I am writing this with mixed emotions. Many of you will be aware that our dear friend and colleague Charles Smith (the leading environmental lawyer in Scotland) suddenly passed away earlier this year.

His contribution to the development of environmental law in Scotland as a standalone, specialised discipline over the course of his career was immense.

He will be remembered by all of us at Brodies, and beyond, as one of the brightest (if not the brightest) lawyer of his generation who was not only hugely intelligent but also displayed a wicked sense of humour and fun.

Charles was responsible, together with Edinburgh University, for starting the joint environmental law lecture series, which has now been running for 24 years.

The aim of the lectures is to promote environmental law in Scotland, make it more accessible, and inspire people to become involved in, and contribute to, the environmental debate and development of environmental law generally.

We therefore thought that it would be fitting to dedicate the Scottish lecture in this year's series to Charles' memory, which will be given by Terry A'Hearn, the current chief executive of SEPA.

While Charles' contribution will be sorely missed, he has left a lasting legacy through his positivity and sense of optimism for the future, which I am confident will continue to influence discussions and debate for many years to come. Closer to home, at Brodies we remain committed to his legacy as a pioneering lawyer in the area, and have continued to invest in our environmental law practice to ensure that we provide relevant, specialist advice of the highest quality to our clients.

This year's joint environmental law lecture series features a fantastic line up, and we would encourage as many of you as possible to attend what promise to be a series of informative and thought-provoking discussions.