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  1. Environment: litigation
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Who Represents Who

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The team at Arnold & Porter is recommended for complex enforcement matters; defending toxic tort litigation; enforcement and litigation matters involving air emissions; matters involving major groundwater contamination; hazardous and solid waste; and greenhouse gas rules and public nuisance litigation. The practice serves as overall outside environmental counsel for Honeywell, including current and legacy operations, federal and state litigation, and compliance and transactional issues. Examples include serving as lead counsel to the conglomerate in the defense of a consolidated class action and numerous individual toxic tort suits, arising from the presence of perfluorooctanoic acid in the groundwater and municipal water supply of Hoosick Falls, New York. The practice also assists BP with numerous matters, the most significant being the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Brian Israel is department head; Thomas Milch is noted for federal enforcement and private party litigation. Other recommended advisers are Michael Daneker, Lester Sotsky and Joel Gross; San Francisco-based Trent Norris and counsel Sarah Esmaili; and Los Angeles’ Matthew Heartney. In a significant move, the firm hired Ethan Shenkman, the former deputy general counsel at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). All advisers listed are in Washington DC, save where otherwise mentioned.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s highly rated environmental litigation group acts for clients in a variety of civil, criminal and administrative environmental proceedings. These include mass torts and class actions; challenges to federal and state rule makings; government enforcement actions; and white-collar criminal and civil matters. Other areas of note include appellate matters; potentially responsible party litigation; the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) - also known as Superfund - and insurance coverage matters; and restructuring, contract and indemnity claims. The team is assisting BP with various matters arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The practice also defended the City of Chicago against a putative class action, alleging that the replacement of water and sewer lines and installation of water meters causes dangerous levels of lead exposure to hundreds of thousands of residents. In addition, the team acted for Chesapeake Appalachia in a lawsuit against Cameron International, which related to a well-control incident in Pennsylvania. The practice was also lead counsel for Dow Chemical and Rockwell International, in a complex environmental contamination class action. Chicago’s Kevin Van Wart, Andrew Langan and Andrew Running, along with Chicago-based Richard Godfrey, are all recommended.

Latham & Watkins LLPis a strong firm that frequently delivers exceptional results’. In Washington DC, the practice hired Janice Schneider, the former US Senate-confirmed assistant secretary for land and minerals management at the Department of the Interior (DOI); former DOI chief of staff, Tommy Beaudreau; Steven Croley, who was previously confirmed as GC for the Department of Energy; and Joel Beauvais, former deputy assistant administrator for water at the EPA. The practice’s scope includes climate change, air quality, toxic tort and water quality. Other areas of strength are insurance coverage, policyholder disputes, and energy and natural resources projects. Highlights included acting for Newhall Land & Farming in brokering a landmark settlement that allows one of California’s largest master-planned communities to proceed; the legal work included successful negotiations with leading environmental groups and an unprecedented greenhouse gas emission plan. Chicago-based Mary Rose Alexander is global environment litigation practice chair; New York-based Kegan Brownachieves goals’; Robert Howard chairs the San Diego environment, land and resources department; and Andrea Hogan chairs the firm’s San Francisco-based team. Other key advisers include Los Angeles’ Michael Romey; Chicago-based Thomas Heiden; Robert Wyman, who divides his time between Los Angeles and Washington DC; as well as Julia Hatcher and Christine Rolph in Washington DC.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. fields ‘lawyers with great industry knowledge and who deliver strong advice and quick response times’. The firm has over 50 litigators in eight US offices, who focus on environmental and natural resources litigation (including toxic tort) and law and project development. The Washington DC office secured a trial win for the City of Los Angeles, striking down a bio-solids ban on two constitutional grounds; the case was reportedly the first trial to focus on the benefits and safety of recycling bio-solids to farmland. The practice also successfully argued for the State of North Dakota in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, securing a unanimous decision that allowed the design of a water treatment plant to proceed. The co-litigation practice group chairs are James Slaughter in Washington DC and Megan Brillault in New York. Other highly rated advisers are Washington DC-based firm chair Benjamin Wilson; and Robert Brager and Evynn Overton in Baltimore. Key hires included David Weber and Loren Dunn in Seattle from Riddell Williams P.S., where Weber was the environmental practice group chair.

