Hall Of Fame

Next Generation Partners

Environment in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

Praised for their expertise across ‘a wide range of environmental sectors’, Burges Salmon LLP covers environmental litigation, plant decommissioning, regulatory work and ESG, among others. Practice head Michael Barlow‘s water expertise is a key driver behind the firm’s strong offering in the sector, where the team represents a number of major water companies. Ross Fairley is a key contact for carbon credit work, while Ian Salter is well known for his nuclear waste expertise. Guy Bastable bolsters the office's capabilities in criminal matters, while contaminated land and environmental waste issues are key focuses for Ian Truman. Sarah Sackville Hamilton‘s wide-ranging practice spans advisory, transactional and litigious work.

Practice head(s):

Michael Barlow

Other key lawyers:

Ross Fairley; Ian Salter; Guy Bastable; Ian Truman; Sarah Sackville Hamilton


‘Burges Salmon Bristol’s environmental team are well known for expertise across a wide range of environmental sectors: nuisance, industrial pollution, environmental regulation, planning, environmental assessment.’

‘Mike Barlow is a very experienced, steady and measured practitioner with excellent legal knowledge and tactical skills.’

‘The team in Bristol is excellent at environmental litigation, with a breadth and depth of experience not available in any other firm – covering civil and criminal litigation, and regulatory and public law matters.’

‘Mike Barlow is both technically excellent in environmental law and a good team leader and project manager in litigation.’

‘Guy Bastable, Mike Barlow and Sam Aldous represent massive corporate clients in tricky environmental cases.’

‘Guy Bastable provides creative solutions and excellent outcomes for his clients.’

‘Leading the way on environment and climate for a very long time.’

‘Ian Truman is an excellent lawyer, and commercially astute too.’

Key clients


Canal and River Trust

EDF Energy Ltd

Severn Trent Water

South West Water

Koch Industries (and subsidiaries including Georgia Pacific LLC)

John Lewis

JG Pears Group/Tigerfert


Affinity Water

Work highlights

  • Advised the Canal and River Trust on various priority issues such as abstraction licence appeals and the exercise by regulators of drought powers.
  • Advised a company specialising in the funding and management of nature-based solutions to climate change on the contracts underpinning its global voluntary carbon market projects.
  • Advised the developer of a net zero energy infrastructure project on the impact of post-Brexit changes to product safety regulation on its global supply chains.

Osborne Clarke LLP

Turned to by a range of major corporations, utilities companies, and energy firms, the broad scope of Osborne Clarke LLP‘s environment practice spans from remediation and prosecutions brought by environmental regulators, to issues augmented by climate change, carbon trading, and ESG. Matthew Germain, who chairs the Bristol-based practice, regularly advises on ESG and waste law. Caroline Bush is well versed in decarbonisation regulation, with a strong focus on sustainability and climate change. Arthur Hopkinson frequently advises on ESG compliance, with nature-related performance obligations standing out as a particular strength.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Germain

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Bush; Arthur Hopkinson

Key clients

Reckitt Benckiser

National Grid Electricity Distribution Plc

Stericycle Limited

St Modwen Developments Ltd


QinetiQ Ltd

Dreams Ltd

Vodafone Ltd

Wessex Water / Entrade

Acorn Bioenergy Ltd

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP's broad practice focus sees the team advising on the purchase of energy from waste plants, helping commercial developers to unlock carbon credits, and supporting clients who have been accused of waste permitting breaches, including advising on interviews under caution and negotiating enforcements. The leadership team is divided between two cities; Ian Manners and Kate Topp are based in Bristol, while Brian Farrell and Tim Heal work from Exeter. Bristol-based Zoe Hunt is another name to note. Ben Derrington left the firm in November 2022.

Practice head(s):

Ian Manners; Brian Farrell; Kate Topp; Tim Heal

Other key lawyers:

Zoe Hunt


‘Approachable, helpful, contactable and commercial.’

‘They understand the needs and requirements of the sector.’


Key clients


Viridor Limited

Local Authority and Harbour Authority

Brynrhyd Solar Farm Limited (SPV of Island Green Power UK Limited)

Holiday Park Owner

BDW Trading Limited

North Devon Council

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Department of Infrastructure (Isle of Man Government)

Work highlights

  • Acting for Viridor on all aspects of the sale of its glass recycling business to Sibelco.
  • Representing a holiday park owner in relation to investigation by the Environment Agency in relation to waste permitting breaches and the use of U1 exemptions.
  • Advising a local authority on the legal framework and feasibility for harnessing inshore sustainability and biodiversity projects for carbon and biodiversity offsetting.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP‘s regulatory and environment practice draws particular praise for its advice on biodiversity net gain, environmental regulatory compliance, and its work defending clients in prosecutions arising from environmental incidents.  Jon Cooper - a 'real leader’ and a key port of call for environmental regulatory matters - spearheads the team's offering from Bristol. In Plymouth, Sarah Holmes advises clients in the private, public and third sectors on issues such as species protection and risk minimisation. Also in Bristol, Ashley Borthwick is frequently sought out by manufacturing sector clients to advise on a range of issues, including waste obligation. Stephen Panton left the firm in April 2023.

