Specialists in environmental law
When preparing for and carrying out complex approval and planning procedures, as well as during ongoing operation of industrial plants, power lines, mines, etc., companies are confronted with a large number of issues concerning environmental law.
The CMS environmental law specialists help companies to recognise and comply with environmental law requirements, as well as avoiding mistakes. They have the necessary expertise and commercial understanding, backed by many years of working with companies, public bodies and the courts. They are also accustomed to liaising with experts from other specialist areas, such as environmental experts, engineers and planners, project developers and local authorities.
Our environmental law advice includes the following areas:
- Licensing and planning permission procedures
- Environmental law advice and compliance, product-related environmental law
- Contaminated sites
- Project development
- Transactions and restructurings (including environmental due diligence)
- Dispute resolution
- Advice around the political process
The environmental law issues dealt with include in particular:
- Emission control legislation
- Protection of nature and wildlife
- Water law
- Waste disposal law
- Soil protection law
- EIAs and SEAs
- Regional development and planning law
- Law on chemicals
- Specific procedures under environmental law and procedural law
- Environmental Information
Licensing and planning permission procedures
Our environmental law advice focuses on the support and management of complex licensing and planning permission procedures, as well as regional development and planning processes, including environmental impact assessments. In particular, the strict requirements under laws concerning the protection of nature and wildlife, water law and emission control legislation impose numerous constraints on projects with environmental impact.
Detailed preparation ahead of procedures that covers the planning and application documents and also public participation aspects can help to avoid procedural mistakes and conflicts, while also reducing the risk of legal challenges by environmental groups. Such challenges have become significantly more common in recent years. Careful groundwork accelerates the process and increases investment security. If necessary, we also defend projects against third party challenges and lawsuits by environmental groups.
Environmental law and compliance, product-related environmental law
EU legislators have been steadily tightening the regulations on environmental protection for many years. Environmental law compliance is thus an increasingly important aspect of corporate governance. This includes avoiding violations of the law, exceeding thresholds, leaks of hazardous materials and incidents, ensuring compliance with special registration and labelling obligations for many substances, as well as applying all relevant environmental regulations to a company’s specific processes and structures.
Our experts check whether and under what circumstances the authorities are likely to impose environmental restrictions and how they can be avoided. We establish in advance whether permits or other official approvals can be transferred from one company to another, when they must be re-applied for and what contractual options exist for agreements with the authorities or third parties.
Our advice also covers soil and water protection law, including contaminated sites. With German and European legislation having significantly extended the participation and legal rights of neighbours, municipalities and environmental groups over the past few years, violations of soil and water protection regulations are now more likely to be detected and severely punished.
We defend companies against official directives and support them in the context of remediation agreements and during negotiations with public bodies, environmental groups and other third parties.
Project development and Transactions
During project development, conflicts around use need to be resolved, a range of different interests must be taken into consideration and contamination risks have to be avoided or addressed. We advise our clients during structuring and implementation of projects with potential environmental impact, identify risks and possible solutions at an early stage and provide assistance for communication with public bodies and third parties. Our advice is provided in close conjunction with our specialists in real estate law, procurement law, public construction and planning law.
For transactions and restructurings, we carry out environmental due diligence (in particular concerning permits and contaminated sites), assess the transferability of permits and, if applicable, draw up the relevant contracts together with our M&A specialists.
If necessary, we also represent you in court and during arbitration proceedings in case of conflicts and also during mediation, thereby safeguarding what has already been achieved.
Public relations and public participation
Companies find themselves under increasing public scrutiny. A lack of acceptance from municipal bodies, in political circles and among affected communities often represents a major obstacle to successful business activity and, in particular, to major projects. In politically sensitive cases, we support the PR work of the project sponsor or the public sector. During this process, our excellent contacts to ministries and public agencies are particularly valuable. We provide legal opinions on proposed laws and support our clients in legislative and norm-setting proceedings.