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Yorkshire and the Humber

United Kingdom > Yorkshire and the Humber > Real estate > Environment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  1. Environment
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

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DLA Piper UK LLP ‘cannot be faulted’ and is ‘far and away the best’ for its ‘excellent response times and in-depth understanding of the industry’. Practice head Teresa Hitchcock is ‘a straight talker with an exceptional grasp of complex issues and an ability to connect with the client and its needs’; she recently advised the Keller Group on environmental issues and obligations in multiple jurisdictions. The team handles environmental litigation, prosecutions, compliance issues, approvals and assessments, waste disposal work, and matters involving the transportation of dangerous goods. Alastair Clough is the key name for contaminated land and waste management issues and allocating liability risk in transactions; he assisted Cufe Investments with the environmental elements on its sale of Metal and Waste Recycling to European Metal Recycling, and acted for Morgan Advanced Materials on the sale of its electro-ceramic business to CeramTec including site access issues and the negotiation of contractual liability risk allocation. Legal director Ailish Oxenforth is the main contact for Environment Agency (EA) enforcement issues. -Stuart Ponting joined Walker Morris LLP in 2017.

Legal director Helen Peters heads Pinsent Masons LLP’s ‘outstanding’ team in Leeds and is praised by clients as ‘an excellent communicator who is always open to considering new and innovative ways of achieving the client’s objectives’. She handles environmental issues at a UK, EU and international level with notable specialisms including the nuclear, manufacturing, energy, real estate, government agency and local authority sectors. The practice’s work encompasses permitting issues, contaminated land work, waste management, transactional advice and litigation; highlights included defending United Utilities Water in a claim for damages brought by Manchester Ship Canal Company relating to the client’s discharge of water and treated sewage in the Manchester Ship Canal; advising Drax Generation Developments and Drax Power on the environmental elements of its acquisition of four peaking plant power station projects and assisting L&G Capital with the environmental due diligence relating to its acquisition of Renaissance Care Villages from Helical. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, NuGeneration, E.ON UK and Veolia are also clients.

The main contact at Freeths LLP for contentious and non-contentious issues is Penny Simpson , who has substantial expertise surrounding protected species, nature conservation sites, wildlife law, water law and environmental impact assessments. Other noteworthy practitioners include senior associate Nicola Power , who specialises in the development, waste, mining and minerals sectors.

Shulmans LLP ‘ticks all of the boxes you would expect an excellent team to tick’; the ‘trustworthy and personable group provides clear and concise advice and has an outstandingly commercial approach’. Department head Lyn Dario ‘stands out from the crowd’ particularly in the chemicals, waste and manufacturing sectors. The team also includes Mark Lumley, who is noted for his work advising technology and providers clients; and litigator Richard Wadkin, who handles matters in the logistics and road transport sectors.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s ‘advice is always high quality, pragmatic and thoroughly professional’ under the leadership of Kirsty Gomersal, who is ‘a formidable presence and is meticulous in her attention to the factual details of a matter’ and ‘goes the extra mile for her clients and keeps her running shoes on to go even further’. The team assists with all elements of environmental compliance work including EA investigations, enforcement notices, prosecutions and transactional support; highlights included advising the University of Sheffield on its sale of a plot of land to Boeing which had contamination issues, acting for Logistics in a multi-agency investigation relating to noise and dust issues, and assisting a waste and landfill site operator with its purchase of a landfill site. Associate Matthew Breakell is recommended for criminal investigations and prosecutions brought by regulatory agencies.

Walker Morris LLP is ‘emerging as a key team in the region for environmental law issues’ led by Alison Ogley on the civil side and Stuart Ponting for criminal matters; they joined in 2017 from Kings Chambers and DLA Piper UK LLP respectively. Clients praise Ogley for her ‘welcoming yet pragmatic and forthright style with no posturing; she has an excellent knowledge of the field, provides sound and honest advice, and has outstanding communication skills’. Ponting is ‘very easy to work with’. Recent highlights include advising Valeo Foods on compliance and contamination issues following its acquisition of Big Bear Confectionary, The Lindum Snack Company and Candy Plus, defending Darrington Quarries in proceedings relating to plans to extend an existing quarry, and assisting MVV Umwelt with the contamination and flood risk issues related to the Dundee & Angus Waste Treatment Project. Commercial Estates Group, Taylor Wimpey and FCC Environmental are also clients. Andrew Williamson is now a consultant with the firm.

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Legal Developments in Yorkshire and the Humber 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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