Harrison Grant fronts Greenpeace oil challenge

Environmental ­boutique Harrison Grant Solicitors has been instructed by Greenpeace to bring judicial review proceedings against the Government over its decision to grant a licence to Chevron that allows it to start drilling in the North Sea.

Harrison Grant name partner Kate Harrison has instructed 39 Essex Street’s Nigel Pleming QC to lead Monckton Chambers’ Robert Palmer and Laura John as counsel on the legal challenge.

Greenpeace is seeking an injunction preventing the Government from issuing licences for deep-sea drilling until the causes of the ­Deepwater Horizon oil spill have been established.

The claimants argue that the licences are close to ­environmentally sensitive sites that support species such as whales and dolphins and so are legally protected. As such, permission for drilling should not be ­granted until a proper assessment, required by law, has been carried out.

Earlier this year Harrison and Pleming convinced the High Court that the ­Government should revisit plans to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport (The Lawyer, 26 March). They were instructed to act for Greenpeace and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) to challenge the plan on grounds that it contradicted the UK’s climate change targets.

In 2007 the duo were also responsible for halting the Department for Trade and Industry’s (DTI) plans for the development of nuclear energy. In that case the High Court found the DTI’s consultation process into alternative energy sources was “seriously flawed”.