Nicholas Ostrowski
Call: 2009

Nicholas Ostrowski specialises in public, environmental and regulatory law. As a member of both the Attorney General’s Civil Panel (B Panel) and the ‘B’ List of Specialist Regulatory Counsel he advises and represents government departments, corporate and individuals in his core practice areas and is ranked in three separate areas (environmental, planning and health & safety law).

Leading Individual
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Environment

Nicholas is a specialist environmental and planning barrister who represents a wide variety of clients in environmental and planning cases. He is a contributor to Garner’s Environmental Law, a leading publication in this area and has a particular expertise in water law.

Featured cases list

  • Manchester Ship Canal Co Ltd v United Utilities Water Ltd [2021] EWHC 1571 (Ch) – extent to which there is a private law action in trespass or nuisance arising from discharges by a sewerage undertaker (with David Hart QC and Charles Morgan)
  • Sunman v Environment Agency [2020] 1 WLR 1024 – whether application for compensation for non-payment of registration fees payable by house boat owners on inland waterways is ultra vires
  • Manchester Ship Canal Co Ltd v United Utilities Water Ltd [2019] EWHC 1495 (Ch) – water company’s responsibility for water discharged through outfalls into canal (with Charles Morgan)
  • Mustafa v Enfield LBC[2019] 1 WLR 3196, [2018] EWHC 3726 (Admin), [2019] JHL 22 – landowner’s responsibility for waste water sewage
  • Environment Agency v Stone and Salhouse [2018] EWHC 994, [2018] Env. L.R. 32; [2018] A.C.D. 63 – landowner’s responsibility for waste brought onto land by tenant
  • Anthony Hall v Environment Agency [2018] 1 W.L.R. 1433; [2018] Env L. R. 11; [2017] EWHC 1309 (TCC) – test case brought by the Agency on the correct statutory interpretation of the Water Resources Act 1991 and whether those who suffer flooding from the Agency must claim damages under the system of statutory compensation
  • Public Inquiry into abstraction form the Rivers test, Itchen and Candover – acted for Fish Legal in this public inquiry under the Water Resources Act 1991 into proposed abstraction by Southern Water, issues of drought modelling and fish impact

Administrative & public

Nicholas is frequently instructed as a specialist public law barrister to represent government departments and other parties including the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in judicial review claims.

Featured cases list

  • R (AMA) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 2646 (Admin) – adequacy of asylum support for seriously ill Claimant and her son
  • R (Singh) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1698 (Admin) – lawfulness of detention for Indian national in the UK
  • R (Singh) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 158 (Admin) – immigration detention of 13 months lawful
  • R (Ellis) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] Imm AR 812 – application of Home Office discretionary leave policy
  • Mannering v Cook [2020] EWHC 1998 (Ch) – test to apply when granting of extended Civil Restraint Order against serial litigant
  • R (TN) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 481 (Admin) – correct approach to immigration detainees sentenced as adults but subsequently assessed to be children
  • R (HBTN) v Sunderland City Council [2019] EWHC 3221 (Admin) – disclosure of age assessments by one local authority to another
  • Watts v Stewart [2018] 2 W.L.R. 1107; [2018] Ch 423 (unled at first instance, led by Stephen Hockman QC in the Court of Appeal) – almshouse occupiers and Article 8
  • R (Mohammed) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWHC 447 (Admin) – detention pending deportation for violent offenders
  • R (on the application of HN and SA) (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWCA Civ 123 – (with David Blundell and Mary Glass) Removals to Afghanistan

Regulatory

Nicholas is a specialist health & safety and regulatory barrister who has been instructed for and against a wide variety of regulators including the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Fire and Rescue Authorities, the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM), local authorities and other. He also appears regularly in Inquests often appearing for parties who are facing potential investigations or sanctions from regulatory bodies.

Featured cases list

  • R (Higginshaw Abbattoir Ltd) v Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court [2022] EWHC 378 (Admin)
  • R (Trotman) v Crown Court at Guildford), Surrey County Council intervening [2021] EWHC 2087 (Admin) – applicability of the Fire Safety Order to vessels
  • Office of Road and Rail v Renown Consultants Ltd – prosecution and five week trial (with David Travers QC) for breach of HSWA 1974 in failing to manage employees’ fatigue leading to double fatality
  • HSE v Veolia – defending (with Mark Watson QC) a multinational company in a three week trial for breach of HSWA 1974 in failing to prevent fatality arising from crush injuries in a waste processing station
  • Ofgem v Economy Energy – allegations of mis-selling to vulnerable customers by Ofgem
  • Inquest into the death of BR – death on the railway (article 2 jury inquest)
  • Inquest into the death of L and S – deaths on the railway (article 2 inquest)
  • Inquest into the death of DB – death in custody (article 2 inquest)
  • Inquest into death of MF – death by smoke inhalation arising from a fire in a block of flats
  • Inquest into the death of ML – representing the prison service after a death in custody at a two week long Article 2 inquest, issues include the proper use of restraints and complex medical causation
  • Inquest into the death of DB – representing the Prison Service after suicide of a man in custody

