Environment in London
Allen & Overy LLP fields a sizable standalone practice, which advises clients on a variety of environmental and regulatory law matters, including Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) work, the transportation and storage of hazardous goods, corporate governance and compliance issues, and sustainability work. Sustainable finance and ESG compliance issues are increasing areas of focus for the team, which is led by Matthew Townsend, who specialises in chemicals regulation, waste, carbon and finance mandates, and energy matters, which regularly have a cross-border element. Clients span the fossil energy, nuclear power, manufacturing, mining and renewable energy sectors. Another name to note is senior associate Tom d’Ardenne.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very good technical knowledge.’
‘Matthew Townsend very knowledgeable and business focused.’
‘Commercial and responsive.’
Lenders to the Rovuma LNG Project
Horizon Nuclear Power
- Providing ongoing regulatory, environmental and permitting advice to Horizon Nuclear in respect of the proposed Wylfa nuclear station.
- Advising Samsung SDI, a multinational technology conglomerate, on its producer responsibility obligations with respect to its manufacture and supply of batteries for use in electric vehicles across various jurisdictions in Europe, Asia and the US.
- Advising the prospective ECAs and lenders in relation to the multi-billion dollar Rovuma LNG Project in Mozambique.
At Burges Salmon LLP, the full range of environmental services is provided to clients, with particular expertise in handling environmental litigation and environmental regulatory issues for large businesses. From public sector institutions to regulators and clients spanning the transport, infrastructure, nuclear, fossil and renewable energy sectors, the group's client base receives advice on climate change and emissions markets, major industrial plant closures, decommissionings, contaminated land issues, regulatory investigations and environmental compliance work. The firm also has a large dedicated environmental litigation team, which acts in regulatory appeals, judicial reviews, environmental claims, and risk and remediation claims. Splitting their time between Bristol and London, vastly experienced practitioners include 'thoughtful and incisive' practice head Simon Tilling, 'first-class' energy specialist Michael Barlow, decommissioning and nuclear liability expert Ian Salter, and Ross Fairley, who is particularly active in renewable energy mandates.
‘The team has an outstanding knowledge of environmental law. They are client friendly and always very aware of clients needs and objectives, their focus is always to deliver an excellent outcome for clients.’
‘Great client care skills combined with excellent technical knowledge and litigation experience – a real all round package.’
‘Michael Barlow – a very thoughtful, supportive lawyer who is not afraid to think out of the box, is thorough in exploring all legal and strategic angles, calm, confidence building and reliable. Really enjoyable to work with.’
‘Simon Tilling – really solid technical and commercial knowledge and insights in the environmental sector, excellent profile, very easy to work with and an increasing presence in the field.’
‘Simon Tilling – thoughtful and incisive environmental lawyer.’
‘Mike Barlow – excellent resilient litigator, good team skills.’
‘Michael Barlow (partner) is a first-class leader and coordinator. He can pull together numerous parties on complex matters to all work towards a common purpose.’
First Group, First Greater Western Ltd
Koch Industries (U.S. headquartered global business)
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW)
ENGIE (formerly GDF Suez)
Canal & River Trust
Severnside Distribution Land Ltd
WACOM Co Ltd
GYPC Ltd and Great Yarmouth Port Authority
University of Bristol
- Acting for First Group in a high-profile and complex noise nuisance action; the outcome will have implications for the entire transport infrastructure network.
- Acting for an international consortium of chemicals manufacturers on the protection of their interests in a highly political regulatory matter involving the European Chemicals Agency and the chemicals agencies of Finland and France on the appropriate regulatory control of the chemical substance.
- Acting for KPMG in a complex dispute concerning responsibilities for contaminated land in an insolvency: the question of who pays the significant clean-up costs is unsettled law and resulted in court proceedings.
The environmental team at Clifford Chance LLP primarily provides environmental expertise in support of large M&A transactions; the group also has experience advising clients on environmental regulations and assisting with the environmental aspects of infrastructure and development projects. The team also provides advice to corporate clients regarding contentious environmental issues. The department is led by Nigel Howorth, who regularly advises on standalone environmental issues including REACH issues, emissions trading work, landfill regulations, and contaminated land and waste regulations, particularly in the corporate and energy sectors.
‘Strong commitment to pro-bono legal work, harnessing the global resources of the firm.’
‘Excellent knowledge of the technical subject combined with an ability to understand and assess commercial drivers and provide practical and risk weighted advice taking account of the multiple issues faced by large infrastructure projects. The Team is high performing and well-motivated but without losing the identity or personality of the individuals – all in all, they are a pleasure to work with on both a professional and personal level.’
‘They are able to provide prompt relevant advice; taking account of non-legal factors, and communicate assessments and outcomes in an appropriate manner to a varied audience. Over the years they have become an integral part of our development team – at particularly busy times, they have located team members near our offices to enable optimal working arrangements. Nigel Howorth, Elizabeth Hardacre and Katie Kempthorne are worthy of particular mention.’
