Firms To Watch: Environment: litigation

Under the leadership of Kyle McGee in Wilmington, Grant & Eisenhofer P.A.'s environmental and toxic tort litigation practice is particularly focused on acting for public entities, municipalities and governmental bodies in contentious matters involving the production and distribution of hazardous chemicals, and environmental catastrophes arising out of the negligence of corporations.
With decades of experience in this field, Susman Godfrey LLP is 'uniquely equipped' to represent plaintiffs and defendants in litigation concerning the discharge of hazardous substances and pollutants into the environment. Climate change litigation is an area of strength for the team, where Neal Manne, Steve Morrissey and Vineet Bhatia are noteworthy individuals.
Headquartered in California, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP stands out for its strong track record of acting for plaintiffs, including consumers, homeowners and small businesses, in litigation involving the discharge of toxic chemicals, dangerous pesticides and other hazardous materials into the air, water, land and drinking water supplies. Elizabeth Cabraser, Robert Nelson, Lexi Hazam are the key points of contact.

Environment: litigation in United States

Arnold & Porter

Offering coast-to-coast services, Arnold & Porter has a notable track record for representing market-leading clients from a range of industries in cutting-edge environmental litigation. The firm houses a strong group of litigators who combine district, trial and appellate court experience with deep knowledge of environmental regulations. Practitioners handle a busy caseload which features high-exposure disputes involving toxic tort, Superfund liability, climate change, citizen suits, public nuisance, air and water issues, covering all aspects of federal and state environmental law. Leading the department is Brian Israel , who receives praise for his trial experience in Natural Resource Damages (NRD) cases. He is based in the Washington DC office, where Michael Daneker  is a notable practitioner in the fields of enforcement actions defense, CERCLA and Clean Water Act litigation. Also in DC, Elissa Preheim concentrates her practice in environmental claims related to contaminated sites and large toxic tort class actions. The firm is additionally singled out for its deep bench of experts in California, who are often called upon by clients in relation to challenging regulations and chemical listings under Proposition 65. Sarah Esmaili in San Francisco leads on this type of work. In the same office, Trent Norris  is a key contact for the consumer product and retail sectors, while Zachary Fayne is seasoned in challenges to state and federal rulemakings as well as toxic tort litigation.

Practice head(s):

Brian Israel

Other key lawyers:

Michael Daneker; Trent Norris; Elissa Preheim; Zachary Fayne; Sarah Esmaili

Key clients

BP/Atlantic Richfield Company

Honeywell International, Inc.

The Chemours Company


Wolverine World Wide Shoes


California Chamber of Commerce

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation

Conservancy of Southwest Florida

National Biodiesel Board

Work highlights

  • Serving as lead environmental counsel for Chemours on a range of regulatory, enforcement, and litigation matters relating to the discovery of chemicals in the Cape Fear River in North Carolina.
  • Serving as lead toxic tort litigation counsel to Honeywell in the defense of a consolidated class action and approximately 54 individual toxic tort suits in federal and state court arising out of the presence of PFOA in the groundwater and municipal water supply of Hoosick Falls, New York.
  • Represents BP in 22 novel climate change lawsuits filed by state and local governments in California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Washington, and by a fishermen’s trade association.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Some of the most prominent companies in the United States and international clients operating in a wide range of sectors seek Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP‘s representation in the full array of environmental litigation matters. Specializing in high-stakes civil and criminal environmental claims, the group is noted for its capabilities in highly complex disputes involving cost recovery actions, enforcement defense, asbetos liability, Superfund sites, permitting obligations and mass tort claims, including multi-party and multi-forum proceedings. The team is managed out of Washington DC by Stacie Fletcher, who handles significant cases under federal and state environmental statutes, and Daniel Nelson, whose notable areas of practice include class action lawsuits and mass tort. In the same office, Raymond Ludwiszewski is a name to note for the defense of environmental civil enforcement cases and complex toxic tort cases. The DC team was further strengthened by the arrival of David Fotouhi, who joined the firm after nearly four years in the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Also noteworthy is the group’s offering in California, where Patrick Dennis is counsel of choice for numerous manufacturing, energy, real estate, and construction industry clients. He is based in Los Angeles. Perlette Jura, who co-chairs the ESG practice, and Abbey Hudson are key individuals in LA for multi-district environmental litigation.

Practice head(s):

Stacie Fletcher; Daniel Nelson

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Dennis; David Fotouhi; Abbey Hudson; Perlette Jura; Rachel Corley; Raymond Ludwiszewski; Peter Modlin; Thomas Manakides; Michael Murphy; Pete Seley

Key clients

Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz USA

Major players in the coffee industry, including Nestlé USA,

J.M. Smucker, Kraft Heinz, Starbucks, Gavina, and Keurig

Dr. Pepper

General Electric Company

Western States Petroleum Association

Coalition for Sustainable Automotive Regulation and the

Automotive Regulatory Council; Association of Global


Chevron Corporation

PepsiCo, Quaker

Zurich American Insurance Company

The Boeing Company

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP fields one of the largest and most experienced cross-discipline teams in the country specialised in high-value and complex environmental litigation. The practice provides nationwide coverage to a number of leading corporations in the chemicals, energy, manufacturing, transport and defense sectors involved in high-stakes disputes encompassing climate change, air and water quality, toxic tort, energy and natural resources projects and enforcement issues. The group, which features numerous former senior US Government officials, is jointly led by James L. Arnone  in Los Angeles, Janice M. Schneider  in Washington DC, and Chicago-based Mary Rose Alexander , the latter of whom is a ‘top-notch’ attorney with a wealth of experience in multi-district class actions and precedent-setting cases. Also in Chicago, Robin M. Hulshizer ‘s expertise spans every major environmental statute, demonstrating particular strength in litigation involving toxic tort, Superfund sites, citizen suits and mobile emissions matters. Kegan Brown  is the name to note in New York; he has played a critical role in environmental cases involving the consumer products, chemicals, oil and gas, automotive and manufacturing industries.

Practice head(s):

James L. Arnone; Janice M. Schneider; Mary Rose Alexander

Other key lawyers:

Robin Hulshizer; Robert Howard; Kegan Brown


‘The environmental team is very strong and great to work with. They are very responsive and deliver very helpful strategic guidance in complicated legal matters.’

‘Mary Rose Alexander is top-notch from a legal perspective and provides great advice and strategy. In addition, her personality and disposition are the right mix for dealing with different personalities in complex matters, and her style has proved very effective in helping to resolve matters.’

‘The team is exceptional. They are very technologically proficient. They provide high quality, timely advice. They are head and shoulders above the other law firms on the west coast.’

Key clients

Chevron Corporation

Clorox Company

Dow Chemical

DTE Energy

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, Inc. (GD-OTS)

Marathon Oil Corporation


Montrose Chemical

Navistar, Inc. and Navistar International Corporation

Northrop Grumman

Terra-Gen Development Company

Weyerhaeuser Company

Work highlights

  • Represents Clorox in a first-of-its-kind public nuisance case targeting 10 large U.S. consumer product companies for plastics pollution in the world’s oceans.
  • Represented Weyerhaeuser, one of the world’s largest private owners of timberlands in securing a favorable jury verdict in a high-profile lawsuit that involved product liability, consumer protection, and breach of warranty claims.
  • Represents Montrose Chemical Corporation of California in litigation and administrative proceedings regarding the Montrose Superfund Site in Los Angeles.

