Energy

Landmark’s award-winning planning and environment practice has a strong focus on the energy sector, in which a number of our members are ranked by the latest edition of the Legal 500 as sector leaders. Our members have worked on most if not all of the highest profile energy projects that have gone through the planning process in recent years, including (to name but a few recent examples):

  • Hinkley Point;
  • the North-South Ireland Interconnector;
  • the Navitus Bay windfarm; Keuper gas storage project; Preesall gas storage project;
  • Energy From Waste Plants at Ardley, Runcorn, Kings Lynn and Avonmouth;
  • Swindon Solar Farm;
  • Lancashire, Sussex, and North Yorkshire fracking projects;
  • the Ffos-y-Fran land reclamation project, which includes one of Europe’s largest open cast coal mines.

As these examples indicate, our practice covers the full range of the energy field, including renewables, nuclear power, energy from waste; shale gas fracking; offshore oil & gas; electricity infrastructure; and ​electricity infrastructure. Increasingly this involves DCO work under the Planning Act 2008, but we also have experience of guiding such projects through the conventional planning regime, or Electricity Act regime, where applicable (including in Northern Ireland).

In addition to our market-leading reputation for guiding energy projects through the planning / development consent process, our expertise in the energy sector extends much further and includes: rating of electricity infrastructure; compulsory powers of access and acquisition (and associated competition issued); regulatory and public law matters; domestic and international environmental law; public procurement; international trade & investment (including the Energy Charter Treaty); EU international sanctions relating to the energy sector; contracts & commercial dispute resolution. Much of this work has an international dimension.  Examples include:

  • Rating of power station plant and machinery in Hong Kong (CLP Power Hong Kong Ltd v. Commissioner of Rating and Valuation)
  • Electricity wayleave compensation claims
  • Substantial commercial/regulatory judicial review claims regarding changes to the rules relating to the energy capacity markets: R (Eider Reserve Power Ltd) v. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy & R (Peak Top Gen Co. Ltd) v. Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (2018, ongoing)
  • The high profile public procurement challenge to the award of the £1bn Merseyside energy from waste contract:  Covanta v. Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (2013) 151 Con. L.R. 146
  • Case T-715/14 NK Rosneft a.o. & others v. European Council and Joined Cases T-735/14 & T-799/14 Gazprom Neft v. Council in which the Russian energy companies Rosneft and Gazprom seek the annulment of EU sanctions targeted at the Russian oil sector in the light of Russia’s actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine (Council Decision 2014/659/CFSP as amended and  Council Regulation (EU) 833/2014 as amended).
  • Advising the UK Government on the EU and international investment law implications of Brexit for the All-Ireland Single Electricity Market.
  • A multi-jurisdiction, multi-dimensional commercial dispute (including litigation in the British Virgin Islands & Hong Kong, as well as an international arbitration) concerning alleged breaches of warranty and misrepresentation in the context of co-operation agreements entered into with China National Petroleum Company for the exploitation of mineral resources in China.
  • Acting for Miller Argent (South Wales) Ltd in proceedings before the UNECE Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee in Geneva relating to its open-cast coal mine in Merthyr Tydfil which is anticipated to extract several million tonnes of coal over c.15 years as part of the Ffos-y-Fran Land Reclamation Scheme.
  • Proceedings before the UNECE Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee regarding whether the actions and/or omissions of commercial operators of large-scale energy infrastructure can render the state liable under international environmental law.
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