 

Recommendations

"He has a well-developed ability to speedily grasp the key issues of a problem and analyse the risks and benefits of his client's position."

― Chambers UK Bar Guide [2022]

"He is excellent - always on top of the detail, personable and hard-working." "A very impressive junior." "His precision and ability to appreciate context and retain perspective is very impressive."

― Chambers UK Bar Guide [2022]

"He has a very practical and pragmatic approach, as well as amazing people skills, and he has a great deal of technical expertise in this difficult area of law. " (Environment)

― Legal 500 [2022]

"Nicholas has the perfect combination of skills which is what makes him a go-to barrister of this level – he has an exceptional legal mind, is fantastic with clients and always goes the extra mile. " (Health & Safety)

― Legal 500 [2022]

"He has very good commercial awareness and really knows his stuff on environmental law. Clients find him easy to relate to and he is very responsive."

― Chambers UK Bar Guide [2021]

“A deeply knowledgeable environmental lawyer with a practical, commercial approach who is great with clients.” (Environment)

“…knowledgeable, thorough and in the details. A barrister who is very personable and who is extremely well regarded by solicitors and clients alike….” (Health & Safety)

"Good on difficult issues when clients need to be delivered unpalatable truths." (Planning)

― Legal 500 [2021]

"An extremely intelligent and skilled advocate who has an excellent knowledge of planning and environmental law. He is also able to take a commercial view of cases and understand the client’s wider needs." (Environment)

"Practical and painstaking. His thorough preparation ensures that all areas of potential risk and case weaknesses are brought to your attention so that these matters can be positively resolved." (Health & Safety)

― Legal 500 [2020]

"He provides prompt and insightful advice with a friendly and likeable manner."

"Does a thorough job."

― Legal 500 [2018]

"An extremely intelligent and skilled advocate, who is unafraid of a hostile court."

"Diligent and enthusiastic."

― Legal 500 [2017]
Leading Individual
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Awards

In 2012 Nicholas was awarded a Pegasus scholarship by Inner Temple and worked with a number of environmental and planning lawyers in the United States.

Nicholas was awarded the David Karmel and Prince of Wales Scholarships by Gray’s Inn.

Appointments

  • Attorney General’s Panel of civil counsel to the Crown (B Panel)
  • List of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health & Safety and Environmental Law (List B).
  •  Nicholas is the co-convenor of the water working party for the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA).

 

Publications

Nicholas is a contributor to Garners Environmental Law.

Memberships

  • HSLA
  • UKELA
  • PEBA
  • ALBA

Education

  • BA English Literature & Politics, University of York (First)
  • MA Legal & Political Philosophy, University College London
  • Graduate Diploma in Law, City University
  • Bar Vocational Course, BPP

Latest news

20th July 2022

Charles Morgan and Nicholas Ostrowski appointed to advise the Office for Environmental Protection

Charles Morgan and Nicholas Ostrowski have been appointed as external counsel advising the Office for Environmental Protection in an investigation under section 33 of the Environment Act 2021.

8th July 2022

Important judgment by the Court of Appeal on the scope of nuisance claims for water pollution

The Court of Appeal recently handed down judgment in Manchester Ship Canal Company Limited v United Utilities Water Limited [2022] EWCA Civ 852

27th June 2022

Court of Appeal decision on calculating lawful residence in the UK

The Court of Appeal on Friday handed down its decision in Marepally v Secretary of State for the Home Department.

3rd March 2022

Judgment in judicial review of Food Standard Agency’s approach to transport and hygiene of food

Judgment handed down in a judicial review brought by Higginshaw Abbatoir Ltd and their Director challenging the Food Standards Agency's reliance on Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004.

20th September 2021

Does the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 apply to boats?

Nicholas Ostrowski appeared for Surrey Fire and Rescue Services in a case which determines whether the FSO can be relied upon to take enforcement action against boats and other vessels.