Official Receiver and Special Managers of British Steel
UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights
Horizon Nuclear Power
Global Infrastructure Partners
- Advising Horizon Nuclear Power on all the planning, highways and environmental aspects of the development of a new generation of nuclear power facilities in the UK.
- Advising the Official Receiver and Special Managers of British Steel on the sale of the business and assets to Jingye Steel and Iron, following the high-profile insolvency of British Steel.
- Advised Chrysaor, a leading UK oil & gas independent, on its acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ UK business.
'Incredibly experienced' environment specialist Paul Sheridan heads up the team at CMS, which handles a mix of advisory and contentious work for clients in the real estate, construction, finance, water processing, infrastructure and transport sectors. Key areas of strength include advising on the labelling of consumer products, environmental permits, contaminated land issues, environmental reports and sustainable developments, and the group is seeing increased levels of EU product compliance instructions. Olivia Jamison is regularly instructed on plastics restriction, greenwashing and ecodesign matters, while Valentina Keys advises on energy efficiency measures, shipment of waste issues and maritime environment law. Of Counsel Alex Ibrahim is another name to note.
‘The team were exceptional in guiding us through the deal. We were under extreme time pressure and the team understood this and always responded quickly and were will to go the extra mile to achieve our deadlines.’
Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas SA (including its subsidiary FCC Environment)
Industrial Chemicals Group
Raylo Group Limited
- Providing various corporations from the electronics, consumer products and energy industries with regulatory advice on the interface between Brexit and environmental law.
- Providing various corporations from the consumer products, electronics and chemicals technology industries with regulatory advice on the cross-border environmental law aspects of product stewardship, chemicals and environmental regimes.
- Providing a national metals recycling group with strategic and site-specific advice on whether certain facilities required environmental permits, compliance with environmental permits and end of waste requirements.
Focusing exclusively on representing claimants, Leigh Day has 'unparalleled expertise in pursuing large group claims concerning mass pollution events such as oil spills and leaks of toxic chemicals from industrial facilities in developing countries'. The team specialises in class action lawsuits against oil and gas companies, as well as other international multi-party actions arising from environmental damage and domestic applications opposing planning decisions. Clients include local farming, fishing and indigenous communities living in proximity to mines, oil fields and toxic water supplies. A key name in the department is the experienced Martyn Day, who was instructed by over 1800 individuals in Zambia who allege that their lands and waterways have been seriously polluted by a copper mine owned by Vedanta PLC. Richard Meeran and Jamie Beagent jointly lead the practice.
‘The outstanding Claimant team for environmental claims. Unrivalled expertise and experience.’
‘At partner level, in addition to Martyn Day (the doyen of this area), Dan Leader is an outstanding player: he is a highly intelligent lawyer who combines a detailed appreciation of the intricacies of the legal issues as well as the complex factual parameters in which they often arise in this field. Oliver Holland’s recent promotion to partner is thoroughly deserved and appropriate: he is a shrewd lawyer who is brilliant with clients. At the associate level Matt Renshaw is excellent. The whole team is inspiring and a real delight to work with.’
‘They are the best legal team in this area in the UK and probably worldwide. They are knowledgeable on the law, innovative in legal thought, brilliant in their dealings with clients and very firm in their legal procedures and tactics. They are definitely the legal firm to use as a claimant.’
‘Richard Meeran, Dan Leader and Martyn Day are superb. Clever, skilled and knowledgeable, as well as engaging and open to new ideas. They form a formidable leadership of an excellent team.’
‘They are 100% committed to every case they work on and leave no stone unturned in seeking the best outcome for their clients. They also work dynamically as a team, offering a seamless service to clients, as well as the counsel who work with them.’
‘Carol Day – her knowledge of environmental law is unrivalled; “Ms Biodiversity” in terms of her passion for, and understanding of, the Habitats Directive and the legal framework protecting the natural environment. She always gives 100% to clients on all issues – ranging from costs protection to complex legal argument.’
‘Dan Leader has a rare and powerful combination of first rate black letter legal skills and a mastery of legal strategy and tactics.’
The Ogale and Bille Communities, Nigeria
Kabwe Lead Poisoning Class Action
The Bodo Community, Nigeria
Cerrejon coal mine victims group, Colombia
Marine Conservation Society
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust
- Instructed by over 1800 individuals who allege that their lands and waterways have been seriously polluted by a copper mine ultimately owned by Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM), a subsidiary of Vedanta PLC.
- Representing naturalist Chris Packham in an ongoing challenge to the Prime Minister’s decision to proceed with the HS2 project, based on ecological and climate change considerations.
- Represented environmental campaigners in a successful challenge of the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework based on climate change and consultation grounds.
The team at Linklaters LLP advises domestic and international corporations, financial institutions, governments and social enterprises on a broad range of matters. Working closely with the firm’s automotive, supply chain, energy and infrastructure departments, the department receives a steady stream of mandates relating to environment and health and safety regulations and supply chain risks; sustainable finance work, including financial disclosures relating to climate change, is an area of growth. Vanessa Havard-Williams heads up the team, which includes Rachel Barrett, who has particular expertise in the application of international sustainability standards to major energy and infrastructure projects.
