Joanne Sear#4064

Joanne Sear

Joanne is a specialist regulatory and criminal lawyer, with significant experience of investigations and prosecutions by various regulatory agencies including the Health and Safety Executive, OFSTED, Local Authorities, the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales. Since joining Shoosmiths in 2017, she has advised clients following accidents involving serious injuries to employees and customers, businesses facing nuisance complaints, Abatement Notices and private prosecutions, and retailers facing prosecution for trading standards offences. Joanne previously worked for the Environment Agency, where she advised on enforcement and dealt with all aspects of prosecutions and civil sanctions. She has a particularly specialised knowledge of environmental law. She has recent experience acting for businesses following significant pollution incidents, including assisting clients with internal investigations, and helping them to submit high-value Enforcement Undertakings (which offer an alternative to prosecution). Joanne also advises clients on compliance with environmental regulation. Joanne qualified as a barrister in 2005 and spent the early part of her career in independent practice. She defended and prosecuted criminal cases in the Magistrates, Crown and appeal courts.
Contributed to


Dealing with the Environment Agency
Dealing with the Environment Agency
Practice notes

This Practice Note, produced in partnership with Philip Ryan and Joanne Sear of Shoosmiths LLP, provides high-level guidance on dealing with the Environment Agency, formerly known as the National Rivers Authority. It sets out the role, powers and strategy of the Environment Agency, the sorts of events that can trigger a visit, what to do in the event of a visit and also covers self-reporting.

Practice Area


  • Contributing Author

Qualified Year

  • 2005




  • LLB (Hons) 1st Class ( Cardiff University )

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