Our environmental disputes lawyers combine experience in litigation and dispute resolution with a deep knowledge of environmental law and the environmental regulatory regimes to secure the best outcomes for our clients.

We have acted for clients on a wide range of environmental litigation matters in the civil courts, from breach of environmental indemnities and statutory environmental torts, to nuisance litigation and flooding claims.

We have a proven track record in regulatory appeals in the Magistrates' Courts, before the Secretary of State and in the specialist tribunals, including appeals against abatement notices, enforcement notices, permitting decisions and access to environmental information.

We also represent clients in challenging decisions of regulators and policy makers through environmental judicial review.

Alongside our environmental litigation expertise, we also advise on other methods of environmental dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation.

We act for a wide range of public and private sector clients, including multi-national and national companies, NDPBs, local authorities and private individuals.

Areas of focus

Our environmental disputes expertise includes the following:

  • Environmental nuisance litigation – including noise, odour and visual impact, airborne dust, aerosols and particulates, and migration of contamination.
  • Environmental warranty and indemnity claims– arising from corporate and real estate transactions.
  • Environmental damage claims – arising from the environmental impact of business operations, storage and transport of hazardous substances and the environmental impact of products placed on the market.
  • Statutory nuisance appeals – appealing abatement notices, defending abatement notices on behalf of local authorities and advising on section 82 proceedings.  
  • Statutory environmental appeals and inquiries – including environmental permitting decisions, enforcement notices, improvement notices, notices under the contaminated land regime and public disclosure of environmental information.
  • Disputes with environmental professionals – for breach of contract, negligence or breach of duty.
  • Tribunal hearings – including environmental damage claims, access to and protection of environmental information and regulatory appeals.
  • International disputes and appeals – arising from decisions of EU and supranational institutions such as the European Chemicals Agency.
  • Flooding disputes – including civil claims for property damage, challenges to policy and compensation actions for interference with land ownership. 

Representing US headquartered multinationals on international indemnity claims including regulator clean-up of nuclear materials in the USA, remediation of a biochemicals facility in Sweden and a USD billion claim for global non-compliance litigated in the Courts of New York.

Advising 3M in its successful defence of a claim by the States of Guernsey for remediation costs arising from the use or misuse of 3M's products.

Advising a port operator in relation to a claim for damages for injurious affection arising from the construction of a harbour.

Acting for wind turbine operators in the defence of injunction proceedings arising from noise impact and visual impact under the law of nuisance.

Advising a consortium of product manufacturers on one of the first dispute resolution references to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki under REACH.

Acting for hydroelectric power operators and developers in judicial review proceedings against the Environment Agency arising from abstraction licensing decisions.

Advising a multinational building products manufacturer on the first and only regulatory appeal under the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme before the PAC in Northern Ireland.

Representing a UK waste treatment business in an appeal to the UK Secretary of State against the publication of commercially sensitive environmental information on public registers.

Acting for food production businesses, transport operators, manufacturing and engineering businesses and other commercial operators in the successful appeals of numerous abatement notices for statutory nuisances arising from diverse sources including food odours, industrial noise, odours from waste operations, dog barking, church bells and fireworks.

Acting for landowners in compensation claims for flood damage caused by drainage schemes, highways improvement and maintenance, and development or change of land use on neighbouring property.

Representing a global energy business in defence of a claim for additional development costs arising from migrating hydrocarbon contamination to neighbouring property.

Meet the team
Michael Barlow

Michael Barlow Partner

  • Head of Environment
  • Head of Water
  • Head of ESG

Environmental Disputes

The Burges Salmon environmental litigation team is perhaps the best in England for this kind of work. They’ve got real experts, with the backing of a good firm to resource litigation matters when the work needs extra lawyers brought in.

Legal 500 2024

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