Teams: Planning (Village Greens), Employment, Chancery (Village Greens, Wills & Probate, Land), Common Law (Insolvency, Professional Negligence), Public Access (Direct Public Access, Licensed Access)
Year Called: 1996
Inn: Lincoln's Inn
Qualifications: BA (UCT) LLB (UN) LLM (Cantab)
Appointments: Cambridge Livingstone Trust Scholar;
Former South African Attorney-at-Law 1987-1989,
Former English Solicitor 1990-1996,
Junior Counsel to The Crown on the Attorney General’s Provincial Panel since 2003 and continuing;
Part-Time Employment Tribunal Judge since 2004 and continuing.
Bar Council Registration
A specialist chancery/land/planning barrister who also does employment law.
Mr. Burns handles boundary disputes, easements, restrictive covenants, party walls, social housing, right-to-buy, landlord and tenant, renewal of business tenancies, lease enfranchisement, contentious conveyancing, building disputes, rights of way, highways, wills, partnerships, insolvency and contractual disputes.
He has a particular interest in proprietary estoppel and equitable claims and in 2013 he represented the successful appellant in one of the leading CA cases on this subject Joyce v Epson and Ewell BC  EWCA Civ 1398;  4 E.G. 108.
Mr Burns was Wiltshire Council’s advisor and trial advocate at a lengthy trial in Bristol High Court at which the Council successfully defended complex claims brought by Fortune and Others. See the very substantial judgement on BAILLI at  EWHC B33 (Ch). Mr Burns was also involved as junior in the successful defence against the appeal against this judgment reported at 2013 1 W.L.R. 808. This case involved alleged public rights over a lane in Chippenham and involved detailed consideration of very extensive historical and cartographical sources going back to the Norman Conquest, and how legally this material should be approached; the principles of common law and statutory dedication of highways; verges and New Streets, and novel issues arising under NERCA 2006. Taken as a whole was one of the most significant pieces of litigation in the courts in these areas of the law in recent years.
For many years has regularly advised on and appeared in numerous planning inquiries and judicial review applications on planning decisions, and also done drafting and advisory work. A few of these cases have been formally reported and therefore shown in the list of Mr Burns “notable cases”, details are available from the link elsewhere on this page. In addition, Mr Burns’ planning work has included acted as advisor and advocate for the LPAs at inquiries into the Local Plans for South Somerset DC, Eastleigh BC and Chichester DC; and a commons inquiry into a major upgrade of all the Southampton City parks for Southampton CC and for Wiltshire Council at the Stonehenge Inquiry. He acted for and represented the verderers at the New Forest National Park Inquiry. He has appeared in many planning inquiries for both LPAs and developers involving issues including gypsies; flooding; preservation of red data book species; retail parks; industrial estates; recycling; the preservation of the Richmond Dry Dock (a grade 2 LB) in Appledore North Devon; greenfield development to meet housing targets not planned for in local plans; farm redevelopment, waste site selection; waste disposal masquerading as farm improvement, and change of use of agricultural buildings and golf courses.
Employment Law Practice:
Mr. Burns handles issues across the whole ambit of the employment jurisdiction of the tribunals and the civil courts for both claimants and respondents. As junior counsel for the Crown, since 2003 and continuing, he frequently represents government agencies and organisations such as HMPS, MOD, HMRC, DWP, and the Probation Service.
For example he does cases involving TUPE, contracting in and out, large-scale redundancies, variations of employment conditions, enforcement of post-employment covenants, unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistle-blowing claims. He has been a part-time employment judge sitting in London since 2004.
Direct Professional Access:
Mr Burns is authorised by the Bar Council and trained to receive instructions directly from members of the public and professionals without the assistance of a solicitor in suitable cases.
VAT Number: 699089753