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
- 6 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Impressive strength in contentious and non-contentious work across areas including renewables and contaminated land. Also handles waste and carbon trading work for clients in fields such as energy and transport.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're very good and they know what they're doing." 

Notable practitioners  

John Houghton is a partner in the team with extensive experience advising on environmental issues arising from waste and renewables projects.

Significant clients Navitus Bay Development, RES UK & Ireland, SITA UK, ESBI, Channel Energy.

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

What the team is known for Heavyweight practice with formidable strength in contaminated land, waste and regulatory issues. Particular expertise in the energy sector, with an excellent reputation for decommissioning and nuclear work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They give practical, pragmatic advice you can actually act on, and they're very responsive - we've been very impressed."

"They're a good team with strength in numbers and representation; it's what they're known for, and they certainly stand out."

What's new? New client wins include Shell, KPMG and A&P Ports.

Work highlights Acted for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in the decommissioning of 12 sites. The team advised on the NDA's competitive bid process, which will appoint the parent body organisation to manage and operate the site licence companies responsible for the decommissioning.

Defended C&M Hall in a High Court claim for an injunction to prevent the operation of a 50 kW wind turbine on nuisance grounds.

Notable practitioners  

Head of department Michael Barlow's expertise covers areas such as contaminated land, waste, regulatory issues and litigation. His clients include energy industry and public sector bodies, and sources comment that "he's very knowledgeable and approachable. You can bounce ideas off him and talk through issues."

The "excellent" Ross Fairley is well versed in issues relating to the renewables, petrochemicals and oil and gas areas. His practice includes significant experience in decommissioning. 

Sources highlight Ian Salter's expertise in nuclear work, commenting that "he's all about trying to solve the problem." He receives frequent instruction from government clients on a range of matters including regulatory issues, decommissioning and cleanup.

Simon Tilling is frequently instructed on matters involving renewables, petrochemicals, contaminated land and waste. His practice centres on litigation, and sources comment that "he's very good at grasping the issue really quickly and understanding where you're coming from."

Significant clients Canal & River Trust, Ofgem, DECC, 3M, Petrochem.

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

What the team is known for Notable strength in a wide range of matters. Regularly instructed on matters involving waste, energy and water by clients across numerous areas including property and the public sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They're a go-to environmental practice in the South West." 

Work highlights Represented Norton Radstock Regeneration in environmental issues arising from its proposed redevelopment of the former Great Western Railway site in Somerset.

Notable practitioners  

Based in the Taunton office, key partner Tim Hayden centres his practice on litigation and receives frequent instructions on work involving waste. A source describes him as "sensible, commercial and technical - he grasped the basis of the issues quickly."

Bristol-based head of department Neil Baker's practice incorporates significant experience advising clients in areas including property and the public sector on a range of regulatory issues. Sources describe him as "an extremely thorough but client-focused solicitor who will make sure he understands the legal context completely."

Significant clients Barratt Homes, Bristol Water, Crest Nicholson, David Wilson Homes, Isle of Wight Council.

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations ranked: Bristol

What the team is known for Significant expertise handling matters such as contaminated land, waste and regulatory issues. Acts for clients across areas such as insurance, education, health and property.

Work highlights Represented Hanson and CDF (Chipping Sodbury) in an appeal against HMRC charging the aggregates levy on materials to create a development platform in an exhausted section of quarry.

Advised Linden & Wates Developments on environmental issues in its proposed redevelopment of the Frythe building in Hertfordshire.

Notable practitioners  

Anne Harrison receives praise for her "intelligent and practical approach to cases. She has a very good understanding of the whole process and she's very client-oriented." Her practice covers work including prosecutions and transactions for clients in property and health.

Significant clients Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Taylor Wimpey, Crest Nicholson, Anderson Group, Zurich.

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

What the team is known for Acts for clients in areas such as utilities, property and energy. Healthy reputation for advice on issues relating to renewables projects, and breadth of expertise across a wide range of transactional matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"They have a good practice across the piece. They have the client base, and that lends itself to both transactional work and specialist compliance advice." 

Notable practitioners  

Alan John is well regarded for his expertise advising on environmental issues relating to renewables projects, including wind, waste-to-energy and solar. He is also well versed in carbon.

Matthew Germain's practice covers areas including energy and waste, with experience in contentious and non-contentious work. Sources comment that "he does a very good job of taking a huge amount of information on board and coming out with a balanced and pragmatic view of the actual risk."

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

What the team is known for Extensive experience handling transactions and investigations relating to areas including compliance and permitting. Regularly acts for clients in fields such as agriculture and property.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"It's always positive and constructive with them. Always a good, efficient flow of work and a well-managed project."

"We're happy - they're very amenable and easy to get on with." 

Notable practitioners  

Alex Madden heads the department and is well versed in a range of contentious matters, including nuisance claims and waste issues. He also acts on non-contentious regulatory issues, and sources comment that "his cases are always very well put together and he's always very careful to check everything."

Significant clients DS Smith Paper, Laverstoke Park Farm, Tileflair, Hills Waste Solution, N-Viro Cycle.

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.