Freeths’ achieves double accolade with two lawyers named in prestigious UK list of the most influential environmental professionals

Law firm Freeths’ Director Richard Broadbent and Senior Associate Helen Mitcheson have been named in The ENDS Report Power List as two of the 100 UK environmental professionals who have made the greatest impact in the past two years.

The annual list includes individuals who have shaped or influenced national or local environmental policy, enhanced the reputation of the environmental profession, or unsung heroes whose work is delivering positive change. Out of the 100 nominees, both Richard and Helen were two of only 15 lawyers who made the shortlist.

The pair were nominated this year for the accolade for their extensive work across habitats, species, wildlife and the natural environment both at Freeths as part of its leading Planning and Environment Group as well as outside of work.

This is the third time Freeths’ Environmental Law Team has been named in the Power List, and the second for Helen with her previously appearing in the celebrated list in 2022. Penny Simpson, who leads the Freeths Environmental Law team was listed last year following her landmark environmental case win in Harris vs Environment Agency.

Environmental Law Partner and Head of the Team Penny Simpson said: “A well-deserved accolade for both Richard and Helen who work tirelessly to build our Freeths environmental offering into one of the leading practices across the UK. Their combined skill across all aspects of environmental regulation from contamination to waste to water pollution as well as natural environmental law ensures the firm is hugely respected in its field and provides a unique service, effectively advancing our client’s commercial and sustainability objectives. Congratulations to both!”

Paul Brailsford, Partner and National Head of Planning and Environment at Freeths, added: “This is fantastic news and well deserved for Richard and Helen. It really does highlight that the team is leading the field in environmental law and follows recognition that the Planning and Environment Group has been one of the fastest growing teams in the country over two consecutive years and ranking in the top 20 nationally.”

Nominees praised both Richard and Helen. Of Richard, it was noted: ‘Broadbent is not only a real advocate for the beneficial impact that we can make on our surroundings, but according to one colleague, he is an “amazing and inspiring leader and a mentor as well as a role model to many” who “genuinely cares for the development of those around him”. This is evidenced in his role in setting up the UK Environmental Law Association’s mentoring scheme, which gives opportunities to get into environmental law.’

Of Helen, supporters said: ‘She “is the kind of lawyer the environment needs”. Mitcheson is the deputy director of Cet Law, an international not for profit organisation specialising in furthering law and policy to protect marine mammals. Outside of this, Mitcheson recently founded and co-convened the Marine Working Party of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA)’.

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