Michelle heads our Environment & Sustainability team. They provide specialist advice on the environmental aspects of national and international, real estate, corporate and finance transactions. They also advise on regulatory regimes including contaminated land and environmental permitting as well as producer responsibility, waste, and climate change issues. The team act for a range of clients including those in the retail & consumer, manufacturing, waste, real estate and energy sectors.


Here are some examples of matters Michelle has supported clients on:

  • Representing a chemicals manufacturer during an Environment Agency investigation for breaches of its environmental permit for the site's CHP plant which resulted in contamination of groundwater and the local watercourse. The CHP plant was being operated by a third party contractor.
  • Representing a PLC during an Environment Agency investigation into contamination of a watercourse – attending a number of site meetings with the Environment Agency and successfully negotiating a reduction in the Agency's classification of the incident as well as acceptance of an Enforcement Undertaking in lieu of a prosecution.
  • Representing a client during Environment Agency investigations and enforcement action relation to the alleged mis-classification and disposal of significant volumes of hazardous waste and on the potential claim relating to landfill tax avoidance.
  • Advising a client during an Environment Agency national investigation which became the subject of a COBRA meeting due to the impact on the security of national services.
  • Representing a food manufacturer during investigations by the Environment Agency and a statutory water body in relation to alleged effluent discharge offences and groundwater contamination. Also providing significant site-based support to the client along with development and implementation of an internal investigation over a 12 month period. Preparation and negotiation of subsequent civil sanction (Enforcement Undertaking) in lieu of a prosecution.
  • Advising a client making a voluntary disclosure to an environmental regulator following the discovery of unauthorised environmental practices by an employee.
  • Representing a waste treatment company during an Environment Agency prosecution for breaches of the waste duty of care and environmental permitting offences. This is also lead to the prosecution of one of the company directors which was successfully challenged and charges dropped.
  • Advising several clients in relation to noise, odour and dust complaints and local authority and Environment Agency investigations, including challenging abatement notices.
  • Advising a number of retailers and manufacturers on producer responsibility issues including packaging, WEEE, REACH and Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP).
  • Advising clients on preparations for the impact of Brexit on their chemicals supply chains. 
  • Advising a food manufacturer in respect of its first environmental permit after becoming subject to regulation following implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive including strategic advice to the board of directors.
  • Assessing and managing environmental risk for a client during its acquisition of a food and drink business.
  • Advising a client during a water company investigation following alleged breaches of the Water Industry Act 1991 after contamination entered the sewerage system following failures of the chemical treatment system on the client's site. 
  • Advising several real estate clients, including Threadneedle Investments, British land, Aberdeen Standard and Bruntwood on environmental liabilities and risk during acquisitions, divestments and leasehold arrangements including drafting and negotiation of environment provisions in the contractual documents
  • Advising British Sugar PLC on its environmental strategy relating to the redevelopment of the former York sugar refinery site for residential use, particularly in relation to classification and treatment of waste.
  • A waste solutions client: representing our client during Environment Agency allegation of waste mis-description following service of enforcement notices in respect of huge volumes of waste our client was dealing with at its customer's site, the implications of which could have included increased landfill tax.
  • A major utilities company on permitting requirements and operator control for an EfW plant.
  • Advising several retailers on legal obligations on the sale of waste for recycling and re-use, including on the rWFD and waste hierarchy.
  • Advising an Omani client on its hazardous and radioactive waste treatment facilities and obligations in relation to activities on its customer's sites
  • State of Qatar on its NDC's under the Paris Agreement
  • Advising a shareholder in a contractor consortium on the nuclear liability regime in Turkey
  • Advising SSE on all environmental aspects of its recent sale of 50% share in the Slough Heat and Power Project to CIP
  • Advising a client on the feedstock agreement and allocation of contractor responsibilities under an O&M agreement for a new EfW facility.
  • Advising on the environmental permits, consents and liabilities associated with a number of offshore wind farms including the Beatrice Offshore Wind farm, off the Caithness coast in Scotland and, separately, those associated with Dudgeon offshore wind farm and Burbo Bank offshore wind farm.
  • Advising a regulated nuclear-sector client on site-decommissioning and potential residual liabilities in relation to multi party occupied areas of its site.
  • Advising a PLC on reporting to investors on sustainability and climate change-related data.
  • Advising a client on the feedstock agreement and allocation of contractor responsibilities under an O&M agreement for a new EfW facility.
  • Newcastle-upon-Tyne – BSc in Geography
  • Central Lancashire – CPE
  • Northumbria - LPC
Professional Memberships
  • Member of UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA)
  • Chartered Institute of Waste Management

"She has a really good commercial balance.  You could get lost in environmental law but she is very clear and has a very strong understanding of the area"

"Very thorough, extremley hard-working and you know what she will get a job done"

"Michelle is really personable, gets into the detail and provides a practical solution"