Other key lawyers:
‘Ruth Knox is well versed in the legal risks around sustainability and climate change.’
Bahrain Petroleum Company
Financiers to the Formosa 2 Offshore Wind Project
United Nations Global Compact
- Advised Chinese steelmaker Jingye Group on the EHS, due diligence and emissions obligations of its first acquisition outside of China.
- Advised Unilever on the environmental, health and safety, supply chain, product stewardship and product liability aspects of the $6.25bn sale of its global spreads business.
- Advised ECAs and lenders on the environmental and social aspects of the $2bn financing of the 376 MW Formosa 2 offshore wind project in Taiwan (majority owned by Macquarie Capital).
Baker McKenzie’s 'excellent' environmental offering focuses on climate change law, emissions trading, and the environmental regulation of products, acting for household consumer and industrial product companies, particularly on the environmental aspects of new product launches. The department is headed up by Graham Stuart, whose 'advice is always user friendly, clear and pragmatic'. The team also has experience in a wide range of other areas of UK and EU environmental law, namely contaminated land, waste, environmental permitting, environmental reporting and environmental liability issues.
‘Baker and McKenzie’s environmental practice is excellent in all that they do. Their coverage is wide so they are able to advise on a wide range of environmental issues and they have a great stable of clients. They are user friendly, pragmatic and great to work with.’
‘Graham Stuart is stand out, he advises in a cool, calm and user friendly way. He is easy to work with and very commercial, his advice is always user friendly, clear and pragmatic and he provides solutions for clients.’
Emerson Electric Co
- Advised Hitachi on the environmental liability aspects of the company’s biggest-ever deal and the largest industrial deal ever by a Japanese company – a highly complex global carve-out and sale of ABBs power grids business to Hitachi, across 100 countries.
- Advised a global leader in agricultural and construction equipment on the resolution of critical quota issues arising under Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases with respect to imports of pre-charged equipment.
- Advising Cobelfret on environmental issues in the context of various large infrastructure and development projects.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP’s team is adept at handling standalone environmental matters for the firm’s real estate clients, spanning the construction, property development and infrastructure sectors. Environmental compliance and environmental liability issues are a key area of strength of the team, which primarily assists its clients with energy efficiency, environmental permitting, contaminated land, and water pollution and waste matters, regularly involving large, high-end infrastructure projects. Experienced practice head Aidan Thomson and associate Isabelle Laborde are, according to one client, 'head and shoulders above their peers' and a 'delight to work with'.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very accessible team and very engaged with educating the community over matters with regards to Environmental risk. Very supportive of thought leadership.’
‘My main relationship is with Aidan Thomson who I have known for 10 years. He has supported the company on a number of claims cases and has shown exemplary knowledge and performance.’
‘The team is very strong on elucidating and finding the right solution for environmental issues in difficult transactions.’
‘Aidan Thomson is excellent across the board on environmental issues with particular strength on insurance matters.’
‘Isabelle Laborde is an experienced environmental lawyer who is meticulous in teasing out all the relevant environmental points in transactions and tenacious in ensuring that they are dealt with in a commercially acceptable manner.’
‘The environment team at BCLP is rare in having both a broad and a deep environmental law practice. It is broad because it covers every aspect of environmental law and all types of environmental litigation – including judicial review and criminal cases. It is deep because the team has an in-depth understanding across this broad field and works on some exceptionally large and important matters. In short, they can handle anything within the field of environmental law.’
‘Aidan Thomson is excellent and knows environmental law inside out from his long experience. Isabelle Laborde has everything you could want from a lawyer in this field – she is exceptionally bright, insightful and tenacious. Both are a delight to work with. They are head and shoulders above their peers.’
International Underwriting Association
BlackRock UK Property Fund
Unite UK Student Accommodation
- Advising Heathrow Airport Limited on numerous complex environmental issues, including environmental permitting, waste management, biodiversity, carbon and climate change matters, in relation to the application for development consent order for a third runway.
- Advised a property developer engaged in an 11,000 home development on its dealings with the local environmental regulators and the Police when one of its contractors intruded into an area that was specifically being safeguarded as a new habitat for wildlife.
- Advised Unite on all environmental matters relating to the acquisition of student accommodation provider Liberty Living from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board; one of the largest acquisitions by Unite.
Dentons’ multi-disciplinary team handles a mix of environment-related transactions and contentious regulatory issues for clients, with cross-border expertise across the oil and gas, manufacturing, power, food and beverage, waste, chemical, hotel, and real estate sectors. Practice head Stephen Shergold specialises in the environmental regulations concerning oil and gas extraction, waste issues and food production, and has considerable experience in contamination and water pollution issues, environmental and safety incidents, investigations and prosecutions, and ESG commitments. According to one client, he is considered a 'go-to ESG partner in Europe and a global leader in the field'. The department also handles the environmental aspects of M&A transactions.