Baker Botts L.L.P.

With an impressive client roster including a number of well-known energy companies, Baker Botts L.L.P. is highly regarded for handling trial litigation involving environmental law issues. The firm’s deep environmental bench offers coast-to-coast expertise and is regularly involved in multi-media cases arising from natural resource damage claims, climate tort, class actions stemming from environmental accidents, and CERCLA cost-recovery matters. Practitioners bring to the table experience in every major environmental statute and regulatory program, and are often sought after by clients responding to crisis situations, including oil spills and chemical releases, Superfund cases and remedial work. Houston-based Scott Janoe, who has nearly two decades’ experience in environmental litigation, enforcement defense and crisis management, oversees the group with Megan Berge  in Washington DC. Berge stands out for her proficiency in permitting, climate change and ESG matters. Other key inidividuals to note in DC include Steve Solow, who is recommended for environmental incidents that are the subject of government investigations and criminal enforcement, and Nadira Clarke, who is often retained by oilfield services, refiners, manufacturing and chemical clients.

Practice head(s):

Scott Janoe

Other key lawyers:

Megan Berge; Steve Solow; Nadira Clarke; Allison Watkins Mallick; Martha Thomsen; Lily Chin


The team is highly skilled and knowledgeable about environmental laws and regulations at the state and federal levels that are key in environmental claims.

Lily Chin (partner) and Martha Thomsen (associate) manage our company\’s matters with a strategic business focus and project manage the file well.

Key clients

National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Manufacturers and Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute

Borla Performance Industries, INC

Climate Tort Defendants

Intercontinental Terminals Company LLC

National Association of Home Builders

NDT Systems, Inc., Wood Group US Holdings, INC. and Wood Group USA, Inc


NVR, Inc.







Work highlights

  • Represented ExxonMobil in securing a very favorable trial decision in the Southern District of Texas in one of the most significant and closely watched wartime claims case against the United States.
  • Successfully represented the National Association of Home Builders in appealing to the International Code Committee building codes that would embed in widely adopted model building codes provisions that limit the use of natural gas for home heating and facilitate transitions to electric vehicles.
  • Representing Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) in connection with EPA, OSHA, CSB, TCEQ, and other federal, state, and local agency responses to a multi-day fire and environmental release, and defending ITC against environmental, toxic tort, and business claims relating to the event.

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.

Rated by clients for its ‘deep level of knowledge‘, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. is an environmental boutique with an extremely strong reputation in the United States. The firm’s litigation practice is skilled at handling high-profile cases with national and international significance, especially cutting-edge legal matters involving toxic tort, soil and water contamination, citizen suits, constitutional law, and enforcement defense. Recent mandates saw the team represent major companies and trade associations in defending or settling multi-party claims involving PFAS liability and disposal, plastic waste, climate change, environmental justice, product stewardship, and EHS issues related to COVID-19. Complex contaminated site cost recovery claims also feature on the team’s caseload. The full-service practice is jointly managed by Megan Brillault in New York and John Cruden in Washington DC; Brillault acts for Fortune 500 companies, trade associations and businesses in civil and criminal environmental proceedings, and Cruden is a preeminent attorney in high-stakes natural resources and environmental litigation. John Guttman, who splits his practice between New York and DC, combines expertise in toxic tort, environmental litigation and natural resource damages claims. David Weber in Seattle serves as co-chair of the firm’s air and climate change group, and focuses on litigation and enforcement matters. Sitting in the San Francisco office, Susan Smith maintains a national litigation practice covering toxic torts, insurance coverage and drinking water contamination. Bina Reddy is a key practitioner in Austin.

Practice head(s):

Megan Brillault; John Cruden

Other key lawyers:

Loren Dunn; Susan Smith; James Slaughter; John Guttman; David Weber; Eric Klein; Bina Reddy; John Paul; Kaitlyn Shannon; Katelyn Ciolino; Mike Vitris


‘I think what makes this practice unique is the collaboration and truly listening to the client on issue/goal and then providing the legal expertise and potential paths forward. The vast expanse of knowledge in the states and regions we work in is very much appreciated and we are not wasting time on getting anyone up to speed. The deep level of knowledge and relationships is very valuable.’

‘The folks I work with truly take the time to understand the process and collaborate with the subject matter experts to find solutions. David Weber has been incredibly helpful and insightful which has led to a good outcome in a timely manner.’

Key clients

Clarios, LLC

City of Newark


EVRAZ Inc. NA (Oregon Steel)

International Joint Commission

Waste Connections, Inc.

Lincoln Military Housing

TLA-Holbrook LLC

Westlands Water District


Work highlights

  • Successfully represented the City of Newark, NJ in defense of a federal citizen suit under the Safe Drinking Water Act (and the associated Lead and Copper Rule) brought by NRDC after Newark allegedly exceeded the federal lead action limit on lead in drinking water in 2017.
  • Acting as lead litigation counsel for Clarios, LLC, the world’s largest producer of lead-acid batteries for automobiles, in federal CERCLA litigation over environmental contamination from a lead smelter in Vernon, California.
  • Represents subsidiaries of Waste Connections, Inc. in three putative class action lawsuits filed in New York state courts, regarding three landfills.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has a long history of acting in high-exposure environmental claims and has represented large energy, manufacturing, commercial real estate development, petroleum product terminating and mineral extractive industry clients in environmental litigation in the US and beyond. Covering all major federal and state environmental statutes, the team’s impressive track record includes significant Clean Air and Water Act matters, precedent-setting greenhouse gas public nuisance suits, complex enforcement defense proceedings involving chemicals, waste management and site clean-up. The environmental group is led out of Washington DC by Eric Murdock and Deidre Duncan, the latter of whom has a notable reputation in the oil and gas sector. Also in the DC office, Chuck Knauss maintains a broad base environmental practice, demonstrating particular strength in enforcement, permitting, risk management and climate change matters, while permitting natural resources mandates are core areas of activity for Kerry McGrath. Matthew Leopold, who also sits in the DC office, is ‘exceptionally skilled and an expert in environmental law‘, bringing to the table strategic insights as the former General Counsel for the US Environmental Protection Agency. The ‘world-class team of professionals‘ also includes Shannon Broome, who is a leading practitioner in landmark nuisance litigation in California. She is based in San Francisco and represents clients from the oil and gas, renewable energy and manufacturing industries.

Practice head(s):

Eric Murdock; Deidre Duncan

Other key lawyers:

Shannon Broome; Chuck Knauss; Kerry McGrath; Andrew Turner; Matthew Leopold; Samuel Brown; Alexandra Hamilton; Clare Ellis


‘They have a world-class team of professionals in environmental litigation with second to none client service and availability. This combination is very limited and I am continuously impressed by their knowledge and skills, as well as their willingness to go the extra mile for us. We are very pleased with Hunton.’

‘Matt Leopold is exceptionally skilled and an expert in environmental law. He makes every effort to be available and respond to our requests. I wholeheartedly recommend all the Hunton team.’

