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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > South East > Real estate > Environment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Environment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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According to its clients, B P Collins LLPdeservedly enjoys a national reputation in this area’, and fields a team that is ‘a great champion of effective and efficient solutions, delivering the best results for its clients in a measured, professional and cost-effective manner’. The practice is best known for its expertise in the waste management sector, and is currently advising the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) on the possible impact of Brexit on the industry. In other highlights, the group acted for Biffa on its £5m acquisition of the business and assets of Blakeley’s Recycling, a local business based in the North West, and advised the same client on it £13.5m purchase of Cory Environmental Municipal Services (CEMS). Practice head Alex Zachary has strong recycling sector expertise, and regularly handles M&A activity, procurement and commercial and compliance issues. Other key figures include transactional lawyer David Smellie; commercial property expert Michael Larcombe; and Alison Taylor, who advises on sales, acquisitions and portfolio management.

DMH Stallard LLP’s ‘highly responsive’ team is ‘intelligent, knowledgeable and very pragmatic in its approach, providing excellent value for money’. Key areas of focus include the renewables and waste sectors, environmental litigation, water infrastructure agreements and environmental impact assessment. The practice has also seen a growth in instructions related to sustainable drainage and flooding. Recent work includes acting for Crest Nicholson and Countryside Properties in a number of infrastructure matters, and advising Newhaven Port & Properties on planning and environmental issues in relation to a new berth and land development area, a matter involving significant ecological mitigation measures. Heidi Copland leads the multi-disciplinary team and has a strong track record in development and regeneration projects. Associate Gemma Penny advises local planning authorities and housebuilders on section 106 agreements.

Penningtons Manches LLP focuses on the waste management, contaminated land and habitat protection sectors, and regularly advises on European environmental law alongside developing UK policy. Recent work includes advising Coats Plc, an industrial thread and consumer textile business, on its collaboration agreement with Nottingham City in relation to the environmental clean-up of a heavily contaminated industrial site. The group also acted for two individual property investors in negotiations for a new Frimley-based petrol station lease to Esso, a site with a history of contamination and leakages from its underground storage tanks. Practice head Richard Smith advises on the full range of environmental law matters including consummated land liabilities, legal compliance, planning policy and the Habitats Directive. Senior associate Emma Davies is the other key figure; she specialises in regulatory compliance matters. EDF Energy Nuclear Generation, Frontier Estates and Greensphere are also clients.

The ‘commercially minded’ team at Blandy & Blandy LLP is ‘well known in the region’ and is ‘particularly strong on environmental issues that intersect with planning law’. The practice advises on Environmental Impact Assessments, remediation and contaminated land issues, environmental due diligence and warranties and indemnities. The firm’s lawyers also have strong expertise in handling waste regulation matters, defending prosecutions for various clients including landed estates and waste disposal companies. Planning and environment law solicitor Karen Jones heads the department and has notable expertise in nature and conservation law. Simon Dimmick is the other name to note; he advises on strategic planning projects in the local area. Clients have included the University of Reading, London Irish Rugby Club, Lloyds Bank and Englefield Estate.

Cripps LLP handles ecological and environmental issues arising from large-scale developments, as well as Environmental Impact Assessments, contaminated land issues and associated judicial reviews. Recent work includes acting for Liberty Property Trust on a planning agreement for its new mixed-use community in North Horsham; assisting Wates Developments with a section 106 agreement to secure planning permission for 86 new homes; and advising Trenport Investments on a revised planning application at Eurolink V in Sittingbourne. Practice head Jason Towell specialises in residential development matters, acting for housebuilders on various high-profile developments. He is assisted by Philip Youdan, who advises clients on environmental prosecutions, and is noted for his efforts to minimise the risks of enforcement actions and limit damages penalties. Other active clients include ARG Renewables, Persimmon Homes and Slough Borough Council.

Stevens & Bolton LLP’s wide-ranging practice has ‘a superb level of expertise in the field’ and provides ‘a great level of service and ongoing support to its clients’. The firm advises on environmental liabilities claims and insurance policies, climate change law, flood risk and environmental permitting, and also handles the environmental aspects of regional and multinational transactions. The team continues to advise WWF-UK on environmental issues arising from its offshore oil and gas operations in the Arctic, and has advised a range of corporate clients on the environmental issues arising from various real estate transactions. Practice head Catherine Davey specialises in environment and planning law, and Valerie Fogleman advises on climate change, environmental insurance and health and safety law. Other key clients include XL Catlin, The BOC Group and Accord Healthcare.

Clients of Birkett Long LLP cite its ‘great overall level of service’, with ‘typically good response times and a solid knowledge of the environment within which the client works’. The firm’s wide-ranging experience covers contamination, water pollution, permitting and nuisance and waste issues, and has also received strong mandates in areas of sustainability, renewable energy and climate change. Highlights included advising Vaizey and Waterer Trustees on a promotion agreement entered into with a developer, and acting for a solar farm operator taking agreements for lease from landowners, then subsequently selling the investment interest in the company. Key figures include practice head David Rayner, who handles property, corporate and banking matters, and transactional lawyer Tracey Dickens, whose ‘highly professional approach enables transactions to be completed within a reasonable timescale’.

Blake Morgan LLP is particularly strong in environmental litigation, regularly defending clients in the full range of regulatory actions including prosecutions, investigations, enforcement actions and nuisance abatement notices. The firm is also strong on the transactional side, advising on the full scope of environmental matters associated with mergers, acquisitions and disposals. John Mitchell is the key figure.

Recent work for Brachers includes handling a number of criminal prosecutions under environmental legislation, and assisting with environmental issues arising from corporate and property transactions. Practice head Lee May advises on the full range of civil and criminal matters involving environmental and planning law, with an emphasis on waste-related issues. Notable work included advising a range of clients on the contaminated land regime, and on warranty and indemnity negotiation.

Clarkslegal LLP is noted for its expertise in the field of carbon trading, and the environmental finance practice regularly advises on carbon credit projects. Waste management is another key strength, as are sustainable infrastructure projects and environmental audits. The firm has a strong client base of local authorities, and recently advised a number of city councils on a substantial procurement for a food waste treatment contract, which will result in the generation of renewable energy; the team also advised on procurement strategy, tender documentation and various sub-contracts arising from the subsequent procurement of residual waste treatment services. Senior consultant Kirstin Parker is the key practitioner, with an emphasis on large-scale projects, PPP matters and environmental law.

Shoosmiths LLP’s workload encompasses environmental due diligence, risk management and apportionment of environmental liabilities, as well as compliance advice and contentious environmental matters. Highlights included advising China General Nuclear Power Corporation on the environmental aspects of its potential investment into the UK’s new nuclear regime, a matter involving the development of three new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The group also acted for St Modwen Developments on its agreement with the Secretary of State for Transport regarding historic liabilities at a site in Birmingham, which is being acquired for the HS2 High Speed Rail project. The practice is headed by Charles Arrand, who specialises in regulatory criminal investigations, prosecutions and other enforcement actions. Philip Ryan specialises in compliance and criminal defence and is also recommended.

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Legal Developments in South East for Environment

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

    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.

    - Falcon Chambers

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