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Duncan Tilney
Duncan Tilney

Duncan is a solicitor and head of Planning in our Exeter office. He holds an honours degree in Economics from the University of Stirling, an MBA from the University of Southampton and undertook his law conversion courses at the College of Law in London between 2004 and 2006. He completed a training contract (qualifying in October 2008) and worked at Bond Pearce (now Womble Bond Dickinson (UK)) for ten years before being appointed as a partner at Stephens Scown in 2016.

He has provided advice on planning and environmental matters for government departments, local planning authorities, plcs, limited companies and private individuals including advising Network Rail on highways matters, providing environmental advice to Sainsbury’s and planning advice to B&Q, amongst others. He has brought and defended statutory challenges and judicial reviews (with counsel instructed) in the High Court. Duncan has advised infrastructure developers on Environmental Impact Assessment as well as general planning advice for the consenting of projects under the Planning Act 2008 and the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Duncan’s personal testimonials:

Chambers and Partners (2024) – “Duncan is good at making time for you, even when he is busy. He will give a time to talk and will commit to being there.”

Chambers and Partners (2023) – Duncan Tilney leads the planning team at Stephens Scown in Devon. He has extensive experience across the breadth of planning law and procedure, including complex planning permission and Section 106 agreements.

Legal 500 (2022) – Duncan Tilney has know-how in contentious planning matters. A source said: “Duncan Tilney – ability to consider and identify both what the legislation requires but how it is deployed in practice. Able to adapt and provide level of advice appropriate to the client’s needs or urgency of the situation.”


Outside work, Duncan enjoys cycling and reading.

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