Key clients

Marathon Petroleum Corporation and Speedway LLC

NWP 12 Litigation Group

Air Permitting Forum and Auto Industry Forum

Pinnacle West Capital Corporation/Arizona Public Service Company

Work highlights

  • Representing Marathon Petroleum Corporation and Speedway LLC in climate change litigation in California, in claims by cities and counties that the client, along with other oil and gas companies, is liable under state common law nuisance and product liability theories.
  • Successfully defended an Arizona utility’s NPDES permit against an eNGOs’ appeal to EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board, which is now on appeal to the 9th Circuit.
  • Secured a crucial victory in the US Supreme Court for a coalition of oil and gas industry groups regarding a federal district court order that prevented the use of an important Clean Water Act (CWA) nationwide permit for oil and gas pipelines.

King & Spalding LLP

The sizeable department at King & Spalding LLP ‘has a wealth of knowledge on how to deal with environmental litigation in challenging jurisdictions‘. With seasoned trial lawyers based across the country, the team is adept at handling high-exposure environmental cases which oftentimes involve bet-the-company significance and issues ranging from toxic chemicals, groundwater contamination to environmental incidents, including fires, chemical releases and explosions. The firm is a go-to destination for clients in the energy sector, but also offers representation to several Fortune 100 companies operating in a range of industries engaged in high-profile waste, soil, water, air and climate change-related litigation in the US and abroad. Based in Washington DC, Granta Nakayama jointly heads up the group with Kristen Fournier in New York and Matt Blaschke in San Francisco. Working out of Houston, Tracie Renfroe  often receives mandates from energy and industrial clients in groundwater and drinking water contamination and toxic tort mandates. Douglas Henderson in Atlanta has tried numerous cases involving chemical exposure, RCRA and the Clean Water Act. On the West Coast, Charles Correll  is a name to note in San Francisco for natural resource damage claims and environmental litigation, while Peter Hsiao in Los Angeles is a solid litigator in matters concerning air and water issues, CERCLA cost recovery and toxic tort.

Practice head(s):

Kristen Fournier; Matt J. Blaschke; Granta Nakayama

Other key lawyers:

Tracie Renfroe; Charles Correll; Douglas Henderson; Nick Kayhan; Peter Hsiao; Elizabeth Taber; Megan Nishikawa; Craig Stanfield


‘This team has a wealth of knowledge on how to deal with environmental litigation in challenging jurisdictions. The judges appreciate how prepared K&S counsel is at hearings and status conferences and this has helped set up good credibility with the judges.’

‘The partners and associates have been terrific advocates and have been able to help the company come up with the best strategies for handling large-scale environmental litigation.’

‘Beyond their advocacy skillset and knowledge, the team that represent us are well coordinated, communicated effectively with each other and to us as their client.’

‘They care about their client’s legal file but more importantly, the individuals we work with have the wisdom and emotional intelligence to view our file holistically to consider the totality of our business interests, internal dynamics and effects legal issues will have on our business.’

King & Spalding has both depth and breadth of experience representing utilities in water supply litigation. Given that many of the policy and legal issues are national in scope, they are able to help their clients understand the big picture and identify the best opportunities for success. They also possess technical expertise and fluency themselves and collaborate with experts in a variety of water-related fields of study. As a result, they regularly offer unique insights, ideas, and approaches that bring added value to their clients. They are skilled at managing litigation strategies across interrelated lawsuits before multiple courts.’

‘King & Spalding stands out for many reasons. The team is efficiently staffed with professionals who have strong knowledge of the subject matter and an understanding of our company’s business. Additionally, while efficient and cost effective, the team is proactive and strategic always staying ahead without having to be reactive.’

Tracie Renfroe provides exceptional leadership to any matter she is responsible for. She is strategic, pragmatic and always provides forward looking planning for matters. Tracie is very organized which empowers her to work in a smart and efficient manner. Tracie’s experience and instincts are intangibles that help her see the big picture while understanding which details are important and need the most attention. She also is an effective communicator who understands her audience. Tracie can explain very complicated and technical concepts in terms that are concise and easy for client’s to understand while having the ability to communicate intricate details to courts, experts and other members of her team. Most importantly, Tracie places the highest priority on honesty and ethics while maintaining a fiercely zealous disposition toward representing her clients.’

Key clients

Chevron Corporation

The Renco Group

Chevron Phillips Chemical Company

Baker Hughes Company

Environmental Resources Management Southwest Inc.

LAOSD Asbestos Cases

BASF Corporation

Sea Island Acquisition, LLC

Total Terminals International LLC

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and the Georgia Water Supply Providers

International Paper Co.

Work highlights

  • Representing Chevron in an investment treaty arbitration against the Republic of Ecuador seated in the Hague, arising out of a $9.5bn Ecuadorian court judgment against Chevron for alleged environmental harm caused by historical oilfield operations.
  • Defended Chevron U.S.A. and Chevron Corp. in connection with claims totalling over $1bn following an August 2012 fire at the Richmond, CA refinery.
  • Representing Chevron as lead national trial counsel in numerous cases in which municipalities, water purveyors, State Attorneys General, and individuals claim that water has been contaminated by the gasoline additive MTBE.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Bringing together experience in environmental enforcement, compliance and litigation, Kirkland & Ellis LLP has successfully defended major companies in a variety of civil, criminal and administrative environmental proceedings. Contentious matters related to groundwater contamination is an area of strength for the group, which is often retained by clients from the chemicals, manufacturing, oil and gas sectors and public entities in such claims. In addition, typical mandates include mass tort and class actions, Superfund cases, climate change litigation and challenged to federal and state rulemakings. Andrew Running is a key point of contact within the team; the practitioner is based in Chicago and has achieved numerous victories for clients in environmental contamination, product liability and toxic tort cases. Kevin Van Wart is seasoned in acting for major corporate clients in class actions and mass tort lawsuits, while Bradley Weidenhammer has substantial experience in federal and state trials as well as appellate courts throughout the US. Clients in the aerospace, manufacturing, telecoms, energy and pharmaceutical sectors regularly turn to Nader Boulos for assistance with environmental tort cases.

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Running; Kevin Van Wart; Nader Boulos; Bradley Weidenhammer



‘Kirkland has super smart people that can work well with other law firms. Their reputation sets them up to be respected and work well with others.’

‘Nader Boulos is experienced, brilliant, and a natural leader.’

Key clients

City of Chicago

Dow Chemical Company

General Motors Company

Mayer Brown

Standing out for its global presence, the environmental team at Mayer Brown is well-placed to advise clients facing litigation and navigating enforcement concerns. Its extensive experience litigating major cases in state and federal courts across the US makes it a suitable choice for high-stakes matters relating to greenhouse gas emissions, mass tort claims, PFAS litigation, challenges to EPA regulations and criminal environmental proceedings. The Illinois-based team has recently been involved in complex putative class actions and multi-district litigation involving the Clean Water Act. The practice is under the leadership of two practitioners: Mark Ter Molen , who demonstrates broad capabilities in environmental tort cases and enforcement matters, and Rich Bulger , whose government experience make him a go-to choice for enforcement proceedings and mass tort litigation. Environmental and land use litigation are notable areas of practice for Timothy Bishop , whose expertise cuts across water and air issues, and nuisance law. Counsel Jaimy Hamburg not only assists with civil and criminal government investigations, but is also adept at defending corporate clients in toxic tort, citizen suits and class actions. All named attorneys are based in Chicago.

