Understanding the complexities of environmental and waste regulation has become an increasingly important task for businesses and individuals. Over the past two decades, anyone involved in the waste management industry, or with waste production or handling issues, has faced an expanding body of environmental law with stringent liabilities and heavy clean up costs.
Similarly, organisations operating potentially harmful activities or owning or occupying brownfield sites must confront the risk of unexpected costs and liabilities associated with the clean-up of contaminated soil, the remediation of groundwater or the restoration of damaged ecosystems. This area of law is becoming ever more stringent in relation to, for example, restrictions on disposal of hazardous and other categories of waste, permitting requirements and planning permissions.
The environmental and waste management law team at Penningtons Manches Cooper offers a proactive and thorough approach to helping clients from a wide range of business sectors, including waste management, energy, chemical production, manufacturing and engineering, technology, banking, property development, property investment, warehouse and distribution operations, housing, construction and minerals.
In addition to the full range of commercial and dispute avoidance advice, we regularly defend clients against cases of potential or actual breaches of pollution or waste management regulations. We specialise in water pollution incidents, hazardous waste and landfill issues. We also advise on environmental due diligence, warranties, disclosures and indemnities in relation to business fundings, sales or acquisitions.
In particular, we are often called upon to assess the risks of liability for the clean-up of contaminated land in property and funding transactions. This includes structures involving escrow accounts for remediation funds, liability agreements pursuant to the Environmental Protection Act, indemnities relating to potential remediation liabilities, warranty deeds from environmental consultants, and environmental indemnity insurance relating to contaminated land.
Acting for Berendsen Group on the sale of a large residential development site which was contaminated from historic industrial activity and negotiating contract terms to protect it from contaminated land liabilities.
Advising a consortium of chemical businesses on the legal aspects of a case to secure lower rate landfill tax for their waste disposal operations. This involved meetings with MPs and civil servants. We achieved a successful outcome, saving the businesses millions of pounds in tax.
Helping a multi-national motor industry client minimise the cost of a long-term groundwater remediation scheme. We obtained a release from environmental indemnity liabilities relating to the land and ensured that any residual liabilities were covered.