Environmental regulation is constantly evolving and businesses in all sectors need specialist advice to minimise the risk of non-compliance and to maximise the opportunities that arise. Our environmental compliance team has built a reputation as a UK leader in environmental regulation.

With expert knowledge of UK and EU regulation, we deliver clear, commercially-focused solutions to complex regulatory issues.  Unlike many of our City competitors, we handle environmental compliance at an operational level on a day-to-day basis, negotiating with regulators and resolving complex regulatory issues. As a result we are trusted by national and global businesses to support their operational teams on the ground.

Our expertise spans a range of sectors and our environmental regulation specialists work closely with our clients to understand their commercial objectives.  We support our clients to devise practical environmental compliance systems and successfully implement them within their organisations.  We are also trusted by in house counsel to keep them up to speed on the aspects of environmental regulation relevant to their businesses. We produce periodic updates tailored to the client's business and sector to ensure that our clients remain on top of this fast-paced legal specialism.

Areas of focus

Our expertise in environmental regulation includes the following:

  • Environmental permitting, licensing and consents – advising on compliance, negotiating conditions with regulators and assisting with applications, transfers, revisions, surrenders and revocations.
  • Product stewardship – advising on EU and UK product stewardship regimes for manufacturing, supply, procurement, retail and safe disposal of products and substances.
  • Land use restrictions, habitats and nature conservation – advising on restrictions, negotiating management schemes and engagement with regulators.
  • Environmental reporting– EESCH reporting, greenhouse gas emissions reporting, submissions to regulators and voluntary statements.
  • Real estate – including energy efficiency, green leases, clean tech and renewable energy.
  • Environmental management systems – advising on EMSs such as ISO140001 and drafting legal registers for clients' businesses.
  • Access to environmental information – advising public bodies on their duties under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and representing the interests of private clients seeking to protect commercially sensitive information from public disclosure.
  • Periodic alerts service and training – updates on environmental law tailored to our clients' businesses, delivered as a quarterly report, and bespoke training sessions for lawyers, senior officers and EHS professionals.

Acting for a chemicals company on resolving its non-compliance with the EU REACH and Biocidal Products Regulations.

Acting for a film processing laboratory in its negotiations with a sewerage undertaker for discharge of trade effluent into the sewerage system.

Advising a landowner on regulatory requirements for construction operations in a main river and negotiating with the Environment Agency on the flood defence consent.

Advising a petrochemicals company on whether a marketable distillation product could be considered waste under the European Waste Framework Directive.

Advising a public body charity on its obligations under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Advising a sports products manufacturer on the interaction between the end of waste criteria and REACH regime for its recycled products.

Advising an electronics retailer on compliance with the WEEE and RoHS regimes.

Advising the Ministry of Defence on green procurement and environmental and sustainability in multi-billion pound defence procurement project.

Assisting a US headquartered multinational in environmental compliance audits.

Drafting REACH Only Representative contracts and Consortium agreements for a chemical consultancy.

Drafting the EMS legal register for one of Europe's largest bulk liquid storage facilities.

Negotiating a SSSI management agreement with Natural England on behalf of a leisure industry client.

Advising a US headquartered multinational on its negotiations with the Environment Agency on the permitting requirements for a large commercial-scale R&D chemicals plant.

Meet the team
Michael Barlow

Michael Barlow Partner

  • Head of Environment
  • Head of Water
  • Head of ESG
Ross Fairley

Ross Fairley Partner

  • Energy and Utilities
  • Head of Renewable Energy
  • Environment

What others say...

The team does diverse work covering regulatory, advisory, public and private law litigation with a very collaborative work ethic.

Legal 500 2024

Burges Salmon careers

We work hard to make sure Burges Salmon is a great place to work.
Find out more