Practice head(s):

Rich Bulger; Mark Ter Molen

Other key lawyers:

Timothy Bishop; Jaimy Hamburg


Key clients

American Farm Bureau Federation


United States Sugar Corporation

3M Company

Nicor Gas Company

Veolia S.A.

National Pork Producers Council

American Petroleum Institute

Foster Farms

Nestlé SA

Hemlock Semiconductor

Work highlights

  • Currently representing 3M in significant high-stakes litigation, involving over 1,000 suits filed by individuals, water suppliers, and units of government at the state and local level.
  • Acts for Veolia in a putative class action and individual cases in federal and state courts in connection with the Flint Water Crisis.
  • Representing a dozen major industry groups in litigation in district courts across the country in a continuing legal effort to ensure that “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA) are reasonably defined by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP‘s environmental counseling and litigation practice is adept at trying high-stakes cases, including those stemming from enforcement investigations, mass tort claims and multi-party hazardous waste lawsuits. Remediation of contaminated sites and natural resource damage assessments under CERCLA are other notable areas of practice for the team, which fields further strength in defending energy and infrastructure permits in state and federal courts. Co-head James Dragna takes on a leading role in major litigation and environmental crises mandates, often acting for multiparty groups in hazardous waste proceedings; he works out of Los Angeles. Fellow co-leader John McGahren manages the New Jersey-based litigation team; he has a wealth of experience in prosecuting and defending citizen suits, Superfund and RCRA cases. Stephanie Feingold  in Princeton is regularly retained by chemical, energy, telecoms and manufacturing companies engaged in multi-district litigation. Based in Washington DC, Duke McCall is a crucial member of the environmental practice with decades of first-chair experience representing clients in some of the largest matters handled by the team.

Practice head(s):

James Dragna; John McGahren

Other key lawyers:

Duke McCall; Stephanie Feingold; Randall Levine; Ariel Kapoano; Sean Radomski

Key clients

Southern California Gas Company

Celanese Corporation

BKK Joint Defense Group

TDY and Allegheny Technologies, Inc.

Wallace Silversmiths de Puerto Rico, Ltd., a subsidiary of Lifetime Brands, Inc.

Verizon Communications Inc.

SL Industries

The Sherwin-Williams Company

Handy & Harman, Handy & Harman Electronic Materials Corp., Steel Partners Holdings, L.P., and Plessey Incorporated

The Chemours Company (Chemours) and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DuPont)

Work highlights

  • Serving as coordinating and litigation counsel for SoCalGas and Sempra Energy handling more than 394 individual and government complaints involving more than 48,000 individual plaintiffs, multiple class actions, six derivative/securities lawsuits, one criminal proceeding, a Proposition 65 claim, and several administrative enforcement proceedings, including related appeals to the Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court, among other matters arising from the 2015 natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon storage facility.
  • Representing Celanese Corporation (Celanese) and its affiliates in proceedings related to the clean-up of the Lower Passaic River, which is listed on the US EPA Administrator’s list of Superfund Sites Targeted for Immediate, Intense Action.
  • Representing Verizon in connection with three actions in the Eastern District of New York. in 101 Frost Street Associates L.P v. United States Department of Energy.

Alston & Bird LLP

With offices in Georgia, California and Washington, Alston & Birdhandles critical environmental matters‘ for clients operating in a variety of industries, most notably the oil and gas sector. Boasting more than three decades of experience in environmental litigation, the practice is well-positioned to undertake trial and appellate work involving all major environmental statutes, ranging from mass tort and class actions, citizen suits and enforcement matters. Doug Arnold in Atlanta, whose experience covers enforcement proceedings, toxic tort and environmental claims, jointly heads up the department with Los Angeles-based Nicki Carlsen. Energy, manufacturing, defense and real estate clients often seek Jeffrey Dintzer‘s representation in high-profile environmental administrative and civil litigation throughout California; he also sits in the LA office. Clay Massey is another name to note in Atlanta for asbestos litigation, mass tort cases and land use disputes.

Practice head(s):

Doug Arnold; Nicki Carlsen

Other key lawyers:

Jeffrey Dintzer; Clay Massey; Matt Wickersham; Meaghan Boyd; Ronnie Gosselin; Greg Christianson


‘This firm handles critical environmental matters. They are a small, dedicated, efficient team. National experience at the federal level and also with high-level state matters.’

‘We work with Doug Arnold and Ronnie Gosselin, and both are outstanding. They understand our position as a manufacturing company, including our needs and concerns as well as our place in the industrial hierarchy, regulatory framework, and our public image. They are adept at communicating with enforcement and monitoring officials, which often requires a combination of data, grace, confidence, humility and empathy.’

‘When Greg Christianson moved to Alston & Bird in 2019, my company and a related company went with Greg to Alston. Greg has put together a very knowledgeable team of partners and associates that very ably represents. The lawyers who work with us at Alston are experts who are careful and dedicated.’

Key clients

Five Point Holdings

Heritage Field El Toro

Chevron U.S.A, Inc.

Schnitzer Steel Industries

Shell Oil Company

Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company LLC

Vulcan Materials Company

Georgia Power Company

IsoNova Technologies

Pluris Holdings

Work highlights

  • Representing Schnitzer Steel and MMGL in connection with sediment contamination at the Portland Harbor Superfund Site, one of the largest Superfund sites in the country, located on a ten-mile stretch of the Willamette River that runs through the Industrial section of Portland, Oregon.
  • Acting as lead trial and appellate counsel for Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company in the prosecution of numerous federal court condemnation actions against approximately 100 properties in Georgia in order to construct a 115-mile, $472 m natural gas pipeline in Georgia.
  • Secured a victory in California appellate court for Chevron U.S.A., along with certain business partners and royalty owners, in a challenge to a countywide ballot initiative that, if implemented, would have shut down all operations at the state’s eighth-largest oil field.

Bracewell LLP

With extensive experience in environmental litigation before state and federal courts across the US, Bracewell LLP is skilled at handling bet-the-company civil, administrative and criminal proceedings on behalf of clients from a range of industries, with a particular focus on the energy sector. The firm excels in assembling cross-office teams to handle major environmental cases involving air, water, waste, climate change and infrastructure development, and negotiating the resolution of enforcement cases opposite EPA and the Department of Justice. The department is jointly led by Jason Hutt  in Washington DC, whose experience covers major industrial accidents, multi-party and multi-media environmental cases and enforcement actions, and Austin-based Kevin Collins , who is counsel of choice for leading energy and petrochemical clients. Also in DC, Kevin Ewing  is another key contact for energy companies, while Jeffrey Holmstead  is singled out for his expertise in air and climate change matters. Ann Navaro  is a solid litigator who is regularly engaged in permitting and enforcement-related cases.

Practice head(s):

Jason Hutt; Kevin Collins

Other key lawyers:

Kevin Ewing; Ann Navaro; Jeffrey Holmstead; David Super; Timothy Wilkins; Brittany Pemberton


‘An excellent firm that still brings value for their fees.’

