Tom Newcombe

  • Experience
  • Other Information

Tom qualified as a Solicitor in September 2005 and joined Birketts in March 2011. He is a Partner and Head of our Planning and Environmental Team.

Tom specialises in planning, environmental and highways law and joined Birketts with significant experience as a planning solicitor within the national planning team of an international law firm.

He advises on all aspects of planning law, advising local authorities, landowners and developers on the planning of commercial and residential developments including: the planning application process and supporting documents; Environmental Impact Assessment; contracts conditional on planning; section 106 agreements and unilateral undertakings; planning conditions; submission of and process management of planning appeals via written representations, hearings and inquiries; section 73 applications; and judicial review.

Tom also has wide experience with environmental due diligence, warranties and indemnities, contaminated land, highways matters, adoption agreements (including section 38 and section 278 agreements) and public rights of way. His client base includes commercial and residential developers, institutional landowners, registered social landlords, further and higher education establishments and local authorities as well as major transport operators and renewable energy developers. He also advises private clients on a wide range of planning matters.

Additionally, Tom leads the team on Compulsory Purchase (CPO) and Development Consent Order (DCO) work 

Tom is based between our Cambridge and Chelmsford offices.

Tom is recommended and named as a ‘Leading Individual’ by Legal 500 [UK 2024]. In this edition clients note “Tom Newcombe is my main contact, he is always on his game and works in the interest of the client, whilst remaining honest throughout.” Another adds “Tom Newcombe has been a fantastic support for me in my larger development projects. Always approaching every challenge with a positive attitude, providing excellent advice and responsiveness when it was needed, and also having a personal touch and genuine desire for me to achieve my commercial goals.”

A source in the previous edition noted “Tom Newcombe is great with clients. A strategic thinker.” Another added that he is “very commercially aware”.

In an earlier edition, clients said he “provides strong leadership”. Another added “Tom Newcombe is always available to explore issues and explore strategies, welcoming client views and inputs. Clearly continues to reflect on issues and report back even after discussions have concluded. Works hard to produce targeted responses that are fit for purpose, trying to distil complex legal issues down into manageable written material to satisfy all requirements.”

Tom is also ranked in band 1 and recommended by Chambers [UK 2024]. In this edition clients note “Tom Newcombe is very considered, pragmatic and clear in his thinking, always maintaining a commercial edge.”

In previous edition, a source said “Tom Newcombe is an excellent and commercially aware lawyer who leads an equally impressive team of planning law specialists.” Another added “He always deeply explores the issues and strategies and provides robust advice that can influence planning decisions.”

In an earlier edition, clients said “Tom Newcombe is really good with client care, good at spotting the issues and at getting to grips with the problem.” Another added “He is knowledgeable, responsive and pragmatic, as well as collaborative.”

Awards and Memberships

Legal 500 Leading Individual 2024 logo
Tom Newcombe Chambers logo 2024

Tom Newcombe is my main contact, he is always on his game and works in the interest of the client, whilst remaining honest throughout.

Legal 500 [UK 2024]

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