Practice head(s):

Jon Cooper

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Holmes; Ashley Borthwick


‘I have been thoroughly impressed by the level of professionalism of the team in defending their clients in prosecutions resulting from environmental incidents or permitting breaches.’

‘The practice has a very strong record in dealing with water pollution cases.’ 

‘A really strong partnership.’

Key clients

North Somerset Council

Bristol City Council

South Gloucestershire Council

Bath and North East Somerset Council, West of England Combined Authority

The Crown Estate Commissioners

Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership

Yennadon Stone Limited

National Highways

Work highlights

  • Advised four councils on the environmental impact assessment and habitats regulations aspects of the MetroWest phase 1 reopening.
  • Advised The Crown Estate on its latest minerals licensing round.
  • Advised on planning and infrastructure work for the Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Covering both contentious and non-contentious work, the ‘very strong’  practice at Clarke Willmott LLP continues to focus on the agriculture and waste sectors, working with a host of farming enterprises, utilities companies, and developers. Steering the team from the firm’s Bristol office, Neil Baker regularly combines his planning and environmental expertise in applications for projects such as housing sites and urban regeneration schemes. Caroline Waller and Chris Charlton further extend the team’s expertise in planning and environmental law. Daniel Gill left the practice in July 2022.

Practice head(s):

Neil Baker

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Waller; Chris Charlton; Sam Harkness


‘Very strong.’

‘Sam Harkness is clever, and goes above and beyond.’

‘Neil Baker is great. Master of the details, gets things done, and has a good relationship with everyone.’


Key clients

Acorn Property Group

Barratt Homes Bristol

Bristol Water Plc

Countryside Properties (UK) Limited

Mactaggart and Mickel Homes

Metis Homes

Persimmon Homes

South Somerset Dorset Council

Southern Housing Group

Square Bay

Worcestershire County Council

Work highlights

  • Advising South Somerset District Council on environmental enforcement action relating to the unauthorised deposit of waste.
  • Advising a major UK horticultural company on environmental due diligence relating to a significant company acquisition.
  • Advising a South West-based utilities provider in connection with agreements to secure nitrate mitigation relating to major infrastructure projects.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP is noted for its strategic focus on environmental due diligence and the scope of its regulatory advice, working with clients on waste management and environmental permitting offences, and advising landowners and developers on contaminated land and other liabilities. Regulatory expert Anne Harrison and Environment Agency investigations specialist Neil Scott co-lead the Bristol-based team. Karen Howe frequently advises on issues relating to Environmental Impact Assessments.

Practice head(s):

Anne Harrison; Neil Scott

Other key lawyers:

Karen Howe

Key clients

Royal Mail

Crest Nicholson


South West Water

NFU Mutual


Zurich Insurance


Deeley Freed Estates


Abacus Projects Ltd

Taylor Wimpey

Robertson Group

Keepmoat Homes

Work highlights

  • Advising Abacus on a c.373 residential unit planning application, located within the ‘sustenance zone’ for bats connected to the South Hams Special Area of Conservation.
  • Advising Taylor Wimpey in relation to their 635 unit development scheme at South Somerset’s “key site” in Crewekerne.
  • Providing advice on the application of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) to the Benefact (previously Ecclesiastical) group.

Foot Anstey

Energy and infrastructure projects, ESG and corporate responsibility, and environmental reporting and due diligence make up a core part of Foot Anstey‘s portfolio of work. The team also regularly advises developers on nitrate and phosphate mitigation. In Bristol, Christian Silk‘s varied practice spans advice relating to landfill sites and environmental risk assessments. Regulatory specialist Nathan Peacey advises on a range of risk management issues. Kee Evans, who joined the department from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in September 2022, frequently handles contaminated land issues. Renewables specialist Aliki Zeri rejoined the firm after a period serving as general counsel for WeLink, while Chris Pritchett and Becca Doman left in April 2023 and in June 2022, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Christian Silk

Other key lawyers:

Nathan Peacey; Kee Evans; Aliki Zeri

Key clients

British Solar Renewables

Berkeley Homes

Vistry Group


Plymouth City Council

Aster Communities

Welsh Government / Finance Earth

Work highlights

  • Advising a private equity fund on all environmental law, health and safety, and associated regulatory matters relating to its acquisition of two niche car manufacturing businesses.
  • Advising a large utility company on a strategic environmental permitting issue which has critical implications for the permitting of combined sewer outfalls.
  • Advising a residential development company on the acquisition of a landfill site for redevelopment involving new housing, car parking and flood defence works.


TLT assists clients from the leisure, retail, housing and public sector with contentious regulatory work, property related environmental issues, and clean energy mandates. The team is jointly chaired by Katherine Evans, who has a strong track record in contaminated land issues, and Kerry Gwyther, a construction industry specialist. Solicitor advocate Duncan Reed contributes his longstanding experience of representing clients facing environmental prosecutions.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Evans; Kerry Gwyther

Other key lawyers:

Duncan Reed


‘I use Katherine Evans for specialist planning advice. Her advice is always prompt and good value.’

Key clients

Low Carbon