‘Tim Wilkins is a top-notch environmental lawyer.’

Key clients

Kinder Morgan, Inc.

City of Chicago

Eni US Operating Co. Inc. and Eni Petroleum US LLC

Venoco Liquidating Trust

Sinclair Oil Corporation

Big West Oil, LLC

Delek U.S. Holdings

Byhalia Pipeline LLC

EOG Resources, Inc.

Equinor Wind (f/k/a Statoil Wind)


Cheniere Energy, Inc.

Airgas USA LLC

Par Pacific

Work highlights

  • Defending Equinor Wind (formerly known as Statoil Wind) against legal challenges to federal authorizations held by Equinor that form the basis for multiple utility-scale offshore wind projects on the Atlantic Coast.
  • Representing Eni US Operating Co. Inc. and Eni Petroleum US LLC, as predecessors in interest to certain debtors, in Fieldwood Energy LLC, Case No. 20-33948 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. 2020) pursuant to a 2018 sale of offshore oil and gas assets in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Representing EOG in Dine Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management (D. N.M.) — litigation challenging the issuance of certain oil and gas leases held by EOG in New Mexico.

Greenberg Traurig LLP

Greenberg Traurig LLP fields a team of attorneys specialised in the resolution and settlement of complex civil and criminal environmental cases. On the civil litigation side, the team is well placed to represent clients in class actions, multi-district litigation, citizen suits and enforcement matters. Furthermore, the group is skilled at trying high-stakes cases, including those involving alleged soil, water and air pollution, on behalf chemical, refining, mining, manufacturing and other industrial clients. Offering expertise on the full-array of environmental law matters, practitioners are also retained in mandates pertaining to environmental releases, crisis management and climate change. Kerri Barsh  in Miami and David B. Weinstein in Tampa oversee the nationwide environmental department. Based in Philadelphia, David G. Mandelbaum  is seasoned in water rights, waste management and Superfund-related cases. Civil and criminal enforcement are among Christopher L. Bell‘s areas of activity; he is based in Houston and also focuses on litigation and emergency response. Francis Citera is a key individual in the Chicago office; he has defended clients in several class actions, toxic tort claims and environmental litigation before federal and state courts.

Practice head(s):

Kerri Barsh; David  Weinstein

Other key lawyers:

David Mandelbaum; Christopher Bell; Paul Seby; Francis Citera;  Steven Russo; Christopher Neumann

Key clients

State of North Dakota

Union Pacific Railroad

Orlando Utilities Commission

El Paso Natural Gas Company, LLC

Ikonix USA LLC

Apex Oil Company, Inc.

Benjamin Moore & Co., Inc.

KES Systems, Inc.

American Pacific Corporation

Nevada Gold Mines LLC

FMC Corporation

Greenidge Generation

MTA Metro-North Railroad

Shopoff Realty Investments

Work highlights

  • Representing North Dakota in North Dakota v. EPA which will be heard by the US Supreme Court.
  • Representing El Paso in connection with the Rico-Argentine Mine Superfund Site in southwestern Colorado.
  • Acting for Apex Oil Company, Inc. in RCRA and CERCLA mattera arising from a rupture of underground pipelines from a refinery that resulted in the release of approximately 294,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline.

Jones Day

Jones Day represents clients in a variety of environmental litigation in federal and state courts, showcasing strong credentials in the area of climate change and emerging contaminants. The team is comprised of attorneys with former experience in federal agencies, including the EPA, and draws on resources throughout the US and Europe to assist clients operating in the chemical, energy, mining, waste management, forest products, automobile manufacturing, real estate development and agriculture sectors in toxic tort and insurance coverage litigation matters.  Department head Kevin Holewinski  manages a busy caseload featuring high-stakes environmental, climate change and toxic tort litigation; he is based in Washington DC. Jane Story is a noteworthy practitioner in Pittsburgh, who is recommended both for CERCLA litigation and compliance issues, while Thomas Donnelly  stands out in the San Francisco office for his longstanding experience in administrative proceedings before environmental agencies and litigation.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Holewinski

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Donnelly; Jane Story; Daniella Einik; Daniel Corbett

Key clients

United Affiliates Corporation


Kyocera International, Inc.

Taiwan Cement Corporation

Midshore Riverkeepers

Fluor Corporation

Eaton Corporation

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP is singled out for its capabilities in ‘litigating cases involving significant environmental contamination’. The practice possesses a strong track record of representing states, port authorities, governmental entities and industrial clients in large natural resource damages and environmental cases throughout the United States. Clients rate the team’s unparalleled expertise in emerging contaminant cases, especially PFAS industrial discharge matters. Additionally, attorneys are adept at handling environmental cost-recovery cases, administrative proceedings, and the remediation of contaminated water, groundwater and other sites across the country. William Jackson maintains a nationwide litigation and enforcement actions practice, demonstrating particular strength in PFAS contamination cases. He oversees the practice with John Gilmour, whose areas of activity include natural resource damages claims, Superfund cases and environmental litigation. William Petit offers representation to clients from the energy, real estate, construction and manufacturing sectors. Andrew Homer, who sits in San Diego, ‘has been a true asset to the team in nationwide litigation‘. All practitioners are based in Houston, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

William Jackson; John Gilmour

Other key lawyers:

William Petit; Kenny Corley; Andrew Homer; David Reap; Melissa Byroade; Nancy Yanochik; Lana Rowenko; Lauren  Shah; Fabio Dworschak


‘We hired KDW for their depth of knowledge in a particular field–PFAS contamination–and their track record regarding such claims. They also have significant experience working with client like us–a state–which is a unique skill set.’

‘Bill Jackson is a very good team leader. Kenny Corley is always prepared and able to juggle complicated and detailed facts.’

‘The team’s strength is litigating cases involving significant environmental contamination.’

Key clients

New Mexico Environment Department

San Diego Unified Port District (the “Port of San Diego”)

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Office of the Attorney General of Guam

The Valero Companies

New Hampshire Office of Attorney General

State of Ohio

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

North Carolina Department of Justice

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Montebello Land and Water Company

Miami Dade County Commission

Pico Water District

Water Replenishment District of Southern California

Orange County Water District

Pleasant Valley Public Water District

City of South Elgin, IL

Town of Lewisboro, New York

Bellflower-Somerset Mutual Water Company

Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority

Work highlights

  • Retained by several public and private sector clients to represent them in over twenty separate litigation matters across the country involving contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and related products, such as aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), including the States of New Jersey, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Ohio, the Government of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and over a dozen water districts from Fairbanks, Alaska and Orange County, California, to Barnstable, Massachusetts and Miami-Dade, Florida.
  • Representing the Government of Guam as lead counsel in litigation asserting claims against the United States to recover a portion of the costs of removal and remedial action and the relocation of a community facility pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. §9601 et seq. (CERCLA), related to the Ordot Dump.
  • Representing the State of New Mexico and New Mexico Environment Department as lead counsel in asserting claims arising out of the 2015 Gold King Mine blowout—an environmental disaster that released more than 3 million gallons of acidic mine water and heavy metal-laden tailings into the Animas and San Juan Rivers flowing through northwest New Mexico.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP offers comprehensive advice in the fields of environmental and natural resources litigation matters to an array of market-leading and transformative businesses across all industrial and energy segments. Recently, the team, which couples trial capability with deep environmental experience, has been involved in several matters involving the State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). Furthermore, the practice undertakes works involving all major federal and state environmental laws, and handles contentious matters concerning air and water issues, waste management, emerging chemicals, toxic torts, Superfund and endangered species. Mark Elliott in Los Angeles is skilled in environmental litigation at the state and federal levels, including cases involving Superfund sites, Proposition 65, and the Clean Water Act. Based in San Francisco, Margaret Rosegay  is a leading attorney in California, who is recommended for hazardous waste permitting, RCRA and site remediation. They jointly chair the group with Houston-based Amanda Halter, who oversees the crisis management team, and Jeffrey Knight in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Mark Elliott; Margaret Rosegay; Amanda Halter; Jeffrey Knight

