Waste and Water

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"The team is full of personable, smart people who you can tell really want to help. If necessary, it will tell us what we don't want to hear."
Chambers Europe

The lawyers in the Waste and Water team advise on all aspects of water and waste water projects in Ireland, including licensing and regulation, development, financing and implementation. We are very familiar with the legal, political, planning, environmental, regulatory and other factors that affect waste management in Ireland, having provided strategic legal advice on some of the forerunner projects. In the water and wastewater sector, we have advised on both the public sector and private sector side of design, build, operate (and maintain) contracts for wastewater treatment plants throughout the various contract phases.

Experience Highlights

Our Waste and Water team’s extensive experience includes:

  • advising Irish local authorities on Waste Management Plans
  • advising on EU Waste Directive, Waste Management Acts and Irish Regulations, including advice on waste permits
  • advising on and drafting contracts for the development of biological treatment facilities, materials recovery facilities and waste-to-energy plants, whether by design-build, design-build-operate or on a full PPP basis
  • advising on and drafting waste collection services contracts and contracts for civic amenity sites and bring banks in Ireland
  • advising on contracts for landfill and gas utilisation and on the impact of the Landfill Directive and landfill diversion strategies, including pre-treatment
  • advising on the landfill levy regulations
  • advising on provision of waste services to householders in Ireland
  • advising on the interpretation and application of the “polluter pays” principle at EU level and as applied by the Irish courts
  • advising on the interpretation and application of the principles of proximity and self-sufficiency under EU legislation and as applied by An Bord Pleanala and in Ministerial direction
  • advising on “put or pay” commitments for waste facilities
  • advising on performance monitoring / performance deduction regimes
  • advising on contracts for disposal of household hazardous waste
  • advising on application of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Regulations in the Irish waste sector
  • advising on the impact of the Thematic Strategy for Waste Prevention and Recycling under the Sixth Environment Action Programme of the European Community 2002-2012
  • advising on the impact and application of government guidelines and plans regarding waste, including for example, “Changing our ways”, “Delivering change – Preventing and Recycling Waste 2002”, “Taking Stock and Moving Forward” and “National Strategy on Biodegradable Waste”
  • advising on competition and state aid issues in the waste sector

Recent waste and water-related experience includes advising:

  • the preferred bidder in connection with a Water Recovery Facility – PPP (DBFO)
  • the funders of a significant Healthcare National Waste Project
  • the developers of a Waste to Energy Project
  • local authorities on implementation of waste management plans

Water and Wastewater

We advise our clients on:

  • sludge management plans
  • design and commissioning issues, including advice on design liabilities and collateral warranties
  • compliance with discharge limits
  • operational issues including odour and noise control, and the application of the law of nuisance
  • performance monitoring
  • impacts of changes in legislation in this sector and changes in standards
  • performance bonds and parent company guarantees

VAT issues on payments

Recent experience includes:

  • advising on design-build-operate-maintain contracts for non-domestic water metering in accordance with the government’s National Water Pricing Policy, implementing the EU Water Framework Directive


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

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

"We have found this firm to be responsive, efficient and solution-focused."
Chambers Europe 2014

"I really trust the lawyers' judgment. They are never wrong and the advice is definitive and reliable."
Chambers Europe 2013

"The team is full of personable, smart people who you can tell really want to help. If necessary, it will tell us what we don't want to hear."
Chambers Europe 2012