"A tenacious barrister who pursues every point with rigour."

Chambers UK Bar, 2023

Stuart is a specialist regulatory and public law barrister. He is well-known for his expertise in consumer law, life sciences and food regulation, safety law, animal welfare, licensing, and environmental law.

A substantial proportion of his practice involves the representation of and the giving of advice to, companies and their directors and regulators, in public law challenges by way of judicial review or statutory appeal within his main practice areas. He defends and prosecutes in respect of criminal regulatory proceedings as well as appearing in civil proceedings, often in the first-tier tribunal. Much of his work involves significant issues of law and or fact and, invariably, highly technical expert evidence and he often appears, alone or as leader, against other senior specialist junior counsel or King’s Counsel.

He is ranked as a leading barrister by the legal directories in Consumer Law, Environmental and Licensing. Stuart is on List A of the Unified List of Special regulatory Advocates and has previously been instructed by the Health and Safety Executive, the Office for Rail and Road and the Information Commissioner.

Stuart is an advocacy trainer for Gray’s Inn.

  • "He is a favourite with clients as he always considers the commercial reality of their businesses."

    Chambers UK Bar, 2023
  • "Stuart is very thorough, knowledgeable and pleasant to deal with."

    Chambers UK Bar, 2023
  • "Stuart has a deep understanding of this area, which coupled with great strategic planning, skilled advocacy, and great client care makes him a go-to counsel."

    Legal 500, 2023
  • "Stuart is exceptionally good on his feet and on the papers. He always keeps in mind the commercial realities of the client’s business and the context in which the law operates. Stuart is able to put clients at ease and inspire confidence."

    Legal 500, 2023
  • "Really engaging and passionate about the work and the client’s case, he is a strong advocate who gets to the point."

    Legal 500, 2023
    • Consumer

      “A tenacious barrister who pursues every point with rigour.” Chambers and Partners, 2023

      “Stuart has a deep understanding of this area, which coupled with great strategic planning, skilled advocacy, and great client care makes him a go-to counsel.” Legal 500, 2023

      Stuart has a long history of providing representation and advice to businesses and local authorities in relation to the full spectrum of trading standards and consumer protection cases, both civil and criminal. Stuart advises and represents clients in numerous industries but has a particular focus within the food, feed and farming sectors.  However, his experience extends beyond these sectors into consumer protection and trading law generally. He is able to advise on consumer contracts, the sale and supply of goods and services, the Enterprise Act, and other related subjects. In addition he is experienced in criminal prosecutions under the CPUT Regulations, fraud and associated POCA proceedings.

      He is ranked in the independent directories as a leading junior in consumer law.

    • Administrative & Public

      Stuart’s practice is almost exclusively focused on cases which have, at their heart, decisions by public bodies, particularly regulatory and enforcement bodies, affecting companies, other organisations, or individuals in different ways. He acts for companies, individuals, and public bodies and is regularly instructed to advise and act in relation to the bringing or resisting of judicial review claims, statutory appeals and appeals by way of case stated, as well as acting and advising in other public and administrative law matters generally. His judicial review practice covers a wide spectrum of decisions within his range of specialisms, particularly in consumer, environmental health and safety law. Many of his cases are concerned with claims by companies against decisions by regulators as well as cases involving decisions made by local authorities and other enforcement bodies and regulators. His local government experience is broad and includes trading standards, housing, anti-social behaviour, licensing, planning and environment, food, health and safety, environmental health. He is therefore knowledgeable in the law concerning local authority and other regulator’s powers and decision-making.

    • Life sciences and food

      Stuart is ranked as a leading junior by the Legal 500 legal directory in consumer law. He is particularly known for his food law and life sciences practice. Advice and representation are provided in cases relating to all breaches of the food safety and hygiene, labelling, allergens, novel foods, packaging, food waste, food information, animal by products, transportation and importation of livestock and other related subjects. He acts in criminal cases and in  public law challenges in respect of the service of notices, under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 and all other food and feed related regulations. He regularly acts for members of the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS), particularly in respect of abattoirs, and for farmers and importers and transporters of livestock as well as those operators within manufacturing, wholesale, and retail sectors in respect of food and feed. His work involves him taking cases against decisions by the FSA, APHA, and local authorities and covers criminal proceedings, civil proceedings in the criminal courts, administrative decisions, appeals to the First Tier and Upper Tribunal, the High Court, and advisory work. He has a solid understanding of European and domestic legislation which underpins work in this area. He is a member of the Food Law Group and lectures widely on Food Law. He is often asked to advise companies and regulators in respect of investigations and decisions by local authorities, the Food Standards Agency or the APHA or where food regulation issues occur within civil proceedings. In addition to his work in food and feed Stuart has advised companies in respect of medicines and medicinal products. He often acts for or against well-known  businesses in the import, wholesale, manufacturing and retail sectors.