Other key lawyers:

Sheila Harvey; Matthew Morrison; Michael McDonough; Tom Van Wyngarden; Reza Zarghamee


‘Clients cover the full spectrum of the energy space – oil and gas; midstream and downstream petroleum; nuclear; traditional electric; and renewables.’

‘I referred a multibillion dollar litigation matter to Matt Morrison, a partner in Pillsbury’s Washington DC office. Matt is an 18 year veteran of DOJ and EPA. He has a very client focused orientation and is sensitive to litigation costs.’

Key clients

MP Materials

Saint-Gobain Inc

Kinder Morgan

Pacific Gas & Electric

Green Diamond & Humboldt Redwood

Kinetrex Energy


Chevron Corporation

Teck Metals Ltd

Costco Wholesale Corporation

Valero Energy Corporation

Western States Petroleum Association

Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.

PBF Energy


American Chemistry Council

Brookfield Renewable Energy


Chesapeake Energy

Range Resources

Waste Management, Inc.

Renewable Fuels Association

Squire Patton Boggs

The environment, safety and health practice group at Squire Patton Boggs excels in handling complex litigation, ranging from challenging new environmental regulations to defending enforcement actions, cost recovery claims, class actions and multi-party toxic tort matters. Clients operating in the steelmaking, mining, chemical, manufacturing, oil and gas, energy and consumer products sectors benefit from practitioners’ long history of working with state and federal regulators, and their track record in site remediation, brownfield redevelopments and water rights issues. Based in Columbus, department head Karen Winters is proficient in environmental tort claims and in the management of large-scale environmental liabilities. In Denver, Carolyn McIntosh is extremely active in environmental litigation and compliance issues, and Peter Gould assists clients with administrative law, government investigations and environmental disputes. In the same office, Alexander Arensberg  is skilled at acting for clients in litigation and regulatory matters before federal and state agencies.

Practice head(s):

Karen Winters

Other key lawyers:

Carolyn McIntosh; Vincent Atriano; Kendra Sherman; Peter Gould; Alexander Arensberg

Key clients

Cleveland-Cliffs Steel Corporation ArcelorMittal Weirton LLC

Union Pacific Railroad Company

Blackjewel L.L.C.

Northshore Mining Company, Northern Conservation, LLC, and United Taconite LLC

Truist Financial Corporation

Albemarle Corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Albemarle U.S., Inc.

The Mosaic Company

Work highlights

  • Engaged to defend steel production corporation in a putative class action involving claims for private nuisance, public nuisance and negligence for alleged odors, dust and air particulates allegedly from one of its steel manufacturing facilities.
  • Lead trial counsel for Defendant in a case where Plaintiffs brought suit against 21 Manufacturing Defendants and two Facility Defendants (including our client) due to alleged contamination of their public water supply system by PFAS compounds (namely PFOA and PFOS).
  • Representing one of the largest global producers of fertilizer regarding various environmental, permitting, and leasing matters at its locations in New Mexico and in the South-eastern U.S., including in connection with potash mineral leases issued by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and related land holdings.

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP is skilled at handling a huge variety of environmental mandates, ranging from regulatory and permitting matters to federal environmental litigation. The team is well-versed in contentious and historical contamination cases across the country, and in litigating EPA’s regulations of national importance. Larry Nettles in Houston jointly heads up the environmental group with Washington DC-based Ronald Tenpas, who stands out for his strong track record in civil and criminal matters related to alleged environmental violations. In the Houston office, George Wilkinson is experienced in litigation before state and federal courts involving a range of environmental issues, including RCRA and CERCLA. Clean Air Act expert Eric Groten is a name to note in Austin for enforcement action defense. Clients engaged in environmental litigation and regulatory matters which involve complex scientific and technical issues regularly seek Margaret Peloso‘s advice. She is based in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Larry Nettles; Ron Tenpas

Other key lawyers:

Eric Groten; George Wilkinson; Michael Wigmore; Margaret Peloso; Brandon Tuck; Conrad Bolston; Patrick Traylor; Matt Dobbins


‘I am very impressed with Vinson & Elkins’ knowledge about environmental litigation. They are experts in the field.’

‘I have been very impressed with the work of Vinson & Elkins partner Patrick Traylor. Patrick is a great communicator, and he is always actively searching for solutions. His depth of knowledge in environmental litigation and regulatory matters is top notch.’

‘Matt Dobbins is the most talented and impressive young partner in the game. He brings a very methodical and long-term approach to both solving problems and devising solutions in this more challenging permitting environment for energy and infrastructure projects.’

Key clients

Adelphia Gateway LLC

Blackstone Energy Partners

Blue Racer Midstream

Bluewing Midstream LLC

Daseke, Inc.

Enable Midstream

Enbridge/Valley Crossing Pipeline LLC

Endeavor Energy Resources, LP

Global Companies, LLC

Goldman Sachs

Greer Capital Corporation

Gulf Coast Ammonia

Jefferson Gulf Coast Energy Partners

Magellan Midstream Partners L.P.

NCS Multistage Holdings, Inc.

Northwoods Energy, LLC

Oasis Petroleum, Inc.

Pembina/Jordan Cove Energy Project

PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC

Popular Bank

Rosehill Resources

San Miguel Electric Cooperative

Sandy Creek Services

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)

SemGroup Corporation


Southwest Business Properties, Inc.

Spire Storage West

Targa Resources Partners

Texas Eastern Transmission LP

The Carlyle Group

Freeport-McMoRan Inc.


NextEra Energy, Inc.

Perpetua Resources

Wolverine Pipe Line, Inc

Work highlights

  • Recently concluded representation of San Miguel Electric Cooperative (the “Co-op”) in an environmental property damage lawsuit where the plaintiffs asserted causes of action under tort, contract and Texas environmental statutory provisions.
  • Negotiating with the EPA regarding the form of clean-up the agency will require and who will implement the remedy in an effort to reduce the cost relating to an asbestos case from a facility Greer Capital was the landlord of, even though Greer Capital was not responsible for the contamination.
  • Represented IAV GmbH (“IAV”) in connection with the DOJ’s criminal investigation into the Volkswagen emissions system violations.


