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Burges Salmon LLP

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

Ross Fairley

Work 0117 902 6351
Burges Salmon LLP

Work Department

Environment and renewable energy.


Specialist in environmental and renewable energy projects. Covers areas such as wind, wave and tidal, low carbon transport, biomass, energy storage, solar and biofuels. On environment, covers all aspects of regulation and particularly contaminated land and environmental enforcement.


Trained Allen & Overy, admitted a solicitor 1993; partner 2001. Joined Burges Salmon as partner in 2004. Regularly speaks on environmental and renewable energy matters.


Law Society of England and Wales; Scottish and Northern Irish qualified; Renewable UK, Scottish Renewables; United Kingdom Environmental Law Association.


Educated at Leicester University (1990 LLB).


Keen amateur artist and other leisure interests include sports (particularly hockey and cricket), driving an old Austin Healey 'Frogeye' Sprite, renovating a Morris Cowley 'flatnose'.

London: Projects, energy and natural resources

Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables)

Within: Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables)

The energy practice at Burges Salmon LLP is well-known for its expertise on nuclear matters, with Ian Salter - described as 'the Rolls-Royce of the nuclear sector' - a key player. The firm also has an enviable client list and considerable expertise in the offshore and onshore wind, solar, biomass and energy-from-waste arenas, as well as areas involving innovative technologies such as electric vehicles and flexible battery storage. Ross Fairley and his renewables team recently advised on the financing and rollout of Electric Vehicle London Taxis and the Heathrow chauffeur service electric vehicles.

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London: Real estate


Within: Leading individuals

Ross Fairley - Burges Salmon LLP

Within: Environment

Burges Salmon LLP focuses on environmental regulatory issues for businesses. The practice is also experienced in advising on environmental issues arising from contaminated land, energy efficiency measures and environmental compliance in the real estate sector. Team head Michael Barlow specialises in flooding claims; Ian Salter has expertise in clean up, decommissioning and nuclear liability; and Ross Fairley assists infrastructure, waste and energy clients charged with environmental offences. The firm’s clients are active in industries such as transport and infrastructure, the public sector, and the nuclear, fossil and renewable energy sectors.

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South West: Projects, energy and natural resources


Within: Leading individuals

Ross Fairley - Burges Salmon LLP

Within: Energy

Burges Salmon LLP has expertise in cutting-edge and innovative energy projects, particularly in relation to conventional power, as well as the renewables and nuclear industries. Described by one client as ‘the Rolls-Royce of his sector’, Ian Salter is a nationally recognised name in the field of nuclear law. Salter jointly leads the practice with Ross Fairley, who is ‘one of very few true experts around’ in the renewables industry. Julian Boswall has particular expertise in consenting offshore wind projects, as well as onshore wind and gas-fired power station projects. Associate Alec Whiter is another name to note.

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South West: Real estate


Within: Environment

Burges Salmon LLP's specialist environment team has a first-rate reputation for advising clients on particularly complex regulatory issues. Clients turn to the firm for assistance with challenging matters involving regulators, such as the refusal of permits, litigation, prosecutions and other challenges. In addition to advising large regional and national clients, the firm also generates mandates from global organisations. The ‘experiencedSimon Tilling handles a large volume of contentious work. The ‘incredibly competentMichael Barlow, who heads up the practice, handles all aspects of environmental compliance, energy efficiency, contaminated land and environmental permitting. Ross Fairley advises on issues concerning infrastructure, energy, waste, lender liability and contaminated land, and also represents clients charged with environmental offences. Ian Salter is recommended for his work in the nuclear sector.

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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


Electricity market reform: an update on contracts for difference

March 2016. By Ross Fairley

The Energy Bill, legislating for the government’s electricity market reform (EMR), finally became the Energy Act in December 2013. The government initially announced its proposals back in December 2010. This legislation, three years in the making, is central to the government’s energy policy and its stated aims of keeping the lights on, keeping energy bills affordable and decarbonising energy generation. Over the past three years, the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) have issued an ever-increasing stream of papers. More recent papers have disclosed some key shifts in original thoughts on implementation, the latest being prompted by EU state aid guidelines.? [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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