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Nicholas Smith Attorneys

Nicholas Smith Attorneys is a specialist environmental law firm in Cape Town, South Africa. The firm’s lawyers have a diversity of experience in environmental law, as well as in administrative, constitutional and commercial law.

More about NicholasSmith Attorneys

Nicholas Smith Attorneys is a specialist environmental law firm in Cape Town, South Africa. The firm’s lawyers have a diversity of experience in environmental law, as well as in administrative, constitutional and commercial law.

Exclusively environmentallaw since 1998

Exclusively environmentallaw since 1998

Nicholas Smith has practised exclusively in the field of environmental law since 1998, and was one of the three founding partners who established the first boutique environmental law firm in South Africa. Nicholas started his own firm in March 2005, which ultimately became Smith Ndlovu & Summers Attorneys. The latter firm provided bespoke legal services in relation to all aspects of environmental and administrative law for over twelve years.

With effect from 1 March 2018 Nicholas, together with Katherine Handley, began practising in the current firm. Collectively they have well over two decades’ experience in their field of expertise.

In the era of the ‘Green Economy’, success in individual and business endeavours relies heavily on the ability to operate in a way that strikes the necessary balance between often competing interests. This must be done in order to achieve the constitutional threshold of sustainable development. Our significant experience in the fields of constitutional, administrative and environmental law enables us to assist clients to navigate the rapidly changing environmental law and policy landscape that affects them and their businesses.

Successes inenvironmental litigation

The longevity of our relationships with many of our clients across the myriad of sectors we have the privilege of serving in South Africa and abroad bears testament to the efficacy of our role in our clients’ matters relating to environmental issues.

The firm’s most recent successes in environmental litigation include the judgment handed down by the Supreme Court of Appeal in October 2016 in favour of our client (the City of Cape Town) in Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs and Another v Really Useful Investments 219 (Pty) Ltd and Another 2017 (1) SA 505 (SCA); and the recent (and as yet unreported) judgment of the Western Cape High Court handed down on 3 February 2018 in City of Cape Town v Really Useful Investments 219 (Pty) Ltd (Case No: 21106/2014). Nicholas was also significantly involved in the successful judicial review and setting aside of the Regulations for Petroleum Exploration and Production, 2015 (the Fracking Regulations) at the behest of the applicants’ attorneys of record in JD Stern NO and Others v Minister of Mineral Resources (Case No: 5762/2015) in the Eastern Cape Division of the High Court of South Africa (Grahamstown). That judgment was handed down in October 2017. The firm’s current litigation instructions include a judicial review application that will be heard in the Western Cape in April 2018, and in relation to the application of South Africa’s most recently enacted waste management legislation.

Successes inenvironmental litigation

The longevity of our relationships with many of our clients across the myriad of sectors we have the privilege of serving in South Africa and abroad bears testament to the efficacy of our role in our clients’ matters relating to environmental issues.

The firm’s most recent successes in environmental litigation include the judgment handed down by the Supreme Court of Appeal in October 2016 in favour of our client (the City of Cape Town) in Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs and Another v Really Useful Investments 219 (Pty) Ltd and Another 2017 (1) SA 505 (SCA); and the recent (and as yet unreported) judgment of the Western Cape High Court handed down on 3 February 2018 in City of Cape Town v Really Useful Investments 219 (Pty) Ltd (Case No: 21106/2014). Nicholas was also significantly involved in the successful judicial review and setting aside of the Regulations for Petroleum Exploration and Production, 2015 (the Fracking Regulations) at the behest of the applicants’ attorneys of record in JD Stern NO and Others v Minister of Mineral Resources (Case No: 5762/2015) in the Eastern Cape Division of the High Court of South Africa (Grahamstown). That judgment was handed down in October 2017. The firm’s current litigation instructions include a judicial review application that will be heard in the Western Cape in April 2018, and in relation to the application of South Africa’s most recently enacted waste management legislation.