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Burges Salmon LLP

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

Michael Barlow

Work 0117 902 7708
Burges Salmon LLP

Work Department



Advises both public and private sector clients on all aspects of UK and EU environmental law. Michael has particular experience in issues relating to water law and leads the firm’s cross-departmental Water sector team. He has significant experience of contentious work (both criminal and civil) and regulatory compliance. Also deals with sustainable development and has been very involved in the development of energy efficiency policy.


Trainee at Burges Salmon 1994-96, assistant solicitor 1996-2000; assistant solicitor at Bevan Ashford 2000-01; associate at Burges Salmon 2001-2009; partner 2009.


The Law Society of England and Wales; UK Environmental Law Association.


Attended University of Bristol (1991 BA Classics); University of West of England (1992-94 CPE and LPC).


Running, hockey and tennis.

London: Projects, energy and natural resources


Within: Leading individuals

Michael Barlow - Burges Salmon LLP

Within: Water

As well as providing general commercial legal advice within the context of the sector, Burges Salmon LLP assists with a range of other sector-specific requirements. These include: providing assurance in relation to regulatory submissions, licensing issues, and defending prosecutions or investigations of licence infringements, and health and safety matters. The team, which is primarily based in Bristol, but also draws on the firm's London presence, is led by Michael Barlow, who has substantial experience both on the contentious and advisory side of the sector and leads the firm's wider energy, power and utilities sector group.

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London: Real estate


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: Real estate


Within: Leading individuals

Michael Barlow - Burges Salmon LLP

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 ‘experienced’ Simon Tilling handles a large volume of contentious work. The ‘incredibly competent’ Michael 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


Energy efficiency in the UK: legal changes and commercial impact

December 2015. By Michael Barlow

In recent years various UK governments have made commitments at international, European and national levels to reduce overall emissions of greenhouse gases including through the promotion of energy efficiency. These high-level commitments have impacted both commercial and domestic energy consumers through the introduction of regulation, taxation and incentives aimed at helping to meet these commitments.? [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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