Charles Morgan’s practice is now almost entirely concerned with aspects of water and water industry law, in which he has been concerned for over 30 years (since before privatisation). He is one of a very small number of practitioners with such specific experience and expertise. His work in this field has led to appearances before a huge variety of courts and tribunals all over England & Wales including the Magistrates Court, Government Inspectors, the County Court, the Crown Court, the King’s (formerly Queen’s) Bench Division, the Chancery Division, the Technology and Construction Court, the Administrative Court, the Business & Property Courts, the Court of Appeal, the House of Lords and the Supreme Court. His established wider background in both environmental law and commercial Chancery practice renders him equally confident in addressing public law and private law issues, which often arise together in disputes concerning the use of water, notably in the context of property rights.
Whilst a member of the Attorney-General’s Regional Panel (between c.1985 and 2011) Charles represented the Environment Agency in numerous significant regulatory appeals before government inspectors involving the water industry, as well as advising upon all aspects of the Environment Agency’s functions in relation to the aqueous environment. He also represented and advised a large number of other manifestations of central government. He has long acted for local authorities, mainly in relation to compulsory purchase and compensation cases and other areas of environmental and property law.
Charles’ earlier career provided a thorough grounding in many aspects of commercial Chancery work including building and engineering contracts, insolvency, banking, insurance and sale of goods which render him an unusually versatile practitioner capable of recognising, understanding and advising fully upon all aspects of the real-life multi-faceted situations which affect businesses, individuals and public bodies.
Charles has been since 1992 a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and has extensive experience of commercial arbitration and mediation, including in the context of the water industry.
- Water and water industry law (see separate section below)
- Waste regulation including WEEE
- Contaminated land
- Air pollution
- Noise pollution
- Statutory nuisances
- Statutory charging, licensing and permitting régimes
- Statutory appeals to the Secretary of State
- Public inquiries
- Prosecution and defence of environmental crime
Water & water industry
- Statutory charging, licensing and permitting régimes
- Statutory appeals to the Secretary of State
- Water resources, abstraction and supply
- Sewage and trade effluent disposal
- Water pollution
- Sewer flooding
- Water escapes and leaks
- Land drainage
- Flooding and flood defence
- Bridges, weirs, sluices, fish passes and similar structures in, over or under water
- Rights in pipes and to supply or flow of water
- Mooring and navigation rights
- Restrictive covenants
- Adverse possession
- Boundary and neighbour disputes
- Land registration
- Compulsory purchase and compensation
- Development agreements
- Business tenancy renewal
- Rent review
- Dilapidations claims
- Construction of lease terms
- Rights in pipes and cables
- Commercial arbitrations and mediations
- MA (Clare College, Cambridge)
- Astbury Scholar and JJ Powell Prizewinner (Middle Temple)
- Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- “Cost-benefit analysis – is it worth it?” (2017) 25 Water Law 172
- Property Insolvency Butterworths, March 2015 Author of chapter on “Environmental Liabilities”
- “The fallout from the falling-out over the outfalls. The Manchester Ship Canal decision in the Supreme Court”(2014) 24 Water Law 15 (republished in UKELA e-law November/December 2014 issue #85)
- “The Right to Connect to A Public Sewer – A Moot Point.The Barratt Homes Decision in the Supreme Court”(2009) 20 Water Law 28
- “The Year’s Hottest Cases Reviewed – Part 3 – Water – Sewerage – Pollution” (distilled content of lecture delivered to UKELA 2009 Annual Conference at Durham) (2009) 21 ELM 230
- Office for Environmental Protection statutory investigation into the regulation of sewerage undertakers by Defra, Ofwat and the Environment Agency. Leading external counsel in this ongoing investigation, the first ever undertaken by the OEP pursuant to its powers in the Environment Act 2021.
- The Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and United Utilities Water Ltd  EWHC 3282 (Admin) (Administrative Court) – challenge to confirmation of a compulsory purchase order creating the grant of a new right of discharge of sewage effluent into the Manchester Ship Canal, the first CPO of its kind since the privatisation of the water industry.
