Admitted Attorney of the High Court (Western Cape High Court)
LLM in Marine and Environmental Law (UCT)
LLB (Rhodes University)
BComm (Rhodes University)
Phillipa is a Thomson Wilks consultant attorney, specialising in environmental law. She assists clients in both the public and private sector on a range of environmental and sustainability issues, including land use planning and development; mining; agriculture; waste management and pollution control; natural resource management; coastal management; and renewable energy.
Phillipa’s experience encompasses inter alia advice on environmental permit and licencing requirements, remediation obligations and environmental aspects of corporate transactions; environmental compliance assessments; environmental appeal processes; and legal opinions on a range of environmental law issues, including legislative developments.
Some of the matters she has worked on include:
Advising a significant environmental NGO on the legislative and regulatory developments pertaining to mine closure and financial provisioning for mining impacts;
advising a group of landowners opposing proposed hydraulic fracturing operations in the Karoo on various environmental, mining and administrative law issues, including: a legal review of the regulation of hydraulic fracturing across a range of foreign jurisdictions; and legal opinions relating to (1) developments in South Africa’s mining and environmental legislative and regulatory regime to give effect to ‘One Environmental System’; and (2) the legality of the Regulations for Petroleum Exploration and Production, 2015 (Fracking Regulations). Phillipa’s work in this matter played a significant role in the successful judicial review and setting aside of the Fracking Regulations by the High Court in JD Stern NO and Others v Minister of Mineral Resources;
advising the City of Cape Town on various environmental law issues, including:
providing a legal opinion on the ownership of various waste streams generated within the City’s jurisdiction in order to inform an approach to recycling and other waste management initiatives;
undertaking an extensive review of the legal framework pertaining to the municipality’s environmental and water resource management responsibilities with particular reference to its storm water management mandate; and
advising on the scope of the municipality’s mandate relating to air quality management, including the drafting of the City’s Air Quality Management By-law;
advising on the application of the National Environmental Management Waste Act 59 of 2008 to the development of a proposed composting and fertiliser processing plant;
advising on environmental regulatory requirements pertaining to a proposed aquaculture facility and associated agricultural activities, including environmental authorisation, water use licensing and waste management licensing requirements;
undertaking an extensive review of the regulatory framework for GMOs in South Africa for the Department of Environmental Affairs;
advising the lead consultants appointed to develop the Western Cape Provincial and Municipal Coastal Management Programmes on the relevant legal framework pertaining to the preparation thereof;
drafting a Coastal Management By-Law for the West Coast District Municipality;
preparing Guidelines and a Standard Draft By-Law aimed at implementation of Estuary Management Plans by municipalities;
preparing comments on draft environmental legislation and regulations;
undertaking environmental regulatory compliance assessments for clients in the renewable energy sector, and developing in-house environmental policies, protocols and environmental management systems to ensure compliance with environmental obligations;
assisting individuals, community organisations and corporate entities with public commenting, objection and administrative appeal processes under the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 as well as other environmental and municipal planning legislation.
advising on EIA processes relating to a variety of projects, including residential developments; renewable energy projects; agricultural operations; and composting and fertiliser operations; and
providing environmental legal training for clients in the private and public sector including:
presenting the legal component of an EIA training course run by the University of Pretoria for officials at the Department of Environmental Affairs;
preparing and presenting various components of an environmental law training workshop for local government officials; and
presenting lectures on various aspects of environmental law and mining to university students, clients and environmental organisations.
Phillipa currently serves as an environmental law expert on the SANBI Alien Species Risk Analysis Review Panel.
Phillipa has lectured environmental law at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels (at UCT and UKZN), covering international environmental law; pollution law; natural resources law; and principles of environmental law.
Phillipa King “Country Report South Africa: Integrated Ocean Governance” (2017) 8 IUCN eJournal 123-130
Phillipa King and Christine Redell “Public participation and water use rights” (2015) 18(4) PER/PLJ 944-968.
Phillipa Niland, Michaela Lau and Olivia Rumble “South Africa – University of Cape Town – Submissions of the Republic of Ubuntu” in The Copenhagen Protocol on Climate Change: An international negotiation Competition Laura Nielsen, Peter Pagh and Anita Ronne (eds.) (2009) DJØF Publishing, Copenhagen.
Phillipa Niland, Michaela Lau and Olivia Rumble “Towards sustainable development. An African perspective on reforming the Clean Development Mechanism” in Environmental governance and climate change in Africa – Legal Perspectives Monograph series (November 2009) Rose Mwebaza and Louis Kotzé (eds.)
Legal Practice Council KZN
Environmental Law Association
Areas of Practice:
Ground Floor, Robert House
5 Nollsworth Crescent
La Lucia Office Estate