Bracewell LLP hired Washington DC-based David Super, whose experience includes environmental claims under the Clean Air Act (CAA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and CERCLA, from Baker Botts L.L.P.. The firm’s environmental litigation depth, coupled with its significant white-collar defense, appellate, and environmental regulatory practices, enables it to handle large, complex environmental litigation. The practice’s areas of activity include upstream and midstream shale energy development; government enforcement defense; air permitting and climate change; Superfund and contamination issues; and accident investigation and defense. The team was lead counsel to Valero Energy and its subsidiaries in a lawsuit against the EPA for failing to take required action under the Renewable Fuel Standard of the CAA. Houston-based Christopher Dodson and Austin managing partner Timothy Wilkins co-chair the environmental litigation practice, while Jason Hutt is environmental practice chair. Other recommended Washington DC contacts are Kevin Ewing and Jeffrey Holmstead. Austin’s Kevin Collins is a former assistant US attorney for the Eastern District of Texas; and Sara Burgin is particularly noted for water issues.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP specializes in the prosecution and defense of high-stakes civil and criminal environmental litigation. The practice is particularly known for oil and gas litigation; complex and multi-plaintiff toxic tort matters; climate change litigation; CERCLA and cost-recovery actions; and workplace, transportation and industrial incidents. Other areas of strength include government environmental enforcement actions and insurance coverage disputes involving environmental contamination and mass torts. In a major victory, the practice obtained summary judgment for International Paper in a substantial number of tort claims which alleged that emissions from a pulp and paper mill caused or exacerbated diseases and property damage. The department heads are Washington DC-based Daniel Nelson, Peter Seley, and former EPA general counsel Avi Garbow. Also in Washington DC, Stacie Fletcher, Michael Murphy and Raymond Ludwiszewski are key names, as are New York-based Andrea Neuman and Patrick Dennis in Los Angeles. Jeffrey Dintzer left for Alston & Bird LLP.

Hogan Lovells US LLP’s ‘lawyers have great relationships with government agencies that prove extremely beneficial’. The practice has significant expertise in disputes involving the CAA; CERCLA; protected species; and hazardous waste. The team acted for Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) before the Department of Justice (DOJ) and EPA in multiple, inter-related matters, including PREPA’s alleged non-compliance with EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards; it also assisted American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers in litigation against Union Pacific Railroad over its empty charge tariff. Adam Kushner and Denver-based Scott Reisch head the department. James Banks, who assists with challenging issues involving water pollution, endangered species and project permitting, ‘provides excellent strategic advice’; Joanne Rotondi is ‘an outstanding performer’; Dan Dunn in Denver is also highly rated; and Hilary Tompkins, a former DOI solicitor, represents a key recent hiring. All individuals named are in Washington DC, except where otherwise mentioned. Justin Savage joined Sidley Austin LLP.

Effective 2 April 2018, Hunton & Williams LLP and Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP have combined to become Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. The firm fields lawyers with specialties in air, water, natural resources, endangered species and wildlife, waste, and climate change. The team regularly advises clients in the electric utilities, oil and gas, and chemical manufacturing industries, as well as automobile manufacturing, transportation, and mining. The team represented the Utility Air Regulatory Group before the US Supreme Court, in challenging the EPA’s efforts to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants through the Clean Power Plan rule. Washington DC-based Eric Murdock heads the administrative law group; Deidre Duncan’s practice includes litigation relating to the CWA, the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Makram Jaber, William Brownell and Charles Knauss are also names to note. Key San Francisco contacts include Shannon Broome and Tom Boer. Timothy Carlstedt rejoined as an associate following a stint as deputy GC to the Presidio Trust. Former practice head William Wehrum joined the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation as assistant administrator. All advisers are in Washington DC, unless otherwise stated.

