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Douglas Armstrong QC

Douglas Armstrong QC

Acclaimed for his expertise in heavyweight matters across the infrastructure and energy fields. Sources note his impressive background in the environmental aspects of major developments: ''He thinks very strategically, there's always a game plan and he gives very pragmatic, sensible advice.'' ''He very quickly becomes part of the team. He's approachable, an excellent communicator and pretty damn brilliant on his feet.'' (Chambers & Partners UK, 2015) 'Experienced in cases involving infrastructure, residential and retail development and compulsory purchase.' (Legal 500, 2014)


Professional Information:

Year of Call: 1990
Year of Silk: 2005
Devil Masters: G.C. Bell, QC; Lord Bannatyne
Qualifications: LL.B (Hons) (1986), University of Aberdeen; Dip.L.P. (1987), University of Aberdeen.  Practising member of English Bar since 1999, No 5 Chambers, London, Birmingham and Bristol. 


Douglas Armstrong's principal areas of practice cover Planning, Environmental, Property, Local Government, Administrative, Constitutional and Licensing law.  He has appeared at inquiries, hearings and challenges concerned with a wide range of matters including residential and retail development, landfill/waste, mineral, flooding, roads, infrastructure, compulsory purchase, renewable energy generation proposals, enforcement notices, listed buildings and local plans.  He has represented developers, planning authorities and special interest groups.  Douglas advises on Development Plan policies, large infrastructure (including roads, rail and bridge) proposals, Section 75 Agreements and Performance Bonds and Environmental law issues including contaminated land.  He has appeared in the Court of Session in statutory appeals and judicial reviews. Douglas has appeared in the Supreme Court.

Douglas has advised on major public procurement and competition law issues. Douglas has appeared in relation to numerous licensing matters including a number of recent cases in relation to the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Civic Government (Scotland) Act.  He has advised on Licensing policy under the 2005 Act and in relation to Taxi and Entertainment licenses.  He has appeared before Licensing Boards.  Douglas has advised on Rating and Valuation matters.  He has advised on Core Path Plans and access rights and has appeared in the Lands Tribunal and the Land Court.  Douglas has advised numerous local authorities and interested parties on Administrative, Local Government and Election law.  Douglas regularly advises on Public Law Matters.  He appears at Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal.  He has also appeared and advised on Regulatory Crime matters. 

Chambers & Partners UK & Legal 500:

Douglas is recommended in the current editions of both Chambers & Partners UK and the Legal 500 law directories.  Previous editions have described him as:

'A hugely experienced silk whose practice is principally focused on planning, environmental and property work. He receives regular instructions from a broad range of clients including planning authorities, special interest groups and developers. ''His thoroughness in preparation is reflected by his eloquence on his feet.''' (Chambers UK, 2014)

'Douglas Armstrong QC is a highly respected planning silk with attendant expertise in complementary areas such as environment, property, local government and administrative law. Sources note that he is ''very experienced in planning and public law, and a pleasure to deal with for instructing solicitors.''' (Chambers UK, 2013)

''Douglas Armstrong QC is approachable, pragmatic and highly effective.'' (Chambers UK, 2012)

''He is acclaimed for his ability to rapidly grasp the intricacies of complex matters.'' (Chambers UK, 2011)

''...the determined and skilful cross examiner Douglas Armstrong, QC, is always willing to take on complex instructions, even if it's on extremely short notice and he still always manages to be fully prepared.'' (Chambers UK, 2010)

''Turns work around quickly and is a pleasure to instruct.'' (Legal 500, 2013)

''Douglas Armstrong QC, is always thorough and well prepared and solid in his written advice and on his feet.'' (Legal 500, 2012)

An ''absolute expert on planning and environmental law'', ''adept at expressing himself in opinion work and stellar in presenting cases at inquiries or in court.'' (Legal 500, 2011)

''Always fully prepared and a determined and skilled cross examiner.'' (Legal 500, 2010)

''Douglas Armstrong, QC, can fairly be said to be in the top rank of planning QCs.'' (Legal 500, 2009)


  • Vice-Chairman, Terra Firma Chambers, 2008-2012
  • Member of various ad hoc committees of the Faculty of Advocates

Recent Cases:

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