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United States > Industry focus > Environment: litigation > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Environment: litigation
  2. Leading lawyers: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading lawyers: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Sarah Esmaili - Arnold & Porter
    • Stacie Fletcher - Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Clifford Chance Ė Their Voices

Arnold & Porter acts as overall outside environmental counsel for Honeywell, handling several matters, including successfully defending the client in a citizen claim for personal injuries and property damages relating to the Onondaga Lake cleanup; assisting in toxic tort litigation cases, such as the approximately 45 individual claims and the class action arising out of the presence of PFOA in the groundwater and municipal water supply of Hoosick Falls, New York; and in natural resources damages cases, in which it has particular strength. In other work it acted as lead counsel for Chemours in a range of enforcement and litigation matters relating to the discovery of chemicals in the Cape Fear River, namely covering the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts and the Toxic Substances Control Act; and it continues to advise BP on private party claims arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In Washington DC, Brian Israel heads the department; Michael Daneker is firm co-managing partner; and Ethan Shenkman and Joel Gross are other names to note. In San Francisco, Trent Norris covers Proposition 65, and California's toxics and labeling law and consumer protection laws, and counsel Sarah Esmaili is another name to note. Lester Sotsky retired.

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Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is noted for its high-stakes environmental litigation work, namely complex and multi-plaintiff toxic tort matters; climate change litigation; CERCLA and cost-recovery actions; workplace, transportation and industrial incidents; government environmental enforcement actions; insurance coverage disputes involving environmental contamination and mass torts; and challenges to regulatory and other agency pronouncements. Standout work includes its representation of Chevron in several high-profile climate change lawsuits brought by counties, municipalities and states against oil and gas companies, obtaining motions to dismiss in the first two cases. The firm also won a unanimous jury verdict for International Paper in a certified class action alleging tens of millions of dollars in property damages from flooding allegedly caused by the failure of a water management structure on the client’s property; and it also represented Philip Morris in a case dismissed by the Delaware Supreme Court in which hundreds of Argentine citizens alleged exposure to pesticides used on Argentine tobacco farms and sought compensatory and punitive damages. The team is led by Washington-DC based Daniel Nelson and Peter Seley. Also in Washington DC, Stacie Fletcher has particular CAA expertise, Michael Murphy represents government contractors in Superfund litigation, and Raymond Ludwiszewski previously worked at the EPA and the DOJ. In Los Angeles, Patrick Dennis is noted for handling complex cases, and Perlette Jura has built a practice in transnational environmental litigation. Avi Garbow left the firm in February 2019 to become Environmental Advocate at outdoor clothing company Patagonia.

‚ÄėDifficult to better‚Äô, Kirkland & Ellis LLP¬†is renowned for representing BP in matters arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. It continues to act as counsel to the client, including in a host of putative nationwide class actions brought by domestic well owners against BP and other major oil refineries relating to the use of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) as a gasoline additive. Other of the firm‚Äôs key clients include Dow Chemical, DuPont, and General Motors, with its expertise extending to - among¬†other things - mass torts, challenges to federal and state rules, government enforcement actions, criminal and civil matters, Superfund and insurance coverage, and restructuring and bankruptcy matters. In a recurring highlight case, the team defended the City of Chicago in a putative class action alleging dangerous levels of lead exposure in the city‚Äôs water and sewer lines. In Chicago, the names to note are Kevin Van Wart, Andrew Langan, Andrew Running, Douglas Smith, and Richard Godfrey, while Jeanne Cohn-Connor¬†is the key contact in Washington DC.

