Areas of Law 

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Environment Law

1 Crown Office Row’s ‘very experienced' team advises on transaction-related matters, particularly environmental warranties and indemnities, as well as regulatory issues. (Legal 500 2104)

This set has the depth and expertise to handle the largest and most complex environmental cases. Its members have been involved in a number of high-profile environmental public law cases and enjoy an increasingly strong reputation in the field. A barrister at a rival set commented: "The set I would look over my shoulder at is 1 Crown Office Row. They are certainly moving faster than the competition." (Chambers and Partners 2014)

1 Crown Office Row is a "a friendly and approachable set that provides excellent, good-value advice." Clients draw attention to the quality of the barristers here, hailing them for being "hard-working" and for having "excellent client-handling skills." The members at the set are well equipped to deal with a variety of matters including issues relating to waste, environmental insurance and water pollution. In addition they are experts on environmental transactions" (Chambers and Partners 2013)

1 Crown Office Row demand for its expertise in environmental matters and features a number of highly experienced practitioners.  The set maintains a strong track record in judicial review proceedings, and is particularly highly regarded for waste, water and contaminated land work. (Chambers and Partners, 2012)

We remain at the forefront of this rapidly developing area of law.  We are recognised as a leading set in the Legal 500 directory, and we have a number of silks and juniors named by the Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 directories.  We appear in all civil courts (from HL to County Courts, from the ECJ to the ECHR) as well as in Crown and Magistrates on environmental cases.

Our depth of experience can be seen from matters in which members have been instructed:

Waste: R(REPIC) v BERR et al (Admin Ct, alleged distorition in the market for WEEE), Inglenorth v Environment Agency (menaing of waste in respect of construction debris), SRM v. Environment Agency (Admin Ct, reclaimed solvents used as fuel), 3C v. Mersey Waste (Commercial Ct, "full cost" under the Landfill Directive), United Utilities v. Environment Agency (CA, HL forthcoming, sludge handling/waste/PPC, involving 3 members of chambers), Castle Cement (Admin Ct, status of substitute liquid fuel), Feakins (disposal of Foot & Mouth residues) and Crown Ct cases involving s.33/s.34 EPA offences

Contaminated land: Sevenoaks (1st Part IIA appeal to CA), Sandridge (1st Part IIA appeal to Inspector), Cooper's Walk

Nuisance: Bontoft (QB, noise nuiscance from early morning rubbish lorries); Dennis (QB) and other claims concerning RAF aircraft noise; Watson (QB and CA, claims against motor racing circuit); claims against RAF helicopters and civilian aircraft; noise nuisance from trains, odours from sewage treatment works (Mogden, TCC), first light pollution case in CA (Yeadell), electromagnetic disturbance with recording studio (Network Rail v. Morris, CA), 2 petrol and 1 heating oil contamination cases, vibrations affecting recording studio (Video London v. Asticus, TCC),  power station plumes (TCC), as well as the Hunter v. Canary Wharf (HL) and Loscoe Tip methane explosion (QBD) cases. We have acted in crop pollution cases, and dioxin contamination litigation concerning Coalite (QBD), on nuisance, insurance coverage and health and safety issues (Crown Court).

We have particular expertise in group litigation in this field. Mogden involves over 1200 claimants, and we have been instructed on two group actions against landfill sites, with hundreds of claimants in each case.

Statutory nuisance cases involve dye houses (Saracen Dyers), discos, sewage pollution, waste disposal sites, and catalytic cracking units (Fawley refinery).

Water: Thames Water (ECJ, leaks of sewage), Falmouth PHA (CA, statutory nuisance), appeals against WRA discharge consents, Cambridge Water v. ECL (HL, water pollution), Bowden v. SWW (CA, liabilities under EU law for sewage discharges), Moase (Admin Ct, Bathing Waters Directive), R v. CPC (WRA pollution offence) Mott v. Severn Trent (TCC, salmon fishing in the Severn) R v.Marque Technology & others (Lincoln Crown Court, pesticides and substantial fish kill) as well as numerous appearances in the Magistrates Courts on s.85 WRA water pollution cases.

Human Rights and Access to Justice: Morgan v Hinton: Aarhus Convention and the meaning of "prohibitively expensive" environmental litigation.  Aarhus Convention v UK (submissions on behalf of UK to UN Committee on Compliance).  Hatton (ECHR, Grand Chamber, Heathrow air noise), McKenna v. British Aluminium (QBD, HRA claims for atmospheric pollution)

Conservation: Greenpeace v. Defra (CA, dolphin by-catch case), litigation arising out of the Hedgerows Regulations;  RSPB / Defra (challenge to licensing regime for shooting cormorants);  Sakhalin island (advice in relation to environmental and public law issues arising from consideration of support for US$22 billion oil and gas project, with potential impact on endangered whale population).

Planning: Hardy v. Pembrokeshire (challenge to new Natural Gas terminal at Milford Haven), planning appeal involving HSE objection to residential development, issues arising out of the New Forest National Park inquiry, highways inquiry (effect of proposed dual carriageway on proposed national park at A27 near Lewes) 

Professional negligence and environmental construction claims: against environmental consultants (Chatham Dock), planning consultants, geotechnical engineers, and landfill designers (substantial arbitration concerning urban landfill) 

Landfill tax:  Parkwood (CA), Ebbcliff (CA)

Environmental insurance disputes: Middleton v. Wiggins (CA) 

We advise on transactional work, particularly environmental warranties and indemnities, involving UK and international risks. We also advise on all issues of environmental regulation, with claimants, industry, and the regulators as our clients.

We have advised on proposals to amend the Waste Framework Directive and IPPC Directive, and on other legislative proposals at both domestic and EU levels.

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* Based in Brighton