Environmental Law

Members of chambers have extensive experience of advising on and litigating environmental law issues, including:

  • public bodies’ compliance with environmental obligations, including under retained EU law
  • the environmental impact of public sector decision-making
  • application of the rules on air quality
  • the promotion of green energy projects
  • rights of access to environmental information

Members of chambers frequently act for public sector clients on environmental law matters, including local authorities, central government and the Environment Agency, and they also act for third sector organisations and individuals. Several members of chambers have acted pro bono or at reduced cost for clients bringing public interest litigation to improve environmental law. These barristers are willing to work with NGOs and others to advance creative litigation that will advance the environmental agenda.

Chambers’ unparalleled information law practice is a valuable resource for any clients wanting to make use of the Environmental Information Regulations for either campaigning or commercial purposes. Members of Chambers have appeared in most of the leading EIR cases, including Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy v Henny and the Information Commissioner [2018] Env LR 3, the leading case on the meaning of “environmental information”.

11KBW was nominated for Environmental Law set of the year by Legal 500 in 2019.

Examples of recent cases

Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
[2021] EWHC 1633 (Admin)
Ben Mitchell acted for the Claimant and Andrew Sharland QC for the Second Defendant in a challenge to the legality of the UK’s new Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme.

Friends of the Earth v Secretary of State for Transport
[2020] EWCA Civ 214
Peter Lockley acted for Friends of the Earth in a successful challenge to the decision to designate the Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS), which supports a third runway at Heathrow. The Court of Appeal (overturning the decision below) held that the ANPS was unlawful because of the failure to take into account the Paris Agreement on climate change, and other related climate change matters. As a result, the ANPS is of no effect unless and until reviewed in accordance with the judgment. The airport operator (an interested party) is seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, but the Secretary of State is not.

R (Grissan) v Department for Transport
Jonathan Moffett QC has been advising a producer of biomethane fuel for heavy goods vehicles on a potential challenge to the Department for Transport’s operation of the renewable transport fuel obligations scheme.

Inquest touching on the death of Ella Kissi-Debrah
Jonathan Moffett QC and Julian Blake are representing the London Borough of Lewisham at this inquest into the death of a child with severe asthma which has been re-opened to consider whether air pollution contributed to her death.

Case T-141/19-38 Sabo v European Parliament and European Council
Peter Lockley and Ben Mitchell act for various claimants negatively affected by the inclusion of “forest biomass” (essentially trees) as a renewable fuel within the Renewable Energy Directive 2018. The application also challenges the CJEU’s restrictive rules on standing to bring claims.

R (Farmiloe) v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
[2019] EWHC 2981 (Admin)
Jason Coppel QC and Stephen Kosmin successfully acted for Ofgem and BEIS in a challenge to a decision to require a homeowner applying for accreditation under the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme to provide a second energy performance certificate.

UBB Waste Essex Ltd v Essex County Council
[2019] EWHC 1924 (Admin)
Andrew Sharland QC acted in a challenge to a certificate of lawful use that permitted the local authority to send green garden waste from its household waste recycling centres to be processed at a waste treatment facility.

Stephenson v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
[2019] EWHC 519 (Admin)
Peter Lockley acted for anti-fracking campaign group Talk Fracking in a successful consultation challenge to the section of the revised National Planning Policy Framework that gave in-principle support to fracking.

R (ClientEarth) v Secretary of State for the Environment and the Welsh Ministers
[2018] EWHC 315 (Admin), [2018] Env LR 21
Jonathan Moffett QC represented the Welsh Ministers on this EU law challenge to the national air quality plans for addressing nitrogen dioxide air pollution.

R (Bancoutl) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No 3)
[2018] UKSC 3
Stephen Kosmin acted for the claimant in an appeal before the Supreme Court against the upholding of the decision of the then Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, to create a marine protected area around the Chagos Archipelago.

R (Friends of the Earth) v Welsh Ministers
[2015] EWHC 776 (Admin), [2016] Env LR 1
Jonathan Moffett QC and Tom Cross successfully resisted a major challenge, based on alleged failure to comply with the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive, to the Welsh Government’s decision to proceed with a £1 billion project to build a new stretch of the M4 motorway across five sites of special scientific interest to the south of Newport.

Breyer Group plc v Department of Energy and Climate Change
[2015] EWCA Civ 408, [2015] 1 WLR 4559, [2016] 2 All ER 220
[2014] EWHC 2257 (QB), [2015] 2 All ER 44, [2014] JPL 1346
ECHR, Article 1 of First Protocol – whether goodwill and legitimate expectations not referable to concluded contracts were possessions – whether unimplemented proposal capable of interfering with right to property – whether interference capable of being justified where proposal quashed by Court of Appeal.

R (An Taisce) v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
[2014] EWCA Civ 1111, [2015] PTSR 189 (Court of Appeal)
Jonathan Moffett QC acted for the Secretary of State in this judicial review of the grant of development consent for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, based on allegation that the requirements of the Habitats Directive had not been complied with.