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Shoosmiths LLP

Joanne Sear

Joanne Sear

Senior Associate


  • Data protection
  • Privacy and Data
  • Commercial
  • In-house legal services

WSG Practice Industries



Joanne is a specialist regulatory and criminal lawyer, with significant experience of investigations and prosecutions by various regulatory agencies including the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales, the Health and Safety Executive, Local Authorities and OFSTED.

She previously worked for the Environment Agency, where she advised on enforcement and dealt with all aspects of prosecutions and civil sanctions. She has a particularly specialised knowledge of environmental law.

Joanne has recent experience acting for businesses following significant pollution incidents, including assisting clients with internal investigations, and helping them to submit high-value Enforcement Undertakings (which offer an alternative to prosecution). She also advises clients on compliance with environmental regulation.

Since joining Shoosmiths in 2017, Joanne has advised clients following fatal and serious accidents involving employees and customers, businesses facing nuisance complaints, retailers facing prosecution for trading standards offences, and companies who are the subject of allegations of breach of planning control.

Joanne qualified as a barrister in 2005 and spent the early part of her career in independent practice. She defended and prosecuted criminal cases in the Magistrates, Crown and appeal courts.

She is an accomplished advocate who understands how the criminal justice system operates. Her previous experience prosecuting for the Environment Agency and defending in criminal cases has given her a thorough understanding of regulatory enforcement in practice.


LLB (Hons) 1st Class - Cardiff University
Areas of Practice

Commercial | Data protection | In-house legal services | Privacy and Data | Real estate | Regulation, business crime and compliance | Regulatory and compliance


What Will the COVID Inquiry Look At and Who Will it Involve?
Shoosmiths LLP, May 2021

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent announcement in Parliament, it is now certain that there will be a Public Inquiry into the handling of the pandemic. What is the planned Inquiry likely to consider, and who might be involved? For over a year now, the government’s focus has been on the here and now - managing and responding to the rollercoaster that is the COVID-19 crisis...

Focus on COP26: The Long Road to Glasgow
Shoosmiths LLP, April 2021

The UK will host the UN’s COP26 climate change conference in November 2021, but what is a COP – and what happened at the previous 25 COPs? 15 April 2021 marks 200 days until COP26 is due to start. Taking place in Glasgow from 1-12 November 2021, COP26 is the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)...

Focus on COP 26: Jargon Buster
Shoosmiths LLP, April 2021

It is only seven months until the eyes of the world fall on Glasgow as it hosts COP 26. The conference comes with some terminology which might be unfamiliar. This article is designed to bring you quickly up to speed with the words and phrases you’ll be hearing a lot about in the coming months. The very basics... COP – ‘Conference of the Parties’, the parties being the 197 signatories to the UNFCCC treaty...

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