Cairo Nickolls Principal Associate

Speaks:  English

Primary office:  Birmingham

Practice areas:

Cairo Nickolls

Cairo Nickolls is a principal associate in the Planning team based in Birmingham. Cairo is focused on helping clients get planning permission on large-scale and complex sites.

Cairo has wide-ranging planning-law experience, with a particular emphasis on planning and highways agreements, strategic advice and advising clients on matters that cross planning and environmental law. He has represented many strategic land promoters on complex S106 agreements and related planning advice in relation to greenfield sites.

Cairo has assisted many clients in getting planning permission. He is able to negotiate quickly and efficiently with local authorities and is always focused on getting the planning permission issued as quickly as possible.

Outside of work, Cairo is a trustee of a local gateway charity and heavily involved in the UK Environmental Lawyers Association in the West Midlands. Cairo plays golf, where he makes up for his lack of talent with enthusiasm, and is an all-round sports fan.


Advised one part of a consortium of developers in relation to the preparation and negotiation of the S106 agreement and a related S278 agreement related to a planning permission application for 2,700 dwellings and related infrastructure in Coalville, Leicestershire.

Advised the development arm of a UK PLC in relation to a S106 agreement and associated S106A application which related to a town centre roadside development where the previous developer had gone into administration. This complex matter required careful negotiations with the local authority to ensure that all unnecessary obligations were fully discharged and monies which were held in escrow would be released.

Successfully represented an established, privately-owned developer and property investment company in relation to achieving planning permission for the development of a former sugar beet site in Shropshire. This was an extremely contentious site with significant local opposition and substantial on-site infrastructure obligations were required.

Negotiated and completed a complex S106 agreement for a strategic land company in relation to an appeal against a refusal by the local authority of a planning application for 225 residential units, a 60-bed care home and other related on-site infrastructure. Represented the client at inquiry in relation to the S106-related matters. Also advised the client in relation to other matters including the call-in of the appeal by the Secretary of State.

Successfully represented Hallam Land Management, the interest person, in the High Court challenge by an active resident's association of the Secretary of State's decision to grant planning permission for a residential development in alleged contravention of the neighbourhood plan, which was not raised at inquiry.

Practice areas

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2018

    • Career
      July 2018
      Gowling WLG (UK), principal associate
  • 2016

    • Career
      June 2016
      Gowling WLG (UK), senior associate
  • 2012

    • Career
      August 2012
      Irwin Mitchell LLP, solicitor
  • 2010

    • Career
      August 2010
      Irwin Mitchell LLP, trainee
    • Education
      Inns of Court School of Law, LPC
  • 2009

    • Education
      Swansea University, Law Degree, LLB