18th June 2021

UKELA Conference 14 -18 June

On 14th -18th June the UKELA conference will take place and we are delighted to be one of the sponsors once again.

5th February 2021

High Court finds very lengthy period of immigration detention lawful

This is the first substantive judicial review to consider returning detainees to India and the weight to be placed on the limited freedoms open to immigration detainees in prison in 2020-2021.

19th August 2020

Nicholas Ostrowski appointed to the Attorney General’s B Panel of Counsel

We are pleased to announce that Nicholas Ostrowski has been appointed to the Attorney General’s B Panel of Counsel.

8th June 2020

Retailers and social distancing – what does the latest guidance say?

How does the 2 metre rule translate to retailers and what does the latest guidance say? In an article on our COVID-19 Blog Nicholas Ostrowski discusses the practical implications for retail operators.

29th May 2020

Can COVID-19 be spread through air conditioning and ventilation systems and what precautions should businesses take?

This article addresses what steps businesses should take to control the COVID-19 virus through air conditioning and ventilation systems as they reopen.

13th May 2020

Big fine for a small company for a failure to manage fatigue

Renown Railway Services were sentenced in a remote hearing at Nottingham Crown Court involving David Travers QC, leading Nick Ostrowski, for the ORR.

27th March 2020

First prosecution for failure of fatigue management in the rail industry

In a case which may have wide ranging implications for the use of contractors on the railway network David Travers QC, leading Nick Ostrowski, instructed by the Office of Rail & Road obtain guilty verdicts.

8th July 2019

Six Pump Court barristers contribute to UK Supreme Court Yearbook

Stephen Hockman QC and Nicholas Ostrowski co-author chapter on ‘Planning, Development and Environmental Law’ in the latest UK Supreme Court Yearbook.

26th October 2018

Six Pump Court wins Health & Safety Set of the Year at Chambers UK Bar Awards

Last night at the Chambers UK Bar Awards, Six Pump Court was delighted to be named as the Health & Safety Set of the Year.

29th March 2018

Inquiry closes into proposed restriction of Southern Water’s abstraction licences on the Rivers Test and Itchen

A public inquiry recently concluded into the Environment Agency's proposed changes to three sets of abstraction licences at the River Test, River Itchen and Candover Stream in Hampshire.

18th December 2017

Sentencing trends for health and safety breaches

In an article for Lexis PSL, Nicholas Ostrowski, considers some of the sentencing trends following the introduction of the Definitive Guideline for health and safety offences.

16th May 2017

Flood Defence and Pollution Control: Statutory Powers and Compensation

Six Pump Court presents the second in our series of environmental and public law seminars to be held this year: Flood Defence and Pollution...

9th December 2016

Important ruling for almshouse charities and residents

The Court of Appeal today handed down judgment in Watts v Stewart & ors [2016] EWCA Civ 1247 which will be of fundamental importance...

15th April 2016

Nicholas Ostrowski to speak at forthcoming PEBA National Conference

Nicholas Ostrowski will be amongst the speakers at this year’s PEBA National Conference which will take place in May in London. The Conference entitled...

29th March 2016

Six Pump Court barristers ranked in Planning Law Survey 2016

Members of Six Pump Court have been included in the rankings published in the Planning Law Survey 2016. Anne Williams and Mark Beard have...

17th November 2015

The New Sentencing Guidelines for corporate manslaughter, health and safety and food safety offences

Revised sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter, health and safety and food safety were recently published by the Sentencing Council and take effect from the...

14th September 2015

Mock Public Inquiry – Friday 6th November

Six Pump Court in association with The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London will be presenting this Mock Inquiry on Friday...

27th January 2015

Nicholas Ostrowski appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown

Six Pump Court Chambers is pleased to announce that Nicholas Ostrowski has been successful in his application to join the Attorney General’s C Panel...

5th October 2014

Nicholas Ostrowski awarded Pegasus Scholarship

Six Pump Court Chambers is pleased to announce that Nicholas Ostrowski has been awarded a Pegasus Scholarship. He will be seconded to a number of...

5th October 2014

Checklist prepared for those considering judicial review

Following recent changes to the rules on judicial review in planning decisions, William Upton and Nicholas Ostrowski have prepared a checklist for residents/groups who are considering challenging the...

29th September 2014

Mock Public Inquiry Training Event – 14th March

On 14th March 2014, 6 Pump Court will be hosting a Mock Public Inquiry in association with The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment,...

