Areas of Practice
William has experience of all aspects of environmental law, from water, waste, air quality and industrial emissions, environmental protection, environmental permitting, chemicals regulation, litigation, legislative drafting, primary legislation and Statutory Instruments. As well as working on UK and EU environmental laws, William spent a year in the USA as a Harkness Fellow, visiting 25 States and researching and writing a book on “Making Environmental Laws Work – Law and Policy in the UK and USA”. He was listed in Whos Who Legal International for Environment in 2016.
energy law & regulation
William has in-depth expertise in nuclear law, and direct experience of advising on some aspect of most of the nuclear sites in the UK and drafting and advising on EURATOM issues and Statutory Instruments. He has advised a wide range of companies and bodies responsible for nuclear operators, new build, decommissioning and nuclear waste disposal, defence, environmental protection, government and European regulation. He has taught nuclear law at Masters level on the LLM course at De Montfort University Leicester, contributed to two books on the topic, and has led drafting projects for new nuclear laws in the Far East and Middle East.
William has wide experience of the whole process of legislative drafting projects, from developing political instructions through drafting laws to taking them through Parliament or developing them through international negotiations. He undertakes legislative drafting and regulatory review projects on environmental and energy law internationally.
Environment Act 1995
William was the Legal Manager for this Act, which set up the Environment Agency for England and Wales and overhauled the whole environmental statute book.
Water Industry Act 1999
UK revision of legislation.
EU Water Framework Directive 2000
Part of the UK presidency team undertaking the negotiation and drafting of the principle EU water legislation.
Water Act 2003
Legal manager of publication draft of more significant water law reform.
Statutory Instruments and Regulations
Drafted numerous Regulations and Statutory Instruments covering air quality, water, radioactive substances, implementing the EU Landfill Regulation, waste, environmental protection.
EU REACH chemicals Regulation 2006
Drafting amendments, advising clients on negotiations for 2.5 years.
2011 – 2013 Legal and Regulatory Reform Project, a new nuclear country, Far East
Lead draftsman on contribution to revision of nuclear law for a new nuclear country, Far East. Also drafted implementing Regulations.
2012-2014 Nuclear Law and Nuclear Liability Law, Middle East
Lead draftsman on project to produce a new Nuclear law and Nuclear Liability Law for a country in the Middle East, including policy workshops with government stakeholder and working with local counsel.
2016 - present Drafting Instructions for a new Offshore Renewable Energy Law for a Crown Dependency
William has specialist expertise in REACH and other chemicals Regulations, through 2.5 years intensive participation with the metals, mining and aerospace industries in the negotiations that led to the EU REACH Regulation and advice on this area for over 10 years. He has worked for governments and multinational companies on chemicals regulation, and recently advised on a successful reference to the ECHA Board of Appeal. He is on the Hazmat and Environment Committees of the A/D/S aerospace, defence and space trade association.
William has leading expertise in applying and interpreting water legislation. He was the Legal Manager of key water laws and played a major part in negotiation of the EU Water Framework Directive, as well as advising Ministers and the Water Supply and Regulation and Water Quality divisions and Drinking Water Inspectorate in government. In private practice he has advised UK water companies, and has undertaken work on Water 2020 for the water industry regulator Ofwat. He is currently Consulting Editor for Halsburys Laws Water and Waterways volumes, which are due to be re-published in 2018.
William has worked on detailed UK, EU and international air quality legislation, including Part IV of the Environment Act 1995, the London Mayor’s powers on air quality and implementing regulations for the Air Framework and First, Second, Third and Fourth EU Air Quality daughter Directives. He has advised on the detailed application of the EU Industrial Emissions Directive, has spoken at several major conferences on air quality regulation, and recently convened a workshop for transport companies and local authorities on Clean Air Zones.
Brexit will have a major impact on all aspects of environmental and energy law, with a massive volume of primary and secondary legislation of critical importance expected in the next few years.
This will include :
European Union (Withdrawal) Bill
Nuclear Safeguards Bill
Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill
Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill
Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill (announced 13 November 2017)
1000+ Statutory Instruments
Revisions to International Treaties & Conventions, and Trade Agreements
Revisions to UK relationship with key EU institutions or establishment of new UK institutions
Devolution legislation in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland
New initiatives, e.g. Michael Gove announcement of legislation to replace EU enforcement of legislation
The impacts of this will vary greatly between industry sectors. For example the nuclear industry will be concerned about the replacement of Euratom Treaty safeguards with national arrangements, the chemicals industry will be heavily affected by UK arrangements to replace the EU REACH chemicals Regulation and the relationship with the European Chemicals Agency, other industries with lengthy international supply chains such as aerospace and automotive companies have real concerns about customs arrangements for imports of parts, and many industries are concerned about access to skilled workers under immigration controls.
William can help clients assess and navigate through the key impacts of legislation on their operations, identifying and analysing the points that matter most to them and helping to ensure that they are as well prepared as possible. He is working on preparing Brexit Legislation Briefings to present for clients in-house.
working with others
While many projects only require one person, we have the experience and networks to be able to provide much larger teams of individuals with relevant specialist skills in these areas wherever clients and projects demand it. We recently submitted a proposal with a team of 16 specialist lawyers and a project manager.
We work closely with specialists in International Environmental Law on particular projects, and for international work always look to collaborate closely and effectively with local experts.
Review details of our associates here