Clients rely on Latham & Watkins LLP¬†because the lawyers are ‚Äėuniformly excellent and extremely knowledgeable and seasoned‚Äô in all areas of environmental litigation, including climate change, air quality, toxic tort, water quality, insurance coverage, policyholder disputes, and energy and natural resources projects. The firm is assisting the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in an important water rights case filed against the State of Georgia seeking an equitable apportionment of waters to remedy environmental, ecological, and economic harms caused by over-consumption of water by the defendant in the Chattahoochee and Flint River basins. In another highlight, it is acting as counsel to Weyerhaeuser in seven putative class actions relating to the client‚Äôs sale of joists coated with a formaldehyde-based resin formulation.¬†In San Diego,¬†Robert Howard¬†chairs the environment, land and resources department, and¬†Kelly Richardson¬†is noted for his chemical engineering background and ability to ‚Äėsee the big picture‚Äô. ‚ÄėTerrific‚Äô Kegan Brown¬†is recommended in New York, as is chair of the office‚Äôs environment, land and resources department, Gary Gengel, who leads ‚Äėdisparate groups from chaos to cooperation to success‚Äô. In Chicago, Mary Rose Alexander¬†is global environment litigation practice chair and Robin M. Hulshizer¬†and Thomas Heiden¬†are other notable practitioners. Washington DC-based key contacts include Janice Schneider, Tommy Beaudreau, Steven Croley, Joel Beauvais,¬†Julia Hatcher, and Robert Wyman, the last of whom divides his time between Washington DC and Los Angeles. Andrea Hogan left the firm in February 2019 to become senior counsel of the environmental and safety law group at Chevron.

‚ÄėTerrific all round‚Äô, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.¬†is entirely dedicated to environmental law. Its disputes practice covers toxic torts, soil and water contamination, citizen suits, constitutional law, climate change torts, enforcement defense, EPA rules, Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), and arbitration. The outfit has over 80 lawyers working out of eight offices nationwide. The outfit is retained by large corporations and local governments, with recent highlights including its ongoing representation of the State of North Dakota before the District of Columbia regarding authorization to develop a water treatment plant to remediate the poor drinking water quality and quantity in parts of the state. In this last ruling, the court granted the client‚Äôs motion for summary judgment, allowing the project to proceed. In other cases it is defending Waste Connections in five putative class actions filed in state and federal courts (four in Louisiana and one in Pennsylvania) in claims of alleged loss of enjoyment and use of property, diminution in property value, and/or alleged health impacts based on allegations of odors emanating from two landfills; and defending the American Petroleum Institute and the National Mining Association in a federal district court case brought by the states of California and New Mexico and a group of NGOs challenging the Department of the Interior‚Äôs 2017 rescission of regulations adopted in 2016 altering the valuation standards for paying royalties on federal oil and gas and federal and Indian coal production. The litigation practice is jointly led by James Slaughter¬†in Washington DC and Megan Brillault¬†in New York, with other practitioners of note including Washington DC-based firm chair Benjamin Wilson, as well as Kathy Szmuszkovicz¬†and Nessa Horewitch Coppinger; Robert Brager¬†and Evynn Overton¬†in Baltimore; and David Weber¬†and Loren Dunn¬†in Seattle. The much coveted John Cruden¬†joined the Washington DC office after 20 years handling environment and natural resource matters at the Department of Justice, while Susan Smith¬†and of counsel Christopher Strunk¬†joined the San Francisco office from Goldberg Segalla and Gordon & Rees, respectively.

The environmental litigation team at Hogan Lovells US LLP is active representing clients in civil and criminal enforcement actions, cost recovery and contribution actions, rulemaking challenges, toxic torts, citizens suits, permit appeals, and water permit and allocation suits. Recent work includes representing an automotive client in a CAA lawsuit, challenging ESA listings on behalf of the oil and gas industry, and representing a client in the manufacturing sector in a claims for contribution related to a contaminated site investigation and cleanup. In Washington DC, Adam Kushner and James Banks are the key contacts; Kushner co-heads the environmental practice with Denver-based Scott Reisch; also in Washington DC, former DOI solicitor Hilary Tompkins is recommended and Joanne Rotondi is another standout name.