      Stuart is a contributor to “Consumer and Trading Standards Law and Practice The Pink Book 2022 and 2023 edition – writing on the subject of Feed Law” – 10th/11th  ed.

    • Product safety and liability

      Stuart regularly advises in respect of product safety. He is often asked to advise in respect of product recalls in various sectors and has acted in judicial reviews of decisions concerning recalls, advised in respect of the REACH provisions in relation to toys, advised as to regulatory requirements in the food industry within a civil dispute over the manufacture of healthy food snacks, acted for and advised a witness in the Grenfell Inquiry concerning fire doors and in relation to construction products more widely in other contexts.

    • Licensing and gambling regulation

      Stuart has been ranked as a ‘leading junior’ in Licensing by The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for a number of years. Chambers and Partners [2020] says this about his licensing practice:

      Respected barrister who predominantly represents operators as well as local residents in licensing appeals. Jessop also handles SEV, taxi, HMO and alcohol licence matters. Sources are impressed with his regulatory expertise and the pragmatic approach he takes to his cases.”

      He is a member of the Institute of Licensing (IOL) and is holder of the Professional Licensing Practitioners Qualification (PLPQ). Stuart is well known as a licensing specialist and has real depth and breadth of experience in all licensing matters, including but not exclusively; alcohol and entertainment, gambling, taxis and PHV’s, SEV’s, SIA licensing, special treatments, firearms, slaughtermen and certificates of competence, as well as cases involving alleged breaches in relation to HMO licences. In Taxi and PHV licensing he has acted for the United Cabbies’ Group, the United Taxi Action Group, and other taxi associations in respect of taxi and PHV licensing law and practice. He appeared in the UCG’s judicial review, in 2019, against the decision of the Chief magistrate to grant Uber London Ltd its licence in 2018. Recently, he acted for the London Borough of Enfield in two applications by a large festival organiser to hold festivals and other entertainment on a continuing basis on a substantial derelict site. Tottenham Hotspur Football Club were the main objector. He appears both at licensing sub-committee review hearings in a range of licensing cases, appeals to the magistrates’ and crown courts and at appeals and by way of case stated and in judicial review proceedings and is frequently asked to advise on all licensing matters, including local government licensing policy and relevant legislation. He represents companies, trade associations, individuals, local licensing authorities and other responsible authorities. He is a regular lecturer on all licensing matters and author of a book on Hackney Carriage licensing in London.

    • Health & safety

      Stuart is appointed on the A list of Specialist Regulatory Advocates for Health and Safety. He prosecutes and defends in the most serious of cases. He is often asked to advise at the investigative stages in relation to Inspector’s powers, questioning, providing information and other issues and can deal with the service and appeal of notices. He has expertise in and experience of dealing with the various regulations that arise in such proceedings and has dealt with cases arising in the construction and manufacturing industries and in farming, retail, hospitality, and others. In addition, he has conducted a substantial amount of work in fire safety and building safety cases. He is also instructed to advise and represent clients at inquests. Stuart lectures on health and safety generally and has provided several seminars on the sentencing guidelines to business and local authorities.

    • Environmental and climate change law

      “Really engaging and passionate about the work and the client’s case, he is a strong advocate who gets to the point.” Legal 500, 2023

      Stuart is a specialist environmental practitioner. He is appointed to the A list of the Specialist regulatory panel for the Environmental Agency. He is well known for his work in statutory nuisance cases, particularly where there is a public health element. He is the co-author of a book on environmental enforcement law and regularly speaks on the subject. His focus is on the cross over between environmental and consumer law and has a particular interest in environmental claims in marketing.