Mayer Brown’s ‘service is extremely good’. The team acts in high-stakes matters, such as air enforcement cases involving the CAA New Source Review program, criminal environmental prosecutions, and major development projects. It represented several industry groups in challenging the legality of the EPA’s new regulation defining the waters of the US. The team also defended CSX Transportation in several environmental tort lawsuits that alleged personal injuries and property damage resulting from the 2012 derailment of a Conrail train. The practice’s co-chairs are Chicago-based Richard Bulger, who acts for clients in the chemical, utility, scrap metal, railroad, and ranching industries, and Mark Ter Molen, whose experience includes toxic tort trials and appeals, as well as putative class actions. Also in Chicago, Timothy Bishop has substantial experience in environmental and land use litigation; in Washington DC, ‘the extremely knowledgeableJohn Hahnalways has the client’s best interests at heart’; and Dan Himmelfarb and Evan Tager, and counsel Roger Patrick, are also widely praised.

Baker Botts L.L.P. has a long track record in environmental litigation. Recent matters include acting for Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions in crisis response, governmental enforcement defense, and private party litigation relating to an alleged back-flow event, which resulted in the City of Corpus Christi implementing a water use ban for four days in December 2016. The team is also lead counsel for Marathon Oil Corporation, Hess, and Repsol in three lawsuits alleging liability for damages from climate change impacts. Houston-based department chair Scott Janoe and Matthew Kuryla are both highly rated. Key Washington DC contacts include Bill Bumpers, who heads the firm’s global climate change practice, Kent Mayo, who ‘does an exceptional job’, and Joshua Frank. Christopher Carr in San Francisco is also highly regarded.

Goodwin’s ‘outstanding team has an exemplary reputation for environmental litigation’. The practice served as counsel to Morton International in a water-body Superfund matter. The team was also retained by an industrial products manufacturer to provide defense and counsel in two separate matters, including multiple environmental violations identified in a post-closing audit of an acquired facility in New York State. Boston’s Elise Zoli, who ‘knows how to develop a strategy and make it work’, and Gregory Bibler are key advisers, as are Washington DC-based William Jay, Laurence Kirsch and Michael Giannotto.

Greenberg Traurig LLP is experienced in complex civil and criminal environmental matters. The team acted for a responsible party in connection with one of the largest contaminated sediment Superfund sites in the US. The group also defended Mosaic Fertilizer against a putative class action (filed by commercial fishermen and others), arising from a 65 million gallon release of process water into a bay during a hurricane. The department heads are Miami-based Kerri Barsh, Philadelphia’s David Mandelbaum and Tampa managing shareholder David Weinstein. Notable Denver advisers include Troy Eid, the former US Attorney for the District of Colorado, Paul Seby, and Christopher Neumann. Caleb Holmes is a notable Philadelphia contact and Francis Citera in Chicago co-chairs the products liability and mass torts litigation group.

Jones Day is regularly involved in high-profile environmental issues, including climate change matters. The team represented Fluor Corporation in a CERCLA cost recovery and RCRA/CWA citizen suit, relating to alleged contamination at its former wood treatment plant in Windsor, California. Kevin Holewinski in Washington DC is environmental health and safety practice head. San Francisco’s Thomas Donnelly, John Rego in Cleveland, and Christine Morgan in Atlanta are other notable names.

