Next Generation Partners

Environment in West Midlands

Squire Patton Boggs

Steered by the Manchester-based national environmental, safety and health (ESH) head Rob Elvin, Squire Patton Boggs possesses considerable strength in the West Midlands, advising on the full gamut of non-contentious environmental and associated regulatory matters for a multifarious clientele. Environmental toxicology expert David Gordon regularly deals with various statutory authorities when negotiating environmental liabilities and enforcement actions, including UK Contaminated Land Regime-governed issues. Legal director Anita Lloyd is praised for the depth of her expertise in environmental and sustainability matters, working with various manufacturers and waste management operators on permitting and product compliance. ‘Extremely knowledegable‘ senior associate Robert Biddlecombe focuses on ESH challenges in the facilities management arena. Caroline Almond is noted for her expertise in water law, ranging from pollution to riparian water rights. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham.

Practice head(s):

Rob Elvin

Other key lawyers:

David Gordon; Anita Lloyd; Robert Biddlecombe; Caroline Almond


‘The environment team are exactly what we want from a firm of solicitors. They anticipate our requirements and are pro-active with advice and guidance. Always friendly and approachable, they are able to advise quickly and with a tailored service, relating any teachings to our business and what is important to us. The Team have provided training to us on many different aspects of the Environment Act 2021. Breaking down the complexities to easily digestible chunks. In addition, the team provide a fantastic update – FrESH Law Horizons – which is the best I have seen. Such a great service offered by this Team.’

‘Anita Lloyd is so knowledgeable and has considerable experience in environmental law. Very friendly and so approachable, Anita has been such a great support especially with help on the Environment Act 2021. Anita has provided great training to a number of our teams covering different areas. A great find for us and is everything that we would want.’

‘Rob Biddlecombe is an expert in his field. He is extremely knowledgeable, always available and very responsive. He gives clear, common-sense, practical, pragmatic advice and is expert in dealing with regulatory authorities.’

‘Helpful , pragmatic, and proactive.’

Key clients

ZF Friedrichshafen

Orthios Eco Parks (Anglesey) Limited

Olin Corporation

Michelman Inc.

Zippo Manufacturing Company


Owens Corning

McBride Plc

Braskem Netherlands BV

Taylor Wimpey

St Francis Group

Berry Global

Avery Dennison


Eden Springs



Clear Channel

Baxter International Inc

Energy Networks Association

Work highlights

  • Advising Orthios Eco Parks (Anglesey) Limited in respect of EU/UK REACH, end of waste regulatory matters and securing the necessary regulatory permits for a new facility processing oil and chemicals from waste plastic.
  • Advising Taylor Wimpey on water and drainage solutions, abstraction licence transfer and trading, flooding issues and riparian rights on multiple UK development sites.
  • Advising a global manufacturer of construction and insulation products on a waste and producer responsibility mapping exercise across multiple European jurisdictions.

Gateley Legal

Roundly praised by clients for its capabilities in complex environmental investigations and ESH matters, Gateley Legal‘s regulatory and business defence team is routinely sought out by numerous blue-chip corporates with significant operations in the region. National practice head Ruth Armstrong is regarded as one of the stand-out practitioners in the space, advising various FTSE 100 and 250 companies on the full scope of regulatory concerns, ranging from post-incident investigations to criminal proceedings. Solicitor advocate Chris Grainger is highly experienced in health and safety litigation, working with private and public sector bodies on cases before both the Magistrates and Crown Court. Senior associate Kate Oliver‘s broad regulatory expertise sees her working with various businesses and individuals on cases before the Coroners Courts and Criminal Courts. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Armstrong

Other key lawyers:

Chris Grainger; Kate Oliver


‘Massive experience with a team that can handle the cross-over of civil and criminal these contested cases require.’

‘Ruth Armstrong, in my view, is the premier environment and HSE solicitor in the Midlands. Tough, uncompromising but conciliatory in the right case. Dedicated to her clients and a real grafter.’

‘Very strong on regulatory investigations.’

‘Ruth Armstrong is the stand-out partner, sector leading and the go-to for environmental regulatory investigations.’

‘Chris Grainger is very personable with a good approach to resolving most situations.’

‘Very approachable, efficient, and straight to the point.’

‘Chris Grainger has been very professional in the advice that was given. Advice on potential incidents was very thorough and met the very tight time constraints. He supported myself on incidents with the internal management. It was never about charging time.’

Key clients

Taylor Wimpey Plc

Bellway Homes Plc

Vistry (Bovis Homes)

Croudace Homes

Donald Ward Limited

Clearaway Limited


Wm Morrisons Supermarkets plc

United Molasses Group

Story Homes

Dr. Oetker (UK) Limited

Collins Earthworks Ltd

Grupo Bimbo UK Limited

Samworth Brothers

Chubb European Group SE

BioMarsh Environmental Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for a major house builder accused by the EA and local water regulator of polluting a watercourse with human effluent and causing a major environmental incident.
  • Acting for a major house builder in a consortium site accused by Natural Resources Wales of repeatedly polluting local watercourses, including a canal, by failing to manage silt mitigation on site.
  • Acting for a major house builder accused by the EA of illegal dumping of site waste material over several years.

DLA Piper

A stellar roster of blue-chip MNCs and public sector bodies turn to DLA Piper for assistance in the full scope of regulatory and legislative matters. Climate change expert Teresa Hitchcock, who divides her time between Sheffield and Birmingham, focuses on contaminated land, nuisance disputes, and regeneration projects.  Senior associate Taryn Jones concentrates on a range of product stewardship matters, assisting a diverse roster of clients who are governed both by UK and EU market standards. Associate Adam Flynn is also noted. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Teresa Hitchcock

Other key lawyers:

Taryn Jones; Adam Flynn

Key clients

Tokyo Electron Europe Ltd

Miller Group Homes Ltd

Philip Morris SA

Adler & Allen

Work highlights

  • Advised Tokyo Electron Europe Ltd on the EU Green Deal, and in particular the use of chemicals, and the impact this may have on its business going forward.
  • Advised Miller Group Homes Limited on the sale of its housebuilding business to an investment house.
  • Advised Philip Morris SA on the acquisition of Vectura, a UK based asthma inhaler manufacturer.


Noted for its strong cross-office collaboration, DWF is sought out by an impressive roster of blue-chip corporate clients and public bodies for its wide-ranging expertise in environmental regulatory frameworks, and associated contentious matters. Seasoned practice chair David Egan specialises in the latter, defending various businesses in proceedings brought by regulators and local authorities. Senior associate Simon Naylor focuses on regulatory investigations and environmental liabilities issues, supporting major government departments with complex energy projects and potential pollution concerns. Associate Prem Thakor, who re-joined the practice in February 2021 after a period at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, is noted for his capabilities in private prosecutions. All named lawyers are based in Birmingham.

Practice head(s):

David Egan

Other key lawyers:

Simon Naylor; Prem Thakor

Key clients

Severn Trent Water plc

BT Telecommunications plc

Homes England

Work highlights

  • Providing routine operational and key strategic support to Severn Trent legal team on environmental matters as part of legal retainer.
  • Working in concert with BT Group’s environmental legal team across business divisions, providing ad hoc and structured compliance support.