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Burges Salmon LLP

Living Wage
Work 0117 939 2000
Fax 0117 902 4400
Bristol, London

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).

South West: Projects, energy and natural resources


Within: Energy

Burges Salmon LLP is considered by many as ‘the go-to firm in the South West for pioneering energy deals’ in the nuclear and renewables sectors. The department is differentiated by its prestigious nuclear practice, which includes legal director Ian Truman and Ian Salter, who have experience in major national nuclear projects. In the renewables space, Julian Boswall is acting for Ørsted (formerly DONG Energy) in connection with Hornsea Project One, which is the largest offshore wind project currently under construction in the world. In another key renewable mandate, Ross Fairley acted for Nuon Renewables in relation to the Pen y Cymoedd project, which is the largest wind farm ever constructed in England and Wales. Fairley also advised Maas Capital on its joint venture project with Solarplicity to install solar rooftop facilities to provide energy to roughly 800,000 housing association tenants nationwide. The department is also assisting Wave Hub with a variety of ongoing marine, energy and regulatory concerns, and is increasingly active in conventional power projects. Its growing water practice is led by Michael Barlow. Also recommended are Nick Churchward, who has experience in anaerobic digestion projects, energy regulatory expert James Phillips, Nathan Curtis and associate Alec Whiter.

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South West: Real estate


Within: Environment

In terms of practicality and technicality’, clients rate Burges Salmon LLP’s environment group as ‘one of the top practices in the nation’. The firm is most active in industry sectors with considerable environmental risks, such as energy and real estate development and transportation, and the environment team has developed formidable regulatory expertise to service the firm’s varied client-base. Department head Michael Barlow represented Geo Specialty Chemicals in an unprecedented appeal regarding the company’s obligations under a climate change agreement. The highly recommended Simon Tilling helped advise The European Commission in evaluating the adequacy of its REACH regulations in addressing microplastic pollution in the cosmetic industry. Acting alongside Ross Fairley, Tilling also assisted a major energy company with the decommissioning of a coal-fired power plant. The group has also been increasingly involved in corporate noise pollution claims. Other key figures include Ian Salter and James Phillips.

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IHL Briefings

If your firm wishes to publish IHL Briefings or articles, please contact Antony Dine on +44 (0) 207 396 9315 or


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]

A difficult balance: keeping the lights on?

July 2015. By James Phillips

Ensuring the security and quality of electricity supply across the GB transmission system is a huge challenge. The responsibility for this sits with National Grid by virtue of its Transmission Licence (granted pursuant to the Electricity Act 1989) and a series of codes, including the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC). An obligation to comply with balancing requirements is also included in individual generation and supply licences. [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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