Jim is an experienced specialist town and country planning lawyer, whose practice also includes compulsory purchase, highway law, rights of way and the law of commons and town and village greens.

His early career was spent as an engineering technician in Local Government and then as an infrastructure designer in the housebuilding industry, before reading for a law degree at UWE Bristol and then training with Burges Salmon in Bristol.

On qualification in 2001, he joined Burges Salmon’s Planning Team and later spent four and a half years as sole legal counsel to M J Gleeson Group plc, before returning to private practice.

Jim is also a Board Trustee with Emmaus, Bristol, a charity helping people out of homelessness.

*James Ryan is a Consultant at Acuity Law working on a self-employed basis*

  • Town and Country Planning (with a bias towards contentious matters)
  • Compulsory Purchase
  • The law of Highways and Rights of Way
  • The law of Commons and Town and Village Greens
  • Successful applications for Gleeson Strategic Land Ltd and L & Q Estates Ltd to carry out works on common land;
  • Pezaro & anor -v- Bourne & Anor 2019 [EWHC] 1964 Ch (successful defence of a challenged private right of way, including court advocacy;
  • R (Gleeson Developments Ltd) -v- SSCLG [2014] EWCA Civ 1118 and [2013] EWHC 3166 (Admin) establishing that once planning permission is issued it cannot be withdrawn due to a mistake by the decision-maker;
  • R(Webster) -v- The Government of Anguilla (2010) successful judicial review of offshore development;
  • R (Cheltenham Builders Ltd) -v- South Gloucestershire Council [2003] EWHC 2803 (Admin) successful judicial review of registration of land as a town or village green in an effort to prevent development


  • Jim has been shortlisted for the Award for Partnership Working category of the Planning Awards 2021

  • The Planning & Environmental Team is ranked Tier 2 in The Legal 500.

Skip to content