Environmental Law

Environmental law has traditionally been one of the key consulting services of Hoffmann Liebs. Our “Environmental Law” practice group was already established in the 1980s and Hoffmann Liebs was, therefore, one of the very first law firms to focus with a special team on this rather specific field of law. As a result, we have today a very extensive wealth of experience and an exceptionally high level of specialisation in all areas of environmental law. At the same time, we consistently focus, of course, on the latest developments in environmental law and we are, therefore, at all times up to date and in tune with the latest trends in “our” legal field.

We have developed special expertise in soil protection and brownfield law, for which we are very well known and widely recognised. For example, we provide comprehensive advice on land recycling and on the development of contaminated former industrial sites. In such cases, we verify responsibilities and answer questions on the necessity resp. scope of any remediation obligations. We point out possibilities of recourse and advise our clients on the implementation of a specific remediation. We are well known for our investigation and remediation agreements under public law with public and local authorities. This means we can oftentimes avoid lengthy and costly lawsuits.


In addition, we advise and represent industrial enterprises and authorities on approval procedures under immission control law such as in the chemical industry or in the field of renewable energy, often in relation to major accidents law. The same applies to our successful involvement on waste law. And as environmental law specialists, we, of course, advise clients on company and real estate transactions as well and we perform environmental due diligences for both buyers and sellers.


As lawyers also, we attach great importance to a good understanding of the technical and scientific fundamentals and contexts. We work closely with the engineers and technical specialists of our clients and with consultants and official experts. In doing so, we ask the appropriate, targeted questions. We support our clients by providing creative legal solutions that exploit scope for action and minimise risks. And, of course, we also remain firmly focused on the economic aspects of the respective case. We represent and advise our clients on all judicial and non-judicial administrative procedures and matters.


Our areas of expertise:

  • Our areas of expertise in environmental law
  • soil protection and contaminated sites law
  • immission control law and major accidents law
  • waste law
  • water legislation
  • chemicals and hazardous substances legislation (REACH, CLP etc.)
  • law governing the transport of dangerous goods
  • plant and industrial safety as well as health and safety at work
  • advice on operations management and delegation of HSE duties
  • environmental due diligence and transaction advice
  • drafting of contracts for plant engineering and infrastructure projects
  • legal services in relation to major projects, including claim management
  • environmental criminal law
  • specialist lectures and seminars on current topics of environmental law


Legal 500 Germany 2024
Hoffmann Liebs’ expertise in environmental law is regularly evident in its advice on soil protection and contaminated sites law. In this context, the practice assists various industrial companies in the negotiation of remediation agreements as well as in administrative and legal proceedings.
A further focus is on pollution control and hazardous incident law in connection with major planning projects and real estate transactions. The team is led by environmental lawyer Volker Hoffmann, who advises on land recycling and industrial development projects, among other things.


Legal 500 Germany 2023
“In environmental and planning law, Hoffmann Liebs’ practice stands out for its particular expertise in soil protection and contaminated site law, advising, for example, on land recycling and the development of brownfield sites. In addition, industrial companies from the chemical or renewable energy sectors are represented in approval procedures and supported in public law investigation and remediation agreements. The team is led by Volker Hoffmann, who deals intensively with all areas of classic environmental law.”


Legal 500 Germany 2022
“Volker Hoffmann heads Hoffmann Liebs’ practice, which is characterized by ‘high expertise,’ particularly on soil protection and contaminated site issues. The team frequently advises industrial companies in the chemical, pharmaceutical and renewable energy sectors on public law investigation and remediation agreements with municipalities and authorities, but also assists its clientele on issues relating to immission protection and product and waste law. Corporate and real estate transactions are also advised on environmental law. Based in Düsseldorf, Hoffmann has ‘extensive experience with complex environmental (damage) and planning cases’.”


JUVE Handbook of Commercial Law Firms 2020/2021
“The practice has traditionally stood alongside companies in environmental advice. Clients trust it, for example, with questions on soil and immission protection. In addition, the municipal sector is increasingly calling on the practice, e.g. a public utility company on questions of waste law. The team was recently strengthened with a partner from its own ranks who specializes in construction and planning law […], mainly because it has been able to continuously expand its business recently.”

Our team


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