Environmental law

Previous CASES

If the operation of your business could have a significant impact on the environment, you have no doubt assessed the risk of pollution and have a compliance program in place. Sometimes things don’t go to plan and we can assist you with putting things right, responding to any investigation and mitigating any penalty.

Of course, it may be that any damage to the environment was caused by someone else and we would advise on your defence.

We have supported our clients in responding to civil and criminal investigations by the Environment Agency (EA), the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Water Utility Companies and Local Authorities.

Below are some examples of the types of cases we have handled.

Peter Wilson is a member of the UK Environmental Law Association.

water courses

We have handled many EA investigations into the damage to river quality and aquatic life caused by escapes of polluting material. Pollution is an offence, regardless of intent, however, the measures an operator puts in place to remedy the situation, the improvements he makes to prevent a recurrence, and the level of cooperation shown can determine whether the operator is prosecuted or not. We have defended clients responding to criminal investigations by water utility companies for exceeding effluent permit limits or for escapes of untreated effluent into their sewers.

F- Gases

We have dealt with F-Gas investigations. They can be both technically complex and interesting. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are one of the most common F-Gases used in refrigerants or the type you find in food processing plants. An escape of this invisible gas may have no apparent physical effect to humans near by, however, its a serious matter as HFC's have a very high Global Warming Potential. It goes without saying that investigations into any accidental releases need to be handled with urgency, and care.


We have found that dealing with complaints about odour pollution is often a matter of mitigation. It is inevitable that some necessary industrial processes will produce unpleasant odours and its usually during hot periods of the summer that they might become a nuisance to local residents. We have helped clients manage situations to prevent complaints escalating and turning in to prosecutions.


The management of waste is an important part of the process in any business and in a manufacturing operation it is critical. We have experience of working on cases involving different types of waste including abattoir waste, food processing waste, incinerator waste (airborne particulates) and chemical plant waste.
We have had many cases concerning the operation of effluent treatment facilities including anaerobic digestion plants.

Why Instruct Us

We take the time, and not at our client’s cost, to properly understand the technical and practical detail. This gives us a better insight into the scale of the problem and the solutions available. Its a matter of genuine interest and we have toured many effluent treatment plants, inspected drainage systems, water recycling facilities etc – whatever is needed to deliver the best advice.

What You Get

What you get is dedicated and focused representation, lots of experience of dealing with regulators and a focused, problem solving approach.  Running a business that respects the environment and continually improves sustainability is a constant challenge. The need for objective professional advice is a necessary part of that. Caring for the environment is and will remain critically important and we mean to remain fully involved in this area.

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