Blog

4th August 2022

Environmental Law News Update

In this latest Environmental Law News Update, Charles Morgan, Gordon Wignall and Nicholas Ostrowski consider the measures being undertaken by the government and water companies to mitigate the effects of drought in the UK, a report into global trends in climate change litigation, and a successful challenge to the government’s net zero strategy.

24th November 2021

Environmental Law News Update

In this latest Environmental Law News Update, Christopher Badger, Nicholas Ostrowski and James Harrison consider progress made at COP26, a major investigation into sewage treatment works by Ofwat and the EA, and provide a short summary of the new Environment Act.

30th April 2021

Environmental Law News Update

In this latest Environmental Law News Update,  Christopher Badger, Nicholas Ostrowski and James Harrison consider the Government's commitment to a 78% reduction in emissions by 2035, the publication of a climate change strategy by the Pensions Regulator and a case which rules that fluff is subject to landfill tax.

25th January 2021

Environmental Law News Update

In this latest Environmental Law News Update, Charles Morgan, Nicholas Ostrowski and Mark Davies consider disputes over riparian rights and related land drainage issues, more public interest litigation from environmental groups and charities and the news that the US will re-join the Paris Agreement.

11th January 2021

Environmental Law News Update

In this latest Environmental Law News Update, Charles Morgan, Christopher Badger and Nicholas Ostrowski consider some environmental predictions for 2021, whether an Environmental Impact Assessment should consider ‘indirect’ emissions and a further case dealing with the complexities of assessing bathing water quality.

24th June 2020

Environmental Law News Update

In this latest Environmental Law News Update, Charles Morgan, Christopher Badger and Mark Davies consider the effectiveness of the Bathing Water Directive, the UK Citizens Climate Assembly's efforts to explore how the UK can achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and further caselaw on Aarhus costs capping orders in judicial review.

2nd June 2020

Environmental Law News Update

In this latest Environmental Law News Update, Charles Morgan, Nicholas Ostrowski and William McBarnet consider development consent orders for nationally significant infrastructure projects, further clarification of the circumstances in which an Environmental Impact Assessment (‘EIA’) will be required and the practical ability of the water industry to react to supply shortages.

6th August 2019

Environmental Law News Update

In this latest Environmental Law News Update, Nicholas Ostrowski, Charles Morgan and Mark Davies consider a new ECJ case dealing with questions about the meaning of waste, record fines in water pollution cases and the power of corporate law in the environmental sphere.

9th July 2019

Environmental Law News Update

In this latest Environmental Law News Update, William Upton QC, Nicholas Ostrowski and Mark Davies consider Peter Kellett's UKELA presentation on how to achieve environmental compliance, the publication of the Environment Agency’s quarterly scorecard and the UK Government's new Green Finance Strategy.

26th June 2019

Environmental Law News Update

In this latest Environmental Law News Update, Christopher Badger considers the decision by Ofwat to impose a financial penalty on Southern Water for failings in the performance of its wastewater operations, the imposition of over £3.7 million of civil sanctions on charitable organisations for environmental offences and further developments in the Manchester Ship Canal case.

25th February 2019

Environmental Law News Update

In this latest Environmental Law News Update, Christopher Badger, Nicholas Ostrowski and Natasha Hausdorff consider the publication of the Environment Agency's quarterly scorecard, a new consultation on plastic packaging tax and continuing scrutiny of the draft Environment (Principles and Governance) Bill.

15th October 2018

Environmental Law News Update

In this latest Environmental Law News Update, Christopher Badger and Nicholas Ostrowski consider an Environment Agency prosecution involving confiscation orders of over £250,000, chemical regulation in the event of a no-deal Brexit and a recent case demonstrating that actions in statutory nuisance need not have an interest in land.

17th September 2018

Environmental Law News Update

In this latest Environmental Law News Update, Charles Morgan, Gordon Wignall, William Upton and Nicholas Ostrowski consider a landmark case on litigation privilege, the opening up of the EU Commission’s pre-legislative file, a set of principles for future collaboration between stakeholders within the water industry, and the revised NPPF.

20th August 2018

Environmental Law News Update

In this latest Environmental Law News Update, Nicholas Ostrowski, Natasha Hausdorff and Angelica Rokad consider the status of supplementary badger culling, further legal action against Heathrow expansion from environmental NGOs and fines for a water company.

Contact my clerks

Ryan Barrow

Ryan Barrow

First Junior Clerk
Daniel Jenkins

Daniel Jenkins

Third Junior Clerk