Public Inquiry: ecology expert witness
Baker Consultants’ Managing Director, Andrew Baker, has amassed considerable experience of public inquiry and ecology expert witness work from open case coal applications to airports, landfill to leisure and housing projects. This experience informs the whole ethos of the company and we always keep in mind that, on any project, our work may be subject to the detailed scrutiny of a public inquiry.
The optimum outcome at any ecology public inquiry is to successfully negotiate an agreed approach and get objections removed before the inquiry, saving inquiry time and client money. Through our good relationships with organisations such as Natural England, RSPB and local Wildlife Trusts, Baker Consultants are able to achieve this outcome in the majority of cases.
For the 10% minority when we simply cannot agree common ground, Andrew will present a well-constructed, concise, science-based case to support his position. Andrew has the advantage of not only understanding the ecological science but, through his long involvement in the practical application of nature conservation law, also being able to work with the legal team to help present the most robust case in terms of both law and policy.
“The development of ecological law over the past 20 years has been fascinating. I estimate 90% of our work has some kind of legal backing whether it be protected species, EIA regulations, protection of designated sites or European law. The law and its interpretation through policy is therefore at the heart of most of what we do and a full understanding of its implications is essential”, says Andrew.
Why Baker Consultants?
Andrew has a reputation for being thorough and has been described as ‘forensically curious’.
Andrew says: “I am one of those rare people who actually enjoys being on the stand. I like the intellectual rigour of the inquiry process and the challenge of presenting often complex scientific evidence plainly and succinctly.”
“Andrew was extremely thorough and thoughtful in preparing his evidence for the inquiry, in anticipating the possibly contentious and difficult areas. He gave his evidence in a very clear and confident manner and dealt well with points raised in cross-examination.”