Contaminated land and its effects and remediation is an increasingly complicated area of law. Our contaminated land lawyers combine in-depth knowledge of law with contaminated land regime commercial expertise to deliver clear, strategic solutions to our clients. We have been called in to advise on the UK's most high profile such sites giving us superb knowledge and practical experience in this area. We have advised on the most prominent contaminated land cases to date, including the site of England's largest contaminated plume, the Brofiscin Quarry landfill in Wales and Scotland's first "special site".

Our expertise covers both transactional and regulatory matters. As well as advising on corporate and property transactions, we have successfully challenged regulatory action on behalf of businesses and individuals. We also advise clients on limiting their exposure to liability during regulatory investigations. We regularly provide our clients with strategic advice on handling brownfield proposals and help to mitigate the risk of formal clean-up action from regulators, such as the Environment Agency.

With experience working for both public and private sector clients, we approach complex matters with a detailed understanding of the client's needs and the challenges they may face.

Areas of focus

Our expertise on contaminated land regime includes the following:

  • Challenging regulatory action against businesses and individuals.
  • Mitigating formal clean-up actions. 
  • Contaminated land issues affecting corporate and real estate transactions.
  • Working with regulatory bodies on policy issues. 
  • Advising financial institutions on lender liability for contaminated land. 
  • Environmental disputes. 
  • Insolvency and contaminated land.

Successfully defending a major plc against a Part IIA Contaminated Land Regime notice in relation to the UK's largest contaminated land site.

Successfully defending a "Class A" liability person against a Part IIA Contaminated Land Regime notice in relation to the Brofiscin Quarry investigation where clean-up costs were reported to be up to £100 million.

Advising the Environment Agency on policy issues associated with radioactively contaminated land.

Advising an international petrochemicals company on Part IIA Contaminated Land Regime Notice and resolution of dispute between Council and SEPA on whether site was a "special site".

Advising Weymouth Borough Council on the acquisition of a site for use in the Olympics, including detailed advice on contamination issues.

Advising landowners on the liability regime following Part IIA Contaminated Land Regime notices and successfully challenging notices and recovering costs through the local government ombudsman.

Advising a major manufacturing company on clean-up strategy in the context of a site closure programme.

Advising on the implications for those involved with insolvency and contaminated land.

Advising banks on lender liability for contaminated land.

Advising major corporate clients on a programme of mitigation and board level strategy to avoid claims over portfolios of historic operating sites.

Meet the team
Ross Fairley

Ross Fairley Partner

  • Energy and Utilities
  • Head of Renewable Energy
  • Environment
Michael Barlow

Michael Barlow Partner

  • Head of Environment
  • Head of Water
  • Head of ESG
Joanne Attwood

Joanne Attwood Consultant

  • Head of Licensing
  • Environment
  • Water
Cheryl Parkhouse

Cheryl Parkhouse Senior Associate

  • Nuclear 
  • Projects
  • Public Sector
Ian Salter

Ian Salter Partner

  • Head of Nuclear
  • Head of Projects
  • Environment
James Phillips

James Phillips Partner

  • Head of Energy & Utilities
  • Head of Energy Transition
  • Energy Regulation

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The team at Burges Salmon can rapidly and cost-effectively deploy a wealth of internal specialists and resources.

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