      He covers most environmental issues but has a interest in, environmental enforcement, environmental health, waste, green claims and greenwashing, contaminated land, climate change, species and habitats, environmental impact assessments, and statutory nuisance.

      Stuart is ranked as a leading junior for Environmental Law in the Legal 500 2021 and 2022 editions.

    • Professional conduct & Disciplinary

      Stuart accepts instructions from professionals and others subject to disciplinary or professional conduct proceedings. He has acted for clients within the healthcare, education and sport sectors and in particular before the General Teaching Council and the Football Association. He regularly represents slaughterhouse operatives in appeals against the suspension or revocation of their certificates to practice. In addition, he has sat as a tribunal chair for the Showman’s Guild Hearings Panel, dealing with a range of alleged disciplinary breaches.

    • Other regulatory law

      Stuart is a specialist regulatory lawyer. In addition to his specialist areas listed under the headings of Consumer, Food and Life Sciences, Environment and licensing, Stuart also acts in Housing cases, particularly in respect of houses in multiple occupation, planning enforcement, anti-social behaviour cases and at traffic commissioner hearings and in the FTT and UT as well as in other regulatory (criminal and civil) proceedings.

    • Events
    • News
    • Notable Cases
      • G Ltd v FSA [2023] a JR of the FSA’s decision in respect of the service of a welfare enforcement notice and suspensions of slaughtermen’s certificates of competence. The case concerns the lawfulness of the FSA delegating such decisions to a third-party corporate body.
      • J v FSA [2023] appeal to the FTT in respect of decisions taken by the FSA on animal welfare grounds – Led by David Travers K.C.
      • FHF LTD v FSA [2023]: Leading Junior acting for Claimant, in a claim for JR of FSA decisions concerning pet feed and the withdrawal of several well known pet feed brands. A1 P1 damages claim attached to the value of £7 million.
      • J v Welsh Ministers [2022]: acting for Claimant, drafted claim for JR of decision by the Welsh Minister to refuse an appeal in respect of farm subsidies arguing that the decision was made against the policy setting out how such appeals should be conducted. The Welsh Government withdrew the decision and restarted the appeal process afresh.
      • F Ltd v Secretary of Stare for DEFRA [2022]: acting for claimant on going judicial review of SoS decision re uphold an appeal by an animal by product operator against the suspension of his licence. SoS accepted decision was unlawful. Article 1 Protocol 1 damages claim still outstanding.
      • H v SoS for DEFRA [2022]: acting for Claimant, advice and drafting grounds in letter before action in respect of decisions concerning the breeding of cattle. Decision withdrawn on arguments being made.
      • W v FSA [2022]: Upper Tribunal decision regarding the issue of whether a withdrawn decision ends the jurisdiction of the First Tier Tribunal in cases under the Welfare at the Time of Killing Regulations 2015. Decision awaited.
      • JL v Natural Resources Wales [2021]: acting for Claimant, advised police and drafted grounds for claim for judicial review of magistrates decision to accept jurisdiction to hear this prosecution for environmental offences.
      • S v FSA [2021]: acting for claimant, JR of FSA decision to unlawful seize and detain meat. Article 1 Protocol 1 Damages claim attached. FSA made out of court settlement to value of £250k.
      • HH Ltd v Neath Port Talbot [2021]: Crown Court decision to dismiss the appeal against the service of a feed improvement notice – concerns the scope of the word “feed” and the applicability of the Animal by-product regulations.
      • L v Natural Resources Wales [2021]: JR of decision to allow a prosecution despite non-compliance with CPR and the case of Bakers of Nailsea v FSA.
      • Ward and others v FSA [2021]: Appeal to the Upper Tribunal against the FTT’s decision to allow the FSA to withdraw its decision to make another more onerous one whilst proceedings were extant before the tribunal (WATOK 2015) and the consequences for appellants in such circumstances.
      • LB Waltham Forest v SoS v Aldi Stores Ltd [2021]: written successful submissions to the Secretary of State regarding a Primary Authority’s decision to block a prosecution of Aldi Stores for food hygiene related offence.
      • LBWF v Thames Magistrates’ Court [2021]: Case stated to High Court regarding decision of court not to make a declaration pursuant to Regulation 8(10) of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) regulations 2013.