- R (Wild Justice) v The Water Service Regulation Authority  EWHC 2608 (Admin) (Administrative Court) – intervention on behalf of the Office for Environmental Protection in an application for permission to seek judicial review of Ofwat’s approach to regulation of the water industry. The OEP’s first ever appearance in court.
- The Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd v United Utilities Water Ltd  EWCA Civ 852;  3 WLR 1193 (Court of Appeal, appeal to Supreme Court to be heard by a seven-Justice bench in March 2023) – scope of principle in Marcic v Thames Water Utilities Ltd – application to polluting discharges made in the absence of statutory authorisation.
- The Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd v United Utilities Water Ltd  EWCA Civ 852;  3 WLR 1193 (Court of Appeal) – discrete issue re terminability of contractual licences granting rights of discharge expressed to be terminable on notice – vires of local authorities to enter into such agreements in respect of their sewerage functions under the Public Health Acts 1875 and 1936.
- Easteye Ltd v Malhotra Property Investments Ltd  EWHC 2606 (Ch) (Business and Property Courts) – successful challenge to the assertion that two ancient alleyways between mediaeval burgage plots in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne had become public highways by long use. The trial before HHJ Kramer (sitting as a judge of the High Court) lasted for 13 days, received evidence from over 50 witnesses and examined over 200 years of local records; the judgment runs to 210 pages.
- Easteye Ltd v Malhotra Property Investments Ltd  EWHC 2820 (Ch);  Costs LR 2181 (Business and Property Courts) – costs budgeting, instruction of leading counsel, adequacy of reasoning by District Judge below.
- The Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd v United Utilities Water Ltd  EWHC 1495 (Ch) (Business and Property Courts) – cause of action estoppel, issue estoppel, Henderson v Henderson abuse of process in the context of longstanding litigation over rights of discharge of sewage into the Manchester Ship Canal.
- Sheffield v Kier Group plc and others  EWHC 986 (Ch);  3 All ER 1086;  Pens LR 16 (Business and Property Courts) – Local Government Pension Scheme – jurisdiction of Pensions Ombudsman. Successful appeal to the High Court against the determination by the Ombudsman of an issue beyond the limits of the disputes referred to him.
- Environment Agency v Dugbo and Jordan (2016) unreported (Crown Court at Leeds) – successful defence of the former director of a waste recycling company following a 7 week trial for alleged conspiracy to defraud producer compliance schemes by the large-scale production of false WEEE evidence notes and supporting documentation; co-accused received on conviction the longest sentence for environmental crime ever secured by the Environment Agency (7½ years). Specialist junior counsel on the regulatory and corporate aspects. Per His Honour Judge Neil Clark in his sentencing remarks: “What I found really amazing was the amount and complexity of the false paperwork. The scale of the investigation here was enormous.”
- The Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd v United Utilities Water plc (Middle Level Commissioners and others intervening)  UKSC 40;  1 WLR 2576 (Supreme Court) – existence and extent of implied rights of discharge into private watercourses for sewerage undertakers following privatisation of the water industry in 1989. Leading counsel for the Middle Level Commissioners (a statutory water level management organisation and internal drainage board) as interveners.
- Electrical Waste Recycling Group Ltd and City Electrical Factors Ltd v Philips Electronics UK Ltd and others  EWHC 2064 (Ch);  PTSR D5 – WEEE Directive and Regulations – compliance schemes – nature of producers’ obligation to finance the cost of collection and recovery of their waste products – scope of Directive entitlement to “conclude agreements stipulating other financing methods” – whether UK Regulations properly implemented the Directive in this respect. Other interlocutory proceedings are also reported at  EWHC 3747 (Ch) and  EWHC 38 (Ch).
- R (oao REPIC Ltd) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Environment Agency  EWHC 2015 (Admin);  Env LR 24;  PTSR 550 (Administrative Court) WEEE Directive and WEEE Regulations 2006 – whether Regulations properly implemented Directive – whether Environment Agency obliged to enforce Regulations – construction of Regulations. Acted for a compliance scheme as an interested party.