Born in April 2018 from the merger of Hunton & Williams LLP and Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP¬†advises clients in the energy, chemical, manufacturing, automotive, utilities and technology sectors on sophisticated and regulation-affecting cases concerning air, water, endangered species, natural resources, waste, and climate change. Highlights included assisting the Weyerhaeuser Amici Coalition in filing an amici brief before the Supreme Court in an Endangered Species Act case concerning the designation of private land as critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog, and representing Nutrien in an EPA enforcement investigation of multiple CAA regulatory and permitting programs. In Washington DC, Eric Murdock¬†heads the administrative law team, which includes the environmental practice; practice leader Deidre Duncan¬†has expertise in advising clients in the oil and natural gas pipeline sector as well as industry associations; the other practice leader Makram Jaber¬†is a CAA specialist; Chuck Knauss¬†is noted for his climate change work; William Brownell¬†is ‚Äėinfluential in terms of what he has accomplished‚Äô; Andrew Turner¬†is another key contact. In San Francisco, Shannon Broome¬†and Tom Boer¬†are the names to note, and Samuel Brown¬†was made partner.

King & Spalding LLP‚Äôs ‚Äėterrific‚Äô team is retained by big-name clients in litigation relating to climate change, coastal erosion, oilfield fracking, drinking water and soil contamination, as well as automotive and other emission regulation and enforcement, and oilfield contamination in the US and Latin America. As an example, the firm was engaged by key client ConocoPhillips in a spate of climate change tort litigation cases brought by a number of states; toxic and environmental torts practice head Carol Wood¬†and Houston office managing partner Tracie Renfroe¬†co-led the case. Respected Granta Nakayama¬†works out of Washington DC and is also known for his regulatory expertise. Craig Stanfield¬†joined from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP¬†in January 2018, and Peter Hsiao¬†joined in Los Angeles from Morrison & Foerster LLP¬†in September 2018. Other key contacts include Matt Blaschke¬†in San Francisco, and Elizabeth Robertson Taber. Named lawyers are based in Houston unless otherwise stated.

Mayer Brown‚Äôs ‚Äėhighly intellectual‚Äô team provides ‚Äėgreat counseling on strategy and risk management‚Äô on high-stakes cases involving torts relating to greenhouse-gas emissions, site-based mass tort claims, issues of first impression under CWA, challenges to EPA regulations under CAA, criminal environmental prosecutions, renewable energy projects, and complex environmental cleanup projects involving the application of remediation technologies. Examples include its continued representation of several industry groups in litigation attempting to prevent the enactment of certain regulations contained within the CWA, and representing Weyerhaeuser Corporation before the Supreme Court in a case brought by the Fish and Wildlife Service under ESA alleging 1,500 acres of private timberland as critical habitat for the dusky gopher frog; the ‚Äėfabulous‚Äô Timothy Bishop¬†leads both cases from Chicago. He is ‚Äėthe name to call if you have environmental litigation before the Supreme Court‚Äô. In Washington DC, John Hahn¬†is a ‚Äėgreat analyst and problem solver, excellent draftsman, and fun to work with‚Äô; counsel Roger Patrick¬†has ‚Äėa tremendous ability to dig deep into the law and facts to build a compelling case‚Äô; ‚Äėbrilliant' Dan Himmelfarb¬†is ‚Äėa winner‚Äô. Other names to note are Chicago-based Rich Bulger¬†and Mark Ter Molen, who jointly co-chair the environmental practice.

Baker Botts L.L.P. has longstanding experience representing clients in environmental litigation relating to air, water, toxic substances, waste, and contaminated sites. In Houston, Scott Janoe chairs the team, which has continued to act as lead counsel for Hess, Marathon Oil and Repsol in lawsuits brought against the companies by several counties and municipalities alleging climate change liability. Megan Berge in Washington DC and Chris Carr in San Francisco are also working on the case. It also continues to represent Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions in the governmental enforcement defence and private party litigation in relation to an alleged back-flow incident that resulted in the City of Corpus Christi implementing a water use ban for four days in December 2016. Washington DC-based Kent Mayo and Joshua Frank are other names to note.

