Stuart heads our regulatory and environment team, and has 18 years’ experience advising industrial, commercial and public sector clients on all aspects of environmental, health and safety (“EHS”) and related regulatory law, providing: strategic and operational advice; regulatory enforcement representation; and advising on EHS issues in the context of transactions and projects.
His strategic and operational regulatory support includes advising on environmental permitting issues, site investigation and remediation, water pollution/abstraction, climate change, waste management and health and safety management. He is experienced in representing clients in dialogue with regulatory authorities and government agencies.
This is underpinned by extensive experience of representing clients in enforcement proceedings, including advising on investigations by various regulators (amongst others the Environment Agency, Health & Safety Executive, local authorities, Civil Aviation Authority and Fire Authority), support at witness and suspect interviews and handling cases in the Courts. He provides crisis management support in relation to EHS incidents.
Stuart also routinely advises on EHS aspects of corporate, property and commercial transactions and major projects, co-ordinating due diligence, advising on liability risk and management, negotiating sale terms, developing post-completion action plans and procuring environmental insurance. He works with multi-disciplinary teams of clients, consultants, engineers and contractors.
Examples of experience include advising:
- Providing full environmental support in relation to the closure, decommissioning and demolition of a chromium manufacturing facility and related infrastructure. Work has included complex land contamination issues; permitting and planning issues relating to remediation and restoration of parts of the site; radioactivity, waste management and water resource considerations
- As environmental counsel to an automotive manufacturer, acting in relation to an internal investigation into waste management failings, coordinating the investigation into the issues and the strategic response including developing a Waste Action Plan to coordinate the efforts of the executive team, site management, environmental engineering, facilities management and external consultants. The resulting enhancement programme is now being adopted by the business on a Europe-wide basis
- Global automotive producer, developing an EU-wide health, safety and environmental legal guide for the manufacturing, take-back, recycling and recovery of lithium-ion batteries for their electric vehicle project, coordinating input across multiple jurisdictions
- A manufacturer in relation to the purchase of an adjoining chemical plant for redevelopment to facilitate expansion, involving complex site investigations and negotiation of contractual terms requiring the seller to implement an agreed remedial strategy through to validation and practical completion
- A private equity fund of a US bank on the acquisition of a wound care business, providing full environment and safety legal support, including assisting with due diligence, the transfer of all relevant environmental permits and authorisations and the allocation of environmental liabilities.
"Head of department Stuart Wardlaw is an outstanding presence in the environment sector. He is experienced in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious issues, including crisis management and enforcement undertakings. He receives excellent praise from market sources, who describe him as ‘an independent thinker’, adding that ‘he's one of the best environment lawyers in the regions and has built up a very successful practice’."
“The ‘astute' Stuart Wardlaw, a key name in the Newcastle office, is valued for his ‘creative insight' and is experienced in providing regulatory compliance support to industrial clients and in representing clients in environmental enforcement proceedings”.