Environmental Law


An extensive legislative framework exists under a series of Statutes and Regulations to protect the environment from harm. Examples include the:-


Environmental Protection Act 1990;

Water Resources Act 1991;

Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005;

Environmenal Civil Sanctions Order and Regulations 2010.



Any company or individual who does not adhere to the legislation risks investigation by the Environment Agency, and other bodies which can lead to the application of civil sanctions, including the imposition of substantial financial penalties and restrictions upon working practices, and in the most serious of cases to prosecution..


Michael Batty is a member of the United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA). He has worked in this area for over 15 years.


Michael regularly advises clients faced with investigation and prosecution by the Environment Agency. He has also advised clients in connection with claims against other professionals flowing from the aquisition of contaminated land.


Examples of recent advice include:


Advising a manufacturing company in connection with an ongoing investigation by the Environment Agency relating to an alleged breach of the company's duty of care under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in allowing hazardous waste to contaminate waste earmarked for recycling;

Representing a waste management company charged both with causing liquid waste to enter a watercourse contrary to the Water Resources Act 1991 and operating outside the terms of an exemption from waste management licensing contrary to the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This was a complex case in which we were able to substantially reduce the fines that would otherwise have been payable;

Acting for another waste disposal business in an action for professional negligence against its former solicitors who had failed, in connection with the sale of a site, to transfer the waste management license leaving our client with ongoing liabilities in respect of that site;

Representing a farming company charged with causing pig effluent to enter a tributary of a river contrary to the Water Resources Act. The fine was significantly reduced as a result of our efforts; and

Securing a damages payment from their former solicitor for private clients who purchased a residential property without being warned that it had been built upon contaminated land and that a remediation scheme had not been fully implemented..



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Michael Batty

Michael Batty


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Environmental Law: The Importance of Risk Assessments

Two very different cases that I have been involved with over recent years graphically illustrate the importance of: 1. Preparing simple risk assessments in respect of operations that may have environmental consequences; 2. Applying common sense when doing so; and 3. Subjecting those risk assessments to a clarity test...(read more)

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