Poonam Pattni

Teams: Crime & Regulatory (General Crime, Licensing, Trading Standards, Health & Safety, Environment), Landlord & Tenant and Housing (Residential, Social), Planning (Planning Appeals, Enforcement, Rights Of Way & Highways, Judicial Review )

Year Called: 2010

Inn: Middle Temple

Qualifications: BA Hons (Sociology) Warwick: Undergraduate Research Award Graduate Diploma in Law, College of Law: Diplock Major Scholar Bar Vocational Course and LLP Hons, College of Law: Benefactors Major Scholarship

Background:

Poonam has established a busy practice across a range of chambers' specialisms including all aspects of local government, regulatory crime, planning and housing law. 

Prior to joining the Bar, Poonam was the Advocacy Manager for Southall Black Sisters, a civil liberties organisation for black minority ethnic women and children. Her work engaged a number of areas of law including community care and housing. Poonam also drafted policy submissions responding to government consultations affecting legal aid and social welfare.

Expertise:

Planning

Poonam has dealt with a broad range of planning related matters and is experienced in advising from the early stages through to inquiry and enforcement. She is a contributor to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) online publication on Planning Conditions and Obligations.

Poonam has dealt with a broad range of planning matters ranging from advocacy representation at planning inquiries to advising on injunctive relief under sections 187B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and s.222 of the Local Government Act 1972. She has also advised on the interpretation and application of a lawful development certificate (CLUED) and assisted local planning authorities (LPA’s) in responding to unauthorised encampments. Poonam is very familiar with the managing the often-competing interests involved in planning matters and takes a commercially pragmatic approach to litigation.

In the field of planning enforcement, Poonam regularly appears in the Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court in relation to prosecutions for offences under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and other environmental offences. Cases of interest include: 

• 2016: secured the withdrawal of a prosecution for breach of a condition notice on behalf of a theatre company.

• 2016: obtained planning permission for residential development relying on under-enforcement provisions following a two-day planning inquiry.

• 2017: advised a multinational company charged with advertising offences, case concluded with the withdrawal of the prosecution.

• 2017: second prosecution of a local village pub which had been converted into residential use without prior planning permission, press coverage here.
 
• 2017: junior counsel in a call-in inquiry concerning an LPA’s five-year housing land supply.

• 2017: prosecution for non-compliance with a planning enforcement notice resulting in a £20,000 fine, press coverage here.

• 2017: successful legal argument concerning the interpretation and enforceability of the terms of a stop notice.
 
• 2018: acted for an LPA in a case concerning the correct ‘start’ date for the prosecution period for non-compliance with an enforcement notice, distinguishing R v Kuxhaus. The court made a confiscation order of £45,000.00, press coverage here.

• 2018: prosecuted a supermarket chain and sub-contractor accused of breaching a tree preservation order.
 
• 2018: prosecuted a developer for uprooting and destroying trees located in a Conservation Area.
 
Poonam has also advised and provided training on related topics including confiscation, the community infrastructure levy, liability orders and noise abatement matters.

Local Government and Regulatory Crime

Poonam has developed a specialist criminal practice both prosecuting and defending regulatory criminal offences. She is particularly adept at dealing with complex and overlapping areas of law and presenting them in an accessible manner. Poonam has experience in dealing with matters involving the Housing Act, Education Act, Health & Safety Regulations, Trading Standards, Building Regulations and Licencing.

Her cases have included prosecuting on behalf of a local authority in respect of housing offences (Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations), breach of a prohibition order, non-compliance with improvement notices, HMO mandatory licencing provisions and Hackney Carriage Licencing.
Recent advocacy examples include: 
• 2017: counsel for the local authority in Woking Borough Council v Johnson [2017] EWHC 2547, the High Court gave guidance on calculating the number of qualifying storeys in an HMO when considering the mandatory HMO licencing regime. 

• 2017: acted for a Licensing Authority in opposing an appeal against the revocation of a Hackney Carriage Licence. 

• 2018: represented a Licensing Authority in an appeal against the revocation of a Premises Licence instigated by the Home Office in a case involving the employment of illegal workers. 

Civil Law

Poonam accepts instructions on all areas of Housing Law on behalf of Landlords and Tenants. She has experience of dealing with contested possession proceedings; social housing; right to rent; committal proceedings, and; matters arising from anti-social behaviour.

Poonam also has experience of dealing with highway boundary disputes, she has advised and acted on behalf of highways authorities dealing with claims in trespass and disputes over verges.

Notable examples of work include:

• 2016: advised private landowners concerned about highway encroachment on their private land.

• 2017: successful application to strike out a collateral challenge to a traffic regulation order and dismissal of a claim in trespass.

• 2017: succeeded on appeal against the making of a suspended possession order over an introductory tenancy on grounds that the order was unlawful.
 
• 2017: obtained a money judgment against four care companies, liabilities had arisen under the Controlled Waste Regulations 2012.

• 2017: successfully resisted an application to set aside a liability order for non-domestic rates where it was argued that substantial prejudice had been caused to the ratepayers. 

• 2018: obtained an anti-social behaviour injunction order against three youths with a full town centre exclusion zone.

Poonam has also dealt with interlocutory and final hearings on the small claims and fast track, Stage 3 hearings, infant approvals and is available for instruction in personal injury matters.