‘Dentons’ team have a strong understanding of environmental law and the ability to communicate how this effects us as a developer on brownfield land which was very positive. In addition they have a robust understanding of key measures such as insurances to offset risks which is key for us as a client.’
‘Sam Boileau – Sam is very thorough in considering the various aspects surrounding environmental law and clearly has strong experience working with major clients and development opportunities in the field.’
‘The ESG and Environment team are the out and out leaders in the UK. They are leading the industry at a time of unprecedented focus on ESG. They are qualitatively head and shoulders above their peers who are late to the party.’
‘Stephen Shergold is a leader in the ESG field. His wise counsel to some of the most influential companies, particularly in the Energy sector has a disproportionate effect on matters affecting the global environment. He has unrivalled multi-jurisdictional knowledge and is able to provide advice which navigates the heterogeneous landscape of legal, regulatory and ethical/reputational matters with great skill and savvy. He is the go to ESG partner in Europe and a global leader in the field with an acute understanding of how technology can add value to his practice.’
‘Annabel Hodge is an up and coming leader in the ESG field and her ability to quickly evaluate matters and provide pragmatic solutions is indispensable. Her deep knowledge of how tech can add value to implementing such advice is of great value to clients. She also partners with leading specialists to deliver whatever she views as the best results for her clients.’
Royal Mail Group
Group 1 Automotive UK Limited
Avis Budget Group
World Fuel Services
Channel Managing Agency
- Developed a risk management tool for Amazon to assess and control the risk of consumer claims arising from eco-labelling of products on its web-based market place.
- Assisting Arkema with the restructuring of its businesses to maintain supply channels after Brexit.
- Assisted Network Rail with developing a strategy to address the imminent challenge presented by a portfolio of buildings that score poorly against sustainability standards; this required a root and branch strategic review by Network Rail.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP’s team specialises in regulatory and litigation matters in the environmental sphere. Regularly working in cooperation with the firm’s corporate and planning departments, the team has also seen an increase in transactional work. In the waste and manufacturing sectors, the team handles regulatory advice, nuisance and criminal claims, and transactional support, while also advising major players in the energy sectors on the environmental aspects of large energy projects.
Other key lawyers:
‘A small team but with a good range of experience and expertise in particular in dealing with regulatory environmental matters.’
‘Claire Gregory takes a calm and thoughtful approach to managing both complex legal issues and in managing engagement with the Environment Agency.’
Viridor Waste Management Limited
E.ON UK PLC
AMEC Foster Wheeler plc
Balfour Beatty plc
DCC Environmental UK Limited
BAM Nuttall Limited
Heathrow Airport Limited
GWE UK Opco Ltd
- Advised Ithaca Energy on its landmark £2bn acquisition of Chevron North Sea Limited; the transaction added a further ten producing fields to its existing portfolio.
- Advising New Earth Solutions, a subsidiary of the waste recycling and utility group Beauparc, on its acquisition of the assets of Mid Recycling UK Limited from administrators.
- Providing advice to Heathrow Airport Limited on all planning, policy, parliamentary affairs, property and environmental aspects of the Heathrow Expansion Project – the third runway and all infrastructure and development associated with it.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP is a key team in relation to EU and international environmental regulation and product compliance work among the international technology, pharmaceuticals, motor and food sectors. Covering contentious and non-contentious mandates, the 'skilful and efficient' London department works closely with environmental specialists from the firm’s global hubs, as well as colleagues in other departments including the planning, real estate and construction and energy teams. Practice head Nicholas Rock acts as lead partner to global technology giants on a variety of complex environmental regulatory, chemical and pollution-related global matters, while senior associate Adam Hedley is noted for his climate finance and emissions trading expertise.
Other key lawyers:
‘Commercial awareness and ability to get the deal done.’
Headed up by environmental and regulatory specialist Doug Bryden, 'one of the most forward-looking partners in the environmental sector', Travers Smith LLP’s team is particularly active in private equity transactions with environmental aspects, and also has experience advising clients on environmental regulations concerning chemicals and governance and risk management processes (ESG). Regularly instructed by US firms, carbon reporting, renewable energy and contaminated land cases are other areas of focus for the 'dynamic, energetic' practice, which also includes senior associate John Buttanshaw, an expert in the fields of energy, infrastructure and planning.
Other key lawyers:
‘Strongly positioned niche practice.’
‘Doug Bryden – a class act, superb on transactions, venture capital issues.’
‘The ability of the team to adapt to changing circumstances, changing legislation and detailed understanding of individual client requirements within their individual markets. Keen eye for timely delivery and value for money.’
‘Douglas Bryden and John Buttanshaw have a quiet and subtle commercial legal approach, pay sufficient attention to detail and underlying issues without loosing focus on the matter at hand. Knowledgeable, attentive to detail and aligning what they do with what their clients actually require. Both are excellent team players.’
‘Doug Bryden has grown a strong regulatory practice at Travers Smith. He is responsive, makes time to understand the issue at hand and is solutions-focused. He is one of the most forward-looking partners in the environmental sector, always anticipating the next challenges for his clients.’
