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Ricardo Gama

Senior associate solicitor

Ricardo specialises in environmental claims and planning law

Climate change Environment Judicial review Planning

Ricardo is a senior associate solicitor in the human rights and public law department of Leigh Day, focusing on environmental claims.

He has extensive expertise in environmental and planning law including in judicial review proceedings in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, as well as in planning appeal and enforcement inquiries. He has detailed knowledge of the EIA, SEA and habitats regimes.

Before joining the firm 2021, Ricardo worked at Richard Buxton Environmental and Public Law, after several years as a planning lawyer and founding associate of Town Legal LLP, a leading planning firm. Prior to his career in law, he studied Mathematics and Philosophy at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford.

Cases on which he has worked include:

  • A38 Derby Junctions: Successful quashing of development consent for road scheme in Derby on climate grounds.
  • M62 J20-25 Smart Motorway: Successfully persuaded Highways England to withdraw notice which would allow a smart motorway scheme to be built under permitted development rights on the basis that its climate impacts had not been properly assessed.
  • Andrews v Secretary of State: Judicial review of a written ministerial statement which would scope out large numbers of fracking proposals from consideration against local planning policies.
  • Aireborough Neighbourhood Development Forum v Leeds City Council: Successful quashing of Leeds site allocations plan on the basis that a drop in objectively assessed housing need had not been properly addressed during the local plan process.
  • Hopkins Homes v Suffolk Coastal: Supreme Court case regarding the correct approach to determining when policies, and particularly housing policies, are out of date for the purposes of the “tilted balance” in the National Planning Policy Framework.
  • Opposing expansion of Bristol Airport: acting for campaigners in public inquiry, focusing on climate impacts of expansion.

News and blogs

News Article
Environment Wildlife Wild justice

Government concedes that former Environment Secretary unlawfully granted gamebird release licences for protected areas against Natural England advice

The Government has conceded a claim by environmental group Wild Justice alleging the unlawful grant of licences for the release of gamebirds in and around two protected habitats.

News Article
Oxfordshire Countryside
Net Zero Strategy Environment Fossil fuels

Planning inspectors were wrong to water down West Oxfordshire Council’s net zero plans for Salt Cross Garden Village, judge rules

Rights and climate collective Rights: Community: Action (RCA) has won its legal challenge to a decision to water down the net zero ambitions of West Oxfordshire District Council in its plan for Salt Cross Garden Village.

News Article
Sewage Into River
Environment Water claim Pollution

Wild Justice challenges second bid to relax water pollution rules

Wild Justice is challenging a bid by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (SSEFRA) Steve Barclay to change water pollution rules to permit house building in sensitive water catchment areas without enforcing measures to protect them from sewage pollution.