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Senior Lawyer / Counsel - Environment & Planning

Clifford Chance LLP
Closing date
26 Dec 2021

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Contract Type
Full Time
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The Environment Planning & Regulatory Group is an integral part of the Real Estate Practice and the firms Climate Change Group whilst also playing a key role as part of the broader Energy & Infrastructure Group (working closely with the project finance and construction teams) and providing support on environmental and regulatory issues to the Corporate Practice.

The Group specialises in planning, environment, climate change, energy and utilities regulation with a focus on property development, energy and utilities projects and transactions (including electricity market, oil and gas, nuclear renewables, water, ports and airports), traditional environmental and health and safety issues, advising on climate change matters (including ESG and emissions trading) and environmental disputes and litigation.

A significant part of the work is in the energy space, providing advice on transactions and projects in the renewables sector as well as advising on the development of new UK energy projects and the regulation of energy utilities both on stand-alone matters as well as advice as part of M&A and project finance transactions.

Rapidly growing areas are utilities and infrastructure regulation, particularly water, ports, airports.

We are looking for a senior lawyer/counsel who has the ambition and skills to be a partner.

Notable Deals

• Advising easyJet on its commitment to be the first international airline to offset carbon emissions from fuel used on all of its domestic and international flights
• Official Receiver and Special Managers of British Steel on environmental and emissions trading aspects of the sale of the business and assets to Jingye Steel and Iron, following the high profile insolvency of British Steel;
• Advising a network company on energy regulation and climate change
• Advising Canary Wharf Group and Helical PLC on the planning aspects of their developments.
• Advising Horizon Nuclear Power on the development of the new nuclear power station at Wylfa.
• Advising a US-based multinational pharmaceuticals and biotechnology client acting as a one-stop shop on environmental, climate change and health & safety issues;
• Advising financial, data industry and energy sector clients on climate change and environmental reporting
• Advising Aviva Investors on the acquisition of a portfolio of rooftop solar PV systems.
• Advising Mitsubishi Corporation on the acquisition of Dutch energy company Eneco
• Advising investors in UK offshore transmission assets on regulatory issues, including unbundling requirements.
• Advising IAG on planning and regulatory matters in relation to Heathrow Expansion

Key Responsibilities

The work of the Group encompasses a wide range of transactional and regulatory/advisory work as well as litigation, in particular with the following responsibilities:
• Steering clients through the entire planning process including the review of planning applications, statutory agreements, inquiries and legal challenges.
• Advising on consenting and planning issues for major energy and infrastructure projects, including development consent orders, compulsory purchase orders and highways works.
• Drafting and negotiating agreements for transactions and projects in the energy space (particularly renewable), including SPAs (and associated ancillary documents), O&M contracts and other services agreement, and advising on insurance arrangements.
• Coordinating the legal due diligence for clients investing in UK energy projects including reviewing and reporting on planning and environmental issues, and energy matters (including grid connection, fuel and equipment supply, contracts for difference and other renewables incentives, and offtake arrangements).
• Advising on the regulation of the energy market, focused particularly on electricity generation technologies and renewables but also covering gas and electricity distribution, transmission and supply as well as regulation of other utilities and infrastructure.
• Drafting and negotiating environmental warranties and indemnities in respect of M&A and real estate transactions and subsequent post-acquisition advice on claims.
• Providing stand-alone advice on environmental issues including the contaminated land regime and chemicals regulation.
• Collaborating with the wider firm in advising on ESG and climate change issues in different sectors.
• Advising on emissions trading and voluntary emissions reduction purchase agreements and investments into carbon offset projects.

Key Requirements

Skills and Qualifications:
This is an opening for senior level lawyer/counsel who can demonstrate a background within a similar field of (or at least some of) environment, energy, regulatory and planning work, probably gained at a City Firm, or at an overseas common law practice with a similar highly regarded profile. You will have an outstanding academic record.

The aim is for the candidate to become a partner in the group in the short to medium term. The ideal candidate should:
• Have experience of assisting in advising major corporates, financial institutions and investors in relation to some of planning, environmental, energy and utilities issues.
• Have experience of assisting clients in the industrial sector and energy and infrastructure sector;
• be able to demonstrate experience of advising on transactional and regulatory matters;
• be able to develop and maintain client relationships and deliver growth and profitable revenue
• be able to lead teams and mentor, motivate and coach the lawyers and non-lawyers in that team
• be able work in multi practice teams, sharing knowledge and contributing to overall success; and
• be empathetic, responsive and reliable.

Client Focus
In order to provide outstanding client service, we need to understand, anticipate and fulfil the unique needs and expectations of each client. We call this "Client Focus" and to help deliver this core part of our business strategy, we want to recruit lawyers who not only have the very highest level of technical skills but are also Client Focused.
We are looking for someone who:
- can maintain and expand client relationships, meeting and exceeding client expectations
- puts clients at the heart of their practice and the work they do
- can demonstrate a keen interest and enthusiasm to learn about our clients' business;
- are commercial and innovative in the solutions they deliver to clients; and
- are keen to input to all business development activities including producing thought leadership content, engaging with clients on their business needs and attending client events, conferences and seminars

Equal Opportunities
At Clifford Chance we understand that our true asset is our people. Inclusion is good for our team and their families, our firm and society.
We are committed to treating all employees and applicants fairly and equally regardless of their gender, gender identity and expression, marital or civil partnership status, race, colour, national or ethnic origin, social or economic background, disability, religious belief, sexual orientation, or age. This applies to recruitment and selection, terms and conditions of employment including pay, promotion, training, transfer and every other aspect of employment.
Our goal is to deliver an equality of opportunity, an equality of aspiration and an equality of experience to everyone who works in our firm. Find out more here.
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