Ancala Partners LLP
Arjun Infrastructure Partners
Breedon Group plc
- Advised Breedon Group plc on the environmental aspects of its acquisition of a significant portfolio of asphalt, cement and other heavy industrial assets from Cemex.
- Advised major US private equity funds Lindsay Goldberg and American Securities LLC on all UK environmental and regulatory aspects of the acquisition of the AECOM Management services business, which included a number of significant UK nuclear decommissioning and strategic defence assets.
- Advising Ancala on environmental regulatory matters relating to the acquisition, on behalf of its funds, of a 45% interest in Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
Ashurst’s environmental team advises clients in the defence, energy, infrastructure, waste and chemical sectors on a range of matters. Eleanor Reeves regularly advises on environmental and safety regulatory regimes and handles sustainability and ESG matters. The team assists with environmental approval strategies, investigations, due diligence, compliance-related issues, and the drafting of environmental reports regarding infrastructure projects.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Alongside its transactional support offering, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has a track record in regulatory compliance advice and environmental litigation, particularly in the nuclear and oil and gas sectors. The core team, which is led by Catherine Howard, is also instructed in climate change-related litigation against governments and industry, and handles planning matters, especially those relating to major infrastructure projects. Climate change liability issues, ESG matters, and sustainable finance work including green bonds and funds are areas of growth for the team, which includes 'superb' senior associate Julie Vaughan.
Other key lawyers:
‘Solid commercial environmental advice.’
‘Julie Vaughan is superb. She is commercial, really knows her stuff, and is a pleasure to work with.’
Anglo American plc
Indaver UK Ltd
Royal Mail Group
Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners
Transmission Capital Limited Partners
Essar Oil (UK)
The Church Commissioners
- Advising Cuadrilla on plans for hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’), namely on issues of public law, risk of judicial review, and environmental and planning issues.
- Advised a consortium comprising GIC Infrastructure and the Global Energy & Power Infrastructure Funds on the acquisition of Kellas Midstream from funds advised by private equity firm, Antin Infrastructure Partners.
- Advising Gridlink on environmental provisions within option agreements for the purchase of land from Uniper for the construction of onshore reception facilities and construction laydown areas for a 1.4GW power interconnector extending 137km between Dunkirk, France and Kingsnorth, UK.
Led by Paul Davies, who demonstrates an 'unparalleled understanding of China environmental issues, as well as being a leading UK and EU environmental lawyer', the team at Latham & Watkins primarily advises on environmental transactions in the chemicals and energy sectors. Offering 'practical advice backed by genuine experience and solid foresight', it also has expertise assisting with the establishment of new energy plants, the environmental aspects of M&A transactions, product regulatory issues, and carbon allowances and carbon trading matters. In addition to its oil and gas specialism, the team is also instructed by real estate and private equity clients.
‘Latham & Watkins’s real estate and environment team combines its deep understanding of the regulatory regimes and multiple industries including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil & gas, and so many more. They are extremely good at being on top of regulatory risks and potential opportunities for global jurisdictions in which the clients operate.’
‘Strongly positioned with the US practice, international in outlook. Innovative and intelligent.’
‘Paul Davies, a leading partner at LW’s environment practice group, is always proactive with his insight in regulatory challenges faced by global companies. Because of his top notch expertise, he is respected by both global businesses and regulators in multiple countries. In emerging markets such as China, the environmental regulators treat him as a world class authority on enforcement, permitting, and green finance issues. That trust makes him an invaluable source for global businesses to engage with China on both strategic and project levels.’
‘Paul Davies – superbly client focused and a very versatile lawyer.’
SABIC UK Petrochemicals Ltd
The Carlyle Group
- Advised Chevron on the disposal of the majority of its UK North Sea upstream business, via a share sale of Chevron North Sea Limited, to Ithaca Energy, a subsidiary of Delek Group.
- Advised Digital Realty on its acquisition of Interxion Holding, a Netherlands-based provider of carrier- and cloud-neutral co-location data centre services.
- Advised a consortium of investors led by Cinven Partners and Astorg Partners on the acquisition of LGC Group, a UK-based provider of chemical and biological, analytical and diagnostic services.
Caroline May leads the 'technically good' team at Norton Rose Fulbright, which frequently advises on the environmental aspects of some of the largest development, infrastructure and waste-to-energy projects in the UK. May has particular expertise in urban regeneration and brownfield site projects, and has been involved in two of the largest pieces of toxic tort litigation in the UK. The emergence of ESG reporting obligations issues in the financial sector is a new area of focus for the team, where it advises banks and institutions on environmental and social governance impacts, reporting and compliance obligations. Counsel Lucy Bruce Jones is also highly regarded.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are very practical, and once you give them direction they take that information run with it.’
‘Lucy and Caroline are great to work with, and are very diligent and detailed.’
‘The two individuals I have worked with the most (and will continue to do for the foreseeable future) is Caroline May and Lucy Bruce Jones (of Counsel) who I would highly recommend because they offer practical, not just legal, solutions; they work hard to understand our business objectives; they are approachable, friendly and always available; and we trust them to come up with answers that add value to our business.’
