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.
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.
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. 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!
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Paul Powlesland - Head of Legal
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.
Alice Brunton - Head of Funding
A trained lawyer, nature lover and current Environmental Law Masters (UCL) candidate, Alice creates Lawyers for Nature's funding momentum and strategic direction for current and future projects. Previously a competition lawyer at Addleshaw Goddard, she is now focused on environmental law and the role lawyers can play in facilitating the urgent change needed to combat the climate crisis. During 2020, Alice advised other environmental legal initiatives including the project leading to Lawyers for Net Zero. As part of her current Masters, she specialises in areas ranging from access to justice and the Aarhus convention, to the evolving environmental disclosure requirements on businesses (e.g. TCFD).
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.