Michael Woods CV


Michael Woods is a leading expert on international environmental and sustainability issues. He has particular experience in the strategic, commercial and regulatory aspects of climate change/carbon, renewable energy, biodiversity protection and sustainable forestry.

Michael has over 20 years experience working as a lawyer and adviser in private practice and the public sector on policy, regulatory and commercial strategies. He has worked with, and advised companies globally, including in Europe the Far East and the Americas. He also has experience advising a wide range of industries (including energy, utilities, transport, manufacturing and retail) on a broad range of carbon, renewable energy and sustainable projects.

During his career, Michael has developed expertise and provided strategic advice on the impacts of new policy and legislation; the opportunities and incentives for renewable technologies; the financing of carbon and renewable projects; regulatory compliance and risk management; and business planning processes.

He is currently legal counsel to the Iwokrama International Centre which manages the Iwokrama forest reserve in Guyana, South America and is engaged in pursuing innovative and sustainable market-based investment approaches to achieving avoided deforestation, climate change regulation, biodiversity protection and water resources management.

Prior to joining Irbaris, Michael was a Partner and Head of the Climate Change and Carbon Finance practice at international law firm Eversheds LLP. He has also previously worked in private practice as an expert in environmental and climate change issues; for the UK Environment Department (DEFRA) on biodiversity and related matters; at the Centre for Law and the Environment UCL on public policy research in relation to better regulation; and with the UN in respect of the climate change negotiation process.


  • LLB (Hons), Glasgow University (1988)
  • LLM in Environmental Law and Policy, University College London (2002)

Professional Memberships

  • Law Society of Scotland
  • Law Society of England & Wales
  • United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA) (former Council Member)

Previous Positions

  • The Iwokrama International Centre - Legal Counsel (2008- current)
  • Eversheds LLP – Partner, Head of Climate Change and Carbon Finance (2008-10)
  • Stephenson Harwood - Partner and Head of Environment (2005-8)
  • DEFRA - Advisory Lawyer (2004-5)
  • Centre for Law and the Environment, UCL - Senior Research Fellow (2002-3)
  • Berwin Leighton Paisner - Solicitor (1998-2004)
  • Falkirk Council – Solicitor (1990-7)