‘Norton Rose Fulbright has a strong track-record built up over many years supporting players in the carbon market.’
Equator Principles Association
Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell)
Crest Nicholson Plc
DP World/London Gateway Port Limited
Europa Capital LLP
Balfour Beatty / Urbaser (as a joint venture) (UBB Waste (Essex) Limited
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
FMO – Green Climate Fund
Calumet Specialty Products Partners
Yara International ASA
Coca Cola European Partners
BMW (UK) Limited
Brookfield Asset Management
57 Whitehall S.a.r.l (a joint venture between the Hinduja Group and OHL conglomerates)
Energizer Brands LLC
Tokyo Electron Europe Limited
- Acting for Crest Nicholson Plc in the long-running Sandridge groundwater contamination case and also advising on a number of regulatory issues regarding groundwater and land remediation and nuisance issues which arose at various sites in the Crest portfolio.
- Advising DP World on the development of the London Gateway Port and Logistics Park, the largest remediation and ecology programme in Europe.
- Advising a consortium of banks on a £950m waste-to-energy PPP project in Derby.
Osborne Clarke LLP is particularly active in waste law, water law and energy mandates, representing major developers, energy companies and public sector clients. Real estate transactions, site remediations, crisis responses to contamination incidents, regulatory investigations, prosecutions brought by environmental regulators and carbon trading issues are the practice’s main areas of focus. Practice head Matthew Germain has extensive experience in a range of renewable energy projects, while senior associate Caroline Bush is noted for her work on large environmental projects.
Other key lawyers:
John Laing Environmental Assets Group (UK) Ltd
Northacre Renewable Energy Ltd
- Advising Northacre Renewable Energy Ltd on all environmental law aspects of the development of a £80m energy-from-waste plant in Westbury, Wiltshire, and its fuel needs.
- Advising John Laing Environmental Assets Group (UK) Ltd on several acquisitions, including the client’s first foray into the hydropower project sector.
Slaughter and May
Slaughter and May’s environmental practice largely focuses on assisting the firm's corporate department with the environmental risks associated with large M&A transactions, especially those arising from the energy sector, including renewable energy, nuclear, shale and oil and gas projects. In 2019, the practice, which is led by Richard Todd, saw an increase in environmental-related transactions involving heavy industry and manufacturing; the department also continues to advise on decommissioning liabilities, regulatory matters and general environment, health and safety mandates. Senior counsel Samantha Brady, who clients say possesses 'a valuable combination of technical knowledge and commercial acumen', is a key name to note.
Other key lawyers:
‘Samantha Brady possess a valuable combination of technical knowledge and commercial acumen A safe pair of hands and someone who understands her client’s concerns and objectives.’
Marks and Spencer
Essex County Council
Impala Terminals Group
- Advised commodity trader Trafigura on its acquisition of Nyrstar, the world’s second-biggest producer of refined zinc, through a complex debt restructuring.
- Advised GE Aviation on the sale of its Hamble, UK aerostructures business to Aernnova.
- Advised Cemex on its sale of certain UK assets to Breedon Group.
Squire Patton Boggs's 'wide and diverse practice' provides a range of assistance on environmental matters, from non-contentious advice to contentious regulatory work, with a particular focus on matters relating to REACH, CLP, waste, producer responsibility and water regulations, and the contaminated land regime. Manchester-based Rob Elvin heads up the department, which acts for clients including corporations in the chemicals, property development, energy, manufacturing and automotive sectors. Birmingham-based Dave Gordon is another name to note and specialises in chemical regulation, environmental permitting and contaminated land mandates.
Other key lawyers:
‘Wide and diverse practice. Good industrial and property client base.’
‘Rob Elvin – long standing leader in environment. Dave Gordon – strong tactician and very capable team leader.’
St Francis Group
British Plastics Federation
National Oilwell Varco
Essity (previously SCA Hygiene)
- Advised on all the environmental aspects of St. Francis Group’s acquisition of the former Eggborough Power Station, a 130-acre site just off J34 of the M62 Motorway.
- Conducted a detailed Business Risk Review of regulatory and supply chain issues associated with Brexit for Olin Corporation.
- Advised Citron Hygiene UK Ltd on the environmental aspects of a large acquisition of a healthcare waste collection business.
Clyde & Co LLP specialises in advising on Environment Agency and local authority investigations, prosecutions, and other forms of enforcement action. The 'efficient, knowledgeable and hugely accessible' team is also instructed on environmental issues arising from corporate transactions and emission trading schemes, as well as contaminated land, asbestos, air pollution and waste management matters. 'First-class' former Environment Agency prosecutor Rod Hunt and the firm’s safety, health and environmental regulatory practice head Chris Morrison both split their time between London and Manchester and are key names to note.
‘The team has in depth experience of the waste and environmental permitting section, with hands-on experience of regulatory and criminal appeals.’
‘The team are able to engage exceptionally well with operational teams and make complete legal issues and arguments fully comprehensible to the full range of stakeholders across the business. They have extensive strength and depth of experience and it shines through the advice they give.’