Anchored in Washington DC and Texas, Bracewell LLP represents clients in contested case proceedings, project development, investigations, enforcement defence, and mass torts, covering CAA, CWA, CERCLA, and climate change, with a particular focus on the energy sector. It continued its assistance to key client Valero Energy in a lawsuit against the EPA concerning the client being defined as an obligated party under the Renewable Fuel Standard of the CAA and clarification of the regulated parties under the program. It also assisted Venoco in aspects relating to its bankruptcy, namely in terms of developing and implementing a strategy for addressing oil and gas assets with millions of dollars in liabilities related to plugging and abandonment of wells, closure or decommissioning of production and transportation facilities, and the environmental restoration of operations sites. In Washington DC, Jason Hutt leads the environmental practice; Kevin Ewing is an expert in midstream, upstream and offshore energy development; Jeffrey Holmstead is a leading CAA and climate change lawyer; and Lisa Jaeger previously worked as acting general counsel and deputy general counsel at the EPA. Houston-based Christopher Dodson co-chairs environmental litigation practice. In Austin, managing partner Timothy Wilkins is the other environmental litigation practice co-chair; Kevin Collins is a former assistant US attorney for the Eastern District of Texas; and associate Brittany Pemberton advises energy, oil and gas, and industrial clients in environmental regulatory compliance and enforcement matters.

The 13-strong team at Goodwin acts on matters related to contaminated sediment sites and Superfund sites, hard rock mining, natural resources damages and other environmental enforcement proceedings and settlements. The firm continues to counsel Morton International (a subsidiary of key client Dow Chemical) in relation to the Berry’s Creek Study Area Superfund site in New Jersey, as well as in the Passaic River litigation. Practice head Laurence Kirsch leads the cases with support from Michael Giannotto; both are based in Washington DC. Elise Zoli left for Jones Day and Gregory Bibler left to set up his own firm.

With 30¬†offices across the country, part¬†of Greenberg Traurig LLP‚Äôs strength lies in its localized expertise. The firm has a comprehensive approach to environment litigation, handling administrative law, auditing and compliance, brownfield development and risk transfer, class action and mass tort litigation, cost recovery, crisis response and management, government enforcement litigation, insurance, Native American law, natural resource damages, permitting litigation and appeals, regulatory rulemaking and challenges, Superfund litigation, and toxic tort litigation. It represented key clients Mosaic Fertilizer and The Mosaic Company in a lawsuit filed by a plaintiff alleging damages from life-long exposure to hazardous air pollutants and other toxins from one of Mosaic Fertilizer‚Äôs manufacturing facilities in Florida. The practice is led by the ‚Äėhighly expert‚Äô David Mandelbaum¬†in Philadelphia, Kerri Barsh¬†in Miami, and Tampa managing shareholder David Weinstein. Other key contacts include Chicago-based Francis Citera, who co-chairs the products liability and mass torts litigation group; Christopher Bell¬†in Houston; Caleb Holmes¬†in Philadelphia; and former US Attorney for the District of Colorado, Troy Eid;¬†as well as Paul Seby¬†and Christopher Neumann¬†in Denver.

Jones Day is assisting GenOn in challenging three CWA permits that the Maryland Department of the Environment issued to three of GenOn’s Maryland plants, attempting to apply the EPA’s recently promulgated Effluent Limitation Guidelines for steam power generating stations. In other work, it advised clients on matters relating to natural resources damages, CERCLA and other contaminated sites, RCRA, CAA, hazardous waste, climate change, and other environmental liability, regulatory compliance and enforcement procedures. Kevin Holewinski heads the environmental health and safety practice from Washington DC. In San Francisco, Thomas Donnelly is the practice head for California, where the firm has a strong presence. In Atlanta, Christine Morgan is another key contact. Boston-based Elise Zoli joined from Goodwin in June 2018. John Rego left for Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP in March 2018.

