Compliance and Risk-Related Services
These audits may be coupled with subsequent assistance and advice to address and resolve areas of non-compliance or other concerns in order for an operation to move towards sustainable compliance and to reduce the risks facing a company, its directors and its employees.
To this end, an audit report identifies key risk areas in order for an operation to prioritise its actions so as to achieve and maintain compliance.
We have developed a new electronic audit audit program that has made our environmental legal compliance audits faster, more user-friendly and significantly more cost effective. The electronic audit program enables clients to easily identify possible non-compliances with applicable environmental legislation and ascertain the most appropriate corrective measures to implement.
Key features of this program to be utilised by our lawyers when conducting audits:
- Initial audit checklist results in irrelevant legal requirements being automatically excluded
- Multiple user capabilities
- Can be loaded to hand held devices
- Audit report is automatically generated
- Audit report includes photographs from site inspections
- Executive summary and pie chart shows the current state of compliance
- Auditee can record corrective actions and assign responsible personnel
Climate Change Legal Services
Warburton Attorneys Inc tracks worldwide climate change developments, including in litigation and in the carbon markets. We provide legal advice on climate change issues with particular focus on developing countries and the South African climate change legal regime. We have assisted with the implementation of many mitigation projects, including CDM projects and Carbon Offset Projects. We also assist with the drafting and review of climate change-related policies and legislation and are currently involved in the drafting of South Africa’s first Carbon Budget and Mitigation Plan Regulations.
Development Planning and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Authorisation Services
Warburton Attorneys Inc provides advice on the authorisation requirements applicable to various developments and projects, including environmental authorisations, water use licences, waste management licences and atmospheric emission licences.
We also assist in formulating environmental authorisation strategies to allow for multiple authorisations and public participation processes to be aligned, including negotiations with the relevant regulatory authorities.
In particular, these services include:
advice on EIAs and other aspects of development planning;
- drafting and review of appeals and objections as well as representation at hearings;
- assistance with public participation-related matters; and
- litigation which may flow from authorisation processes.
Warburton Attorneys Inc provides the following services to energy generation facilities:
- environmental legal due diligence investigations for energy / renewable energy projects including concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, photovoltaic (PV) projects, wind farms and biomass plants;
- health and safety legal due diligence investigations for energy / renewable energy projects;
- assistance with the bid preparation for renewable energy projects as well as for gas projects;
- advice on Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and other authorisation requirements for energy / renewable energy projects;
- assistance with operational energy companies to achieve and maintain legal compliance;
- advice and opinions on specific legal issues such as buffer zones around wind farms;
- environmental and health and safety legal compliance evaluations (audits) for energy / renewable energy project sites;
- environmental and health and safety legal registers and training tailored specifically for energy / renewable energy projects;
- assistance in developing energy / renewable energy programmes; and
- advice and assistance with landfill gas rights and utilisation projects.
Due Diligence Investigations
Warburton Attorneys Inc undertakes environmental legal due diligence investigations associated with commercial transactions. These services may be provided directly to clients involved in a transaction or as a specialist service to other attorneys advising on a transaction.
Warburton Attorneys Inc has concluded numerous environmental legal due diligence investigations of wind and solar energy facilities and we continue to work with other law firms to provide input with respect to these projects.
Warburton Attorneys Inc has also conducted energy-related environmental legal due diligences focused on the storage of fuel in the Western Cape, as well as the independent procurement of coal-based power in Mpumalanga.
Due diligence investigations are essential so as to ensure that contractual protections are adequately provided for, in cases where, for example, there is a transfer of environmental legal risks.
Warburton Attorneys Inc assists in the drafting of sustainability-related contractual clauses whether directly for clients involved in a commercial venture or as a specialist service to other attorneys.
Assistance associated with commercial transactions and due diligence investigations may also include drafting or advising on appropriate sustainability-related contractual provisions in lease and property sale agreements, loan agreements (where lender environmental liability issues may be relevant), servitudes, employment or service contracts, consultancy agreements, and the like.
In addition to the drafting of appropriate clauses informed by due diligence processes, Warburton Attorneys Inc has specialised expertise in the drafting and negotiation of climate change-related contracts, including Emission Reduction Purchase Agreements (ERPAs) for the purchase and sale of carbon credits, Project Development Contracts for the assisted implementation of greenhouse mitigation projects and Co-operation Agreements aimed at promoting energy-efficient project implementation.
Dispute Resolution and Other Legal Services
We assist with High Court litigation and arbitrations, produce opinions and provide general advice on sustainability-related issues independently or in conjunction with other law firms and, where required, with input from Counsel.
We are geared to provide a range of general sustainability compliance and risk-related services depending on a client’s specific needs. We provide litigation services to our clients and work together with senior advocates who have experience in environmental law.
To date, we have also assisted with a number of arbitrations concerning the determination of responsibility for environmental liabilities.