King & Spalding LLP is recommended for issues such as climate change, coastal erosion, automotive and other emission regulations, and enforcement. Other areas include oilfield contamination, drinking water and soil contamination litigation, and oilfield fracking litigation. The practice is lead trial counsel for Shell in a coordinated docket of over 30 cases involving strict product liability, negligence, nuisance, and trespass claims against manufacturers and distributors of legacy agricultural chemicals. Washington DC-based Granta Nakayama leads the group. Key Houston contacts include office managing partner Tracie Renfroe; Carol Wood, who heads the national tort and environmental practice group; and Elizabeth Robertson Taber. Matthew Blaschke is a key San Francisco contact. Since publication, Peter Hsiao has joined in Los Angeles from Morrison & Foerster LLP.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP handles high-stakes environmental litigation, crisis management, mass tort, and multiparty hazardous waste proceedings, as well as compliance issues. The practice was coordinating counsel for Southern California Gas Company and Sempra Energy following a natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility, which spawned litigation, multiple federal and state investigations, and emergency proclamations from several governmental authorities. The recommended contacts are Los Angeles-based practice leader James Dragna and David Schrader; Princeton’s deputy practice leader John McGahren; as well as Stephanie Feingold and Camarin Madigan in San Francisco.

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s lawyers litigate cases involving natural resources and endangered species, land use, Proposition 65 and related class actions, and CERCLA/RCRA matters. The team is acting for the National Confectioners Association and Barry Callebaut in litigation defense, regulatory advocacy, and settlement negotiations, regarding allowable levels of trace contaminants in chocolate. Michèle Corashhas a keen legal mind’ and Michael Steel’s ‘deep understanding of the substantive law, attention to detail, and ability to coordinate comprehensive defense strategies based on complex facts set him apart’. Robert Falk, Miles Imwalle, and William Tarantino are also highly regarded. All named individuals are in San Francisco, unless otherwise stated. Since publication, Peter Hsiao has joined King & Spalding LLP

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s practice couples significant trial capability with environmental experience. The team recently acted for PBF Energy, Chevron, Valero Energy and Pacific Atlantic Terminals, in defense of enforcement actions instituted by the EPA, the California Air Resources Board and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Christopher McNevin in Austin leads the firm’s environmental litigation team; Mark Elliott in Los Angeles is firm-wide leader. Other recommended names are LA-based Michael McDonough; San Francisco’s Norman Carlin and Margaret Rosegay; Houston-based Thomas Campbell; and Jeffrey Knight in Washington DC.

Vinson & Elkins LLP defends key permits for development projects, and water supply and waste-water discharge permits. The practice also assists with contentious contamination cases and litigates EPA regulations. The team acted for a commercial real estate developer in an environmental remediation cost recovery claim and causes of action in tort against former tenants, which resulted from chlorinated solvent contamination in soil and groundwater. Larry Nettles is the practice group leader. Other key practitioners include James Thompson III, Lewis Sutherland, Kevin Gaynor in Washington DC, and counsel Taylor Pullins. The named advisers are in Houston, unless otherwise stated.

Baker & Hostetler LLP’s team ‘is responsive, skilled, and tailors legal needs to specific circumstances to achieve positive resolutions’. The practice handles major federal and state regulatory enforcement actions and acts in high-profile natural resource cases litigated under NEPA and the ESA. Other areas of note include CAA federal and state administrative proceedings and assisting multiple parties at Superfund sites. Recent matters include defending International Paper in multi-party cost recovery litigation, related to the Kalamazoo River Superfund site. Cleveland-based team head Martin Booherdoes an exceptional job’. Washington DC-based Andrew Grossman is also highly rated. Matthew Thurlow joined from Latham & Watkins LLP.

Jenner & Block LLP acts in government enforcement actions, CERCLA cost recovery lawsuits, RCRA citizen suit matters, and insurance coverage cases. The team is also experienced in contract and indemnity claims, toxic tort suits, and challenges to federal and state rule makings. The group acted for Canadian National Railway’s subsidiary, Wisconsin Central, in its efforts to recover costs paid to resolve a CERCLA matter. In Chicago, Steven Siros chairs the environmental litigation practice group. Lynn Grayson and Gabrielle Sigel are also experienced advisers. Sam Hirsch rejoined in Washington DC from the US DOJ’s environment and natural resources division.

