South West


Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.

Environment - South West


Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Bristol 

What the team is known for Nationally recognised environment team handling transactional, contaminated land, waste and regulatory work. Also has a capacity for contentious environment work, including defence of EA prosecutions.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Very down-to-earth people who bridge the gap between the legal profession and non-legal business customers very well."

What's new? Bond Pearce merged with Dickinson Dees on 1 May 2013 to create the firm Bond Dickinson.

Notable practitioners 

John Houghton advises clients on planning and environment matters. Sources describe him as "a calm and reassuring presence." 

Significant clients Wales & West Utilities, RES UK & Ireland, SITA UK.

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Established environment group, particularly noted for its strong nuclear practice. Handles a wide variety of transactional, regulatory and litigation work.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "It's nice to pick up the phone and call people who really do understand this stuff. They are aware of the legal aspects and the subject matter and they are very easy to talk to."

Market standing: "They have very good attention to detail and they also have very good client relationships - the clients are long-established and trust Burges Salmon to the nth degree."

Market standing: "One of the best environment practices outside London."

What's new? The firm was appointed to Ofgem's panel for environment work.

Other new clients include the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) and the Canal & River Trust.

Work highlights Advised Gwynedd Council on a waste anaerobic digestion project worth £20 million. The team worked in conjunction with several other departments, including real estate, construction and planning.

Advised DECC on the creation and development of the ECO brokerage platform, designed to help the government comply with obligations under the Climate Change Act 2008.

Notable practitioners 

Ross Fairley has a thriving practice which focuses on energy and environment issues. In a recent case, he advised the Small Hydro Company in a dispute related to fishing rights. Sources describe him as an "accomplished practitioner," adding that he focuses on "what really matters for the client."

Described as "the guru of nuclear," Ian Salter's practice focus is exemplified by his recent work for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, when he advised on a £3 billion cleanup contract. Sources add that "he epitomises the service culture" at the firm.  

Michael Barlow is recognised by peers for his contentious environment practice. Sources say: "He is thorough, he has a calming, steadying manner and he brings a career's worth of experience in heavy environment disputes when he advises." 

Significant clients Marks & Spencer, The Co-operative Bank, Wessex Water, Carbon Trust, Environment Agency (EA).   

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol, Taunton 

What the team is known for Defends clients facing EA prosecutions and advises on regulatory matters. Non-contentious practice includes acting for clients on issues such as the Habitats Regulations and contaminated land. 

Work highlights Retained by Evergreen Extra MSA Holdings to carry out environmental due diligence on its acquisition of 13 motorway service stations.  

Defended JMW Farms against a prosecution brought by the EA.

Notable practitioners

Tim Hayden is a solicitor advocate operating out of the firm's Taunton office. He handles contentious and regulatory work in the environment sphere.

Bristol-based Neil Baker has a broad planning and environment practice. He is commended by sources for his proactive and forward-thinking approach.

Significant clients The Scotts Company, SRCL, Axminster Carpets, Persimmon Homes, David Wilson Homes. 

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Bristol 

What the team is known for Advises on regulatory matters and EA prosecutions. Assists clients on transactions and on matters such as waste and contaminated land.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "They provide a high-quality, prompt, efficient service at a competitive price."

Work highlights Represented Talltrees Heating in a potential EA prosecution, a matter which was resolved with a warning letter.

Carried out environment compliance and sustainability training for Hanson UK.  

Notable practitioners  

Anne Harrison handles non-contentious and contentious environment work. She is particularly noted for her regulatory practice and is a former EA in-house lawyer. Sources say: "She is an impressive lawyer and gives practical advice," and "she knows the EA like the back of her hand."

Significant clients DB Schenker Rail, Tradebe Solvent Recycling, Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Zurich, Aviva.   

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Covers an impressive breadth of environmental matters, representing commercial, industrial and waste clients on contentious, compliance and transactional issues.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "They appreciate time-critical deadlines; they will put the resources on the project to get it done."

Industry knowledge: "What comes across is the sector focus; it is a firm that is clear about its role."

What's new? The firm has gained new clients Yorkshire Energy Services, Powerday and Refuels.

Work highlights Advised DS Smith Paper on the defence of an EA prosecution related to environmental permitting.

Advised Western Power Distribution on matters such as management of hazardous waste.  

Notable practitioners 

Alan John is a well-regarded environment practitioner with a particularly strong reputation on waste matters. Sources describe him as "a great fighter for his clients," adding that he possesses "very deep technical knowledge and excellent commercial understanding."

Senior associate Matthew Germain practices in the areas of environment and energy law. Sources say: "He is pragmatic, to the point, relevant, and commercial as well." 

Significant clients Associated British Ports, CEMEX, The Co-operative Bank, BNRG Renewables, Amey Cespa.

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Truro

What the team is known for Good track record defending EA prosecutions and advising on environmental litigation, including group actions. Well known for compliance and permitting work and has strong sectoral experience in mining and waste matters.

What's new? New clients include Mulciber and Green & Pleasant Recycling.  

Work highlights Defended Trago Mills in a prosecution by the EA related to permitting.

Advised A1 Compliance in a dispute with the EA related to the WEEE directive.

Notable practitioners  

Ian Lamond is a key contact. 

Significant clients Imerys Minerals, Cladding Consultants/Stone Firms, CIB Lello Plant Hire.

Basic facts about the department
- Office locations ranked: Bath

What the team is known for Handles non-contentious and contentious environment work, including the defence of EA prosecutions. Strong base in the agricultural sector with additional expertise in the waste sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "They have an up-to-date and detailed knowledge of the subject area."

What's new? The team has gained Tileflair as a new client.  

Work highlights Defended Fullers Farming in a Crown Court appeal related to an alleged breach of an abatement notice.

Notable practitioners 

Alex Madden has a practice which focuses on planning and contentious environment work. Sources describe him as "extremely enthusiastic and dynamic," adding: "Nothing seems to faze him, he always seems to be remarkably composed." 

Significant clients Hills Waste Solutions, Williams Metal Recycling, AC Hulme & Sons.  

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.