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Burges Salmon LLP

Living Wage
Work 0117 939 2000
Fax 0117 902 4400
Bristol, Edinburgh, London
Burges Salmon LLP, James Phillips, Bristol, ENGLAND

James Phillips

Work 0117 902 7753
Burges Salmon LLP

Work Department

Energy and environment.


Provides regulatory and commercial law advice to developers, utilities, funders and government bodies across a wide range of projects in the renewables, nuclear and oil and gas sectors. Also an experienced environmental law specialist. Recent chair of the Oil and Gas UK Legal Issues Forum on decommissioning. Recognised in Who's Who Legal: Energy 2014 and 2015 as being among the world's leading energy lawyers.


Trained Burges Salmon, qualified 2003. Partner 2013. Publications of note: contributor to 'Westlaw', 'Tolley's Environmental Law and Procedures Management', 'In-House Lawyer', 'Oil and Gas Connect', 'Garner's Environmental Law', 'Burges Salmon Guide to Nuclear Law' and 'Burges Salmon Environmental Law Handbook'.


Law Society; Oil and Gas UK; Decom North Sea; International Nuclear Law Association; UK Environmental Lawyers Association; Renewable Energy Association; Renewables UK; Scottish Renewables; Regen South West.


Attended Kingsfield School; University of Wales, Swansea (1999, LLB); University of the West of England (2001, LPC).


Triathlon, playing football and golf, playing music (saxophonist).

IHL Briefings

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Capacity for debt? Funding issues and the capacity market

June 2016. By James Phillips

The capacity market, which was introduced as part of the government’s electricity market reform, was established to ensure security of supply in light of the increasing diversity of generation technologies in the UK market. Previous articles from the Burges Salmon team have set out the details of the capacity market and tracked recent updates and consultations. This article provides a high-level overview of the opportunities presented by the market and looks at some of the potential issues prospective investors might encounter. [Continue Reading]

Shale gas: the developing regulatory regime?

November 2015. By James Phillips

One of the challenges facing the shale gas industry is grappling with the different regulatory regimes in each jurisdiction. The UK provides an interesting illustration of these challenges. In England, the Conservative Party supports the progression of the industry. In comparison, the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish administrations are taking a more cautious approach. This divergence corresponds with recent commitments made by the UK government to devolve onshore oil and gas licensing powers to Wales and Scotland. Consequently, the latest onshore licensing round, which was announced in August 2015, issued petroleum exploration and development licences to operators in England only.? [Continue Reading]

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Legal Developments by:
Burges Salmon LLP

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

    - Burges Salmon LLP

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