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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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"They're excellent," and "One of their strengths is that the communication between them is very fluid - it's all very consistent and they never need to get a new member up to speed."

Chambers and Partners, 2020

"The team is 'consistently very good,' and 'they are very good to work with and understand litigation'."

Chambers and Partners, 2020

"The team 'provides an excellent service and has detailed knowledge of a specialised area'."

Chambers and Partners, 2020

The team is 'extremely confident and experienced' and 'they use strategy and knowledge to steer their clients through challenges, mitigating risk and developing or adapting with the client or project where required'."

Chambers and Partners, 2020

"CMS is a key name in the Sheffield market for environmental work."

Legal 500, 2020

"They offer broad international coverage, with a comprehensive network of local offices. The range of international advice has been first-class."

Chambers 2019

"They're inventive and find ways to argue points that others haven't thought of. They're a dream to work with."

Chambers 2018

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    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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    Health & Safety

    Health & Safety is of paramount importance to all businesses. As an increasingly regulated area, every employer must comply with health and safety rules to protect employees, contractors, visitors and the general public. These regulations also put responsibility on all employees, so it is vital that everyone is aware of the relevant legislation.

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    26 June 2020
    Con­sent­ing and Real Es­tate Con­sid­er­a­tions for De­vel­op­ing Hy­dro­gen Pro­jects
    Con­sent­ing and Real Es­tate Con­sid­er­a­tions for De­vel­op­ing Hy­dro­gen Pro­jects pub­lic­a­tion from CMS. Find out more.
    08 July 2020
    En­ergy Re­lated products: call for evid­ence on post EU Exit ap­proach
    The De­part­ment for Busi­ness, En­ergy and In­dus­tri­al Strategy has pub­lished a call for evid­ence in re­la­tion to en­ergy-re­lated products, which closes on 4 Septem­ber 2020.[1] To date, le­gis­la­tion on eco­design...
    25 June 2020
    Fu­ture Fa­cing Dis­putes - UK Re­forms to Fuel Claims In­volving Self-Driv­ing...
    Fu­ture Fa­cing Dis­putes - UK Re­forms to Fuel Claims In­volving Self-Driv­ing cars art­icle from CMS. Find out more.
    06 July 2020
    Court of Ap­peal waste law judg­ment (Eng­land)
    In May 2020 the Court of Ap­peal ruled on is­sues con­cern­ing the law­ful­ness of an ex­empt waste man­age­ment op­er­a­tion; in this in­stance the stor­age and treat­ment of waste wood. At tri­al both the op­er­at­ing...
    17 June 2020
    Health and Safety News­let­ter June 2020
    Health and Safety News­let­ter June 2020 from CMS. Find out more.
    02 July 2020
    ICAO agrees to ad­just COR­SIA baseline for CO2 emis­sions for avi­ation in...
    On 30 June 2020, the Coun­cil of the In­ter­na­tion­al Civil Avi­ation Or­gan­iz­a­tion (ICAO) ad­op­ted a de­cision ad­just­ing the peri­od to be used as the baseline for meas­ur­ing the growth of CO2 emis­sions un­der...
    10 June 2020
    Fu­ture Fa­cing Dis­putes - Emer­gence of Cli­mate Change Lit­ig­a­tion
    Fu­ture Fa­cing Dis­putes - Emer­gence of Cli­mate Change Lit­ig­a­tion art­icle from CMS. Find out more.
    30 June 2020
    Wider scope for in­ter­ven­tion in en­vir­on­ment­al claims
    With en­vir­on­ment­al and cli­mate change is­sues mov­ing to the top of the cor­por­ate and polit­ic­al agenda, the High Court’s latest de­cision on Aar­hus Con­ven­tion claims paves the way for great­er en­gage­ment...
    15 April 2020
    CMS an­nounces 41 new part­ners in 2020 glob­al pro­mo­tions
    In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS is pleased to an­nounce the pro­mo­tion of 41 new part­ners glob­ally in 2020, span­ning 15 cit­ies across Europe, Lat­in Amer­ica and Africa. The UK ac­counts for just un­der half of glob­al pro­mo­tions with 18 new part­ners ap­poin­ted.
    22 June 2020
    Free­ports: an Over­view of the Key Is­sues
    In­tro­duc­tion The Gov­ern­ment’s Free­ports Con­sulta­tion (the “Con­sulta­tion”) is due to close in just un­der a  month’s time, on 13 Ju­ly 2020. The Con­sulta­tion seeks views on the Gov­ern­ment’s pro­pos­al...
    8 April 2020
    Emer­gency Re­sponse - En­vir­on­ment
    Our spe­cial­ist En­vir­on­ment team has an ex­tens­ive and suc­cess­ful his­tory of sup­port­ing cli­ents when en­vir­on­ment­al in­cid­ents hap­pen. Find out how we can help.
    18 June 2020
    Gov­ern­ment Re­sponse on the fu­ture of UK car­bon trad­ing con­firms plans for...
    The UK Gov­ern­ment has, on 1 June 2020, con­firmed in its con­sulta­tion re­sponse The fu­ture of UK car­bon trad­ing (the “Con­sulta­tion Re­sponse”) its in­ten­tion to es­tab­lish a UK Emis­sions Trad­ing Sys­tem...