Katten¬†acts on environmental crimes, workplace safety and major accident response cases; it covers regulatory litigation and criminal and civil enforcement in the energy, chemical, refining, manufacturing, construction and transportation sectors, among others. Washington DC-based Steve Solow¬†is acting as court-appointed monitor for Princess Cruise Lines in the implementation of an environmental compliance plan as part of its criminal penalty for intentional vessel pollution. In Washington DC and Chicago,¬†Karl Heisler¬†‚Äėhas a singular ability to clarify the inordinately opaque and confusing nature of environmental laws for the unanointed‚Äô. Other key contacts include Greg Dillard¬†in Houston, Lily Chinn¬†in San Francisco, and Nadira Clarke¬†in Washington DC. Mark Farley left the team to found his own firm.

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP¬†fields a team of ‚Äėsuperb legal strategists‚Äô acting on the side of both private companies and administrative entities. In the former case, it is representing the Valero Companies in a $400m lawsuit filed under CERCLA claiming liability on the part of the US Government as operator of certain refineries now owned by the client, with the aim of recovering investigation and response costs related to contamination resulting from World War II era operations;¬†William Jackson¬†and William Petit¬†lead the case. Jackson co-chairs the environmental litigation practice with John Gilmour; both are ‚Äėcreative and thorough‚Äô. All lawyers named are Houston based.

‚ÄėShrewd, responsive and exceedingly well prepared‚Äô, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP¬†handles high-stakes complex matters involving environmental litigation, crisis management, mass tort, multiparty hazardous waste proceedings and compliance issues. It is representing key client Anadarko Petroleum in three lawsuits seeking damages and other relief for the alleged climate change impacts of oil and gas exploration and development; respected Los Angeles-based practice head James Dragna¬†leads the case. In Pittsburgh,¬†John Gisleson¬†is recommended. David Schrader¬†in Los Angeles, deputy practice leader John McGahren¬†in Princeton, and Thomas Lotterman¬†and Duke McCall¬†in Washington DC, are other names to note. Camarin Madigan¬†moved to Perkins Coie LLP¬†in February 2019.

Already reputed in air and water pollution control, solid and hazardous waste management, response to accidental releases, Superfund, toxic torts, wetlands regulation, endangered species and environmental impact analysis, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP¬†has been growing its practice in air quality regulatory advocacy and enforcement defense, climate change and alternative energy development, regulation of greenhouse gases, hydraulic fracturing, and underground injection control. The ‚Äėstrength and uniqueness‚Äô of the practice is born out of the ‚Äėlevel and breadth of experience of the lawyers‚Äô. For example, in Washington DC,¬†Matthew Morrison‚Äôs ‚Äėlengthy experience with EPA and DOJ gives him unmatched insight, experience and skill in representing clients in civil and administrative environmental enforcement actions‚Äô, and, in Houston,¬†Thomas Campbell, former general counsel at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is a ‚Äėnationally recognized expert on natural resource damage assessments‚Äô. In Austin,¬†Christopher McNevin¬†leads the firm‚Äôs environmental litigation team; in Los Angeles,¬†Mark Elliott¬†heads the environmental practice firm wide. Other names to note are LA-based Michael McDonough; Norman Carlin¬†and Margaret Rosegay¬†in San Francisco; Anthony Cavender¬†and Amanda Halter¬†in Houston; and Jeffrey Knight¬†in Washington DC. Clients include Western States Petroleum Association, Costco, Chevron, and Valero Energy Corporation.

