Stephens Scown wins national award for anaerobic digestion work

Our renewables solicitors have won a prestigious national industry award for their work to further understanding of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants, which produce biogas from waste as a source of renewable energy.

Our renewables team who are based in the South West and have clients nationally, won the Best AD Support (Legal/Accounting/Consulting) category of the annual Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) awards, which were announced on 6 July in Birmingham.

Lawyers from our renewable energy team published a white paper – freely available to anyone connected with the industry – called The Critical First 180 Days in the Life of an AD Plant which focuses on the importance of building up healthy colonies of bugs in a digester in the early days if it is to be successful and productive in the long term. The judges felt that the firm had gone above and beyond what was expected by providing this extra support for clients.

We found that there was often a focus on such areas as warranties, payment terms and project management in the legal contracts relating to the construction of biogas plants – but insufficient attention on the conditions needed to ensure the biological success of the undertaking.

New Generation Biogas and Jelf Insurance Brokers were co-authors of the white paper.

Sonya Bedford, partner and head of renewables at Stephens Scown, said: “We are delighted that our work in this area has been recognised. We want our clients to be successful, so as well as supporting them with the legal aspects of their projects, we wanted to share best practice for the crucial start up phase of an anaerobic digestion plant.

“New Generation Biogas and Jelf Insurance Brokers were instrumental in helping us to prepare the white paper and bring our idea to life.”

If you would like a copy of The Critical First 180 Days in the Life of an AD Plant please email