Environmental Litigation

Terms of Reference

The Environmental Litigation Working Party seeks to review, influence and inform UKELA members on matters connected with environmental litigation. This includes:

  • regulatory reform, including enforcement, civil sanctions and sentencing;
  • access to justice, including judicial review reform and the rules for costs in environmental cases;
  • improving the machinery of environmental litigation, for example by consolidating more cases within the new First-tier Tribunal (Environment).

The Working Party has a wide membership, including solicitors, barristers, consultants and regulators. We meet three to four times per year. Meetings are generally held in London, but we aim to provide dial-in facilities for those who wish to participate by phone. We exchange information in-between meetings via email.

The Working Party is open to any UKELA member with an interest in the area. Contact the convenors if you would like to join the group.


The Litigation Working Party sends out a regular email bulletin detailing recent developments in environmental litigation. To receive this email, please contact the convenors: litigationwp@ukela.org


Recent Events and Activities

On 29 August 2020, Working Party Co-Convenor Jill Crawford was delighted to be invited to speak on behalf of UKELA to Bengalaru Central University in India as part of a panel discussing the role of legislation in environmental protection. We look forward to working collaboratively with the Bengalaru Central university in the future in relation to environmental law  

On Friday 26 June 2020, the Litigation WP held a conference event titled, Rewilding: law and litigation at the intersection of land and people. We were delighted to welcome Paul Lister, Custodian of Alladale Wilderness Reserve and Founder of the European Nature Trust to talk to us about his work to reintroduce wolves to his Scottish Estate and Rebecca Wrigley, CEO of Rewilding Britain to speak to us about the challenges Rewilding projects face. Members can watch the seminar here.

On 27 May 2020 we hosted a Zoom seminar, titled Covid-19: Illegal Wildlife Trade, Habitat Loss and International Environmental Law. We welcomed Professor Nicolas de Sadeleer, Professor of Environmental Law at Saint-Louis University (Brussels), and Legal Advisor to Client Earth, Stephen Tromans QC, 39 Essex Chambers and Tim Scott, Senior Policy Advisor, Environment, Nature, Climate, Energy, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as our speakers. Members can watch the seminar here

On 6th November 2019, Squire Patton Boggs hosted the WP for a seminar, 'Climate Change Litigation and the Right to Protest', where we had 4 speakers. Anna Dews (Leigh Day), Zion Lights (Extinction Rebellion), Stephen Hockman QC (Six Pump Court) and WP Co-Convenor Peter Cruickshank all gave presentations.

On 7th May 2019, the WP was hosted by CMS for an “International Wildlife Crime” seminar, chaired by Richard Kimblin QC of No.5 Chambers. Speakers included Mary Rice, Chief Executive Officer of the Environmental Investigation Agency, Guy Shorrock, Head of Investigations at the RSPB, Ivan Lopez, chief Galapagos Guide, and Angus Innes, Prosecutor with the Environment Agency.


Consultation Responses

>IRAL JR review, October 2020 

>Enforcement and Sanctions Policy: response to the Environment Agency's consultation, January 2018
>Reduction in Sentence for a Guilty Plea Guideline: response to Sentencing Council consultation, 5 May 2016

Joint Convenors


Jill Crawford

Jill is an Associate Solicitor at BLM. She works in their Regulatory Team based in Birmingham, specialising in Environmental Regulation. Jill worked for a number of years at the Environment Agency as a prosecutor and advisory solicitor before returning to private practice.
0121 643 8777
Email Jill Crawford

Peter Cruickshank

Peter is a barrister at 39 Park Square in Leeds, pursuing mixed criminal and civil work.  He spent 3 years with the United Nations Environment Programme, where he had roles with CITES (the Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species), and the Vienna Convention for the protection of the Ozone Layer. Peter was also the project manager for The Brief, the legal news platform at The Times newspaper.

Email Peter Cruickshank

Oliver Spencer

Oliver is an associate solicitor at BDB Pitmans LLP.  Oliver advises infrastructure promoters on obtaining consent for major infrastructure projects. He regularly advises clients on environmental issues arising in the context of such projects. He is currently advising the promoter of only the second development consent order application to seek development consent under the Planning Act 2008 on the basis of the IROPI derogation under the Habitats Directive.
Email Oliver Spencer

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For general information on environmental issues, visit our sister site Law and Your environment