‘A Practical Guide to the Law of Flood Protection and Flood Claims’ by William Upton KC


Paperback: 978-1-913715-92-2
Published: June 2021
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This book is a short practical guide to the legal issues that arise regarding flood protection and claims for compensation. It is intended to be a helpful resource for established practitioners as well as an introduction to those new to the subject. Whilst no flood event is the same, much of flood protection is about risk management and many of the issues have arisen in the past. We can learn much from the caselaw and this is a situation where, as Lord Justice Jackson acknowledged in a case in 2014, “the judge is required to carry out a somewhat daunting multifactorial assessment”.

The chapters of the book are intended to be read in the context of the regulatory background, established by the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. The book describes the key concepts in flood risk management, Flood Zones and Flood Resilience, and the relationship with planning law. It also discusses the use of a measured Duty of Care in nuisance and negligence claims, and what defending against flood water as the “common enemy” can mean. The subjects covered include the different roles of all the public authorities involved, and their potential duties and liabilities for compensation, including in terms of human rights law.


WILLIAM UPTON KC practices at 6 Pump Court, and leads the Public, Planning and Environmental Law team in chambers. Will has been recommended as a leading barrister for both environmental and planning law for many years, and he has a particular interest in the regulatory control of land and land use.

Recent work has ranged from dealing with contaminated aquifers, flood defences, reservoirs, the effects of air shows on protected habitats, diverting footpaths, redeveloping old landfill sites, as well as with noise and light nuisance issues, and arguing for a planning condition that would require new housing to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2030. He is a contributor to the chambers’ weekly blog ‘Environmental Law News’, and can be followed on Twitter: @willupton.


Chapter One – An Overview of Flood Risk
Chapter Two – The Role of the Public Authorities Responsible for Flood Risk Management
Chapter Three – Building and Maintaining Flood Defences
Chapter Four – The Measured Duty of Care – Flood Claims in Nuisance and Negligence
Chapter Five – Defending Against Flood Water as the “Common Enemy”
Chapter Six – The Potential Liability of the Regulators for Flood Damage
Chapter Seven – Claiming Compensation for Losses Caused by Flood Defence Work