‘They advise and represent large corporates and act for individuals in tricky judicial reviews as well as investigations and prosecutions. The team is efficient, knowledgeable and hugely accessible. They foster first-class relationships with their clients. You’d definitely want to have them on your side.’
‘Rod Hunt – hugely impressive. He sees problems coming before most other people do, he knows the industry very, very well and always looks for the commercial realities of any situation. First class.’
‘Chris Morrison – one of the industry leading lights. His client care is simply outstanding and no one works harder in the sector than Chris at ensuring his clients get the best outcomes.’
Kennedys’ team has a notable reputation for handling serious pollution incidents and also has experience advising clients on land remediation requirements, regulatory investigations regarding compliance, noise and nuisance issues, and waste management and environmental permitting matters. Led by David Wright, who regularly advises on investigations conducted by the Environment Agency, the 'very experienced' team acts for both government departments and large corporations.
‘Very responsive and informative.’
‘I have dealt solely with the Environment practice and have been consistently impressed with their knowledge and understanding of our industry (construction), how we are regulated and how we as a business operate. I am also always pleased with the communication, it is quick and easy and work is delivered in a timely manner.’
‘Very experienced, provide a variety of options, allows us to make much more informed decisions.’
‘The advice given is always spot on, but more importantly the practice (and David Wright in particular) have a deep understanding of our business values and how we wish to act and behave. This is reflected in how they deal with us and it feels like we are working with a member of our team, as opposed to an external firm.’
Led by 'safe pair of hands' Nigel Price, the team at Macfarlanes LLP provides advice on transactions, regulatory issues, and disputes to clients in the corporate, real estate, fund, financial services, private client and infrastructure sectors. The group's main areas of strength include M&A and real estate transactions, environmental insurance negotiations, commercial property development work, site contamination risks, environmental sustainability and company reporting issues, and ESG-related mandates.
‘The team is lead by Nigel Price. He is a very solid individual with a good grasp of the law and a safe pair of hands.’
Legal & General
- Advising GHO Capita on the environmental aspects of two significant corporate transactions, including the acquisition of Sterling Pharma Solutions and the disposal of Quotient Sciences.
- Advising major real estate investment and developer clients – Legal & General; Stanhope; and St William/Berkeley Homeson – on significant commercial real estate transactions, including Stanhope’s development agreement with the British Library and various St William development acquisitions relating to former National Grid gasworks land.
- Acting for NYSE-listed transportation and supply chain company XPO Logistics on the acquisition of certain UK contract logistics operations from Swiss logistics business Kuehne + Nagel International AG.
Mayer Brown International LLP assists clients from the oil and gas, energy, health and safety, biotechnology, chemicals, and finance sectors with a diverse range of matters. The team is headed up by Michael Hutchinson, who is an experienced environmental lawyer whose practice covers both non-contentious and contentious matters, including handling the environmental elements of infrastructure transactions and projects, environmental regulations, renewables incentives regimes and emissions trading matters. Another name to note is counsel Tim Baines, who primarily advises companies and financial institutions on ESG and climate change issues.
Other key lawyers:
Dow Chemicals Group
Klesch & Company
Crosstree Real Estate Partners
Oxford Biodynamics Plc
Chuang’s China Investments Limited
- Advised Aurelius Equity Opportunities, the equity investment entity of Aurelius Group, on the environmental and safety law aspects of its acquisition of a leading end-to-end commercial fleet management operator, BT Fleet Solutions, from BT Group PLC.
- Advised Mitie Group plc on the environmental and safety aspects of the sale of its social housing business to Mears Group Plc.
- Advising LKK/Infinitus on the refinancing of the Walkie Talkie building (20 Fenchurch Street) with HSBC and Bank of China, including on the related ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) compliance.
DLA Piper receives instructions across all areas of environmental law, including environmental litigation and prosecutions, and real estate transactions. It also has expertise in compliance issues, environmental approvals and assessments, waste management and disposal work, and issues relating to the transportation of dangerous goods. Working across the firm’s Sheffield and London offices, Teresa Hitchcock is noted for her work on contaminated land matters, nuisance disputes and regeneration projects.
Tarmac Services Limited – Sandridge
Boparan Holdings Limited
Heineken UK Limited
- Advising Tarmac Services Limited on the responsibilities of a subsidiary company which had operated chemical works many decades before the company concerned was acquired by the client.
- Advising Lloyds Pharmacy Limited on the environmental aspects of two acquisitions of companies in the pharmaceuticals sector.
- Advising BEIS Teesside on an ongoing basis on the legal aspects of keeping safe and redeveloping the site of a former steelworks.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's 'big firm mentality, in a compact specialist team', allows it to specialise in contentious environmental work. The group regularly deals with Environment Agency investigations and prosecutions across the chemical, energy, pharmaceuticals, waste and manufacturing sectors. It is particularly active in challenges to Environment Agency enforcement and suspension notices. Names to note are Newcastle-based Tim Hill - a 'go-to lawyer' for water companies including Thames Water - and Kevin Elliott, who splits his time between London and Birmingham.
