Nicholas Rock

Nicholas Rock

Reed Smith

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Latest Publications


UK government introduces enhanced enforcement powers for environmental permitting breaches

Earlier this month the government published its response to a consultation on proposals to enhance regulators’ enforcement powers to deal with environmental permitting breaches. Simultaneously, the government has published...more

10/20/2015 - Discharge of Pollutants Enforcement Enforcement Actions Enforcement Authority Environmental Policies Environmental Violations Injunctions New Legislation New Regulations Permits Pollution Control Remediation UK UK Regulatory Reforms Waste

UK courts get tough on environmental crime: sentencing of environmental offences committed by large companies

There is a widely held belief that environmental laws in the UK are toothless in practice because enforcement authorities are under resourced and typical levels of fines and penalties imposed are far too low. This view...more

10/15/2015 - Appeals Board of Directors Directors Enforcement Actions Environmental Crimes Environmental Liability Environmental Litigation Environmental Violations Fines Mitigation Negligence Pollution Control Recidivism Sentencing Shareholders UK

What to expect when you’re not expecting: Anticipating the outcome of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference

The 21st Conference of the Parties (“COP”) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCCC”) meets in Paris at the end of this year to seek to achieve the vaulted ambition set by the Durban Platform of...more

10/2/2015 - China Clean Power Plan Climate Change Emissions Trading System EU Financing G7 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) Investors Kyoto Protocol Obama Administration OECD Paris Convention Private Sector UNFCCC United Nations

European Court rules on controversial REACH ‘substances in articles’ case, extending aspects of EU chemical law compliance to the...

In what is a salutary reminder that published European Chemicals Agency (“ECHA”) guidance cannot necessarily always be relied upon to provide an authoritative interpretation of the requirements of the EU’s REACH chemicals...more

9/11/2015 - ECHA EU Hazardous Substances Importers Manufacturers REACH Suppliers Supply Chain SVHCs

Environment Agency changes regulatory approach to existing onshore oil and gas facilities

Earlier this month, the Environment Agency (EA) published a new regulatory position statement on the environmental permitting of existing onshore oil and gas facilities (including shale gas facilities)....more

4/27/2015 - Discharge of Pollutants Environmental Assessments EPA Fracking Oil & Gas Shale Gas

The Fall in Crude Oil Prices: Headline Issues to Watch

Oil price movement through 2014 and into 2015 is a consequence of market fundamentals. Europe’s continued economic woes, paired with the slowdown in China’s economy, have led to a fall in demand for oil....more

1/27/2015 - Bankruptcy Code China Commercial Bankruptcy Debt Restructuring EU Hiring & Firing Insolvency Involuntary Reduction in Force Oil & Gas Oil Prices Third-Party Relationships

COP 20 – Lima 2014: Déjà vu on the road to Paris

Introduction - The 20th Conference of the Parties (the COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (the UNFCCC) and the 10th Conference serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol...more

1/9/2015 - Climate Change Kyoto Protocol United Nations

Glimpses of Phase 4 of the EU ETS - The 2030 Climate and Energy Policy framework

Summary - On 24 October 2014, the European Council (the “Council”) announced a package of measures (the “Conclusions”) designed to further reduce the bloc’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The Conclusions reflect the...more

11/7/2014 - Energy Policy EU EU ETS Greenhouse Gas Emissions

UK power generation assets: optimisation and monetisation

In recent years, the UK power sector has seen owners and/or operators of generation assets increasingly reflect on their commercial strategies with respect to their operations. In the case of power plants, this has involved a...more

8/6/2014 - Energy Power Plants UK Utilities Sector

Brownfield land in the UK: lenders' liability

In this fourth in our series of briefings on topics relevant to those involved in brownfield land, we look at the issue of lenders’ liability in respect of risks arising from brownfield sites under environmental law in...more

5/1/2014 - Brownfield Properties Environmental Policies EU Lenders

Brownfield land in the UK: ‘baseline surveys’

In this third in our series of briefings on topics relevant to those involved with “brownfield” land, we focus on “baseline” contamination surveys....more

3/31/2014 - Brownfield Properties Contaminated Properties UK

Brownfield land in the UK: environmental indemnities

Introduction - In this second in our series of briefings on topics relevant to those involved in brownfield land, we focus on environmental indemnities....more

