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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. serves as lead outside environmental counsel for several multinational corporations and industry associations. It was selected to assist monitor Volkswagen’s compliance, following the company’s criminal and civil prosecution for violating the Clean Air Act (CAA). Practice group chair Karen Hansen, who divides time between Austin and Washington DC, focuses on the Clean Water Act (CWA) and state programs for regulating and permitting water discharges and water supply and use; in Washington DC, Parker Moore is ‘world class’; Karl Bourdeau and Donald Patterson are also highly rated. The firm opened a Seattle office, hiring David Weber and Loren Dunn from Riddell Williams, P.S., where Weber was the environmental practice group chair. Meanwhile former co-climate change and environmental practice group chair Nicholas van Aelstyn joined Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘team provides very quick response times’. In Washington DC, the practice hired Janice Schneider, the former Department of the Interior’s (DOI) assistant secretary for land and minerals management; former DOI chief of staff, Tommy Beaudreau; Steven Croley, who was the Department of Energy’s general counsel; and Joel Beauvais, former deputy assistant administrator of water at the EPA. The practice encompasses climate change, air quality, toxic tort, and water quality. Other areas include insurance coverage, policyholder disputes, energy and natural resources projects, and environmental transactional support. The recommended advisers are New York’s local environment, land and resources chair Gary Gengel; Kegan Brown; who has ‘a great working knowledge of the regulations, regulators and court system’; Los Angeles’ James Arnone; and Robert Wyman, who splits his time between Los Angeles and Washington DC.

Arnold & Porter’s practice advises clients on regulatory compliance obligations and defends them in enforcement proceedings. The team also has a significant Natural Resource Damages (NRD) practice; examples included the team’s assistance to Honeywell with the Onondaga Lake Superfund site. Brian Israel is department head. Other highly rated practitioners include Lawrence Culleen, Jonathan Martel and Joel Gross; New York-based Edward McTiernan, along with Trent Norris and Peggy Otum in San Francisco, are also recommended. Ethan Shenkman was hired from the EPA. All advisers named are in Washington DC, unless otherwise stated.

Bracewell LLP’s work includes climate change regulation, LNG development, pipeline and other infrastructure development, and major incidents. The team acts for Cheniere Energy on environmental regulation, permitting, and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration compliance matters. Jason Hutt chairs the firm’s environmental department; Jeffrey Holmstead is a CAA and climate change specialist; Timothy Wilkins, Austin managing partner, and Christopher Dodson in Houston co-chair the environmental litigation practice. The practice hired David Super from Baker Botts L.L.P.. All advisers are in Washington DC, unless otherwise stated.

Dentons’ practice covers regulatory compliance, defense of enforcement actions, litigation, and due diligence on the environmental aspects of commercial transactions. Its major areas of work are environmental impact assessments, chemical and product regulation, and climate change. The team acted for Syngenta Crop Protection in Proposition 65 matters. San Francisco-based Matthew Adams is particularly focused on issues arising under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act, and the California Environmental Quality Act. Nicholas Yost retired from the practice and Peter Gray joined Crowell & Moring 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, and natural resources, as well as endangered species and wildlife, waste, and climate change. The team leads the representation of Schlumberger Technology Corporation on the legal issues surrounding the Middlefield-Ellis-Whisman Superfund sites in California’s Mountain View. In Washington DC, Eric Murdock heads the administrative law group and environmental team. Timothy Carlstedt rejoined as associate, following government service as deputy general counsel to the Presidio Trust. Tom Boer in San Francisco is also highly regarded. Former practice head William Wehrum joined the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation as assistant administrator.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s practice includes highly sensitive crisis management matters; environmental due diligence aspects of acquisitions, compliance, site remediation, and climate change enforcement; large-scale energy, infrastructure and development projects, including natural resource permitting and California Environmental Quality Act/NEPA compliance; and advising energy clients on US federal and state environmental laws and agencies. The team assisted AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals with the cleanup of the Delaware Sand & Gravel Superfund site. Los Angeles’ James Dragna is environmental practice leader and Princeton-based John McGahren is deputy environmental practice leader.

Vinson & Elkins LLP secures and defends contested air, water and wetlands permits for power plants and other industrial establishments, as well as water supply and waste-water discharge permits. The practice also secures approvals for multi-state projects, involving pipelines and power transmission lines, natural resource matters, and endangered species. The team advised Veresen on the permitting for the Jordan Cove Energy Project and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline. Houston’s Larry Nettles is practice head and Taylor Pullins is a key counsel. Austin counsel Carrick Brooke-Davidson was hired from Guida, Slavich & Flores, PC, while Andrew Stewart joined Sidley Austin LLP and Susan Snyder left for Enviro Water Minerals Company.

Baker Botts L.L.P.’s lawyers assist clients with air, water, toxic substances, and waste issues. The team, through its Texas Industry Project (comprising 66 companies), took the lead in working with the State of Texas to create an innovative emissions banking and trading program that will allow reductions in emissions from mobile sources and smaller sources of ozone precursors. The key Houston contacts are recently appointed environmental chair Scott Janoe and Matthew Kuryla, along with Megan Berge and Bill Bumpers in Washington DC. Other notable contacts are Austin-based Jennifer Keane, Derek McDonald and Molly Cagle, as well as Christopher Carr in San Francisco. David Super joined Bracewell LLP.

