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Freeths - Law firm

Environmental Law

Contributing to a greener future

What is involved?

Environmental obligations have increased significantly over recent years and are not limited to those whose activities carry an obvious risk of pollution. We deliver careful and practical strategies and advice in all areas of environmental law for our clients, allowing them to succeed in achieving their objectives as quickly, and with as few hurdles, as possible.

Our services cover all environmental issues. These include defending our clients when facing environmental regulatory action, providing compliance advice, advising on overcoming environmental constraints to planning applications, challenging decisions made by authorities, and bringing and defending civil claims.

Our clients include house builders and other developers, mineral operators, water companies, energy and manufacturing companies, local planning authorities and other public bodies, charitable and non-governmental organisations.

Why choose Freeths?

  • Our team provides a full range of environmental law services
  • We have nationally recognised expertise in key areas, such as protected species and habitats, waste regulation and noise
  • Our team of 5 environmental lawyers, based in our Leicester and Sheffield offices, range from partner to solicitor level (plus legal assistants) – which means that we work cost effectively
  • Our partners and senior lawyers are Magic Circle/national law firm-trained (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Slaughter & May, Eversheds)
  • Legal 500, 2020 Leading Firm Freeths LLP

Our areas of expertise:

Natural Environment: securing protected species licences, obtaining planning and other regulatory consents when constrained by habitat/species protection

Environmental Permits & Consents: advising on permit conditions, refusals/appeals

Waste Management & Permitting: advising on waste legislation across all sectors, from development to manufacturing; reuse and recycling of materials

Contaminated Land: including remediation responsibilities and apportionment of liabilities; regeneration and redevelopment of contaminated land

Criminal Defence: pollution and waste offences, non-compliance with environmental permitting requirements, wildlife crime

Abatement Notices and Nuisance Orders: noise, light, odour and other emissions

Environment & Planning: Environmental Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment, Habitats Regulations Assessment

Environmental law training courses: for environmental and planning professionals

Civil Litigation and Dispute Management: claims for damages and injunctions; claims for compensation following works on, or compulsory purchase of, land by bodies such as the Environment Agency, water or sewage undertakers

Judicial review of environmental decisions and appeal processes: such as appeals against abatement or enforcement notices

Meet the team

Environmental Law Lawyers

Arunsiri Doheny-Adams

Arunsiri Doheny-Adams

0845 404 1754

Helen Jackson

Helen Jackson

Penny Simpson

Penny Simpson

0845 017 1133

Emma Tattersdill

Emma Tattersdill

0845 077 9560

Adrian White

Adrian White

0186 578 1151

Related news

"Penny's advice has been 'so clear, concise and quick it would be a pleasure for me to pay them'."

"I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the splendid work you did in securing our newt licence to the time scales required. I have no doubt we could not have achieved what we did without your help."

"In transactions which are by their very nature emotive and stressful for the business, Emma is well informed, commercial and very calming."

"As for the [Freeths LLP environmental law training] course, it was 11/10. Brilliant. I can’t recommend it highly enough. I’ve insisted that my colleagues go on the next one, and you should too!"

"Penny Simpson is a Legal 500 'Leading Lawyer' who is 'highly rated for nature conservation matters'."

(The Legal 500, 2017)

Well-regarded team offering the full breadth of both contentious and non-contentious environmental matters. Frequently advises private and public sector clients on permitting and compliance issues relating to waste management and contaminated land. Significant experience of handling noise and odour nuisance complaints. Clients say the team is "approachable and friendly as well as efficient." Other sources note: "They are a quality firm from top to bottom" and they give "clear and concise advice."

(Chambers & Partners, 2019)

"Penny Simpson 'impresses with the breadth of her practice, which takes in all manner of ecology and environment issues in rural and agricultural contexts, and expertise on water law'. Clients appreciate her 'quick responses and thoroughness'."

(Chambers & Partners, 2018)

"Emma Tattersdill is 'a first class lawyer with a superb depth of knowledge'."

(Chambers & Partners, 2016)

"Approachable and knowledgeable department". Emma Tattersdill "has a superb knowledge in the mineral planning and environmental sector" which she combines with "a very pragmatic and commercial approach to litigation".

(The Legal 500, 2019)

Notable Work
  • Penny, working together with a wider professional team for a large strategic land acquisition client, has succeeded in securing changes to proposed housing and environmental protection policies within the proposed Bradford Core Strategy. The changes were needed so as to protect the development potential of her client’s 500 unit site.
  • Emma successfully represented one of the largest businesses in the aggregate industry in proceedings in the Court of Appeal, following the Environment Agency’s refusal to grant a waste recovery permit for our client’s quarry. As a result of the litigation, the Environment Agency issued the environmental permit required by our client, reviewed its approach to determining such applications, and replaced the formal written guidance it had issued on the subject.
  • Penny devised and delivered a strategy for a large housebuilder client so as to persuade Natural England to issue a “test case” protected species (Great crested newt) licence, allowing the client to proceed with its development over the winter period without first having to trap and move the animals from the development site. This delivered for the client a significant time saving of nine months and of course the associated cost savings. This “test” case has led the way to Natural England becoming more flexible in its approach to the issue of protected species licences to developers.
  • Advising a client as to potential liabilities following investigations into possible ground and water contamination at sites in the south of England. Emma worked with the client and environmental consultants to successfully manage risks associated with environmental damage and to avoid enforcement action.
  • Penny has advised one of the largest UK conservation charities on its approach to habitat restoration of large areas of redundant land, using waste materials taken from other large infrastructure projects disposing of these materials. The use of such materials is highly regulated through the EU Waste Directive and requires an environmental permit from the Environment Agency. However Penny and her team have identified an approach which allows lawful use of the materials to create new habitats with the least onerous form of environmental permit.
  • Emma has successfully appealed many Noise Abatement Notices for a range of clients including a nationwide provider of all-weather multisport pitches and a key player in the British and International motor industry. Emma has also successfully represented clients in private prosecutions for alleged statutory nuisance, with cases ranging from manufacturing industries to dog kennels.

Client service

‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.

Our service


Talk to us

Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?

Contact: 03301 001 014

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