Environmental Lawyers

It’s more important than ever that businesses comply with environmental regulations. Companies face pressure from a number of sources (regulatory, governance and public pressure) to reduce and prevent their impacts on the environment. This can lead to a complex regulatory framework and onerous obligations on operators.

We provide specialist environmental advice on regulatory issues, litigation and transactional matters for all business sectors. Our environmental lawyers regularly advise on:

  • Representation in prosecutions and regulatory enforcement by the Environment Agency and other environmental regulators, including criminal defence
  • Advice on civil sanctions including negotiating enforcement undertakings
  • Legal reviews and advice on environmental impact assessments and habit regulations assessments
  • Statutory nuisance (for example noise and odour issues)
  • Judicial review of environmental decisions
  • Environmental due diligence in corporate and real estate transactions
  • Advice on contaminated land and remediation including the transfer of liability and brownfield regeneration
  • Dispute resolution and litigation on claims regarding environmental liabilities
  • Water resources, including pollution and flooding disputes and compensation and flood risk management
  • Environmental Permitting management including advice on conditions, enforcement sanctions, appeals, variations and transfers
  • Breaches of permits, licences and consents
  • Suspension/revocation of environmental permits, site closures and injunctions
  • Legal support for compliance with environmental obligations
  • Liaison with councils and other authorities
  • Contract negotiation of environmental considerations such as contaminated land liabilities
  • Risk management, policies and procedures including environment insurance provision
  • Advice on the packaging waste regime
  • Advice and representation in relation to wildlife crime, species and habit protection and nature conservation regimes
  • Advice on and negotiation for water, nitrate and phosphate neutrality issues
  • Planning issues.

Our Planning & Environmental team is a national practice, which represents clients across the country out of our three regional centres in the South, the Midlands and the North. We can help your business with environmental issues no matter where you’re based.

“The team has some big hitters, all with different strengths, which makes them a formidable firm.”

Legal 500, 2022

The team is a ranked as a Tier 1 Planning Practice in the South by both Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession and in the South, London and North West in The Legal 500. In addition we have a number of ranked lawyers and leading individuals as categorised by the directories.

We have decades of experience in environmental issues. Our approach is business savvy and we’ll work with you to protect your business’s reputation. Our environmental lawyers are part of the larger real estate group, which allows us to provide comprehensive legal services for project development.

Our lawyers are regular commentators in national publications providing expert opinion on legislation or the latest cases.

Contact Us

If your business is facing any kind of environmental issue, we can help. Call us on 0808 271 4814 or contact us online to speak to one of our expert team.

How Can Irwin Mitchell Help You With Environmental Issues?

Excellent client focus in terms of communication, clarity of advice and speed in turning matters around.”

Legal 500, 2022

Our Recent Experience In Environmental Matters

Due Diligence - Maritime

We carried out the environmental due diligence for the sale of one of the oldest operators of inland marinas in the UK, owning 15 marinas across England and Wales.

Dispute Resolution - Food Manufacturing

We acted for a food manufacturer in relation to a prosecution brought by Yorkshire Water, the statutory undertaker in that area, for numerous breaches of its trade effluent consent. We successfully mitigated in the Magistrates Court and removed a number of charges – from 22 to 6 charges - and a very low fine.

Judicial Review - Mining

We acted for five parish councils in a Judicial Review challenge against North Yorkshire County Council in respect of a planning application for the extraction and export of pulverised fuel ash.

Statutory Nuisance - Renewable Energy

We advised a homeowner on the noise nuisance caused by a windfarm in Wales. We worked together with expert acoustic consultants to get the evidence needed to prove the noise nuisance.

Environmental Permits - Waste Management

We advised a waste solutions company on the transfer of an environmental permit and carried out negotiations on contractual provisions. We drafted the permit transfer application and worked with the agronomist team and negotiated with the Environment Agency.

Compliance With Regulatory Requirements - Commercial

As part of the environmental due diligence for the acquisition of a materials testing company, we analysed the target company’s responsibilities under the UK REACH regulations and advised our client on the possible liabilities.

Due Diligence - Waste Management

We carried out the environmental due diligence for the purchase of waste management facilities that included one of the UK’s most advanced Materials Recycling Facilities and a Collections Processing Facility, each with a processing capacity of c.200,000 t/pa.

Environmental Permits - Water

We advised a charity dedicated to the improvement of rivers and canals on environmental permits and exemptions applicable for extracting and reusing contaminated silt from the riverbed of River Ravensbourne.

Compliance With Regulatory Requirements - Waste Management

We advised a waste solutions company on various issues with the Environment Agency, environmental compliance and contractual arrangements.

Due Diligence - Food Manufacturing

We carried out the environmental due diligence for the purchase of a large poultry processing business in mid Norfolk.

Compliance With Regulatory Requirements - Finance

We advised a specialist bank serving the blended financial needs of business owners, property entrepreneurs and family businesses on environmental issues on property transactions.

Compliance With Regulatory Requirements - Real Estate

We advised a property development company with more than 6,500 acres in Suffolk and Sussex on environmental matters related to the sale of a property. We carried out a complete review of the conditions and condition discharges for the site and advised on environmental covenants and drainage matters.

In Focus

ESG Risk Research Survey Report: 2021 (Free Download)

We’ve teamed up with the Legal 500 and GC magazine to produce this free report for you to download.

We surveyed in-house corporate counsel across Europe and the US to understand the ESG outlook. Key findings include:

  • - 96% of businesses have an ESG plan or are working on one.
  • - 42% of general counsel said their ESG policy contained a governance framework.
  • - 61% said that ESG criteria are already integrated into business investment decision-making.
Download the ESG report (PDF)

Testimonials & Client Feedback

We truly value the feedback we receive from both our clients and legal accreditation societies, such as The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

Legal 500 UK Leading Firm 2022

“Excellent client focus in terms of communication, clarity of advice and speed in turning matters around.”

Legal 500, 2022
Chambers & Partners UK Top Ranked Firm 2022

"The real estate team knows its clients really well, and the service delivery standards are second to none."

Chambers & Partners, 2022
Leading Firm 2023

"The team is led by a first rate lawyer and operator."

Legal 500, 2023

Find one of our solicitors near you

We have offices in major cities throughout the UK and our lawyers can arrange to visit you or your business in person if necessary. We also have international capability, with global links to other legal specialists.

Business News

Our lawyers are regularly asked to provide expert insight, advice and analysis for the national media. Take a look at the stories below to see what we’re saying, as well as some of the recent deals we have completed for our clients here in the UK and abroad.