Our regulatory solicitors have a wealth of experience in advising on environmental issues and representing clients suspected of committing environmental offences.
Environmental offences include those relating to environmental permitting, water pollution, waste, fly tipping, tree preservation orders and protected species and habitats. Enforcement action may be taken by the police or by a regulator such as the Environment Agency or a local authority. The consequences of a prosecution can be severe: criminal convictions (including the possibility of prison for company directors), hefty fines, adverse publicity and the potential for restrictions to be imposed on environmental licenses or permits.
We can support you throughout a criminal investigation, adverse media coverage and court proceedings. Whatever happens, we will always give you clear, robust advice you can trust.
If your business is facing a criminal investigation by the Environment Agency or local authority, our specialist environmental solicitors can support you and your business by:
- Assisting with the gathering of evidence
- Lliaising with environmental regulators on your behalf
- Advising on civil sanctioning powers, such as fixed or variable monetary penalties, compliance notices and stop notices, which are available for some environmental offences
- Advising on your options if you or your business are invited to an interview under caution (PACE interview) . This is an important stage of an investigation, as the regulator will suspect that you have committed an offence and answers you give under caution may influence how the regulator decides to proceed in relation to enforcement action and be used against you in any subsequent prosecution. We can represent you at an interview under caution or advise you in relation to providing written answers to questions under caution, depending on the circumstances
- Advising on potential penalties following a prosecution, including ancillary orders such as director disqualification and confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
- Representing you at the Magistrates’ or Crown Court
So that we can help you achieve the best possible outcome, we recommend that you contact our specialist environmental solicitors as soon as possible if you become aware of an investigation or receive a court summons.
Why choose Trethowans?
Our specialist environmental solicitors have a wealth of experience in this area and are highly experienced in liaising with regulators and dealing with regulatory disputes. Sarah Wheadon, who heads up our Regulatory team has been described by the Chambers & Partners legal directory as being “quick, efficient”, “exceptionally able and dedicated” and “absolutely first class” as well as being recognised for her knowledge of health and safety and environmental law. She is a member of the UK Environmental Law Association.
For more information about how we can help you or your business, please contact our regulatory team by calling 0800 2800 421 or using our contact form above.