Our Environmental team provides expert, accurate and practical advice for insurers and a range of clients including developers, waste companies, water companies, contractors and consultants.


Combining an in-depth understanding of the environmental industry with commercial awareness and legal expertise, we advise our clients on their environmental compliance obligations and risks, assisting them in minimising and managing their legal issues.

This requires knowledge of the regulatory framework in which our clients operate and an understanding of its commercial needs. Our environmental law expertise covers:

  • Environmental disputes
  • Environmental and insurance coverage
  • Regulatory investigations and enforcement
  • Environmental risk management
  • Environmental compliance
  • Water law
  • Climate change
  • Resource and waste management
  • Warranty and indemnity
  • Global claims

Our experience includes advising on claims and disputes relating to a variety of pollution and contamination matters and defending clients in respect of environmental prosecutions and regulatory investigations. We have also defended clients in respect of environmental prosecutions brought by the Environment Agency and Local Authorities.

Our team has been instructed on environmental group actions defending claims for losses and damages arising from contamination, odour nuisance and other environmental factors.

Our insurance team also advises on policy wording and coverage issues arising from the full range of environmental policies and extension wording including EIL, Contractors Pollution and Operational Insurance.

Our Environmental Experience

Landowner dispute regarding local biodiveristy

Advising a landowner in a dispute with the regulatory authority concerning the use of concrete materials and the risk of flooding, pollution and harm to local biodiversity.

Pollution incident regarding a hydro-electric power station

Advising a consulting engineer in relation to a prosecution investigation by the Environment Agency in respect of a pollution incident arising from the construction of a hydro-electric power station.

Waste and water nuisance

Acting for a variety of clients, particularly in the waste, water and transport industry in respect of large group actions pursued by residents who allege that they are suffering various types of nuisance.

Off-site contamination issues

Advising a group of insurers in relation to a number of claims made against historic public liability policies concerning off-site contamination issues. The claims combined exceeded £75million.

Drainage at a prison, Wales

Acting for a contractor in relation to claims for defective above ground and below ground drainage at a prison in Wales, including issues arising from an environmental incident.

HSE and Environment Agency investigation regarding Buncefield Oil Terminal

Acting in relation to the HSE and Environment Agency investigation into the explosion and fire at the Buncefield Oil Terminal in December 2005.  The HSE/EA did not proceed against our client.

Waste to energy plant, UK

Acting for a major multinational environmental services company in relation to disputes related to the design, construction and commissioning of an innovative waste to energy plant in the United Kingdom for a global distiller (including converting spent wash from the distillery into clean water, heat and power to be re-used in the distillery itself via a MBT process) and delay (claim value approx. £60m).

Pollutants in a local waterway

Advising a civil engineering client in relation to ground works they were performing on a construction site.  During the works, pollutants from the site entered a local waterway.  The Environment Agency has commenced its investigation and is currently considering prosecution.  Day to day advice is being given on how to work with the Environment Agency and what remedial actions can be taken to dissuade the Environment Agency pursuing prosecution.

Hazardous chemical in a local waterway

Advising a member of a JV investigated and summonsed by the Environment Agency after the discharge of a hazardous chemical into a local waterway caused significant ecological damage.  The sanction being pursued was in the tens of millions and any prosecution would have to be disclosed in future when the client sought to procure further work.  A satisfactory position was reached as the court decided that the JV should be prosecuted as an independent entity which was the best outcome for the client in respect of sanctions.

Asbestos on a residential construction project

Acting in relation to design services provided on a residential construction project. During the course of construction asbestos was discovered. The HSE are investigating the design provisions for limiting the risk of asbestos exposure and the methods applied when the asbestos was discovered. This project spanned the transitional provisions surrounding the CDM Regulations in 2015 and importantly from our client’s perspective the validity of the appointment of the Principal Designer. Our role involved assisting the client with the HSE interview and the requests for the provision of information.

Mislabelling of products imported from the US through the EU

Acting in relation to mislabelling of products imported from the US through the EU and investigated by the Trading Standards for breaches of the Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations 2013. Advising our client in relation to a request for an interview under caution for breaches of the regulations.