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Environment

United Kingdom

Companies face increasing regulatory, governance and public pressure to manage and minimise the impact of their business operations on the environment. At the same time the environment agenda is opening up significant opportunities to new and evolving businesses.

For over 25 years, CMS has consistently been a leader in the UK and Europe in specialist environment legal advice. Peers and clients have continuously rated us in the top tiers, due to our depth of knowledge, experience and application across most sectors.

We undertake advisory work on current and new regulations, together with a wide variety of transactional work where environment issues are dominant, including cutting edge development of contractual language. We advise on disputes work involving prosecutions, regulatory enforcement, permitting appeals and variations, civil nuisances, claims under indemnities and warranties, insurance, D&O claims and professional negligence.

Multi-national and national organisations come to us for matters where environment issues, risks and opportunities are significant to the commercial success of their businesses. We work for clients in virtually all sectors, including chemicals, cleantech, construction, consumer products, energy, energy efficiency, energy from waste, environment consultancies, finance, infrastructure and projects, insurance, manufacturing, real estate and hotels, renewables, telecoms, transport, water and waste management. We are well-known for our horizon scanning and creative thinking.

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CMS' 'outstanding' environment team achieves 'a highly professional standard in all its engagements', providing 'one-stop commercial legal support'.

Legal 500 UK

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    Cleantech

    Cleantech encompasses technology and services that address environment issues or lessen the impact of current products or services on the environment. The COP21 Climate Change Agreement in Paris in December 2015 marked a new chapter in tackling climate change, and as a result, we expect this hugely important sector to continue to grow rapidly.

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    22/03/2017
    Environment: £20 million fine and costs
    On 2 February 2017 Thames Water Utilities Limited (“Thames Water”) was warned by a Crown Court Judge, when considering sentencing for water related environment offences that “The fine is going to be very substantial and the shareholders have got to get the.
    03/03/2017
    Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards – new guidance issued
    As many readers will already be aware we are approaching the implementation of the prohibition on letting “F” and “G” rated properties in the private sector (subject to a few exemptions and exceptions).
    15/02/2017
    Proposed Changes to the Permitting Regime in Scotland
    The Scottish Government and SEPA have launched into 2017 with a major public consultation on environmental permits. Their plan is to streamline the existing permitting and licensing systems in Scotland into one integrated authorisation framework which will.
    02/02/2017
    Review of Recommendation 2014/70/EU on minimum principles for the...
    The Commission to the European Parliament and the Council (the “Commission”) has recently reviewed Recommendation 2014/70/EU, adopted by the Commission in 2014, which looked at exploration and production of hydrocarbons using high-volume hydraulic fracturing.
    02/02/2017
    Government consults on penalties for non-compliance with EU ship...
    On 1 January 2018, subject to a few exclusions, ships over 5000 gross tonnage (“Relevant Ships”) will be subject to monitoring and reporting requirements on carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), fuel consumption and cargo carried.
    22/12/2016
    One step closer to re-commencing the UK unconventional industry
    A decision has been reached in the appeal to prevent Third Energy from further exploring its existing well at Kirby Misperton using hydraulic fracturing methods. This latest success for Third Energy came as the High Court rejected a judicial review claim, instigated.
    21/12/2016
    Environment fines – still on the increase
    2016 appears to be a year which opened and closed with record fines for environment offences in England and Wales. In January 2016 Thames Water incurred what was then the highest fine for environment offences namely £1,000,000.
    20/12/2016
    Mexico publishes environmental Safeguard Zones
    One of the key areas of the Mexican Energy Reform is the environmental reform. The Mexican Government has changed its philosophy in relation to this area and is set to improve current regulation. As part of such Reform, the Hydrocarbons Law was enacted on.
    09/12/2016
    Are we witnessing the rise of super level economic environment ri...
    In a few years’ time we may look back and say that it was in 2015/2016 when legal proceedings and recent policy changes combined to produce manifest serious transfrontier and trans-sector commercial and economic environment risk.
    06/12/2016
    Inspector calls checklist
    An Inspector Calls – main powers of regulatory authorities in carrying out unexpected inspections Whether it is bribery, cartels or breach of health and safety legislation, UK corporates now face an array of prosecutorial and regulatory agencies, able to act.
    05/12/2016
    ABS Regulation - Draft Biotech Sector Stakeholder Guidance
    Views are being sought from interested stakeholders on European guidance for the biotechnology sector concerning the EU’s access to genetic resources and sharing of benefits from utilisation legislation – namely the ABS Regulation.
    03/10/2016
    Tribunal leaves door open for full protection and security to enc...
    In its Award dated 27 June 2016, the Tribunal dismissed the Claimant’s claim in Peter A. Allard v The Government of Barbados (PCA Case No. 2012-06) relating to the Respondent’s alleged breach of its international obligations under the bilateral investment treaty.
    29/09/2016
    Count down to prohibition on letting "F" and "G" properties
    Subject to a few exemptions and exceptions, “F” and “G” rated properties in the private sector (residential and commercial) in England and Wales will start to become unlettable in 18 months’ time (1st April 2018).
    14/09/2016
    What future for environment taxes?
    On 6th September 2016 the European Environment Agency, an agency of the European Union tasked to provide “sound, independent information on the environment” published a report on Environmental taxation and EU environmental policies.
    01/09/2016
    EPC Action Plans: New energy efficiency obligations for landlords...
    A reminder that the Assessment of Energy Performance of Non-domestic Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2016 imposing new obligations on owners of non-domestic buildings to assess and improve energy performance efficiency are now, as of 1 September 2016, in force.
    10/08/2016
    Europe consults on emissions and efficiency performance of road t...
    On the 20th July 2016 the European Commission published a short Communication entitled “A European Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility” (see previous Law-Now). Alongside this Communication the Commission announced two public consultations on curbing fuel consumption.
    09/08/2016
    Shale Wealth Fund
    On 7 August 2016, the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, made amendments to a planned public consultation regarding the implementation of the Shale Wealth Fund announced in last year’s Autumn Statement.
    27/07/2016
    UK investigates 1,700 organisations for ESOS non-compliance
    The Environment Agency and other regulators of the UK Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (“ESOS”) have confirmed that they are investigating 1,700 organisations who they believe may have been required to participate in ESOS (by late last/early this year) but.