It's a country life for him

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The Independent Online
You might expect an environmental lawyer to be more conscious than most about his or her surroundings. So it is little surprise, perhaps, that Andrew Bryce, former chairman of the UK Environmental Law Association, has swapped a City office for a billet in rural Essex.

But there is more to the relocation than that, he says. The move was born of a belief that doing "pure environmental work" on behalf of clients who would be unlikely to be able to afford City fees would be more interesting.

"The focus of City environmental work is serving City-based corporate transactions, rather than developing those areas which are of more interest to me, namely the giving of environmental, planning and project advice in the waste management, water and general industrial sectors," he says. Like many who have chosen to specialise in this growing area, Mr Bryce, 47, started in planning law. Building up the environmental practice at the City firm Cameron Markby Hewitt, which he joined 25 years ago, began in the mid-Eighties.

But he is convinced a multi-disciplinary approach is appropriate to many situations. It is a hunch that appears to be paying off. Since setting up in Coggeshall, near Colchester, the town from which he used to commute to London, he has gained work from a variety of fellow professionals. Even local firms of solicitors without environmental specialists are referring clients to him.

"The impact on the environment was something of interest to me, so it was a way of combining that interest with work," Mr Bryce says of his original move into this area of the law. The latest departure also allows him to work alongside his wife, a legal secretary, who runs the practice.

Roger Trapp

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