Corporate transactions—the role of the environmental consultant (issues on acquisitions and sales)
Produced in partnership with RSK
Corporate transactions—the role of the environmental consultant (issues on acquisitions and sales)

The following Environment guidance note Produced in partnership with RSK provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Corporate transactions—the role of the environmental consultant (issues on acquisitions and sales)
  • Commissioning an environmental consultant
  • Scope of work
  • Timings
  • Advising the purchaser
  • Advising the vendor

Purchasers and vendors consider a range of issues when undertaking due diligence during a commercial transaction for acquisition or sale of a businesses and its associated sites and plant. Consideration of environmental issues should be included within any due diligence exercise for the business.

'Caveat emptor', meaning 'let the buyer beware', is a common law principle meaning the seller is under no duty to disclose material facts to a prospective buyer, so the buyer needs to undertake their own enquiries. Regulatory environmental requirements may have significant capital expenditure implications and environmental risks may alter the overall risk profile for a business.

Legal compliance issues may affect business reputation, and enforcement action may affect the long term viability or profitability of a business.

Commissioning an environmental consultant

It is important to provide the context of any proposed transaction to your environmental consultant when commissioning the due diligence in order for an appropriate assessment of potential liabilities to be undertaken. The following should be considered:

  1. What is the proposed transaction?—sale, asset only purchase, management buyout etc. These scenarios will impact upon the scope of the work your consultant will undertake. The reporting format for vendor due diligence will differ considerably from that for acquisition due diligence for example (where a more detailed scope of works is often required). It will also mean your consultant