Our Environment Team specialises in providing support to individuals, public bodies and private companies on environmental issues. The team is led by Richard Voke who has a Master’s degree in Environmental Toxicology and worked as an inspector for the Health and Safety Executive for 8 years.

We advise on the need for consents and permits, appeals against refusals and alleged breaches of consent, and do so on a case-by-case basis, tailored to your requirements.

Ashfords LLP’s business risk and regulation department is praised for its track record in environmental crime prosecutions and, with clients considering its expertise to be ‘comparable to that of any regional firm in England’. The team also advises on environmental compliance and regularly acts for agricultural clients and public and quasi-public bodies. Department head Richard Voke has a ‘strong technical background in environmental science as well as environmental law’; he has been involved in multiple pollution and contamination prosecutions for clients in the energy and care sectors, in addition to advising on regulatory due diligence issues related to various transactions in the oil and gas sector. Senior associate Jeremy Asher (‘as good as any lawyer in the field’) acted on behalf of various public bodies in Environment Agency prosecutions regarding pollution and breach of environmental permits.

Legal 500 2017

  • Defence and avoidance of environmental prosecutions
  • Environmental Impact Assessments
  • Waste planning and exemptions
  • Environmental Permitting
  • Energy from Waste 
  • Pollution claims
  • Contaminated Land
  • Water Law
  • Packaging waste law
  • Sustainability advice
Relevant Experience
  • Defending a Public Utility Company in prosecution using the controversial new environmental sentencing guidelines
  • Appealing enforcement notices 
  • Advising companies on environmental permits and exemptions
  • Defending waste and recycling companies following breaches or alleged breaches of permits
  • Advising in relation to stockpiling and spreading of sludge on agricultural land
  • Defending manufacturers and food companies on packaging law and negotiating undertakings under the civil sanctions regime
  • Advice on Regulations relating to chemicals and hazardous substances
  • Providing legal reviews of company environmental legislation registers
  • Advising a water utility company in respect of the submission of an EIA screening opinion and subsequent application to the Secretary of State regarding proposals to construct 17km of water main under permitted development powers
  • Advising a sewerage undertaker in respect of unauthorised trade effluent discharges into its system and its ability to recover charges for that
  • Advising a renewable energy developer in connection with planning applications, section 106 agreements, planning appeals and applications for costs.

Key Contact

Richard Voke


[javascript protected email address]
+44 (0)117 321 8098

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