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Who Represents Who

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Birketts LLP has 'a very good team, a strong client base, and good breadth and depth of work, as well as a growing market share'. One client remarks that the firm 'compares very favourably with its competitors and is definitely one of - if not the - top firm in the field in the region'. The firm has a broad practice that assists clients in the agriculture, energy and waste industries, as well as supporting landowners across East Anglia. Property litigator, practice head and member of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association Richard Eaton is 'very competent, knowledgeable and good with clients'. With planning specialist Tom Newcombe, he advised two parish councils on the potential judicial review of a retrospective grant of planning permission for an anaerobic digester. Barristers Matthew Gowen, who has a stellar reputation for defending environmental matters in the criminal courts, and head of the corporate criminal defence practice Laura Thomas, defended a large farming business against claims of environmental permit breaches. Legal director Stuart Jones specialises in projects for the development and management of mineral deposits. Clients praise commercial property associates Nicola Doole   as 'calm and very well organised' and Chloe Glason as 'popular with clients'. Senior associate and planning lawyer Sue Chadwick is also recommended.

Hewitsons handles every aspect of environmental law and frequently advises clients on compliance with permitting, nuisance and pollution regulations, as well as the defence of claims when offences have been committed. Its work encompasses contentious, non-contentious and criminal matters, and the practice undertakes its own advocacy in the Magistrates’ Court and in public inquiries concerning environmental permitting. It is well-known for its work in the intensive livestock industry, for which it receives referrals from national representative bodies such as the NPA and the NFU, as well as from private consultancies. In 2017, it handled work for pig and poultry enterprises in East Anglia and beyond. One source remarks that practice head Deborah Sharples is 'one of the most knowledgeable lawyers in this field of law; her experience and her attention to detail cannot be bettered'. Her recent work included representing Therfield Regulation Trust in a public inquiry regarding its efforts to deregister common land for development, along with a project to improve the ecology of the remainder of the site. She also counts Homes England, Saint-Gobain Building Distribution and Max Recycling among her clients.

Howes Percival LLP has experienced environment lawyers in all of its offices, though the centre of gravity is in Norwich. The firm handles environmental permitting, waste and minerals projects, environmental policy and protocol issues, and matters concerning sea and river defences, animal by-products and the management of regulatory breaches. Practice head Paul Wootton focuses primarily on planning issues but has a substantial caseload of environmental impact assessments relating to protected habitats. He worked with consultant Rebecca Carriage to support a large estate in Norfolk with managing the impact of a major local infrastructure project on its land, which included negotiations with public bodies and local authorities. Clients remark that Carriage is 'excellent at translating an extremely complicated area of law into simple language and giving practical commercial advice'. She frequently advises Ford Retail Limited on environmental policy and the regulatory aspects of corporate transactions. Planning associate Jay Mehta and solicitor Jamie Childs are also recommended.

At niche environmental and public law practice Richard Buxton in Cambridge, name partner and solicitor advocate Richard Buxton has nearly 30 years' experience and his track record includes establishing basic principles relating to the classification of Special Protection Areas for birds, and proving the unlawfulness of the government's regulation of night flying at Heathrow airport. In 2017, the firm successfully acted for the Council for the Protection of Rural England in a Supreme Court case challenging plans to build 600 homes on a beauty spot near Dover. Consultant Kristina Kenworthy led that case. The firm's other respected environmental law specialists include consultant and solicitor advocate Paul Stookes; Adrienne Copithorne, who regularly handles cases involving public open space, energy infrastructure and climate change; Lisa Foster, who focuses on heritage protection cases involving listed buildings and conservation areas controls; and associate Caroline Chilvers, whose caseload largely comprises planning and environmental judicial reviews.

Andrew Bryce & Co has a well-established reputation as a high-quality environmental law practice that focuses on environmental, planning and health and safety issues in the waste, oil and gas, nuclear and industrial sectors. Name partner Andrew Bryce, who was a founder member of the UK Environmental Law Association and remains an honorary life member, has specialised in this area since the early 1980s. He was closely involved in the development of the UK's environmental sentencing guidelines and civil sanctions.

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Legal Developments in East Anglia for Environment

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer ‚Ä©

    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.‚Ä©
    - Falcon Chambers

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