- Graham v Council of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne  UKUT 281 (LC) (Upper Tribunal, Lands Chamber) – compulsory purchase – acquisition to assist supermarket site assembly within an inner urban ‘Action Area’ – character of ‘no scheme world’ – Pointe Gourde principle.
- United Utilities Water plc and others v Environment Agency (2008) (Government Inspector) – statutory appeals under the Water Resources Act 1991 by six sewerage undertakers in 2008 following the final determination of c.4000 “deemed consents” granted on privatisation of the water industry in 1989.
- United Utilities Water plc v Environment Agency (2007) (Government Inspector) -test appeals under the Water Resources Act 1991 against conditions imposed by the Environment Agency upon discharge consents relating to wastewater treatment works in implementation of the Dangerous Substances Directive.
- United Utilities Water plc v Environment Agency (2007) (Government Inspector) -test appeals under the Water Resources Act 1991 against conditions imposed by the Environment Agency upon discharge consents relating to combined sewer overflows in implementation of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.
- United Utilities Water plc v Environment Agency (2007) (Government Inspector) – test appeals under the Water Resources Act 1991 against conditions imposed by the Environment Agency upon discharge consents relating to combined sewer overflows in implementation of the Bathing Water Directive.
- Yorkshire Water Services Ltd v Environment Agency (2006) (Government Inspector) – test appeals under the Water Resources Act 1991 against conditions imposed by the Environment Agency upon discharge consents relating to combined sewer overflows with pumped offline storage.
- Poon v Bon Appettito Ltd. (2005) Lawtel LTL 27/1/2005 L. & T. Review 2005, 9(3), 75-78 (Newcastle County Court, Judge Behrens) – ‘management agreement’ between tenant of a restaurant and occupier – whether in substance an unlawful sub-tenancy – whether remediable breach – whether relief from forfeiture should be granted. Despite its humble origins and obscurity, described by Mark Pawlowski in L. & T. Review 2006, 10(1), 19-22 as “an important county court ruling”.
- Yorkshire Water Services Ltd v Environment Agency (2002) (Government Inspector) – appeal under the Water Resources Act 1991 in respect of the first licensing by the Environment Agency of an aquifer storage and recovery scheme for public water supply.
- Roberts v Howlett  1 P&CR 19 (p.234) (Ch.D.) – construction of restrictive covenant to use premises only as a single private dwellinghouse – letting to students for profit – whether breach of covenant.
- Environment Agency v R Newcomb & Sons Ltd  EWHC 2095 (Admin);  Env LR 12 (p.288) (Administrative Court) – Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 33 – offence of deposit of controlled waste – construction and scope of exemption contained in paragraph 19 of Schedule 3 to the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 – incidence of burden of proof of availability of exemption.
- Public inquiry into applications by Northumbrian Water Ltd for consent to make discharges into the North Sea at Sunderland (2001) (Government Inspector) – representation of the Environment Agency at an ad hoc inquiry ordered by the Secretary of State into the adequacy of the proposed new sewerage system for Sunderland following public concern over the likely frequency and quantity of storm discharges from combined sewer overflows.
- Colvin v Watson  PLSCS 130 (Ch.D.) – construction of restrictive covenants binding a residential estate – covenant against building on less than quarter of an acre – criteria for determining area of plot – extent of power of estate committee to withhold consent to development.
- Duffy v Newcastle United Football Co Ltd (2000) “The Independent” 7 July (Court of Appeal) – the “Save Our Seats” litigation – construction of “bond” entitling holder to seat in stadium – redevelopment of stadium – circumstances in which seat could be changed – Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.
- Royal Insurance Property Services Ltd v Cliffway Ltd  EGCS 189 (Ch.D) – construction of rent review clause – whether clause permitted downward review – whether tenant entitled to initiate a review.
- National Rivers Authority v The Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company  RVR 48 (House of Lords) – legality of charging scheme for water abstraction licences.