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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

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B P Collins LLP fields an environmental law team that is 'very strong indeed', with clients singling out practice head Alex Zachary as 'very thorough and will stick to his guns where required'. The cross-practice team has extensive experience in all stages of the waste cycle, acting for clients in waste management, renewables and efficiency, as well as for waste-to-energy clients involved in renewable energy projects. In an illustration of the practice's track record in the waste management sector, Craig Williams acted for PB Donoghue in a £3m claim for damages arising from or JV/management/licence agreements made with an ex-HGV driver. Other recent highlights include advising Biffa on the acquisition of Amber Engineering, a waste management business in south Wales, and assisting the same client with updated terms for its project involving the collection and disposal of garden waste. Also recommended are David Smellie, who regularly handles commercial contracts and corporate transactions related to the waste management and renewables sectors, and Alison Taylor, who handles high-value commercial lease transactions for environmental clients.

Blandy & Blandy LLP fields a 'proactive, professional' team of environmental law specialists headed by Karen Jones, who is singled out for her 'extensive knowledge of planning and environmental law'. The practice's expertise covers a range of environmental law expertise, including handling environmental impact assessments; issues related to contaminated land and environmental permitting applications; advising on SPA impact on development proposals; and conducting environmental due diligence. Recent work includes acting for University of Reading on environmental issues in relation to a development in Oxfordshire, including EIA scoping and works in connection with local footpath improvements; and providing ongoing advice to R Collard on the extension to existing waste recycling facilities in Hampshire, including the creation of an ecological compensation area offsite. Simon Dimmick is also recommended.

DMH Stallard LLP's clients are quick to praise the environment practice's 'consistently excellent legal work and support, and very good client management skills'. It has an excellent track track record in the renewables and waste sectors, where it regularly handles planning matters. The practice is also highly active in environmental litigation, with the team often called on to defend against prosecutions by the Environment Agency as well as handling judicial reviews on behalf of claimants and defendants. Other areas of expertise include advising on environmental, planning and health and safety aspects of corporate transactions, conducting environmental impact assessments, sustainable drainage and flooding matters, and acting for a number of residential developers on water infrastructure agreements. In an illustration of its track record handling nuisance matters, the practice acted for Neils Steels in lodging and appeal against a statutory nuisance abatement notice in respect of noise emanating from the client's premises on an industrial estate, which involved brokering meetings with the environmental health officer to discuss mitigating measures, resulting in the withdrawal of the notice. It is also acting for a client in the waste sector in an investigation by the Environment Agency into alleged breaches of an environmental permit relating to one of its sites. Heidi Copland heads the practice and is 'a skilled litigator who thinks both tactically and strategically; she provides crisp, clear instructions and works well with clients and advocates'.  Chloe Karamian is 'a rising star, with an excellent analytical mind that is already head and shoulders above many of her peers'.

Richard Smith heads the practice at Penningtons Manches Cooper, which handles the full range of environmental law matters including consummated land liabilities, legal compliance, planning policy and the Habitats Directive.

In addition to carrying out environmental impact assessments and due diligence, and handling warranties and indemnities arising from commercial transactions, Stevens & Bolton LLP also has a strong track record carrying out  carrying out cutting-edge environmental governance projects for the European Commission. Recent highlights include assisting WWF-UK with envronmental issues related to its offshore oil and gas operations, acting for Joffe & Associés on the environmental law implications of tis acquisition of a manufacturing site in the UK, and representing XL Catlin in various claims concerning environmental liabilities in insurance and general liability policies. Valerie Fogleman heads the practice and provides training to judges and prosecutors across the EU in environmental law. Catherine Davey retired from the practice.

Brachers is a regular fixture in environmental prosecutions and enforcement, as well as statutory nuisance cases, including claims under s.82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. On the non-contentious front, the practice acts for developers and planning authorities in environmental impact assessments, and for landowners and purchasers on contaminated land issues. Other areas of expertise include advising on environmental issues related to corporate transactions, including warranties and indemnities related to potential environmental liabilities. Lee May heads the practice.

Cripps LLP's planning team handles environmental law matters and is 'highly regarded by fellow professionals'. Jason Towell has a longstanding track record advising housebuilders and land promoters on environmental law issues relating to their high-profile developments. Areas of expertise include environmental impact assessments, contaminated land issues and judicial reviews.

Shoosmiths LLP acts for national and international clients across a range of sectors, with a particular emphasis on real estate, oil and gas, and waste management. The practice's workload covers the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters, from environmental due diligence and drafting warranties and indemnities on corporate transactions, to civil and criminal environmental matters including nuisance claims and prosecutions by environmental regulators. Recent highlights include acting for Altitude (Ascot) in a successful appeal agains the refusal to grant planning permission for the redevelopment of a waste processing plant for residential use. The practice also advised Lingfield Properties on the sale of a strategic site at the former Didcot power station to the Diageo Pension Trust, and assisted St Modwen Developments with the environmental aspects of the development and sale of  a £30m railway rolling stock manufacturing facility in South Wales to a Spanish infrastructure company. Charles Arrand heads the practice, which includes compliance and criminal defence specialist Philip Ryan.

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