Baker McKenzie LLP assists with compliance programs; strategic environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility initiatives; environmental risks and liabilities surrounding multi-jurisdictional corporate acquisitions and divestitures; and agency enforcement matters. Chicago’s John Watson is North American environmental practice chair and Douglas Sanders is also highly rated.

Goodwin’s expertise includes contaminated sediment sites; hard rock mining; Superfund mega-sites; natural resource damage claims; multimedia environmental enforcement proceedings and settlements; vapor intrusion issues; and complex compliance settlements. For over 40 years, the practice has served as regular outside counsel to Newmont Mining and its subsidiaries on environmental, public lands, and energy matters. Washington DC-based Laurence Kirsch chairs the practice; and Michael Giannotto and William Jay are also widely praised. In Boston, Elise Zoli ‘inspires trust in everybody’. Gregory Bibler is another key practitioner.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is experienced in environmental crimes, workplace safety, and major accident response. Recent matters included advising Dow Chemical Company on an EPA inspection of the company’s Freeport, Texas operations. The recommended advisers are team heads Mark Farley in Houston and Steven Solow in Washington DC, where Nadira Clarke and Anne Carpenter also operate; Austin-based Danny Worrell; Houston’s Scott Elliott; and San Francisco-based Matthew Baker. Daniella Landers and Ben Patton departed for Reed Smith LLP.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s experience includes high-stakes litigation and regulatory issues in corporate transactions and restructuring matters. Recent work includes representing Biotechnology Innovation Organization in challenging an ordinance banning GE seeds and crops. Key contacts are Jeanne Cohn-Connor, Brian Land and Stuart Drake. The named advisers are in Washington DC.

Morrison & Foerster LLP ‘provides well-grounded legal advice’. The practice’s strengths include compliance and enforcement; due diligence; natural resources; consumer products law and regulation; and emerging issues, such as climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon trading. It acted for the County of Santa Clara before the Commission of State Mandates, concerning the State of California’s responsibility for funding storm water permitting requirements imposed on local governments. Michèle Corash ‘takes the time to explain her reasoning’; Michael Steel, Robert Falk, Miles Imwalle, and William Tarantino, along with Los Angeles’ Peter Hsiao are all highly rated. All named individuals are in San Francisco, unless otherwise stated. William O’Connor joined Cooley LLP.

Van Ness Feldman LLP acts for large interstate pipeline companies in developing and building pipelines, storage facilities, and LNG terminals. The electric and hydropower practices are also areas of strength. The team advises an Alaska native regional corporation, on issues relating to federal land management and resource development. Washington DC-based Andrea Hudson Campbell, Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming and climate change practice leader Kyle Danish are highly rated.

Greenberg Traurig LLP’s departmental heads are Miami-based Kerri Barsh, Philadelphia’s David Mandelbaum and Tampa managing shareholder David Weinstein. Barsh led advice to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, regarding the environmental permits for the Miami International Boat Show.

K&L Gates’ Harrisburg-based team head Craig Wilson is ‘responsive, incredibly knowledgeable, and asks all the right questions’. The practice acted for Pennsylvania’s largest investor-owned water and waste-water utility company in the environmental and regulatory aspects of the acquisition of a combined sewer waste-water system.

King & Spalding LLP is best known for its environmental agency enforcement expertise; acting in claims involving high-exposure and high-profile groundwater, waste, soil, water, air, and climate issues; and environmental aspects of project developments. Washington DC-based Granta Nakayama and Houston’s Carol Wood are highly rated; Patricia Barmeyer and Adam Sowatzka are key Atlanta contacts.

Paul Hastings LLP is particularly noted for large-scale real estate investments, brownfield developments, permitting issues, climate change matters, and actions related to hazardous materials and pollution laws. Peter Weiner splits time between San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. Other key advisers include San Francisco’s Gordon Hart and Deborah Schmall.

Perkins Coie LLP’s Seattle-based Karen McGaffey assists with project development, permitting, compliance and regulatory matters under state and federal environmental and land use laws. Washington DC’s Donald Baur is focused on water law, wildlife and endangered species; public land and energy resources; protected areas, coastal law; and Indian law.

Reed Smith LLP added a team in Houston, including environmental veteran Daniella Landers and workplace safety and environmental partner Ben Patton from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, and Stacy Williams from TransCanada. The team assists with air and water matters; and environmental issues triggered by the transport of fuel via pipelines. Other notable advisers include Philadelphia’s Robert Frank; recently promoted Jennifer Smokelin in Pittsburgh; as well as Todd Maiden and John Lynn Smith in San Francisco.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP hired Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.’s former co-climate change and environmental practice group chair, Nicholas van Aelstyn, in San Francisco. The practice is particularly noted for soil and groundwater contamination, hazardous waste, air quality, and endangered species issues. Other key names include Keith Garner in San Francisco, Los Angeles’ Randy Visser, and Nancy Scull in San Diego.

Thompson & Knight LLP ‘provides a high level of service’. The team advised the Capitol Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America on the use of a ranch that is a habitat for the endangered Houston toad. Team head James Morriss III is in Austin, where Ashley Phillips ‘works out difficult issues’. In Dallas, James Harris ‘finds practical solutions’ to issues.

In one recent highlight the team at WilmerHale assisted Squaw Valley Ski Holdings with the NEPA process for a gondola. Andy Spielman chairs the energy, environment and natural resources practice, which includes Ken Salazar, a former US Secretary of the Interior. The pair divide their time between Denver and Washington DC.

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