Demonstrating strong capabilities in transactions, regulatory matters and litigation involving environmental law, Dentons is noted for its experience in chemical and pesticides regulations under federal and state laws, and its strength in representing major developers in brownfields issues across the United States. Atlanta-based Todd Silliman manages the department; he has served as lead counsel in high-profile cases involving endangered species, CERCLA and PEPA issues, water rights and wetlands. With a strong base in California, the team is regularly retained to advise on Proposition 65 matters, Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) issues and chemical risks. Robert Schuda in Los Angeles has longstanding experience in ESG maters, hazardous waste management and cleanup, and historic preservation.

Practice head(s):

R. Todd Silliman

Other key lawyers:

Robert Schuda

Key clients

Waste Management

DeKalb County, Georgia

Mason & Hanger Corporation

California Rice Commission and USA Rice Federation

North American Meat Institute

Dow AgroSciences LLC

BASF Corp.

CropLife America

Spectrum Brands

Syngenta Corp Protection LLC

Work highlights

  • Obtained dismissal of a high-profile Clean Water Act citizen suit brought in federal court by an environmental group against DeKalb County, Georgia.

K&L Gates

K&L Gates houses a group of environmental and regulatory specialists whose experience cuts across air, waste management, water, wetlands, mining and oil and gas. The team has strong working relationships with federal ad state regulatory authorities, making it well-positioned to assist major businesses and industry groups in administrative proceedings, permitting issues, and remediation claims. Based in the Newark office, Brian Montag ‘has a breadth of knowledge and expertise in environmental litigation‘. He is regularly retained by clients in the construction, manufacturing, telecoms and chemical sectors in mandates involving environmental justice, Superfund sites, and toxic tort. He jointly heads up the environmental practice Craig Wilson in Harrisburg and Seattle-based Ankur Tohan.

Practice head(s):

Brian Montag; Craig Wilson; Ankur Tohan

Other key lawyers:

Joseph Lagrotteria; David Raphael


‘Very knowledgeable regarding environmental laws and regulations, with the extra strength of understanding the constitutional underpinnings or lack thereof. Team with varied skills but work as a team with no ego battles.’

‘Combination of knowledge and skill with low key, laid back approach make them a pleasure to work with.’

‘Brian Montag not only has a breadth of knowledge and expertise in environmental litigation situations, he also understands where and when he needs more information. He never walks into a situation where he hasn’t gone through a process of elimination trying to determine next steps. His professionalism also precedes him making him incredibly capable to come to agreement with counterparties that are not sure where the client may stand but know they can trust Brian.’

Key clients

Gary Development Landfill PRP Group


Tilcon New York Inc.

Cooperating Parties Group (CPG)

Chemsol PRP Group

PPG Industries

Ford Motor Company

BNSF Railway Company

Penn Cove Shellfish

Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance

Sunoco Partners Marketing and Terminals, L.P. (SPMT)

Hanson Aggregates Pennsylvania LLC

McGuireWoods LLP

McGuireWoods LLP covers a broad range of environmental litigation and regulatory matters, with significant experience in Clean Air Act contentious matters, emerging contaminants and redevelopment of contaminated property. The team is routinely retained to represent a high-profile and nationwide corporate client roster in claims involving toxic and mass torts, citizen suits, civil and criminal enforcement actions and environmental resource damages claims. The environmental practice is chaired by David Franchina in Charlotte, while Richmond-based Vishwa Link heads up the regulatory and compliance department, and Diane Flannery  leads on environmental and toxic tort litigation mandates. Also in Richmond, Darin Waylett stands out for his involvement in the practice; he advises on the full spectrum of environmental matters.

Practice head(s):

David Franchina; Vishwa B. Link; Diane Flannery

Other key lawyers:

Darin Waylett; Candace Blydenburgh; Aaron Flynn; Makram Jaber; Allison Wood

Morrison Foerster

Based in California, Morrison Foerster represents clients before judicial tribunals in all areas of environmental law, with a particular emphasis in cases arising under the federal Superfund law, claims of wrongful chemical exposure, and remediation of historical uses of soil and groundwater. Led by William Tarantino , the team is a strong performer in Proposition 65 trials and is also adept at assisting with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processes from the planning stage through litigation. Other areas of expertise include natural resources claims and challenging contentious matters under the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act. Tarantino is seasoned at trying cases in state and federal courts. Justin Fisch is singled out for his comprehensive knowledge of climate change, site cleanups and brownfield development. Both attorneys are based in San Francisco.

Practice head(s):

William Tarantino

Other key lawyers:

Justin Fisch

Key clients

Commerce Trust Company, as trustee of Seven Springs Limited Partnership

Clearwater Seafoods

C&D Technologies Inc.

Norcal Harvesting LLC

Array Photonics

Etsy, Inc.

Mexilink, Inc.

Zinzino AB

Clorox Company

Major Retailers (General Merchandise)

Work highlights

  • Representing Commerce Trust Company, as trustee of Seven Springs Limited Partnership, in various regulatory and litigation proceedings alleging liability for groundwater contamination that allegedly occurred decades prior to the Partnership’s purchase of the site.
  • Acting for C&D Technologies in a complex, 10-year multi-party environmental remediation litigation brought by the Orange County Water District seeking remediation of a regional plume of volatile organics.
  • Defending the largest producer of shellfish in North America in a Proposition 65 enforcement action brought by the California Attorney General claiming that certain clams, mussels, and shellfish contain excessive levels of heavy metal.

Nossaman LLP

Working at a national level, Nossaman LLP has a depth of experience handling the entire spectrum of environmental and land use contentious maters, including litigating and resolving disputes arising under a range of federal and state environmental statutes, such as NEPA, CERCLA and the Endangered Species Act. The team is especially recognised for its in-depth knowledge of environmental issues affecting wildlife, acting for public and private entities in relation to natural resources, development and conservation mandates, and the defense of high-value public infrastructure and energy projects. Its longstanding expertise in the area of water rights and groundwater cleanup is also noteworthy. Based in Irvine, Paul Weiland is ‘an excellent attorney’ focusing on litigation and permitting work on behalf of public agencies, utilities, private developers and large landowners. He jointly leads the department with Alfred E. Smith II in Los Angeles. Svend Brandt-Erichsen is a name to note in Seattle for challenges to regulations in federal and state court.

Practice head(s):

Paul S. Weiland; Alfred E. Smith II

Other key lawyers:

Svend Brandt-Erichsen; Reed Neuman; Ben Rubin; Liz Klebaner; David Miller


‘This practice is very responsive, attentive, capable and provides sound, practical advice for litigation decision-making.’

‘Paul Weiland is an excellent attorney. He is insightful, creative, and he always goes above and beyond.’

Key clients

Washington County, Utah

California Farm Bureau and farming interests

Santa Clara Valley Water District

Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency

Electron Hydro LLC

State of Alaska

State of Maine Department of Marine Resources

Energy and Wildlife Action Coalition (EWAC)

Kern County Water Agency

Southern California Edison (SCE)

Douglas Development

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Siskiyou County, California

Work highlights

  • Acting as counsel for petitioners-appellees in a challenge to a decision by the California Fish and Game Commission to designate four subspecies of bumble bees as candidates for protection under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).
  • Retained by the Maine Department of Marine Resources to represent the state in ongoing litigation under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act concerning the Maine lobster fishery and the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale.
  • Representing Bristol-Myers Squibb Company on multi-faceted government and private party claims under CERCLA and New Jersey Spill Act with respect to site remediation actions and costs and NRD restoration actions and damages arising from historical discharges into at a 17-mile stretch of the Passaic River in New Jersey and adjacent waterways.

