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Nicholas Taggart

Nicholas Taggart


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Environmental Law

Nic’s environmental practice is an adjunct of his real property practice. He has been involved in an advisory capacity in a number of transactions involving contaminated land. He has been involved in some more unusual matters, including a claim to restrain the breeding of harriers adjacent to a grouse moor. He has also been involved in more commonplace matters, both contentious and non-contentious, involving the following:

  • liability for soil erosion and erosion to river banks;
  • nuisance (including noise nuisance, escape of toxic gases, subsidence and undermining);
  • Rylands v Fletcher cases, including escape of hazardous waste;
  • disruption to and by underground oil and gas pipes;
  • sewers and drains;
  • the rights and liabilities of owners of coastal property in respect of coastal protection and sea defences.

Cases include:

  • Owen v. Secretary of State for Transport (Nº.3) [1997] RVR 162 (CA). The Court of Appeal confirmed that the construction of a bypass authorised, by statutory powers was not capable of creating nuisance within the meaning of the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher. The claimants had no right of redress in tort, and only under the law of compulsory purchase.

  • Department of Transport v. Williams (1994) 138 SJLB 5; Times, December 7, 1993 (CA) - trespass and tort. The Department of Transport obtained an injunction to restrain protestors from interfering with the construction of a highway, the M3 at Twyford Down. The injunction was based on trespass in part, but also to restrain the tort of wrongful interference with the discharge of a lawful statutory duty. The Court of Appeal supported the Judge’s conclusion that the tort of wrongful interference with trade extended to bodies discharging statutory functions and upheld the practice of granting injunctions against persons identifiable only by photographs and code-names.

Nic was also involved in several arbitrations arising from the explosion at the Buncefield Oil Terminal and in a number of related arbitrations arising out oif sale and purchase contracts concerning remediation of land previously used for service stations.