Contaminated land business rocked by £18.5 million liability bill

Landowners, developers, regulators, environmental consultants and insurers will need to tread carefully when complex new controls on contaminated land under the Environment Act 1995 begin to bite. Now, a little-reported High Court judgment has underlined the reasons for doing so. The ruling has left consultants Mott Macdonald facing a bill of £18.5 million for negligence in their advice on one of the UK's largest contaminated land clean-up projects - and emphasises the need for proper expertise in consultancy teams, good communications between client and consultant throughout the duration of a project, and clarity about the basis of professional judgments and scientific advice on remediation standards.

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