Other key lawyers:
‘Eversheds Sutherland’s strength in depth is unparalleled and their clients are some of the biggest in the sector. When they speak they do so with authority, in the knowledge that their experience and sector knowledge is second to none. A big firm mentality, in a compact specialist team.’
‘Long standing and strong practice covering many areas of environmental work.’
‘There are two stand out members of the London Environmental team: Tim Hill (Partner) who has a wealth of knowledge and brings a lot to the table when advising clients on the appropriate tactics to take. He is seen as the ‘go to lawyer’ by water companies for all their environmental matters; and Amy Sadro (Principal Associate) whose encyclopaedic knowledge of this area of law, with a down to earth no nonsense approach makes her a favourite of clients. This is a woman to watch, she is going places.’
Nuclear Decommissioning Agency
Severn Trent Water
Thames Water Utilities Ltd
- Successfully represented a large water company responsible for repair work on water tanks supplying blocks of flats; the allegation was that the work was performed improperly, which resulted in contamination of the water supply and residents were informed to avoid using the water supply.
- Advised a financial services client following a major loss of diesel at one of its sites leading to pollution into a nearby lake with fish kill; worked with the client, the Environment Agency and local charities to put in place an Enforcement Undertaking in lieu of prosecution.
- Providing extensive support to Thames Water across a wide range of environmental matters including post-incident, through liaison with the Environment Agency, advising on interviews under caution and, where necessary, responding to prosecutions and court proceedings.
Hogan Lovells International LLP advises on a range of environment-related matters, including recycling issues, regulatory liability work, environmental litigation and criminal prosecutions. It is often instructed by corporations in the fossil energy, retail, agricultural and transport sectors. Senior associates Helen Boniface and Kevin O’Connor are the names to note in London.
Of counsel Chris Papanicolaou spearheads the environmental offering at Jones Day, which assists with the assessment of environmental risks on M&A transactions and renewable energy projects. Papanicolaou also advises clients on regulatory compliance issues and environmental liabilities arising in the waste management, construction, mining and automotive sectors.
K&L Gates LLP
K&L Gates LLP advises on EU environmental regulations, the environmental aspects of proposed urban regeneration projects, and the assessment of environmental liabilities arising from real estate transactions. The practice is led by Feroze Abbas, who has particular expertise in providing environmental advice to government bodies.
With experience in both non-contentious and contentious environmental matters, Shoosmiths LLP carries out environmental due diligence for private equity funds, manages environmental risks in real estate transactions, advises corporations on regulatory compliance, and represents clients in contentious environmental matters. Practice co-head Angus Evers is also noted and is regularly instructed on matters relating to contaminated land, environmental permitting, waste management, asbestos management, emissions trading, renewable energy, and chemicals regulation issues.
‘Angus Evers is the lawyer we deal with at Shoosmiths for environmental regulatory purposes and we have always found he understands our business very well and is very responsive to when we need his help.’
St. Modwen Developments
Extra Motorway Services
First Mile Recycling
J Murphy & Sons
Electra Private Equity
- Advising chemicals storage and distribution business Brenntag on the first ever call-in of an application for continuation of a Hazardous Substances Consent.
- Advising St Modwen Developments on the clean-up of land following the insolvency of a recycling company tenant.
- Advising Extra Motorway Services on the environmental aspects of the development of a new motorway service area on the M25.
White & Case LLP advises on green finance structures, green Islamic banking issues and green bond transactions, as well as the due diligence and environmental aspects of large M&A transactions. Many of the firm’s sustainable finance offerings have been developed in emerging market jurisdictions, namely in the oil and gas and infrastructure sectors. Sustainable development and climate policy expert Tallat Hussain is the environmental specialist to note.
‘Overall a very positive impression of the firm. They are always available to discuss/assist and have been very good at keeping the team informed on issues and potential issues as they are raised with the lender group. W&C are very practical and take the time to give due consideration to the main issues raised in this transaction, and demonstrate a level of experience and awareness of the key environmental and social financing aspects that other firms which we have dealt with do not.’
‘The primary lawyer we deal with is Tallat Hussain. My opinion, and that of the team, is that Tallat is a very professional and competent person, well organised and brings extensive experience to facilitate the coordination and liaison required for this type of transaction. She is very focused and diplomatic in her dealings with the various players involved in this Project, and has provided a level of guidance and insight to the lender groups which we rarely see on other Projects. Tallat is also a very likeable person who appears to give her all and is dedicated to her role. Our experience with W&C has always been positive.’
- Advising Carbon Holdings as sponsor on all aspects of the proposed petrochemical complex in Egypt.
- Assisting the financiers on a landmark $2.3bn senior financing to Uzbekistan GTL LLC (UzGTL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of JSC ‘Uzbekneftegaz’, the national oil and gas company of Uzbekistan.
- Advised Saudi Aramco on the development and financing of the $15.3bn Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) joint venture with Petronas in the southern Malaysian state of Johor.