Environment in West Midlands

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggsis very experienced with issues related to environmental compliance in the UK and EU’. The group is well-equipped to support on everything from non-contentious advisory matters through to contentious regulatory defence work, with a distinguished level of expertise in the interpretation of new and proposed legislative requirements, waste producer responsibility, environmental permitting, water regulatory, climate chance and contaminated land, among many other matters. David Gordon is the key senior name locally; he is principally experienced in compliance, liability and sustainability affairs and leverages the distinction of holding a Ph.D in environmental toxicology. At the more junior end, director Anita Lloyd is especially knowledgeable of the manufacturing and waste industries while senior associate Robert Biddlecombe is noted for his 'cool, calm and reassuring advice, even under pressure' . The practice is closely integrated with the firm’s global environmental, safety & health group which is spread across the US, Australia and the rest of Europe.

Practice head(s):

Rob Elvin

Other key lawyers:

David Gordon; Anita Lloyd; Caroline Almond; Rob Biddlecombe


‘The team go above and beyond and are always very concise with their answers’

‘Anita Lloyd is very personable; she makes advice easy to understand with concise answers that can be feedback into the business easily.’

‘Very experienced with issues related to environmental compliance in the UK and EU.’

‘Able to discuss the technical details behind legal requirements in the UK and EU, and able to quickly investigate any new issues as they arise.’

‘Partner and associate availability and engagement were both exceptional.’

‘An excellent environmental services lawyer, Rob Biddlecombe has been invaluable in assisting us with a number of challenging environmental and regulatory issues. He has provided cool, calm, reassuring advice under pressure and delivered constantly helpful and detailed advice and end product, which helped us achieve a successful outcomes to our problems. Always available, amenable and gives robust, practical, common sense advice to real world problems. ’

‘The environmental team is unique in that they have the capability to provide counsel and advice regarding European Union laws and regulations related to the management, handling, use and disposal of chemicals. I have also been impressed with the teams broad resources in this area, which was crucial when my company needed to obtain advice regarding the use of a certain chemical in several jurisdictions both in the EU and around the world. This broad capability and depth of knowledge makes the environmental team unique.’

‘The team is very approachable and easy to work with and talk to. I appreciate that they are very smart and experienced with respect to the area of law that I am seeking advice on and they take the opportunity to educate me as someone who is relatively new to the laws and regulations.’

Key clients

Olin Corporation

Taylor Wimpey

McBride Plc

St Francis Group

National Oilwell Varco





Molson Coors



Eden Springs

ZF Friedrichshafen

Kobayashi Healthcare Europe Limited

Orbit Homes




Circular Resources

Vital Energi

Baker Hughes

Avery Dennison

Phibro Animal Health Corporation

Michelman Inc


Electricity North West

Hackman Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised Circular Resources on the environmental permitting aspects of an innovative treatment/recycling system for electrical waste involving pyrolysis coupled with an emissions management.
  • Advised a UK manufacturer of industrial foams and chemicals on Brexit-related steps that were required to maintain access to EU markets and compliance with EU chemical regulations, and to comply with new UK chemical legislation.
  • Advised a chemical formulator on new requirements under Annex VIII of the Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of chemicals, to submit poison centre notifications and issue unique formulation identifier (UFI) codes in relation to hazardous mixtures, as well as connected waste/by-product definition issues.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc fields a ‘highly professional team, attracting high quality work’. The ‘hugely experienced and very commercialRuth Armstrong fronts the department and is vastly experienced in the housebuilding, construction, waste, energy, manufacturing and leisure sectors, supporting various FTSE 100 and 250 companies on compliance, strategy and fire risk exposure matters, among others; she also holds the distinction of involvement in major environmental incidents and multi-faceted Magistrates and Crown Court proceedings and is supported by two junior lawyers with distinguished credentials in the contentious space; senior associate Kate Oliver who formerly served as a court duty solicitor and accredited police station representative on health, safety and environmental matters, as well as solicitor advocate Chris Grainger who previously prosecuted health and safety regulatory cases on behalf of the Health & Safety Executive, Trading Standards and local authorities.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Armstrong

Other key lawyers:

Kate Oliver; Chris Grainger


‘All lawyers all have prior experience as criminal lawyers and therefore are particularly well suited to the cut and thrust of HSE prosecutions where the adversarial approach of the HSE no longer vaguely resembles their old more civil approach to cases. ’

‘Ruth Armstrong massively impressed me. Tough but humane and with excellent judgement. Chris Grainger is up-and-coming with great judgement. ’

‘A highly professional team attracting high quality work. Looked up to as the leading regulatory team in the region. They fight hard for their clients in court but provide realistic and expert advice to secure the optimum outcomes.’

‘Ruth Armstrong is the best regional solicitor I have met operating in the regulatory field. She is tough, pragmatic and shrewd. She knows her law and provides a Rolls-Royce service for her clients working very hard to obtain the optimum outcome in very case. Kate Oliver is in Ruth’s image. Her background in is in criminal law but she has become an expert regulatory solicitor. Her clients trust her non-nonsense, calm and professional manner. Her opponents in court know that no liberties can be taken. She is bright, personable and effective.’

‘Great all round performance, expertise and very good to deal with.’

‘Ruth Armstrong is hugely experienced and very commercial’.

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) Ltd

Collins Earthworks Ltd

Grupo Bimbo UK Limited

Samworth Brothers

Chubb European Group SE

BioMarsh Environmental Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of United Molasses Storage following a major acid leak at its bulk storage facility in Hull in 2017; this was a major investigation which resulted in detailed scrutiny of the storage operations at site by multiple agencies.
  • Represented Collins Earthworks in its negotiations with the EA following allegations of illegal waste deposits which threatened to close the site.
  • Acting for a major housebuilder accused by the EA of polluting a watercourse and killing a number of fish.


A team with ‘strength in depth and excellent lawyers’, DWF's foremost fields of activity include pollution incidents, waste offences and trade effluent discharges; the firm offers  a 24/7 crisis response service to support clients through the early stages of incidents. On the non-contentious front, it supports clients on all aspects of applicable legislation and corresponding business risks including product safety, Brexit implications and producer responsibilities. Team head David Egan is ‘especially good at dealing with regulators and getting a satisfactory result’ and is able to call upon over 20 years of experience in defending clients against Environmental Agency and local authority-led proceedings.

Practice head(s):

David Egan


‘The team has strength in depth. They are excellent lawyers who deliver work which is practically focused in a timely manner and are always responsive and a pleasure to work with.’

‘David Egan leads the team. He gets to the nub of problems quickly and is good at dealing with regulators and getting a satisfactory result.’

Key clients

BT plc

Severn Trent plc

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

3M plc

Cadent Gas




James Hartley (Scrap Metal) Limited & Stephen Haynes

Work highlights

  • Providing environmental legal support to the BT Group, reporting to the Head of Environmental Legal.
  • Routine support to Severn Trent in respect of the environmental issues that arise from their function as a statutory water and sewerage undertaker.
  • Advising on the development of 16.5 hectares of brownfield land owned by WMBC and Homes England.