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Nicholas Smith Attorneys

Nicholas Smith Attorneys is a specialist environmental law firm in Cape Town, South Africa. Nicholas has 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. Nicholas has 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 three founding partners who established the first boutique environmental law firm in South Africa in 1998.

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.

From 1 March 2018, Nicholas began practising in the current firm. He has over twenty years’ experience in his 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 competing interests. This must be done in order to achieve the constitutional threshold of sustainable development. Nicholas’ experience in the fields of constitutional, administrative and environmental law enables him 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 the firm’s clients across the various 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 judgment of the Western Cape High Court 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 and confirmed on appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal ([2019] ZASCA 99; [2019] 3 All SA 684 (SCA)). Other litigious matters include a judicial review application heard in the Western Cape in 2018 in relation to the application of South Africa’s most recently enacted waste management legislation. That application concluded with the review and setting aside of the decision to approve the waste management licence at issue in the proceedings.

Successes inenvironmental litigation

The longevity of our relationships with many of the firm’s clients across the various 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 judgment of the Western Cape High Court 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 and confirmed on appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal ([2019] ZASCA 99; [2019] 3 All SA 684 (SCA)). Other litigious matters include a judicial review application heard in the Western Cape in 2018 in relation to the application of South Africa’s most recently enacted waste management legislation. That application concluded with the review and setting aside of the decision to approve the waste management license at issue in the proceedings.