Malcolm Hollis’ first specialist environmental division has been created with the hiring of Anne Johnstone from Ramboll Environ.
Johnstone, who joins as a Partner, spent 14 years at Ramboll Environ and is currently the vice chair of The United Kingdom Environmental Law Association. She is tasked with integrating environmental issues in to the wider technical due diligence service offering currently provided as part of our commercial property acquisition and disposal process.
The move will give us the in-house capability to assess and advise on environmental land issues, sensitivities and legal risks, something that has previously been outsourced by clients as a final check.
Johnstone, who will be based out of our Glasgow office with a national remit, says: “When it comes to undertaking due diligence ahead of an acquisition, environmental issues are often left till the last minute, which can create delays in deals proceeding. We are looking to make it part of an integrated approach so that we can really assess and advise on any future legal risks and give proper consideration to aspects such as tenant and stakeholder behaviour or implications on future changes of use. Funds and institutional investors are naturally risk adverse, they trust the advice they already get from us in terms of the fabric of the buildings they are looking at acquiring.”
Of the appointment, Senior Partner, John Woodman, says: “Anne is someone we have known and worked closely with for many years. Like us, Anne has long standing relationships with many of the institutional funds and she is trusted for the commercial advice she imparts alongside her technical assessments. She offers up suggested solutions, rather than just highlighting problems. Anne is incredibly well respected by her peers and clients and comes with unrivalled experience of dealing with property related environmental issues in the UK as well as throughout Europe.”
The creation of the environmental consultancy services, follows the introduction of other specialist service lines during the last 12 months, including measured surveys and energy & sustainability.