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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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"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

    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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    14 Jan 20
    Air Qual­ity - High Court Or­der for an in­quest to be re-heard to con­sider...
    The find­ings of an in­quest in­to the death of Ella Roberta Kissi-Deb­rah (“Ella”) have been quashed by the High Court and the mat­ter has been lis­ted to be heard a second time, now with con­sid­er­a­tion...
    06 Jan 20
    Land­mark cli­mate change judg­ment: Dutch gov­ern­ment again com­pre­hens­ively...
    On 20 Decem­ber 2019, the highest court (Su­preme Court) in the Neth­er­lands dis­missed the Dutch Gov­ern­ment’s fi­nal ap­peal in the land­mark cli­mate change case, Ur­genda Found­a­tion v The Neth­er­lands. This...
    17 Dec 19
    Sen­tence the op­er­at­ing com­pany not the par­ent
    In Oc­to­ber 2019 the Court of Ap­peal over­turned part of a fin­an­cial sen­tence by a judge who doubled the fine of a com­pany for a health and safety of­fence by tak­ing in­to ac­count the lar­ger fin­an­cial stand­ing...
    11 Dec 19
    A huge mo­ment for busi­ness: European Green Deal
    After much an­ti­cip­a­tion and am­bi­tious prom­ises from the in­com­ing EU Com­mis­sion Pres­id­ent Ur­sula von der Ley­en, the European Com­mis­sion today an­nounced the con­tent of its European Green Deal. No one should...
    03 Dec 19
    1 week to shape the Scot­tish Bever­age Con­tain­er De­pos­it Re­turn Scheme
    Un­til  10 Decem­ber 2019, stake­hold­ers have the op­por­tun­ity to com­ment on the draft De­pos­it and Re­turn Scheme for Scot­land Reg­u­la­tions 2020 (the “Draft Reg­u­la­tions”)[1], which in­tro­duce a new De­pos­it...
    29 Nov 19
    Dead­line next week: ES­OS Phase 2 No­ti­fic­a­tion 5th Decem­ber 2019 
    The ma­jor­ity of large or­gan­isa­tions will be aware of the En­ergy Sav­ings Op­por­tun­ity Scheme (“ES­OS”), the mech­an­ism through which the UK has im­ple­men­ted the re­quire­ment to un­der­take en­ergy audits every...
    05 Nov 19
    Food and Drink Sec­tor: Con­sulta­tion on the In­dus­tri­al En­ergy Trans­form­a­tion...
    The De­part­ment for Busi­ness, En­ergy & In­dus­tri­al Strategy is seek­ing views on the fi­nal design of the £315 mil­lion In­dus­tri­al En­ergy Trans­form­a­tion Fund (the "Fund"), parts of which may be of par­tic­u­lar...
    25 Oct 19
    Plan­ning judg­ment on air qual­ity: con­tem­por­ary com­mer­cial think­ing...
    On 12th Septem­ber 2019 the Court of Ap­peal handed down its judg­ment up­hold­ing re­fus­als to grant two re­lated plan­ning per­mis­sions for large res­id­en­tial de­vel­op­ments in Kent. Whilst the reas­on­ing for the...
    23 Oct 19
    Pro­hib­it­ory In­junc­tions in Ac­tion: A re­cent ex­ample of en­force­ment
    Activ­it­ies of ‘urb­an ex­plorers’ are on the rise and we have seen the Courts grant pro­hib­it­ory in­junc­tions usu­ally against ‘per­sons un­known’ pro­hib­it­ing tres­pass on private land and, in par­tic­u­lar...
    18 Oct 19
    Plans to tight­en en­ergy ef­fi­ciency in build­ings
    The Gov­ern­ment has launched a con­sulta­tion on the in­tro­duc­tion of a “Fu­ture Homes Stand­ard” for Eng­land, to be op­er­able from 2025. There are to be pro­posed in­ter­im meas­ures ap­plic­able from 2020. The...
    17 Oct 19
    A Work­place Park­ing Levy, and so much more - the Trans­port (Scot­land)...
    On 10 Oc­to­ber 2019, the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment passed the Trans­port (Scot­land) Bill (the “Bill”). In­tro­duced to the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment in June 2018, the Bill has at­trac­ted sig­ni­fic­ant me­dia at­ten­tion...
    08 Oct 19
    Latest po­s­i­tion on EU tax­onomy reg­u­la­tion re sus­tain­able fin­ance
    On 24 Septem­ber 2019, the EU Coun­cil pub­lished this 'I' Item Note giv­ing its ma­jor­ity ap­prov­al to pro­ceed with the next stage in the le­gis­lat­ive jour­ney of the “Tax­onomy Reg­u­la­tion”, be­ing in­vit­ing...