Environmental, Planning and Safety

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Matheson’s "overall professionalism is at the highest level imaginable".
European Legal 500

Our Environmental, Planning and Safety Group has market-leading expertise across many industries. From data centres, to transport and food and drink facilities, to power generation, extraction, waste or pharma / chemical projects, we help our clients to achieve prompt planning and permitting decisions.

We work as a team with our clients, including its technical and engineering advisors to navigate a project through the environmental, licensing and regulatory requirements from concept to operation, completion, and remediation.

The lawyers in our Environmental, Planning and Safety Group are litigators. We have a track record of success in defending challenges to planning permissions and permits, including foreshore licences and leases, compulsory purchase orders, and EPA licences. With our clients, we design and implement dispute minimisation and avoidance strategies.

We are experienced members of the firm’s Regulatory Investigations team. We assist clients in investigations and defending prosecutions by environmental, safety and energy regulators and by planning authorities.

We lead the environmental, planning and safety due diligence of asset and share purchases, including negotiating warranties and indemnities. Together with the lawyers in the firm’s Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency Group, we are at the forefront of advising on environmental and planning liabilities in insolvency scenarios.

Experience Highlights

The lawyers in our Environmental, Planning and Safety Group regularly advise on:

  • Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment
  • Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Licences, Industrial Emissions Licences and the full range of waste collection and facility permits and licences
  • Obtaining and amending planning permissions, including strategic infrastructure
  • Contaminated land / remediation
  • Environmental liability litigation
  • Judicial review of development consent and environmental permits
  • Reporting and investigation of safety and environmental incidents
  • Defending prosecutions under environmental, planning and safety regimes
  • Health and safety in the context of infrastructure projects
  • Habitats, nature conservation and biodiversity
  • Sea pollution and fisheries
  • Climate change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Permits
  • Water, wastewater and waste management
  • Environmental auditing and compliance
  • Environmental due diligence and M&A advisory
  • Negotiation of EPA required financial provision
  • Lender, receiver and shareholder environmental liability
  • Liabilities of directors, managers and others under environmental, health and safety legislation
  • Planning injunctions and other injunctions under environmental law including in trespass and nuisance cases


Matheson “offers excellent advice and insight into the legal aspects of foreshore planning and environmental  assessment in both the Irish and EU context”.
European Legal 500 2019


"Matheson has particular expertise in strategic infrastructure and in complex planning disputes."
European Legal 500 2018

Matheson’s practice has particular strength on the contentious side.
European Legal 500 2016

Matheson’s team is "practical and innovative".
European Legal 500 2015

Nicola Dunleavy "takes a strong ownership of projects".
European Legal 500 2015

Matheson’s "overall professionalism is at the highest level imaginable".
European Legal 500 2014

Nicola Dunleavy has "a rare ability to listen to clients and bring clarity".
European Legal 500 2014

Matheson has "excellent individuals throughout", providing a broad range of expertise.
European Legal 500 2013