Who we are

Representing the natural world and all who seek to defend it.

Lawyers for Nature (LFN) is a Community Interest Company whose origins lie in the successful legal assistance given by our co-founder, Barrister Paul Powlesland, to a grassroots campaign to save thousands of street trees from being felled in Sheffield. We aim to democratise access to legal support for those seeking to defend the natural world.

Residents of Western Road in Crookes, Sheffield, protest against the council's plans to cut down trees - Credit: Glen Minikin Photography

LFN’s members are a mix of law students, professionals and volunteers from a diverse range of backgrounds. We are united by our drive to create a more inclusive legal system, so that community action groups and environmental defenders can access the support they need to protect nature and their local environment. We do this through a mixture of education and awareness, while raising funds for specific local projects.

We seek to change the legal profession. We do this broadly in three ways: by supporting students and lawyers to engage with law that aims to protect nature; advocating for the Rights of Nature through the use of soft power, adapting the corporate governance of organisations around the UK; and through research on cutting-edge legal concepts related to nature, including legal representation of non-persons and how that interacts with the right to a healthy environment.

London Wildlife Trust: managing Sydenham Hill Wood, containing Cox's Walk Footbridge, since 1982

Currently, the lawyers working for large companies and developers, seeking to develop and build on green space, vastly outnumber the lawyers advising those groups seeking to defend their local environments. We seek to redress this legal and power imbalance, through the use of our volunteer network, knowledge database and in-development legal advice clinic.

We will do our utmost to support environmental protection casework, particularly of strategic importance in the fight to protect the natural world. However, as a volunteer organisation, it is essential we focus our resources where we are able to have the most impact. This means we deal with larger administrative cases, such as judicial reviews, and are less able to assist with smaller ad hoc, local casework.

We will use our own resources or signpost to other resources, if we cannot support a particular case due to current capacity constraints. Our community is rapidly evolving, so get involved! Please support Lawyers for Nature by subscribing to our newsletters, which you can do on the homepage of this website.

Paul is a barrister at Garden Court Chambers. He specialises in upholding the rights of environmental activists to protest and protect the natural world, and uses environmental law and regulations to defend trees, rivers and wildlife. Paul is the co-founder of Lawyers for Nature and regularly gives talks and workshops on the rights of nature, the relationship between the law and the natural world and what barristers and other lawyers should do in a time of climate and ecological emergency. As a boat dweller for many years, he is also determined to protect the rights of boaters and other Traveller groups.

Brontie Ansell - Head of Research

Brontie is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Essex. Brontie specialises in clinical legal education, land and property law, and wild law. She is also the Supervisor at Essex Legal Clinic, offering free legal advice and legal support to those who most need it. Brontie is a co-founder of Lawyers for Nature, her core focus being the production of legal guides and as the student liaison for the volunteer network. Brontie also provides legal advice on matters such as unlawful eviction of environmental camps, planning and judicial reviews, and use of the Localism Act to purchase community assets.

Krishan Nursimooloo - Head of Communications

Currently intermitting from a part-time GDL at the University of Law (ULaw) where he was the Communications Officer for the Bloomsbury Environment Society (Best Society 2021), Krishan brings 10 years' advertising, publishing and marketing experience to Lawyers for Nature. Having read English Literature, and specialised in digital communications and copywriting, he decided to focus on environmental law. Runner-up in the ULaw Online Mooting competition and recipient of Middle Temple's Jules Thorn scholarship, he is excited about connecting the LFN community to create better outcomes for nature. His field of interest includes UK biodiversity and planning law, and the international crime of Ecocide.