Climate Change and Environmental Law


Protecting the world we live in is one of the key challenges for the 21st century. Businesses face both a legal obligation and a moral responsibility to work to ensure that their impact on the environment is minimised. Compliance with climate change and environmental law is relevant to all businesses, not just those that may have an obvious risk of pollution.

Expertise in Environmental Law

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What will happen to the swathe of environmental laws and protections when the UK leaves the EU?

What is environmental law?

Environmental law attempts to minimise the impact that humans have on our planet. This area of law can cover a number of areas including climate control, pollution, energy, waste and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Environmental law applies to every business and public body. If it is not carefully managed, non-compliance can cause significant financial and reputational damage to businesses.

Our environmental lawyers have a deep understanding of this legislation and deliver practical advice that you can quickly understand and use. We act for entrepreneurs, businesses, funders and public authorities across all sectors.

Providing on-point strategic advice, we have expertise in all aspects of environmental law. This includes complex litigation, environmental emergencies and interventions, business transactions, development projects and compliance matters, as well as day-to-day commercial operations.

With offices worldwide, our team of environmental lawyers can offer you the added advantage of an international network of expertise.

Our team of environmental and climate change lawyers are led by highly experienced partners who have a passion for this practice area. Translating complex legislation into clear actionable points, we draw upon our experience to offer you solutions that are built around your business and its needs.

Climate change and environmental law services

Environmental lawyers with practical experience

…client friendly and…a relaxed way to explain complex ideas. Chambers and Partners

Our experience across a diverse range of sectors and issues has enabled us to provide our clients with a deep understanding of this area of the law. Due to the nature of our work, the clients involved in the following examples of our work are confidential.

  • US Automotive Manufacturer

    We advised a car accessories manufacturer on complying with product stewardship regulations when importing its products into the EU.

  • Infrastructure assets

    We acted as the environmental local counsel for a US law firm when a US-based client sold oil/gas storage assets in the UK. We advised on pre-sale processes and negotiated environmental indemnities.

  • Peaking power plants portfolio

    We acted as specialist counsel on the environmental and consenting aspects for a US law firm. Their client was bidding for a portfolio of peaking power plants across the UK.

  • Waste

    We acted for a quarry operator under investigation by the Environment Agency due to their ownership of contaminated land. We helped our client avoid formal enforcement action and pushed responsibility on to other polluters.

  • Logistics developer

    We advised an industrial and logistics facilities developer on the acquisition of a heavily contaminated site.

  • Investment fund

    We advised the managers of an investment fund on its annual environmental report and GHG emissions reporting duties. This included undertaking an audit of its reports to ensure compliance.

Recognition in the field

Provides succinct and accurate advice in a timely manner. Chambers and Partners

Our environmental lawyers are consistently recognised by both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for their level of expertise in the field.

Ranking the team as a tier one Environment law firm for the Midlands, Legal 500 notes Andrew Litchfield as a Leading Individual in the field.

Chambers and Partners ranks the team in band one for the Midlands and notes Ben Stansfield's "very commercial and pragmatic" approach, while highlighting Andrew Litchfield's "excellent reputation" in the market.

Ben Stansfield is also featured in Who's Who Legal for Environmental Law.


Our work takes us to matters in a variety of different industries. These include:

Meet the team

Our lawyers have the insight, expertise and regulatory knowledge to help businesses when it comes to climate change and environmental law.

With such a complex and changing landscape, it is important to work with lawyers who have a deep knowledge of the law. If you are seeking advice in this area, please do contact a member of our team today.

Contact the team

Rodney Northey
Partner, Head of Environmental Law (Canada)

Rod is certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a specialist in this field. His practice focuses on regulatory approvals and strategies across the full range of approval regimes involving the environment.

Ben Stansfield
Partner (UK)

Ben is one the UK's leading lawyers practising planning and environmental law. He has a wealth of experience advising clients on their projects and their compliance with environmental regulations.

Andrew Litchfield
Partner (UK)

Andrew helps clients to manage risk and avoid regulatory criminal offences while minimising the cost and disruption of criminal investigations. He is experienced in regulatory investigations, including by the police, Health and Safety Executive, Environment Agency, local authority and Coroner.

Harry Dahme
Partner (Canada)

Harry has been involved in all aspects of environmental law. He regularly advises on environmental risks in corporate transactions. He advises corporations and boards of directors on the development and maintenance of corporate environmental due diligence programs. He provides ongoing regulatory advice to businesses in a wide variety of sectors and has an active advocacy practice.

Natalie Mullins
Partner (Canada)

Natalie is dually certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a Specialist in both Environmental Law and Civil Litigation and widely recognized as a leader in her field. She typically advocates on behalf of clients entangled in complex contaminated lands disputes, often involving multiple parties and properties and a web of civil and regulatory proceedings.

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Contact us today

For advice on climate change and environmental law, contact a member of our team.

Contact the team


Gowling WLG's Environmental Law Group combines the strength and flexibility of a global, full-service law firm with the expertise and quality of service of a boutique environmental practice.

We help clients anticipate new developments in environmental law, delivering practical advice and effective representation that helps clients address environmental issues as they arise.

The legal professionals at Gowling WLG are recognized nationally and internationally for their expertise in environmental law. Six members of our team are listed among The Best Lawyers in Canada, and in Ontario, six professionals are "Certified Specialists in Environmental Law" - a designation granted exclusively by the Law Society of Ontario to those who have met established standards of experience and knowledge, and maintained exemplary standards of professional practice.

The legal expertise you need

Our in-depth environmental law services include:

  • Brownfields: Advice on brownfield development strategies addressing environmental, municipal and planning approvals as well as economic incentives
  • Climate change: Advice on proposed measures to address climate change, including carbon credit quantification and verification
  • Corporate transactions: Environmental counsel in negotiations, due diligence and risk assessment as well as in drafting environmental provisions in transaction and finance documents
  • Corporate advice: Counsel to businesses in a wide variety of industry sectors
  • Emergency response: Advice with respect to environmental emergencies
  • Environmental assessments: Advice on compliance with provincial and federal environmental legislation
  • Litigation and advocacy: Representation at every level of court in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Québec on a variety of issues, including toxic tort and contaminated lands litigation, defence and prosecution of environmental laws, and environmental arbitration and mediation, as well as counsel at parliamentary committees, municipal councils and provincial tribunals
  • First Nations: Counsel and representation for First Nations, as well as public and private sector clients involved in Aboriginal rights issues
  • International development: Preparation of institutional strengthening
  • Real estate transactions: Advice on potential liabilities relating to corporate real estate transactions and development projects
  • Toxic substances: Assistance in dealing with the registration of new substances for use in Canada, and advice on the proposed designation of certain substances as toxic substances
  • Training: Design and delivery of environmental law training programs
  • Transportation of dangerous goods: Advice on the registration, use, storage, handling, importing/exporting and transportation of toxic and controlled substances
  • Waste management: Advice and representation on all aspects of waste management, from permitting to ongoing compliance
  • Water and wastewater treatment and management:Advice on day-to-day operations, corporate structuring and outsourcing of municipal services

Learn more

We want to help you succeed. To learn more about our environmental law services, please contact any member of our team.

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