Environmental Law

Environmental law and regulation can be complex. The penalties for mistakes and violations can be severe – both under the law and in reputational damage.

If you are under investigation for, or have been charged with, an environmental offence, or need advice to ensure regulatory compliance with environmental legislation, our highly regarded environmental lawyers have the expertise you need.

Our specialist environmental law experts have extensive expertise in defending allegations of environmental crime at all levels from the Magistrates Court, Crown Court, High Court and in the Appellate Courts.

Our environmental lawyers are also able to provide expert advice and assistance both to corporations and individuals in the following areas:

  • Waste
  • Water
  • Statutory nuisance
  • Pollution
  • Noise Abatement Orders
  • Hazardous material
  • Environmental permitting
  • Abatement notices

In addition to contentious work, our barristers frequently lecture on the subject of environmental regulations and are on hand to advise waste industry professionals on compliance issues, disqualification and confiscation.

For advice or representation in relation to environmental crime or compliance issues, please call 020 7067 1500 or use the contact form and we will respond promptly. Our environmental law barristers work closely with leading environmental law solicitors and our clerks can recommend suitable representation if necessary.

Our environmental law services

Criminal defence for environmental crime

We provide specialist criminal defence services for clients at every stage of environmental crime proceedings, from initial interview and investigation right through to court hearings and appeals.

With our experience and expert advocacy we take every opportunity to bring proceedings to an early close, protecting your business and reputation wherever possible.

Our expert environmental barristers regularly assist clients with:

  • Early stage advice in ongoing investigations
  • Advising pre-interview/charge
  • Challenging the legality of Environment Agency inspections
  • Challenging the Planning Inspectorate on the validity of environmental permit conditions
  • Raising concerns over abuse of process
  • Breach of orders relating to the removal of excess waste

We are regularly instructed by solicitors who are recognised as leaders in the field of environmental law. Many of our clients come to us via referrals from past and present clients and leading waste consultants who recommend us based on our previous work for them.

Advice on environmental regulations & compliance issues

Our environmental law barristers regularly advise a wide range of businesses and organisations in relation to UK environment legislation.

We provide practical, commercially astute legal guidance to ensure our clients can achieve their objectives while complying with all relevant regulations and minimising the risk of any regulatory action.

We have particular expertise in environmental permitting and planning matters, as well as waste management issues.

Why should I use an environmental lawyer at 25 Bedford Row?

We take a pro-active approach from the outset of proceedings, vigorously pursuing preliminary points of law on the ever-evolving European and English regulation and case law in this area. Our environmental barristers are methodical in the preparation of cases with a keen eye for detail and are adept to challenge the admissibility of evidence arising out of procedural irregularities.

Our environmental law team are also experienced in working with experts on technical aspects of cases and testing the boundaries of the Environment Permitting Regulations.

Environmental law FAQs

Who investigates and prosecutes environmental crime?

A variety of different organisations may be involved in tackling environmental crime, including the Environment Agency, local authorities, the police and HM Revenue and Customs, depending on the circumstances.

We can advise and represent you in proceedings related to any of these bodies from the outset, ensuring you have the best possible defence from day one.

What is the Environmental Protection Act?

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) is the main piece of UK environmental legislation regulating waste management and control of emissions. It sets out standards for managing and disposing of waste and the release of potentially harmful emissions into the environment.

Enforcement of the EPA is primarily handled by the Environment Agency and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

What is ‘waste crime’?

Waste crime relates to the improper management or disposal of waste without, or in breach of, the required waste carrier, disposal, storage or treatment permits. It also covers the transport of waste to non-OECD countries with less stringent environmental and health and safety standards.

What are the penalties for waste crime?

This will depend on the exact nature and seriousness of the crime, but it is worth noting that much stricter sentencing guidelines were introduced for waste crime in 2014.

For businesses found guilty of a waste crime, a court can order a fine of up to £3million and up to 2 years imprisonment, depending on the category of the offence and the size of the business involved.

For individuals found guilty of a waste crime, a court can issue a sentence of up to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of up to 700% of the defendant’s relevant weekly income, depending on the circumstances.

A court may also require an offender to pay compensation for any personal injury, loss or damage resulting from an offence. There is no upper limit to the compensation that can be awarded, with the evidence and means of the offender being taken into account when deciding the sum to be paid.

In Crown Court proceedings, the Court can also make a Confiscation Order if considered appropriate.

Contact our environmental lawyers now

For expert advice and representation on all areas of UK environmental law, please call 020 7067 1500 or use the contact form below and we will respond promptly.

They are all well drilled and relate to clients in a sophisticated manner, they are slick and present their arguments well

Legal 500


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