Julie specialises in environmental compliance and investigations.  She provides legal advice and representation to companies and directors facing investigation or prosecution by the Environment Agency and other environmental Regulators.  

In addition to contentious work, Julie provides bespoke advice to companies on a wide range of regulatory regimes including environmental permitting, waste regulation including the trans-frontier shipment of waste, statutory nuisance, water pollution, producer responsibility, contaminated land and Proceeds of Crime applications arising out of such proceedings.  She also provides support to colleagues within the firm on environmental risks and liabilities in corporate and property transactions. 

  • Advising numerous waste operators and Directors in relation to investigations by Regulators (Environment Agency/NRW, SEPA/ Local Authority) for alleged breaches of environmental permits.   In numerous cases we have been able to avoid prosecution by providing a written submission to the Regulator, or where appropriate, offering to enter an Enforcement Undertaking.
  • Providing bespoke compliance advice to large corporate clients including advice to a Plc in relation to the trans-frontier shipment of waste obligations post Brexit.
  • Advising a Plc in relation to complex permitting obligations for recycling of the company's product packaging, including guidance on steps required to secure compliance with the end of waste criteria under the Waste Framework Directive.
  • Representing numerous Companies and Directors in Environment Agency prosecutions, including applications under the Proceeds of Crime Act.  In one case the Environment Agency sought a confiscation order of over £400,000 against a company Director, but detailed analysis of the true financial benefit in the case led to the Court making an order for just £16,000.  
  • Successfully appealing Enforcement Notices and partial suspension of an environmental permit issued by the Environment Agency against a waste management company.  The Notices were withdrawn following our submission of the company's statement of case.
  • Advising several clients in relation to noise, odour and dust complaints and Local Authority and Environment Agency investigations, including challenging abatement notices. 
  • Representing a prestigious London bakery in proceedings by a Local Authority under the Clean Air Act. The proceedings were dismissed on the grounds these were an "abuse of process" due to previous promises by the Local Authority not to prosecute.  The Local Authority was ordered to pay over £40,000 in legal costs as the Judge considered it to have acted unreasonably throughout the proceedings.  
  • Representing various manufacturing companies in relation to water pollution or other environmental permitting offences arising out of their activities.
  • Advising numerous manufacturing and retail companies who have unknowingly breached the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 and, where appropriate, securing an Enforcement Undertaking following negotiation with the Environment Agency, thereby avoiding prosecution.
  • Representing a chemical company and director in a joint investigation by the Environment Agency and Health and Safety Executive following a chemical explosion at the company's premises.  The incident resulted in injury to an employee and a discharge of chemicals to a local watercourse.  Following detailed analysis of the evidence a formal response was submitted, following which proceedings against the Director were withdrawn and the EA agreed a reduced number of charges for the company.  
  • Assessing and managing environmental risk for a variety of clients during the acquisition of manufacturing and other businesses.  Where a breach of environmental legislation is discovered during due diligence, preparing and negotiating Offers of Enforcement Undertaking where this available in lieu of prosecution.
  • Advising a construction company in relation to an investigation for illegal water abstraction and breaches of the Water Industry Act 1991. 

Julie's broad environmental practice covers both regulatory compliance issues as well as contentious matters. She utilises her prior experience as a senior prosecutor for the Environment Agency to defend clients against prosecution and assist with appeals.

Chambers 2020