Paul Hastings LLP

The November 2020 addition of a four-member environmental group from Baker Botts L.L.P., including partners Chris Carr and Navi Dhillon, bolstered the depth of Paul Hastings LLP‘s environmental bench significantly. The practice is now well-positioned to handle bet-the-company environmental and natural resources litigation, having already established itself as a go-to choice for clients involved in complex federal and state environmental proceedings in California. Co-head Carr enjoys a strong reputation in the market, especially for representing renewable energy clients. He oversees the practice with Deborah Schmall , who is an expert in enforcement actions, hazardous waste regulations and contaminated property remediation. Trial lawyer Dhillon maintains a robust regulatory practice, while acting for an array of clients in high-stakes environmental disputes. All named practitioners are based in the San Francisco office.

Practice head(s):

Chris Carr; Deborah Schmall

Other key lawyers:

Navi Dhillon

Key clients

Terra-Gen Power, 8minute Solar Energy and EDF Renewables

West Basin Municipal Water District

8minute SolarEnergy, LLC

AT&T Inc./AT&T Services Inc./Pacific Bell Telephone

Green Diamond Resources Company

Western Digital Technologies / Western Digital Corporation

Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians

Genentech, Inc., a member of the Roche Group, and Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.

Oakland Athletics

Recurrent Energy


Intersect Power

The Boeing Company

Associate Capital / California Barrel Company

The Related Companies (Related Santa Clara LLC)


Credit Suisse

General Electric

Work highlights

  • Representing Terra-Gen Power, 8minute Solar Energy and EDF Renewables in defending against a challenge to emergency regulation authorizing the incidental take of western Joshua trees by solar energy projects that will generate more than 4,000 MW and have an aggregate value in excess of $5bn.
  • Acting for West Basin Municipal Water District in a CEQA challenge to the development of a utility-scale ocean water desalination facility, one of the most controversial projects in California.
  • Secured a win for Green Diamond Resource Company in a case of first impression challenging a Safe Harbor Conservation agreement between Green Diamond and the California wildlife agency covering more than 300,000 acres of land and targeting the endangered Humboldt marten.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP offers a broad range of services in the environmental law sphere. The practice represents a diverse client base in litigation matters involving civil and administrative proceedings, toxic tort and insurance claims. Jennifer Smokelin and Megan Haines are standout environmental practitioners in the Pittsburgh office. Ben Patton is a key point of contact for environmental law issues in Houston. The practice has a strong offering in California, with Todd Maiden leading on environmental mandates out of San Francisco.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Smokelin; Ben Patton; Todd Maiden; Megan Haines

Other key lawyers:

Mary Balaster


‘Everyone at Reed Smith works together as a team. When one person doesn’t have the needed information they always know what person in the firm can assist to get the answers and the task taken care of efficiently.’

‘Megan Haines has been my go-to for quite a long time. We have both worked in the Oil and Gas Industry Environmental Sector for many years. Her openness, efficiency, listening skills and overall work ethic are so appreciated and refreshing.’

‘I have worked with many legal professionals (over 10 attorneys) from many firms (more than 5). Megan is a standout individual among them all. Her professionalism, work ethic, contacts within regulatory agencies, and legal knowledge rise above any individual I have ever worked with. Her tenacious ability to negotiate with agencies has reduced penalties and fines,and in some cases has led them to be completely eliminated.’

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

With a strong environmental bench based on the West Coast, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is well-versed in high-stakes environmental litigation throughout California and high-profile enforcement actions before various regulatory agencies. Covering all areas of environmental law, the practice is seen with great regularity advising clients engaged in contentious matters arising from soil and groundwater contamination, hazardous waste and air quality issues. Defending companies from the food and beverages, real estate, electronics and consumer goods sectors who have received Proposition 65 Notice of Violations is another area of particular strength for the practice. Jeffrey Parker  is a key contact for this type of work in Los Angeles; he is also singled out for is track record in environmental and tort litigation. Whitney Roy  co-chairs the environmental litigation with Parker in LA; her expertise cuts across Propositiong 65, water contamination, CERCLA and the Clean Air Act.

Practice head(s):

Jeffrey Parker; Whitney Roy

Other key lawyers:

Nico van Aelstyn


‘I believe the firm has broad and capable expertise and from my experience I would be glad to consider them for any California matter that I might have. Compared to the other larger law firm that my client had used for the same type of work, I find this firm to much stronger in the law and much more client-oriented.’

‘I have seen a number of attorneys practicing in the field of Proposition 65 work, and Whitney Jones Roy is by far the best we’ve used — she is client-oriented, smart and strategic and practical in her advice.’

‘The Sheppard team combined specialized knowledge of three areas of law and legal practice: international climate change law, carbon market practices and US constitutional law. This combination of perspectives helped add weight to our case. It involved coordination with a legal expert representing a variety of private sector firms to form a powerful common view, which helped to drive a successful outcome.’

‘The firm has deep expertise in the emerging field of international climate change law, particularly commercial trading linkages that allow cross-border carbon credit transactions. Given that we operate in an emerging market, the firm’s depth of experience in related markets was a tremendous asset.’

Key clients

Trojan Battery Company, LLC

Soco West, Inc. and Brenntag Pacific, Inc.

Hanson Aggregates Mid-Pacific, Inc.

O P I Products, Inc.

Soylent, Inc.

City of Diamond Bar

International Emissions Trading Association (IETA)

PRP group at the Yosemite Slough Superfund Site

Troutman Pepper

Under the leadership of Fitzgerald Veira based in Atlanta, the environment and natural resources department at Troutman Pepper offers legal support to major US and international companies, public entities, non-profit organizations and trade associations in relation to federal, state and local proceedings. With nationwide coverage, the team is a strong performer in the defense of agency and citizen enforcement actions, challenged to permits in the energy sphere, issues pertaining to PFAS and toxic tort claims. Key individuals include Brooks Smith in Richmond, who acts as lead counsel in numerous environmental citizen suits and state enforcement proceedings; and William Droze and Mack McGuffey in Atlanta.

Practice head(s):

Fitzgerald Veira

Other key lawyers:

Brooks Smith; William Droze; Mack McGuffey; Houston Shaner; Kate Hopkins

Key clients

Southern Mills Inc. d/b/a TenCate Protective Fabrics

Mount Vernon Mills, Inc.

National Mining Association

DeKalb County, Georgia

Georgia Power Company / Southern Power Company

SUEZ Environment North America

Dominion Energy

Work highlights

  • With $1n of sewer system improvements at stake, DeKalb County, Georgia relied on Troutman Pepper to helm a consent decree modification involving 16 months of negotiations between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, Georgia Attorney General’s Office, and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division along with extensive responses to public comments.
  • Engaged by Sunoco Pipeline L.P. to file a rare reverse Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) appeal of a decision issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to disclose highly confidential and sensitive risk consequence modeling.
  • Retained by the Colorado Attorney General and the Colorado Department of Law to serve as an independent investigator to evaluate allegations that the state health department’s air pollution control division failed to properly enforce federal air quality standards.