2/26/2014 - Brownfield Properties Environmental Liability Indemnification UK

Shale Gas in the UK: a year in review (a regulatory and policy update)

Introduction - Shale gas exploration is now featuring in the news headlines in the UK on an almost daily basis. The positions of those for and against extraction of unconventional gas through hydraulic fracturing...more

2/18/2014 - Fracking Shale Gas UK

Brownfield land in the UK: directors’ and officers’ liability

Introduction - In this first in a series of briefings on topics relevant to those involved in brownfield land, we look at the issue of directors’ and officers’ personal liability....more

1/21/2014 - Brownfield Properties Corporate Officers Directors Personal Liability Professional Liability

Aviation Emissions: The ICAO outcome and its impact on the EU aviation emissions trading scheme

Synopsis - As the EU Parliament prepares to vote on the latest proposals to amend the Aviation ETS, this client alert examines the proposals in the context of the developments at the ICAO Assembly held in October...more

1/7/2014 - Aviation Industry Carbon Emissions EU Greenhouse Gas Emissions ICAO

Friday 13th: an Unlucky Day for Scottish Liquidators

On 13 December 2013, the Court of Session ruled that the liquidators of The Scottish Coal Company Limited (SCC) were not able to disclaim ownership of certain open-cast mines and the environmental permits which were connected...more

12/20/2013 - EU Insolvency Licenses Liquidation Mining Permits UK

Emergency Response in the Energy & Natural Resources Sector: The Lawyers’ Perspective

Introduction - The term "emergency" can encompass a wide range of events, including on and off shore casualty incidents, such as fire, explosion and collision, environmental disasters, the impact of sanctions and/or...more

12/12/2013 - Attorney-Client Privilege Emergency Management Plans Emergency Response Jurisdiction Natural Disasters Safety Precautions Training

Update on Electricity Market Reform: The Capacity Market

This is the last of a series of three short client alerts summarising recent developments in the UK government’s Electricity Market Reform (EMR) programme....more

8/20/2013 - Auction Electricity Energy Consumption Energy Policy EU UK

Update on Electricity Market Reform: Contracts for Difference

This is the second of a series of three client alerts considering recent developments in the UK Government’s Electricity Market Reform (EMR) programme. In the first alert, we gave an overview of the EMR programme. One...more

8/14/2013 - Contract Drafting Electricity EU Feed-in-Tariffs Renewable Energy UK

UK Electricity Market Reform update: overview

Background - The UK government’s Electricity Market Reform (EMR) programme represents the single biggest change to this country’s electricity market in a generation....more

8/6/2013 - Electricity Energy Energy Policy Infrastructure UK

Comparison of Conflict Minerals Regulation: EU/United States

The European Union may soon join the United States in requiring certain companies to investigate and disclose whether certain minerals used in their products originated in conflict-affected or high-risk areas. On June 26,...more

7/16/2013 - Conflict Mineral Rules Dodd-Frank EU European Commission Mining Natural Resources

EU Proposes Further Measures Towards Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships

As a first step towards reducing the marine transport industry’s greenhouse gas emissions, on 28 June 2013 the European Commission (the “Commission”) tabled a draft Regulation to introduce a system of monitoring and...more

7/5/2013 - EU European Commission Greenhouse Gas Emissions Proposed Legislation Shipping Vessels

Shale Update: Is Britain on the cusp of a shale gas boom?

Supply to more than meet demand - It was recently reported that iGas studies show that sites in the north-west of England contain much larger shale gas resources than previously anticipated. These studies indicate that...more

6/29/2013 - Energy Consumption Energy Policy EU Fracking Oil & Gas Shale Gas

UK Shale Gas – A Regulatory Update

Key discussion points - ..Energy crisis and new “dash for gas” set to ignite UK shale market ..Moratorium on exploration lifted ..New industry guidance issued, UK and EU shale-specific legislation under...more

3/19/2013 - EU Fracking Shale Gas

RoHS 2: New Obligations for Manufacturers, Importers and Distributors from 2 January 2013

On the 2nd of January 2013, the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012 (RoHS 2) came into force in the UK. As previously reported on our blog of 18 May...more

1/16/2013 - Distributors Electricity Electronic Devices Electronics EU Hazardous Substances Importers Manufacturers RoHS 2

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