Environmental Law Solicitors
Leaders in Environmental Law
Fisher Scoggins Waters has extensive experience in all aspects of environmental law and regulation. Its members have been active in the field since the early 1990s, advising and representing leading developers, water companies and manufacturers, and more recently, airport operators, fire brigades and major players in the waste industry. Many of the cases in which we have been involved have a high public profile, such as the Buncefield explosion and the Camelford water contamination.
Fines Are Increasing For Environmental Offences
Information provided by the Sentencing Council shows that between January 2013 and June 2014, the median fine for an environmental offence in England was £12,500, whilst the mean was £39,200. However, between July 2014, when the new Sentencing guidelines came into effect and December 2015 the median increased to £21,500 and the mean to £70,600.
This shows that fines for companies guilty of committing environmental offences have risen significantly since these guidelines were introduced in 2014. Maximum fines imposed at the Crown Court rose from £6,000 - £100,000 between 2005 and 2012. In 2013 it was £200,000, in 2014 £400,000 and £250,000 in 2015.
How FSW Can Help
Our experienced environmental lawyers are able to advise on:
Our Environmental Law Services
Preventative Advice and Training
We are regularly called on to advise construction industry clients during their planning for works, particularly on brownfield sites and where projects are likely to generate significant volumes of dust, debris, contaminated spoil or other environmental hazards. The licensing regime in these areas has recently been overhauled, with the coming into force of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 and the widening of circumstances in which offences can be committed.
Training and Professional Development
FSW run seminars and workshops for board members and people with significant control to cover awareness of current environmental issues, recent cases, fines and court rulings and also how Brexit may affect future environmental legislation and thinking. We have close and longstanding involvement in the design and presentation of training workshops for our clients, and these form part of the FSW Senior Management awareness series that can be tailored to your particular industry or area of interest.
We provide immediate and ongoing advice and representation where untoward incidents occur, typically unintended releases of pollutants into rivers and streams, disposal of hazardous waste in unregulated conditions, contamination of the drinking water supply, or instances of dust, noise and vibration exceeding licensed thresholds. We are experienced at handling the demands and entitlements of enforcement authorities, typically the Environment Agency, local Environmental Health or Drinking Water Inspectorate.
We regularly appear as advocates for clients at all levels of the criminal justice system in defence and mitigation of charges arising out of environmental incidents. Some industries by nature suffer considerable numbers of untoward events every year, and among our clients are several - particularly in the waste and water sectors - for each of whom we have appeared half a dozen times a year or so throughout the past decade.
Environment Agency Prosecutions
The Environment Agency also has the power to prosecute those found to be violating environmental law and thereby committing a criminal act.
Control of Major Accident Hazards
The Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations provides that businesses: "Take all necessary measures to prevent major accidents involving dangerous substances and Limit the consequences to people and the environment of any major accidents which do occur".
Contaminated Land Law
Fisher Scoggins Waters are experienced environmental solicitors who provide sound legal advice on the implications of contaminated land regulations. The term 'land contamination' covers a wide range of situations although the specific legal definition set out in Part II A of the Environmental Protection Act.
Waste Management Law
Fisher Scoggins Waters are experienced environmental solicitors who provide sound legal advice on Waste Management.
For more information on how Fisher Scoggins Waters can make a difference to your Environmental Issue, please contact us by telephone 0207 993 6960 or email Mark Scoggins