Built Environment

Our dedicated team of built environment lawyers provide a full range of legal services and specialist advice to individuals and businesses with an interest in the built environment sector.

Find out how we can help

In the wake of the Grenfell tragedy, all professionals working in the construction, property and building sectors are under increased scrutiny. The challenges look set to continue with the introduction of new regulatory regimes for building safety and construction projects.
 

At Kingsley Napley our specialist team of built environment lawyers understand the specific needs of those working, transacting or otherwise operating in the sector. Whether you need assistance to broker a construction deal, or advice on how to stay compliant with your regulatory obligations, or successfully defend against disciplinary action by your regulator, or help to ensure you discharge your health and safety, licensing and fire safety obligations, our team can help. 

Our Built Environment group is made up of experts from across the firm who all have specialist expertise in this area, including specialists from our RegulatoryReal Estate & Construction and Criminal Litigation teams. 

Read more about how we can help you below, or for more information about our Built Environment group please contact a member of the team.

Common Built Environment client issues

Client issue 1:
ENFORCEMENT ACTION TAKEN BY THE HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE

How we can help:

In the UK, all employers have a duty of care under the common law and the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for the health and safety of their employees and those who are on their premises.  A health and safety investigation is always disruptive and sometimes fatal to the future of a business. In recent years there has been a noticeable increase in prosecutions brought against directors and other senior managers. We advise individuals and companies who are subject to investigation or prosecution for health & safety and/or corporate manslaughter.

Contact Jonathan Grimes and Melinka Berridge to find out more.

 

Client issue 2:
Impending change to the Building Safety regime

How we can help:

On 20 January 2020, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced new measures to improve building safety standards, described as: ‘the biggest change in building safety for a generation’. The changes include the immediate creation of the new Building Safety Regulator.

The Building Safety Regulator will oversee the design and management of buildings, with a focus on ensuring the new regime for higher-risk buildings is enforced effectively and robustly. It will have the power to apply criminal sanctions to building owners who do not follow the regime.  We are now advising individuals and companies on how to prepare for the measures that will be introduced under this new regime.

Contact Melinka Berridge and Hannah Eales to find out more.

 

Client issue 3:
Enforcement action taken by the Fire and Rescue Service against individuals and corporates

How we can help:

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, Fire and Rescue Services have powers to bring enforcement action against the ‘Responsible Person’ which can result in significant financial penalties or imprisonment. 

We advise individuals and corporates who are subject to investigation or prosecution for breaches under the Order and provide representation through the criminal courts from the Magistrates’ Court through to the Crown Court and Court of Appeal. 

We also have experience in acting on behalf of Fire and Rescue Services bringing prosecutions under the Order.

Contact Hannah Eales to find out more.

 

Client issue 4:
IMPENDING CHANGES TO FIRE SAFETY LAW UNDER THE FIRE SAFETY ACT

How we can help:

On 29 April 2021, the Fire Safety Act 2021 was enacted. The Act extends the scope of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and affects the responsibilities the ‘Responsible Person’ has under the Order. The changes brought about by the Order will come into effect in early 2022. 

In addition to the Fire Safety Act, various new roles of responsibility are proposed under the draft Building Safety bill, including a dutyholder regime, which will impose fire safety obligations on those responsible for a building from construction through to occupation. We are advising individuals and companies on how to prepare for the new regime coming into force.

Contact Hannah Eales to find out more.

 

CLIENT ISSUE 5:
INTERVENTION BY OR COMPLIANCE WITH YOUR REGULATOR

How we can help:

Regulatory bodies in the built environment sector, including RICS, impose technical and ethical standards upon their members.  We can provide advice on compliance with such standards, and guidance on investigations and interventions by regulators in cases of suspected non-compliance. 

Contact Julie Matheson to find out more.

 

CLIENT ISSUE 6:
PROCURING THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF REMEDIAL CLADDING WORKS

How we can help:

We advise clients on all aspects of the design, procurement and construction of commercial and residential real estate developments including works relating to the removal and/or replacement of defective or unsafe cladding.

Contact Peter Metcalfe to find out more.

 

CLIENT ISSUE 7:
Licensing considerations for developers/landlords in the hospitality or retail sectors

How we can help:

A premises licence adds value – not just for the holder/operator of the licence but also for the property owner or developer. We can advise on how to maximise and protect that value in the face of adverse tenants or during the development phase.

Contact Craig Baylis to find out more.

 

CLIENT ISSUE 8:
Investigation of environmental offences

How we can help:

The Environment Agency (EA) is one of the principle regulators responsible for the enforcement of environmental law and the prosecution of environmental crime in England. Alongside prosecutions, the EA has numerous investigatory and enforcement powers, including powers of entry, powers to request information, documents or records, and powers to enforce or prohibit certain behaviour through notices.

We advise corporates and individuals who find themselves exposed as a result of a corporate internal investigation or investigation by the EA into environmental offences.

Contact Sophie Wood to find out more.

 

The firm has an established health and safety practice with strength in depth. Its client base is broad, which is reflected in the fact that it can draw on the experience of partners in other regulatory fields."

Legal 500 UK 2020

Excellent at defending directors or individuals prosecuted for health and safety and regulatory offences.”

Legal 500 UK 2021

The health and safety department of this firm is dynamic both in the make up of its personnel and the commitment they show to clients. They are a modern, forward looking and diverse team with broad experience of a wide range of health and safety matters.’

Legal 500 2022

They maintained a strong focus on the key issues, provided sound advice and engaged effectively with the regulatory body during a period of severe disruption."

Chambers & Partners 2022

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