A wealth of experience in acting for local and central government, combined with the market leading position in legal work on natural capital to offer an efficient and knowledgeable service.
Natural Capital for Local and Central Government

“Excellent leadership, client focussed.”

Legal 500 2022

“Approachable, knowledgeable and easy to work with.”

Chambers UK 2019

“He takes a pragmatic view and remains focused on the overall objective.”

Chambers UK 2018

Natural Capital for Local and Central Government

Supporting local and central government with unrivalled natural capital expertise

We have a long heritage of acting for local and central government and continue to advise government departments, executive agencies, and local authorities across England and Wales. Planning, compulsory purchase, and the environment are core areas of our expertise and also the key touchpoints for natural capital issues.

Biodiversity Net Gain

Biodiversity Net Gain or “BNG” has become a key part of efforts to mitigate the environmental impact of development, and improve biodiversity through planning value gains. We have been advising upon BNG since it came about in [2021], and now act in a large volume of transactions to secure BNG opportunities.

Nutrient Neutrality

The improvement of water quality in our watercourses has become critical for certain river catchments resulting in planning requirements for the overall reduction in the discharge of nitrogen and phosphorous into rivers. As the treatment of nutrient discharge from new development catches up with demand, developers need to purchase the credits created by land use change to offset increases in discharge caused by new developments.

Local government

We recognise that local governments across the country have faced significant new challenges in recent years as they seek to deliver mandated expectations for the environment, as well as balancing existing duties against diminishing funding.
We are well positioned to help, with a wealth of experience in acting for local authorities across England and Wales on challenging environmental and planning projects.

Central government

Our unrivalled position as the leading natural capital practice has given us fantastic opportunities to advise and act upon exciting new projects for central government departments and agencies promoting or regulating natural capital opportunities. We continue to lead the pack, providing cutting edge work and helping to develop policy and statute for the delivery of improvements in the environment.

Case studies

Case studies

Property developers and local authorities – numerous: – Helen Hutton, Ben Sharples, Mark Howard, Harriet Grimes

We are proudly one of the few firms providing advice in this area due to our prior experience, long-standing commitment to the subject and early recognition of this as an issue..

We have advised both developers and local authorities in relation to consents for housing developments which are suddenly impacted if they are in areas affected by the nutrient neutrality restrictions on development. Both sides are keen to see progress being made.  There is general frustration with the effective overnight sterilisation of land, but with our assistance, those entities are now able to steer a course through these issues.

We are also working with colleagues in Real Estate and Agriculture to build in BNG to new and developing consents – we are currently in the pre-National market phase, but there are several local authorities who require BNG to be brought in now, before the national regime begins at the start of February. This work includes consideration of a review of on-site and off-site options for BNG and, if off-site, how best to secure the requisite mitigation for the necessary time period

As well as acting for house builders, we have acted for a provider of biodiversity mitigation sites to secure the provision of the necessary credits for 30 years plus.  Our advice and depth of knowledge of the market enabled the client to go ahead in the face of regulatory uncertainty.

Due to the Firm’s early recognition of this as an issue, we have provided extensive advice to the market via the use of webinars, seminars and website articles. As a result of that we are one of the few firms credibly providing advice in this area.

We are speaking at numerous events on this topic, including running a natural capital roadshow around the Country in early February, speaking at venues in Manchester, Peterborough, Exeter, London and Cheltenham.

Confidential: Nutrient Neutrality advice

Advising on various legal aspects arising out of proposed mitigation measures for nutrient neutrality. This involves advice on the structuring of the required mitigation deals with private landowners, other necessary mitigation deals and navigating the credits system to best effect with minimal bureaucracy. This matter remains ongoing.

Confidential: Section 106 in relation to BNG

We are advising various landowners and developers in relation to Section 106 agreements in respect of biodiversity net gain. This involves an offsite BNG land development and maintenance strategy and the means for ongoing maintenance and management of the same together with the funding to achieve such works for a period of 30 years. The matter is ongoing.


“We may just be one business, but by helping our clients to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the sustainability landscape, together we can deliver significant impact and positive change.”

Rachel O'Connor, Partner


ESG activity runs through everything that we do at Michelmores.

Being a responsible business

We strive to act as a responsible business, by reducing our impact on the environment, building social capital and harnessing our strengths to support the communities that we operate in. We measure our responsible business efforts through the Planet Mark framework.

Supporting a sustainable economy

We fully support the drive to a more sustainable global and UK economy. As well as chiming with our own principles, growth in the sustainable economy is creating opportunities among our clients, where there is increasing recognition that profit and purpose are compatible. Together with our clients, we are focused on working together to help shape a better world.

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Team members
Senior Associate
Senior Associate