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Emma Tattersdill

Emma Tattersdill


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Emma Tattersdill wins praise as an "extremely good environmental lawyer." She frequently advises on pollution and waste issues as well as handling contaminated land and nuisance complaints. Clients say she is "knowledgeable in her field and provides a practical, common-sense approach."
(Chambers & Partners, 2019)

Emma specialises in environmental law including environmental permitting, contaminated land, water and air pollution, odour and noise issues, waste, protected sites and species.

As well as assisting clients with all aspects of environmental regulation and permitting, environmental litigation, enforcement action and/or prosecution for environmental offences, Emma advises on environmental constraints within the planning regime including Environmental Impact Assessments.

Emma regularly acts for clients in claims for damages or injunctions and in judicial review and statutory appeal proceedings.

Emma is ranked as a Leading Individual in the Chambers (2020 edition) and is listed as a Recommended Lawyer and Next Generation Partner in the Legal 500 (2020 edition).

Legal Services

Environmental Law

Recent Work

  • Notable reported cases include: Tarmac Aggregates Ltd, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs & Anor [2015] EWCA Civ 1149.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Successfully represented our client, a provider of sports facilities nationwide, in relation to one of its sites in London in a private prosecution for alleged statutory nuisance. Emma has successfully appealed many Noise Abatement Notices for a range of clients including a key player in the British and International motor industry.
  • Advised a major property developer on a proposal to develop land on and adjacent to a former landfill site, including strategies to manage landfill gas and leachate. She advised on potential liabilities under the contaminated land regime. Also on consent to discharge leachate to a public sewer, and on ecological issues following the identification of European protected species on site.



Local Government

Emma regularly advises local authority and other public sector clients on a wide range of environmental matters. These include all aspects of environmental regulation and permitting (waste issues, contaminated land, environmental permits), contaminated land and waste, statutory nuisance including noise, environmental and planning enforcement (including offences relating to pollution and waste), and environmental constraints within the planning regime (including Ecological Impact Assessment, Environmental Impact Assessment, the Habitats Directive and associated domestic legislation).

Emma has extensive experience of defending the decisions of public bodies in judicial review proceedings and statutory appeal processes.


  • Advising a waste planning authority on its use of enforcement powers following the tipping of rubble onto agricultural land. Emma advised on appropriate enforcement responses including prosecution, formal caution and fixed penalties, and on the interaction between the local authority’s powers and those of the Environment Agency.
  • Successfully defending a challenge, by way of judicial review, to a local authority’s decision to grant an environmental permit. The challenge centred on permit conditions relating to concentrations of substances being emitted to air.
  • Regularly obtaining injunctions for local planning authorities to prevent environmental damage from unauthorised development, including urgent applications made against “persons unknown” and/or without notice.


Emma advises clients within the food sector, including producers, manufacturers and retailers. This may involve environmental permitting requirements (facilities regulated by the local authority or the Environment Agency), waste management including packaging waste, pollution issues (including nuisance allegations and prosecutions on noise, odour or other emissions) and challenges to decisions of public bodies in judicial review or other statutory appeals processes.


  • Acting for a producer and processor of dairy products, following the withdrawal by the Environment Agency of an environmental permit without notice. Emma advised on potential routes of challenge and successfully liaising with the Environment Agency to regulate the position and to avoid interruption or cessation of the production process.
  • Advising on legal requirements for the management of waste from the food manufacturing process, including solid waste, waste water and trade effluent. Emma advised as to requirements for trade effluent and water discharge consents and providing support during the application process. Emma advised as to legal responsibilities for waste removed by contractors.
  • Successful appeal against a noise abatement notice, issued to a food manufacturer alleging nuisance caused by noise from chiller units at their premises. Emma quashed the abatement notice on the grounds that the business had adopted “best practicable means” to control noise emissions.



To contact Emma or for more information…

Call: 0845 077 9560
Or email: Send an email



“In transactions which are by their very nature emotive and stressful for the business, you are well informed, commercial and very calming.”

(In-House Counsel)

“I wanted to drop you a quick note to express my personal thanks and the gratitude of the company for all your work in securing such a resounding ruling on the Noise Abatement issue. I don’t think we could have hoped for a better outcome! This issue had far reaching implications for the company that have now been removed.”


“You have done an amazing job for us in very difficult circumstances, particularly in relation to costs and not only are we all grateful to you, we are incredibly impressed with your professionalism and expertise in these matters.”

(Private Client)

“Emma Tattersdill of Freeths LLP is held in high esteem by market participants, who describe her as ‘very commercially focused and able to fully grasp both legal and factual issues.’ She continues to act for both public and private sector clients in environmental litigation work and public law challenges.”

(Chambers & Partners, 2018)

“A star player, entirely focused on the outcome that the client needs.”

(The Legal 500, 2013)

“A first class lawyer with a superb depth of knowledge.”

(The Legal 500, 2012)

“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)

“Emma Tattersdill of Freeths LLP is held in high esteem by market participants, who describe her as ‘very commercially focused and able to fully grasp both legal and factual issues’.”

(Chambers & Partners, 2018)

Emma Tattersdill has broad experience in a range of contentious environmental matters, including civil litigation, Environment Agency investigations and nuisance complaints. She also assists clients with regulatory and due diligence advice concerning environmental issues. One source says: “Emma has the ability to think ahead and anticipate what I need. She has such long experience of environmental permitting along with planning expertise, which lets her see how things are likely to play out.”

(Chambers & Partners, 2020)

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