In a potentially precedent-setting case, Vinson & Elkins LLP‚Äôs ‚Äėvibrant‚Äô practice is representing the San Miguel Electric Cooperative in RCRA, Clean Water Act, and Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act enforcement actions filed by the family owning a ranch adjacent to the client‚Äôs 440 MW lignite-fired electric power plant in South Texas; the lignite was strip-mined and the ranch reclaimed by filling the mine pits with coal ash from the power plant and covering the ash with topsoil; Houston-based practice leader Larry Nettles¬†and Margaret Peloso¬†in Washington DC are working on the matter. In other highlight work, the firm has been assisting clients before the federal and state enforcement agencies and in NGO and private citizen claims in matters relating to contaminated sites, damage to individuals and property, pipeline projects, climate change and the Clean Air Act. Other notable names include Jim Thompson, Lewis Sutherland¬†and senior associate Matthew Dobbins, all in Houston. Ron Tenpas¬†joined the Washington DC office from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP¬†in October 2018.

Baker & Hostetler LLP¬†‚Äėoverlaps communications, strategy and guidance with developments that could impact the client, thereby giving the client confidence that all matters at the firm are integrated and considered against each other beyond their individual impacts‚Äô. It primarily represents clients in the energy, oil and gas, mining and metals sectors in OSHA, CERCLA, Clean Air Act, NEPA, ESA, and Clean Water Act cases. It is currently advising the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and State of Oklahoma in a litigation challenging the EPA‚Äôs Clean Power Plan. Cleveland-based practice head Martin Booher¬†‚Äėgoes above and beyond to manage and guide all matters with sophistication and professionalism‚Äô. In Washington DC, Robert Steinwurtzel¬†stands out for his ‚Äėstraightforward and easy-to-understand approach to complex issues‚Äô, and Mark Delaquil¬†and Thomas Hogan¬†are also noted.

Dentons covers the full range of environmental litigation matters and is especially active in Proposition 65 cases. A landmark example was its successful representation of the California Rice Commission and the USA Rice Federation before the California Superior Court in a case in which the clients sought a declaratory judgment stating that rice sold for consumption did not surpass Proposition 65 thresholds for certain harmful substances, and therefore did not have to carry any warnings. Key practitioners Stanley Landfair and Robert Schuda jointly led the case; they are based in San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively. Also in the former, Matthew Adams chairs the firm’s US environment and natural resources practice.

Jenner & Block LLP¬†is ‚Äėextremely organized and willing to share its information directly with the client‚Äô. It represented Olin in an environmental insurance case against Lamorak regarding coverage for over a dozen contaminated sites which ended in a settlement;¬†Allison Torrence¬†led on this case. It is also assisting Bath Iron Works in a claim made by Occidental Chemical Corporation to recover response costs relating to the Lower Passaic River and the Diamond Alkali Superfund site;¬†Steven Siros¬†and of counsel Andi Samuels Kenney¬†worked on both cases. Siros co-chairs the practice with Gabrielle Sigel,¬†who is valued by clients for her expertise and her discernment of clients‚Äô needs and of opponents‚Äô strategies. All named lawyers are Chicago based. Lynn Grayson¬†left for Nijman Franzetti.

With a strong focus on Superfund work, K&L Gates is assisting approximately 50 companies forming the Lower Passaic River Study Area Cooperating Parties Group in its collaboration with federal and state agencies in a CERCLA remedial investigation/feasibility study of the Lower Passaic River Superfund site in northern New Jersey. It is also representing the Port of Portland in an EPA-led cleanup of contaminated river sediments. Key contacts are Craig Wilson and Brian Montag in Harrisburg, and Ankur Tohan in Newark. David Franchina joined McGuireWoods LLP in September 2018.

