Hugh James has built up a team of environmental law experts and has had unrivalled success in applying the law to protect the environment.
Our specialist team of leading environmental solicitors have successfully conducted environmental nuisance claims for whole communities affected by various forms of nuisance. We have particular expertise in environmental nuisance claims caused by landfill sites, sewage treatment works and factories. We are also specialist solicitors in claims pursued under the Land Compensation Act relating to new or altered highways, airports and other public work. We have sought judicial reviews of government and local authority decisions which threaten to adversely affect people’s homes and properties.
Additionally, we are specialists in dealing with health impacts of environmental hazards, such as illness or injury caused by exposure to pollution, high magnetic fields or food contamination.
Hugh James environmental law solicitors deal with most cases on conditional fee agreements (‘no win no fee’).
We have been able to help numerous clients by securing agreements to protect against environmental damage and by winning compensation for damage already caused by whatever means.
We have conducted cases in relation to some of the biggest landfill sites in the UK where noise, flies and smells have made peoples lives a misery. We have handled cases in relation to nuisance caused by smelly sewage treatment works, dusty and noisy factories and intensive agriculture and nuisance caused by the legacy of former waste and industrial sites.
We are able to provide specialist advice on land compensation claims relating to new or altered highways, airports and other public works under the Land Compensation Act 1973. We have sought judicial review of government and local authority decisions which threaten to adversely affect people’s homes and properties. We are also at the forefront of battling for claimants legal rights in relation to Human Rights and its application to the environment.
Gwen Evans specialises in acting for claimants in group actions relating to environmental pollution. She recently represented a community in a nuisance claim due to dust fallout from a steel plant. One market source said: ‘She gets through a lot of detail very quickly and is unflappable.’
The “unstoppable” Neil Stockdale is head of the environment team at the firm. He maintains his position as a market leader on group actions for claimants affected by pollution and blight including odour or noise. Interviewees say he is ‘highly experienced,’ ‘very focused’ and ‘very approachable.’ ”
Chambers UK 2015
Gwen Evans is recommended by sources for her expertise in environmental group actions. In Barr v Biffa, she acted for the claimants in a case that had the potential to redefine the law in the area of common law nuisance. Sources praise her “tactical, nuanced” approach to litigation, with one stating: “She seems to be able to anticipate problems before they arise.”
Neil Stockdale is recognised for his deep knowledge of nuisance group actions; one market source said: “He is a solicitor that I would recommend without hesitation to anyone with one of these claims.” Another interviewee said: “His experience shines through when he is talking about nuisance cases.”
Clients say: “Hugh James did an excellent job of explaining it and putting residents at ease.” In terms of market standing: “They are unparalleled in their field; they are widely known, feared, respected – you name it.”
Chambers UK 2014
This “very experienced” team is up in the rankings this year for winning rave reviews from clients who enthuse at length about the quality of the lawyers and their work. Commentators are delighted with the performance of a team they describe as “methodological, patient and persistent, with good organisational skills in complex cases.” It also receives plaudits for its “superb client care procedures and trial preparation.” Gwen Evans is noted for being “very knowledgeable on nuisance actions and group litigation matters.” Neil Stockdale “hands-on experience of similar cases, his willingness to inform and consult as issues arise and his ability to quickly draw out the salient points” are pinpointed as key strengths.
Chambers UK 2013
“The team is known for Strong reputation for its work on group action claims relating to environmental pollution. Regularly acts for claimants on nuisance issues relating to a diverse range of environmental issues.
Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
’We couldn’t fault them; they were really on the ball. It’s a difficult area and they handled it well.’
‘They are very professional. They do good work for their clients and communicate well with them, sometimes dealing with 50 to 100 claimants or more. They are good at keeping all those claimants happy.’
Work highlights Successfully acted for a group of claimants on a £1 million odour nuisance case brought against a waste water treatment works. Acted for claimants on a Part 1 Land Compensation Act claim regarding nuisances suffered due to work carried out on Alderley Edge Bypass.
I would just like to thank your company for the efficient way you have handled this matter / you have kept me regularly informed by the way of letters explaining all procedures and possible outcomes in relation to the investigation.
I have to admit that I was very sceptical at first, as it did not seem possible that I would not be considerably out of pocket should we have lost the case at court. However you were able to put my mind at rest. With the success of the claim, I feel this has completely justified our efforts in complaining to the defendant and recording the times etc of the worst incidents. The smell really was nasty at times, which most importantly has now ceased.
Hopefully the defendant will think again before allowing these sites to be used within such a close proximity of a residential area. Once again, many, many thanks for all your efforts.”
Mr Tarvin (Hampshire)
“.. What you have achieved for us is worth more than cash alone. We have been let down by the regulators time and again and Hugh James is the only organisation which has achieved anything for us long suffering residents. I want to thank you for what you have achieved.”
Mr B – South Yorkshire
“I wanted to thank you and your team for the way in which you have handled the case. Right from the earliest meetings and the regular updates things were laid out clearly and emotive issues handled with sensitivity. It’s also clear that you were successful in the negotiations delivering a result that would not have been possible without you. Thanks again for all your work.”
Manchester Airport Claimant.
“Hugh James Solicitors recently successfully represented local residents in a difficult and major claim against a landfill operator. Throughout the case we were extremely impressed by the way in which the case was presented and handled. The solicitor acting on our behalf fully explained our position, opportunities and strategies, at all times displaying professionalism of the highest order. The pleasant, courteous and patient manner in which everything was fully and effectively explained contributed greatly to success in winning the difficult and complicated case”
“I and 130 of my neighbours have had cause to engage ‘Hugh James Solicitors’ to deal with a current problem that is ongoing at the moment and have found their professionalism and assistance in all matters so far to be of a very high standard. They seem to be tenacious, approachable and responsive to any concerns I have had throughout and for such a service I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone whom may find that they have to embark on a similar path”
‘The reason I joined and contributed to this group claim, was to bring an improvement to my own, and neighbours environmental living conditions. This has largely been met. Without your involvement, Cannock Council would not have felt it necessary to become involved and we would still be in the same position as we have been for the past forty years. For this I thank you and Hugh James. Our whole community will reap the benefit of this for years to come.’
Mr Woodman (Norton Aluminium Group Litigation)
‘So far, I have found Hugh James to be very open and honest in their dealings. They are very good at keeping us informed of what is happening, and they always ask before carrying out any actions on our behalf. Based on my experience so far, I would have no hesitation in recommending them to help in any action you are considering or pursuing.’