      • D v HSE [2020]: advising national transport company and drafting grounds in a prospective judicial review of the HSE decision to serve a notice of contravention in respect of alleged COVID related breaches. The HSE withdrew the notice.
      • C v Coroner [2020]: advising on a judicial review of a coroner’s decision to compel evidence from two of the Claimants’ employees and the scope of the inquiry and relevance of the information sought.
      • S v FSA [2020]: representing the Claimant company in a Judicial Review of a Food Standards Agency decision to detain food without following the process set out in section 9 of the Food Safety Act 1990.
      • Ward and others v Food Standards Agency [2020]: judicial review of the lawfulness of the regulator’s decision to suspend three slaughtermen’s certificates of competence until the conclusion of criminal proceedings. Stuart represents the claimants in this on-going claim. Permission to proceed granted at a recent oral hearing.
      • Aboutboul v LB of Barnet [2020] EWHC 285 (Admin): case stated and then application for permission to bring claim for judicial review. Stuart represented the Respondent local authority in this appeal against the decision of a magistrates’ court in convicting the Appellant for failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice. The case concerned whether the notices were nullities and the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case.
      • R (On the application of Chesterfield Poultry Ltd) v Sheffield Magistrates’ Court [2019] EWHC 2953 (Admin): Stuart represented the company in its challenge to bring a prosecution under the Welfare at the Time of Killing (England) regulations 2015 arguing that the proceedings were out of time.
      • R (On the application of Beth Golding) v Crown Court sitting at Maidstone v Chief Constable of Kent [2019] EWHC 2029 (Admin): Stuart acted for the interested party, the Chief Constable of Kent. The claim was for judicial review of the crown court’s decision to make a civil destruction order of a pit-bull dog. Stuart successfully argued that the decision was not unlawful.
      • R (On the application of United Cabbies Group (London) Ltd) v Westminster Magistrates’ Court v TFL v LTDA v Uber London Ltd [2019] EWHC 409: Stuart represented (led by a Q.C.) the United Cabbie’s Group Ltd in their judicial review of the Chief Magistrates’ decision to grant them a new operator’s licence.
      • Farmer’s Fresh Ltd v FSA [2020] Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals): an appeal from the FTT (GRC) concerning whether the tribunal has jurisdiction to hear an appeal against an enforcement notice where it has already been withdrawn. Appeal on-going.
      • Balacescu v FSA [2020] Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals): appeal against the FTT’s decision to refuse an extension of time to appeal against a decision by the regulator to revoke a slaughterman’s licence.
      • BSG Ltd v LB of Haringey [2019] Stuart drafted grounds of claim for a judicial review against the decision of the local planning authority to serve a planning contravention notice under the Town and Country planning act 1990, on a landlord requiring information, when such a requirement was made after the landlord had entered not guilty pleas in respect an alleged breach of a planning enforcement notice. The authority decided to then withdraw the notice.
      • RH Meats Ltd v FSA [2019]: Stuart advised and drafted grounds of claim in this judicial review against the FSA’s alleged policy in respect of the duties of official veterinarians after contracted hours had expired.
      • Judicial Review of a local authority’s decision to refuse to grant a licence for the Claimant’s music festival shortly before it was due to take place. Stuart acted on behalf of the Festival organiser.
      • Judicial Review of the Food Standards Agency’s decision not to grant approval for the Claimant’s abattoir on animal welfare grounds. Stuart acted for the company.
    • Publications
      • Practical Guide to the Law on Hackney Carriage Licensing (London)
      • Practical Guide to Environmental Enforcement (Co-authored)
      • Contributor to Consumer and Trading Standards Law and Practice (2022/23)
    • Education, Qualifications and Memberships
      • University of East London – BSc (First Class Hons Psych)
      • City University – GDL
      • Dip Information Law
      • Professional Licensing Practitioner certificate
      • Prince of Wales Scholar
      • Member United Kingdom Environmental Lawyers Association UKELA
      • Member Institute of Licensing IOL
      • Member Health and Safety Lawyers Association HSLA
      • Member Food Law Group FLG
      • Member Planning and Environmental Bar Association PEBA
      • Adjudicator for the Showman’s Guild Tribunal
      • Advocacy trainer for Gray’s Inn
      • Mentor for Gray’s Inn and Bridging the Bar