Accessibility statement

Ms Fiona Dickson
Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor)



I direct the MSc programme in Corporate Sustainability and Environmental Management.

My teaching is informed by over twenty years’ professional experience advising businesses - from household names to SMEs - government departments and other organisations on a broad range of environment/ sustainability legal problems, policy issues and strategic management challenges.

After postgraduate solid-state chemistry research into potential solutions to the long-term safe storage of nuclear waste with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, I was attracted to the law, qualifying and practising as a Solicitor with niche City law firm Bristows LLP. I specialised initially in intellectual property matters, advising on several high-profile patent cases on inventions from corkscrews (Hallen Corp. v Brabantia) to pyrethroid insecticides (Roussel Uclaf v ICI plc) as well as the licensing of ‘products’ of ‘Dolly the Sheep’ and the application of competition law to commercial agreements.

My experience includes a secondment to the Eastern Hemisphere legal department at Gillette Inc. (now P&G) where I worked on a legal challenge to planning permission for a supermarket on grounds including the economic impact on local businesses and conserving architectural heritage. I advised on manufacturing agreements, agency and employment contracts for several eastern bloc states, and complex health and safety management issues.

Whilst at Gillette my interest in environmental law grew from advising on operational regulatory compliance. Keen to understand its scientific and policy foundations, I studied for an MSc in Environmental Technology, further to which I have worked on a broad range of environment/sustainability consultancy and legal projects, including with URS Dames & Moore (now AECOM) and Environmental Resources Management. 

As a senior legal expert I have advised Member State governments on the transposition and implementation of the environmental acquis communautaire. Projects have included national level management systems for producer responsibility schemes, institutional strengthening and capacity building projects (e.g. for permitting, monitoring, inspections and enforcement), and local/ regional environmental action programmes. Through UNDP I advised on a new Minerals Law for the Republic of Fiji and closer to home I formulated proposals for UK policy guidance on artificial light nuisance. I have also conducted environment/ sustainability assessments at several hundred industrial facilities and advised on matters ranging from animal testing legislation, end-of-waste criteria, the remediation of former coalfields and the interface between environmental law and business ethics. For seven years I was responsible for revising the industry publication: “Environmental Compliance Manual”.

I am a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


MSc Environmental Technology (Distinction), Rio Tinto Scholar

Imperial College, London

Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice

University of Bristol

Common Professional Exam and Law Society Finals

(now the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course)

College of Law, York

(now the University of Law)

MA Natural Sciences (Chemistry)

University of Oxford

Contact details

Ms Fiona Dickson
Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor)
Department of Environment and Geography
University of York
YO10 5DD