Legal Defence and Mitigation
Although the Environment Agency, Water Companies and Local Authorities have all signed up to the Government’s new ‘Better Regulation’ which now requires them to regulate more reasonably at Peak we are on hand to help in cases where this theory isn’t working out in practice.
Even when some environmental damage or harm has already occurred and the regulators are considering prosecution there are steps a responsible organisation should take. Our track record shows that in cases we get involved in over two thirds of cases are settled and dealt with without a case being taken to Court. Environmental Regulators can withhold prosecution if there is no long term damage and the company responsible makes every effort to ensure that future incidents are prevented.
At Peak we aim to set up a dialogue with the regulators and independently assess the harm done to the environment. Crucially we’ll also look at the regulator’s chain of evidence and even the lawfulness of how evidence has been obtained to see if the regulator has a watertight case. We will then work with a specialist solicitor to either prepare an expert defence, or statement on your behalf for submission to the regulatory authorities.
This service can be vital in avoiding the escalating legal costs and court fines/ custodial sentences associated with typical environmental cases, which can be as high as; Unlimited Fines and/ or up to 5 years imprisonment for prosecutions brought under indictment (Crown Court) and £50,000 maximum fines and/ or up to 6 months imprisonment if summarily prosecuted in a Magistrates Court.
Peak Associates are one of a few UK consultancies to have helped defend clients and secured not guilty verdicts for prosecutions brought by the Environment Agency and Water Companies. It is also not uncommon for proceedings to be dropped after cautions or summonses have been issued (see case study sections).
- A team of experts well versed in dealing with legal cases for over 25 years.
- Robust and scientific quantification of environmental harm
- Set up of dialogue with the Regulatory Inspectors
- Work with your legal team or provide access to solicitors
- Prepare expert defence or mitigation statements
- Advice on site improvements needed to prevent a recurrence