McGuireWoods LLP has experience in four broad areas, namely air, brownfields, waste and water. The team is made up of senior counsel John Lain, who handles environmental matters related to infrastructure development, such as brownfields redevelopment and hazardous and solid waste liability; Scott Oostdyk, who represents businesses in land use issues and a variety of pollution problems, including water and hazardous substance cases; and Eugene Mathews III, who handles nuisance litigation. Vishwa Link chairs the regulatory and compliance department, and Diane Flannery chairs the product, environmental and toxic tort litigation department. The firm is primary outside litigation counsel on environmental issues for copper mining giant ASARCO, having recently successfully represented the client in a case before a federal court in Montana ordering Atlantic Richfield to pay Asarco $28m towards the cleanup of a Montana Superfund site. David Franchina joined the Charlotte office from K&L Gates in September 2018. Lawyers are based in Richmond unless otherwise stated.

Morrison & Foerster LLP has particular expertise in Proposition 65 cases, and also handles ESA, Clean Water Act, CEQA, NEPA, and consumer products matters. It is representing over 50 major coffee manufacturers, including Starbucks, Krafts Heinz and Nestlé, in a Proposition 65 claim relating to the alleged increased risk of cancer to humans due to the chemical acrylamide, created when coffee beans are roasted; of counsel Robin Stafford is working on the case. William Tarantino heads the 13-strong team, which further includes Michael Steel, who is handling hazardous waste cases for large retailers in California, and Robert Falk. All practitioners are San Francisco based. Michèle Corash retired.

While often acting on the side of government agencies, and with particular strength in ESA work and advising on environmental matters related to infrastructure projects, Nossaman LLP covers the full gamut of environment litigation work. The firm is representing the Texas Department of Transportation and the Arizona Department of Transportation in a number of claims filed under the NEPA, ESA, CWA and the National Historic Preservation Act related to several highway projects. Irvine-based Paul Weiland chairs the environment and land use practice group.

Perkins Coie LLP¬†is respected by peers for its environmental litigation work, in particular for the breadth of the practice and for the way in which the ‚Äėoutstanding‚Äô practitioners build ‚Äėseamless‚Äô working relations with other lawyers. The team handles CERCLA, CWA, CAA, ESA, and NEPA cases, as well as enforcement defense, challenges to regulation, defense of citizen suits, toxic torts, nuisance and property damage litigation, and environmental insurance claims. Both Seattle based, Mark Schneider¬†chairs the firm‚Äôs national energy and environmental litigation practice, and¬†Karen McGaffey¬†the environment, energy and resources practice group. San Francisco office managing partner Barbara Schussman¬†is also recommended.

Primarily focused on the oil and gas sector, Reed Smith LLP covers enforcement and penalty actions, citizen suits, rulemaking challenges, Superfund and related state legislation, cost recovery claims, environmental insurance claims, contractual indemnities, toxic tort and property damage claims, environmental permit disputes, sewer and water disputes, and environmental criminal indictments. Houston-based Daniella Landers jointly leads the firm’s environmental and health and safety practice group; other notable names include Todd Maiden in San Francisco and Jennifer Smokelin in Pittsburgh. Ben Patton joined the Houston office from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP¬†provides a ‚Äėseamless blend of technical and legal expertise‚Äô. Strong in contaminated sites, toxic substances, CWA and CAA, it is representing Shell in a class action pending in a Florida Circuit Court involving 465 property owners claiming personal injury and a loss of over $30m in property value due to detection of a pesticide called dieldrin, sold by Shell, in domestic wells and in soil. Cal Burnton¬†(who handles toxic tort and product liability) worked on the case; he is based in Chicago as is practice chair Robert Shuftan. In Washington DC, Seth Goldberg¬†provides ‚Äėinsightful and strategic advice, exceptional client care and responsiveness‚Äô.

The environment team at White & Case LLP advises on the clean up of contaminated sites, compliance with environmental laws, environmental insurance coverage, rights and obligations under environmental contractual indemnities, and environmental liabilities in bankruptcy. It continued to represent key client Pfizer and its affiliates in litigation arising from the Lower Passaic River Superfund site in New Jersey, including negotiating a favorable settlement. Seth Kerschner, who made partner in January 2019, leads the US environmental team.

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