

• Leasehold disputes

• Land registration disputes

• Adverse possession

• Trespass

• Private Nuisance

• Public Nuisance

• Boundary disputes

• Easements

• Trusts

• Orders for sale

• Mortgage possessions

Notable  recent cases include:

• Acting for a large local authority  in a dispute with a large landowner concerning adverse possession, the rule  in Smirk v Lyndale and the title to land - First-Tier Tribunal,  Property Chamber, Land Registration.

• Acting in a claim against a local  authority in nuisance and negligence in respect of highways works which  caused a commercial premises to sustain flooding.

• Acting for an owner/developer in an  application to discharge restrictive covenants – Upper Tribunal, Lands  Chamber.

• Advising and acting in nuisance claims  involving Japanese Knotweed.

• Advising local authority on  numerous cases of statutory and public nuisance including in respect of dangerous  structures.

• Advising on rectification of title  following mistake in land transferred.

• Acting for the owners of a holiday  lodge development in multifaceted litigation concerning service charges.

• Contempt of court applications.

• Advising on claims against water  authorities in negligence/nuisance.

• Acting for a leaseholder in respect  of an alleged breach of covenant under Section 168  of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 in the First-Tier Tribunal  (Property Chamber).

• Representing a local authority to  oppose the registration of a strip of land in an estuary in a case concerning  interpretation of historic conveyances and the ownership of foreshore -  First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

• Representing a local authority in  an appeal against the imposition of a financial penalty due to a breach of an  Improvement Notice in respect of poor housing conditions for migrant workers  - First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

• Representing a large unitary  authority in a claim for an injunction for trespass regarding commercial  activities on public beaches without a licence.

Sancho’s  land practice is supplemented by his Planning, Environment and Highways work.

Reported Cases

Sancho  is regularly instructed in planning matters by local authorities and has  conducted many high profile and significant cases.  He also advises and represents applicants  and objectors.  

Sancho  has been conducting judicial review hearings in the High Court for over 7  years with numerous reported decisions (see below).  These have included permission hearings,  final hearings and appeals in the Court of Appeal.  His instructions relate to a wide range of  planning issues including EIA development, affordable housing, wind turbines,  noise, duty to take enforcement action, habitats, interpretation of policy,  reasons challenges, weight of planning considerations, heritage assets and  irrationality.

Sancho  is very experienced in advising on planning enforcement matters and has  obtained numerous injunctions for local authorities to restrain breaches of  planning control.  He has also  prosecuted criminal offences for such breaches.

Sancho  previously used to manage a team of planning lawyers at a large local  authority and therefore has a unique understanding of how local government  works.  This means that he can provide  practical and targeted advice in a flexible manner which suits his clients  and he is used to working closely with planning officers.

Selected  reported cases:

R Cross)  v The Cornwall Council [2021] EWHC 1323 (Admin)

Representing  Cornwall Council in a judicial review of the Council’s decision to grant  planning permission for the development of a farmer’s dwelling on the Rame  Peninsula in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  The claim involved interesting questions about  the ability of planning authorities to rely on transcripts of meetings to  support their reasons.

R (Corbett) v The Cornwall Council [2021]  EWHC 1114 (Admin)

Representing Cornwall Council in a  judicial review of a decision to grant planning permission for the  development of dwelling in the curtilage of a garden.  The case concerned interpretation of the  Council’s policy, the meaning of the phrase “immediately adjoining” and the  relationship between the development site and a settlement.  The claim was dismissed.

R (Corbett) v The Cornwall Council [2020]  EWCA Civ 508

Representing the Cornwall Council in a  judicial review of the Council’s planning decision to grant permission for an  extension of a holiday park in an area of great landscape value.  The Claimant alleged that the Council has  misinterpreted its policy in deciding that the application was in accordance  with its development plan as a whole when the application was supported by  some policies but conflicted with others.   The Claimant succeeded at first instance but the decision was  overturned on appeal in an important Judgment which underlines the approach  to be taken by local authorities when considering whether an application is  in accordance with its development plan.   Sancho was led by James Findlay QC.

R (Crantock Parish Council) v Cornwall County  Council [2018] EWHC 3635 (Admin)

Representing the Cornwall Council in a  judicial review of the Council’s planning decision to grant permission for a  housing development in a coastal village where a consultee had provided the  planning committee with information which was not factually correct.  The case also concerned the interpretation  of "local needs" in respect of  housing and whether this stretched to neighbouring settlements.   Permission was refused at an oral hearing.

R (Trickett and Carr) v Cornwall Council  [2017]  EWHC 2166 (QB)

Representing  the Cornwall Council in a judicial review of its planning decision to grant  permission for 75 affordable homes to be built in near the locality of a  military airbase including arguments about material considerations, noise,  heritage and irrationality.  The claim  was dismissed on all grounds following a 2 day hearing in the Royal Courts of  Justice.

R (Community Against Dean Super Quarry  Ltd) v Cornwall Council [2017] EWHC 74 (Admin)

Representing  the Cornwall Council in a judicial review of the Council’s decision not to  take enforcement action including arguments about the Habitats Directive,  Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 and the planning  enforcement regime under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.  The claim was dismissed on all grounds  following a full hearing.

R (Higham) v Cornwall Council [2015] EWHC  2191 (Admin)

Representing  Cornwall Council in a judicial review of the Council’s decision to grant  planning permission for a wind turbine near an AONB including issues  concerning committee procedure, heritage assets, evidence and material  considerations and the impact on the AONB.   The claim was dismissed on all grounds following a 2 day hearing.

R (Trevone) v Cornwall Council [2013] EWHC 4091  (Admin)

Representing  Cornwall Council in a judicial review of the Council’s decision to grant  planning permission for 15 affordable homes in an AONB near Padstow including  issues concerning the application of policy, Environmental Impact  Assessments, screening and irrationality.   The claim was dismissed on all grounds following a hearing in the  Royal Courts of Justice.

R (Lanner Parish Council) v Cornwall  Council  [2013] EWCA Civ 290

Led  by James Findlay QC in respect of an appeal against a High Court decision to  dismiss the judicial review claim including arguments about the application  of policy, sufficiency of data and the use of witness statements in  proceedings.  Appeal dismissed.

R (Lanner Parish Council) v Cornwall  Council [2013]  EWHC 37 (Admin)

Representing  Cornwall Council in a judicial review of the Council’s decision to grant  planning permission for 25 affordable homes in Lanner Village, Cornwall  including issues about the application of local policy and sufficiency of  data.  The claim was dismissed on all  grounds following a hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice.

Other  recent cases:

• Acting for a local authority in  respect of a breach of a Planning Enforcement Notice relating to structures  erected on Commons Land including occupied dwellings.  Injunction granted.

• Successfully obtaining an  injunction for a local planning authority in respect of the breach of  planning control and failure to comply with a Planning Enforcement Notice  concerning the stationing of caravans near the sea.

• Acting for a local authority in a  judicial review by a Parish Council in respect of a large student housing  development.  The case centred around  EIA screening.  The Claim was dismissed  by consent.