Environmental Law

David’s environmental work covers the whole range of issues – litigious, regulatory, planning, public law, criminal and transactional work – over all subject areas including water (Cambridge Water), waste, air (Coalite), odour (Dobson), noise (Dennis, Watson), fishing (cockles, polluted trout streams, protected areas), windfarms (Macarthur and public inquiry), and contaminated land.

He has a wide contaminated land practice, including two leading appeals against Part IIA notices (Sevenoaks and Sandridge), one of which went to judicial review (Crest). He has advised local authorities, developers and landowners on litigious and transactional issues, and has conducted trials concerning contaminated land. He was in the leading case on Japanese Knotweed liabilities (Network Rail) and continues to advise public authorities on such issues.

He has advised on end-of-waste issues for more than 20 years, appearing in 3 of the leading cases involving challenges to decisions by the Environment Agency (Castle Cement), SRM (recycled solvents, heard with OSS at 1st instance), and Safety-Kleen.

He has appeared in courts at all levels, including the European Court of Justice (Bromley) and House of Lords (Cambridge Water, UU), and Supreme Court (E), and frequently in the Court of Appeal.


Selected Cases

  • Richards v Environment Agency and another [2022] EWCA Civ 26landmark emissions case in Court of Appeal.
  • Manchester Ship Canal v. United Utilities (2022, CA); no civil liability for sewage discharges to canal.
  • Beirut Port Explosion (2021): Representing victims of the 2020 Beirut Port Explosion.
  • Safety-Kleen (2020): end of waste judicial review.
  • Repsol (2019) emissions trading scheme appeal to FTT.
  • Network Rail Infrastructure v Williams & Waistell [2018] EWCA Civ 1514: Court of Appeal case on liability for Japanese Knotweed.
  • Southern Gas Networks v Thames Water [2018] EWCA Civ 33: the Court of Appeal found the defendant water company liable to SGN for the cost of customer compensation payments made after leaking water mains caused a gas outage in Christmas 2012.
  • Forager v Natural England [2017] UKUT 0148 (AAC): First appeal to Upper Tribunal about stop notice affecting forager.
  • Environment Agency v SITA [2014 – 2017]: Truro Crown court proceedings concerning environmental offences at landfill; hearing before HHJ Carr QC, 2-3 February 2017.
  • States of Guernsey v 3M [2016]: Commercial Court: £20m+ product liability claim concerning PFOS used in fire fighting foam.
  • R v. KV [2011] EWCA Crim 2342: transfrontier shipment of waste appeal.
  • Winwood & Ors v Biffa Waste Services Ltd & Anor [2011] EWCA Civ 108 construction of a landfill lease.
  • Crest Nicholson Residential Ltd, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs & Ors [2010] EWHC 561 (Admin) judicial review concerning Part IIA contaminated land
  • Dobson v. Thames Water, Ramsey J, [2011] EWHC 3253 (TCC) – 6 week sewage odour nuisance case
  • Repic Ltd, R (on the application of) v The Scottish Environment Protection Agency & Anor [2009] EWHC 2015 (Admin) (31 July 2009) WEEE
  • Watson v Croft Promosport [2009] EWCA Civ 15, CA, noise
  • SRM v Environment Agency [2006] EWHC 3023 Admin; end of waste
  • 3C v Mersey Waste [2006] EWHC 2598 Comm; landfill directive
  • Urban Regeneration Agency v. Mott Macdonald (2003); professional negligence claim concerning over-budget land decontamination contract
  • Castle Cement v. EA [2001]; cement kiln fuel: end of waste
  • Middleton v Wiggin [1996] Env LR 17, CA: landfill environmental insurance coverage dispute.
  • The Coalite Litigation: Dioxin pollution claims by local farmers and inhabitants concerning hazardous waste incinerator, environmental insurance coverage dispute and Health and Safety at Work Act prosecution.
  • Cambridge Water v. Eastern Counties Leather, HL, 1993, water pollution by tanneries
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