EU Environmental

McKenna Long & Aldridge (MLA) counsels clients on a wide range of business law, and regulatory and trade matters relating to environmental activities in the European Union (EU). Our reputation in this area in part stems from our long-time presence in Brussels where trend-setting EU environmental regulations such as REACH have been adopted.

We represent a wide range of European, American, and Asian clients and advise them on product regulation issues and product defense strategies pertaining to their business operations in the EU. In addition to guiding clients through the maze of EU regulations, we often lobby EU and member state institutions on our clients’ behalf before legislation is adopted and, when necessary, represent their interests in related litigation before the European Court of Justice, the European Court of First Instance, and various member state courts.

Our European environmental practice covers both EU and member state laws and includes:

Chemicals

MLA is extensively involved in advising and representing clients on matters arising under existing EU chemicals legislation, including REACH. The chemicals practice concentrates in particular on representing clients in the field of product regulation, advising them on issues pertaining to the classification, packaging, and labeling of chemical substances and mixtures, including safety data sheets, marketing and use restrictions, authorizations under REACH, workplace regulations, and product liability related issues, as well as questions relating to the free movement of goods and parallel imports.

We manage several REACH consortia and counsel our chemical clients also on the competition law aspects of REACH.

MLA has created an on-line tool for issuance of REACH letters of access for its consortia and other clients. To access this page, please visit http://www.mlalaw.eu/.

Biocides/Pesticides

Building upon MLA’s experience in the field of U.S. pesticide regulation, our Brussels office has established a reputation of excellence in this area, advising numerous manufacturers on the European re-registration program laid down by EU Directive 91/414 and product authorization under Directive 98/8 (biocides). We manage and advise several task forces under both programs.  

We are involved in a series of matters involving almost all of the 23 product types listed in the Biocidal Products Directive 98/8, as well as scope and borderline issues and in particular concerning the EU food, cosmetics, and chemicals legislation. We advise many individual companies and task forces in connection with data submission, data protection, and procedural, regulatory, and scientific related issues (in cooperation with TSGE). We assist clients in making notifications and in preparing complete dossiers for including active substances in Annex I (IA or IB) of the Biocidal Products Directive, and also help them in negotiating and drafting task force and data sharing/compensation agreements, in compliance with applicable EU competition law requirements.

Food Law

We are experienced in all labeling issues, borderline product assessment, and product liability and recall questions. We have assisted several clients in obtaining GMO and novel food authorizations and advise on food contact regulation related matters.

Textiles

Our Brussels office acts as regular counsel to major garment and sporting goods companies on regulatory matters. This includes: setting up supplier restricted substances lists and related advice on supply agreements; advice on multi-language labeling, size labeling, and flammability warnings; setting up a database on product recall legislation in a multitude of jurisdictions; advice on product recalls; advice on high-tech garments; counseling on “waste” classification of textile waste; and advice on use of biocides in garments.

EU Regulatory Engagements

Our attorneys advise clients in other fields of environmental, health and safety, and consumer protection law, including water and air pollution control; permitting; waste management, shipment and disposal; packaging and packaging waste; biotechnology; worker health and safety; ecological labeling; environmental auditing requirements/due diligence reviews in connection with the purchase and sale of companies in the EU; car and battery recovery schemes; toys; personal protective equipment; medical devices; and climate change/emissions trading matters.

In 2006, we designed and negotiated the first multi-sectoral Social Dialogue Agreement on the good handling of silica, protecting more then 2 million workers, that was praised as a model to follow.

Representative Engagements

Chemicals

Biocides/Pesticides

Food Law

Textiles

Other EU Regulatory Engagements

Professionals

Advisories