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Integrated Technical and Legal Services

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JusticeOver recent years, substantial changes in UK legislation governing radioactive substances, environmental permitting and nuclear liabilities have coincided with changes in Government policy and strategy regarding the decommissioning of nuclear facilities, management of radioactive wastes and plans for the construction of new nuclear power stations. These have thrown up new challenges for both regulators and those they regulate, often requiring the clarification and challenge of legal requirements. Differing policies and the divergence of regulatory regimes between the UK Government and devolved administrations have added further complexity.

Clients seeking to exploit new business opportunities resulting from the recent policy and regulatory changes must navigate uncharted waters to overcome both technical and legal challenges. Traditionally, this has required the client to appoint independent advisers for technical and legal advice. However, in our experience, there is frequently a disconnect between the advice received, because each adviser sees the issue only from their professional perspective. As a result, many clients fail to get the optimum level of service.

To overcome this problem, AdvanSci has an arrangement to work in collaboration with Symmetry Law, a specialist environmental legal practice, allowing clients to benefit from joined‑up technical, legal and commercial advice. The Principals of our firms have worked together on environmental projects over the last 18 years, and the collaboration is born from our shared commitment to deliver best value for our clients.

Symmetry Law

Symmetry Law is a law firm providing market-leading experts who focus on solutions to complex environmental and regulatory problems, from a legal perspective.

Symmetry Law advises national and international blue‑chip clients often in the 'high consequence' band of the chemicals, heavy industrial, energy and waste sectors. Services provided cover the development, operation, closure and legacy management phases of such operations.

The firm's experts have worked on many of the most heavily impacted sites in the UK, and have assisted clients to find workable solutions to managing their legal obligations and liabilities within the constraints imposed by their business structures, and regulatory requirements. International experience includes remediation projects in Western Europe, North and South America, and Mongolia, and due diligence worldwide.

Waste sector experience covers the spectrum from radioactive material and high temperature incineration (including clinical, hazardous, municipal, cattle cremation), to greenwaste composting, and all points between. Experience in landfill is broad, and includes site redesignation, Landfill Directive compliance, neighbour complaints on noise, odour and other emissions, hazardous landfill permit applications and appeals, and the planned closure of a radioactive/hazardous waste landfill.

Process industries, energy and manufacturing. Symmetry Law's experts have advised owners and operators of chemical and petrochemical plant, CCGT, coal‑fired and CHP power stations, developers and operators of underground gas storage facilities, manufacturers of iron and steel, cement, float glass, carbon fibre and chipboard.

Regulatory disputes and litigation. Symmetry Law manages regulator investigations for clients, and advises on disclosure tactics, PACE interviews, defence and mitigation strategies. They may challenge regulator decisions by way of permit appeals or judicial review, and assist clients with the management of and response to 'neighbour issues' and resulting claims.

Water pollution is a particular strength. Symmetry Law's experts have worked on a number of significant river pollution incidents over the last 20 years.

Environmental indemnity and warranty claims. Examples include:

  • recovery of the significant cost of works on a leaking landfill, and also for management and treatment of radioactively contaminated buildings and equipment (neither of which was fully disclosed in a transaction), and
  • negligence claims for poor advice and workmanship on environmental projects.

Contact Us

For further information on the benefits to be gained from integrated technical and legal services, and the expertise of both companies, please call  Trevor Jones of AdvanSci on +44 161 713 2436 or Paul Bratt of Symmetry Law on +44 1524 251 613. Alternatively, please use our contact form.

AdvanSci/Symmetry Law

The AdvanSci/Symmetry Law team comprises experts from complementary fields, including specialist lawyers, technical consultants and former senior regulators – and provides an unrivalled spectrum of experience to the client.

Paul BrattPaul Bratt (Director of Symmetry Law) is a specialist environmental lawyer with 20 years' UK and international experience. He was formerly a Partner and Environment Team Leader at an international law firm, and has strong links with the chemicals, waste and energy sectors. He has extensive experience in the fields of environmental permitting and transaction support, regulatory interactions and investigations, disputes, appeals and judicial review of permit conditions, and environmental litigation and defence following major environmental incidents and infractions, such as the Buncefield disaster.

Trevor JonesTrevor Jones (Managing Director of AdvanSci) has over 30 years’ experience in the assessment and management of environmental liabilities at a wide range of sites including nuclear, chemical, engineering and transportation facilities, power stations and landfills. He has provided technical and strategic advice to the owners, investors, insurers, purchasers and developers of numerous facilities and property portfolios with significant environmental aspects and impacts, including some of the most highly contaminated sites in the world. He has particular expertise in the management and disposal of radioactive and hazardous wastes from both the nuclear and non-nuclear sectors.

Roger ClaysonRoger Clayson was Head of Property Law at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority from 2006-10, and Interim Head of Legal from 2007-9. He advised on the commercial and legal aspects of:

  • Sellafield and Dounreay PBO competitions
  • acquisition of UK Nirex and subsequent work of RWMD
  • acquisition of BNFL Properties
  • planning permission for LLWR Vault 9
  • restructuring of UKAEA
  • sale of surplus land for nuclear new build
  • disposal of Springfields business to Westinghouse
  • disposal of NDA’s Capenhurst business to Urenco.

This involved liaison with prospective Parent Body Organisations, Site Licence Companies, nuclear supply chain companies, Government, Regulators and other stakeholders. He was honoured by the Law Society as Solicitor of the Year – In House in 2009.

Roger now specialises in providing commercial, contracts and procurement advice and training to companies in the nuclear and renewable energy industries, and to those seeking to enter these markets.

Victoria Joy Victoria Joy was formerly a Director in the Environment Team at an international law firm, where she provided a valuable interface between lawyers and environmental specialists for over 18 years. A Chartered Mechanical Engineer with a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Rehabilitation, she has particular experience in the identification and minimisation of environmental liabilities in corporate, banking and property transactions, and in ensuring that clients maintain compliance with evolving environmental legislation. Her areas of expertise include pollution control, contaminated land, environmental permits, water and waste law.

Rachel Wilkinson Rachel Wilkinson was a corporate commercial lawyer at an international law firm before spending 15 years as UK Counsel for a global pharmaceutical and speciality chemicals corporation. She advises on a broad range of commercial negotiations and agreements, strategic planning for major acquisitions and disposals including due diligence, project management of site closures, preparatory work for disposals and integration of acquisitions.

Tony DeanTony Dean has combined a career as a highly experienced regulator with a successful business background as Managing Director of companies in the hazardous waste and land reclamation sectors (£0.5-£1 billion turnover). He was formerly Regional Director for Environment Agency Midlands and North West regions, and had national responsibility within the EA for nuclear issues. He now specialises in advising clients on waste management and pollution prevention.

Stephen Tromans QCStephen Tromans QC is widely regarded by his peers and clients as one of the leading barristers in the fields of environmental, planning and energy law. He has had an interest in nuclear matters for over 20 years, and is author of the leading reference book 'Nuclear Law' (now in its 2nd edition). He has acted and advised on numerous issues in the field of nuclear law, both for Government and commercial parties, and has appeared in the European Court on cases involving EC radiological protection law.