K&L Gates recently acted for Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals in an administrative appeal before the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board, regarding plan approval for air emission sources located at the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in Delaware County. It also acted as coordinating counsel for a group of approximately 50 companies allegedly responsible under CERCLA for sediment contamination in a river. David Franchina in Charlotte and Craig Wilson in Harrisburg are experienced advisers.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLPbrings high levels of service and knowledge to matters’. The team represented Garrison Investment Group in relation to the largest e-waste abandonment in US history. The team heads are Mark Farley in Houston and Steven Solow. Karl Heisler in Washington DC is ‘rated extremely highly and understands the nuances of extremely complicated regulations’. Other key contacts are Nadira Clarke, also in Washington DC, Lily Chinn in San Francisco, and Houston’s Greg Dillard.

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP recently merged with Jackson Gilmour & Dobbs. The practice is noted for environmental litigation for remediation, property damages, and NRD claims at complex, multi-party sites; environmental cost-recovery matters under the Oil Pollution Act, CERCLA and state Superfund equivalents; transportation sector matters; and legacy contamination and reclamation of mining sites. The team acted for BP Products North America in cases linked to an explosion at a petroleum storage terminal in Puerto Rico. The key contacts are William Guerry Jr in Washington DC and Houston’s William Jackson.

McGuireWoods LLP’s Scott Oostdyk represents businesses in land use issues and a variety of pollution problems, including water and hazardous substance cases. Diane Flannery chairs the products, environmental and mass tort litigation department; Eugene Mathews III is a recommended nuisance litigation lawyer. The team serves as primary outside litigation counsel on environmental issues for copper mining giant ASARCO; defending it in a mass tort action filed by property owners, alleging personal injury, property damage and nuisance damages from alleged groundwater contamination and air pollution.

Perkins Coie LLP’s Mark Schneider chairs the firm’s national energy and environmental litigation practice. Schneider represents clients in environmental litigation, including CERCLA, state Superfund, multiparty allocation proceedings, NRD claims, and defense of project permits and licenses. He also assists with government enforcement actions, white-collar defense and investigations, toxic tort, insurance recovery, and citizen suits. The firm’s environment, energy and resources practice group chair is Karen McGaffey. Both advisers are based in Seattle.

Steptoe & Johnson LLPdoes an outstanding job; the firm’s lawyers are responsive, creative, good writers, and effective advocates’. The team secured a favorable settlement for the Pebble Partnership in its dispute with the EPA, concerning the agency’s preemptive regulatory action under the CWA. Robert Shuftan in Chicago is practice chair. In Washington DC, Seth Goldberg is ‘extremely knowledgeable about the law and government processes’. Recently promoted Cynthia Taub ‘provides exceptional counsel’.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s client base includes global companies from the automotive, manufacturing, chemicals, petroleum, and mining sectors. The practice serves as national coordinating counsel for Volkswagen in multinational litigation and investigations stemming from clean diesel-related developments. The team also acted for Canadian Pacific Railway in environmental clean-up claims arising from a train derailment in Canada. In New York, Mark Rosenberg coordinates the group, and Robert Giuffra is also a key contact.

Thompson & Knight LLPimpresses with its ability to discuss difficult and sensitive issues while maintaining professionalism and a friendly aura’. The team defends clients against claims of violating environmental laws and regulations, and assists with claims that releases from manufacturing or production activities adversely impact property or cause personal injury. The group acted for the Laredo Merchants Association against the City of Laredo, challenging the city’s proposed ordinance banning single-use plastic and paper bags in retail stores. Austin-based James Morriss III is team head and Dallas’ James Harris is ‘very business savvy and practical’.

White & Case LLP’s ‘outstanding team’ recently acted in disputes concerning environmental compliance, contamination-related liabilities, and environmental damages. The department represented Pfizer and its affiliates in litigation arising from the Lower Passaic River Superfund site in New Jersey. New York-based counsel Seth Kerschner and associate Matthew Wisnieff are ‘extremely diligent, well prepared, and smart’. Former practice head Douglas Halsey left to start his own firm.

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