Environment - Georgia
THE FIRM King & Spalding's team remains preeminent in environmental litigation. Its lawyers regularly appear in federal and state courts, and have a wealth of experience before the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings. It has particular prowess in water rights and issues arising under the Clean Air Act (CAA). Of late, it has been representing Power4Georgians in its high-profile coal-fired power plant construction project in Washington County, Georgia. Other key clients include GE, Atlanta Regional Commission and Acuity Brands.
Sources say: "Excellent service, highly professional. I would recommend them without hesitation."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Patricia Barmeyer enjoys a fine reputation as "the dean of the Georgia environmental Bar." Sources particularly laud her extensive knowledge of federal and state regulations. She acted as lead partner on the high-value Power4Georgians matter.
Charles Tisdale is well known for his expertise in Superfund matters. Clients benefit from his deep experience in the field.
Lewis Jones has played an instrumental role in the widely publicised Tri-State Water Wars litigation. The case centers around clients' access to federal reservoir Lake Sidney Lanier being challenged by the states of Alabama and Florida.
Leslie Oakes's client roster includes Power4Georgians and Roark Capital Group. He has extensive experience in matters involving air, water and hazardous waste.
The remediation side of Amelia Magee's practice is highly regarded. She has helped clients with the preparation of notifications and investigative reports, and the implementation of remedies.
Adam Sowatzka recently rejoined the firm from Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC. He is lauded by sources as "very thorough and very fair in his practice."
THE FIRM The 17-strong team at Troutman Sanders offers assistance in relation to a range of matters including regulatory compliance, environmental due diligence and related litigation. It has a diverse client roster, which includes energy companies, chemical manufacturers and financial institutions. Notable highlights include representing Dominion Resource Services in Superfund enforcement actions, and assisting Oxbow Carbon with its proposed acquisition of a sulfur manufacturing facility.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Margaret Campbell has a wealth of experience in issues pertaining to air quality statutes. She represented Southern Company Services and Mississippi Power in a Clean Air Act Section 114 information request from the EPA.
Douglas Henderson is held in high regard by commentators, with one singling out his performance on tricky issues. His client roster includes Cisco and PNM Resources.
John Johnson has advised Delta Air Lines on regulatory compliance matters, enforcement actions, transactions and environmental remediation liability. He is particularly strong in RCRA permit negotiations.
Gregory Blount has represented trade associations and local governments in relation to rules governing water quality, coastal development and hazardous waste management.
Hollister Anne Hill stands out for her expertise in RCRA corrective action issues. She counts Delta Air Lines as a client.
Randy Brogdon played a key role in the Oxbow matter. Other clients include PNM Resources and Southern Power.
Andrea Rimer has been representing Dominion Resources in Superfund enforcement actions in Virginia and North Carolina.
THE FIRM Alston & Bird offers a far-ranging environmental practice. The team is well equipped to service clients in environmental compliance, enforcement and litigation matters. It is also highly regarded for its work in land use and development. Significant clients include Cabot, AMAVC Chemical and Electrolux. The team has recently been representing the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia in the development of two additional nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Douglas Arnold is an "incredible resource," according to commentators. He recently represented logistics giant UPS in regulatory and compliance matters regarding air and water emissions.
The "excellent" Lee DeHihns is considered to be "a real statesman of environmental law." He recently assisted King America Finishing with enforcement proceedings arising under the Georgia Water Quality Control Act (GWQCA).
THE FIRM The environmental team at Hunton & Williams is known for its representation of interstate oil and gas pipeline companies. It has formidable experience in design, construction, testing and maintenance issues. The group also provides compliance and incident-response advice, and regularly engages with federal regulators, such as the EPA, PHMSA and FWS.
Sources say: "They are absolutely first-rate and have a national reputation on pipeline matters."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Hogfoss is an expert in issues arising from the National Gas Pipeline Safety Act (NGPSA), the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Oil Pollution Act (OPA).
The "very responsive" Catherine Little offers notable expertise in hazardous waste issues and matters arising under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
THE FIRM The Atlanta arm of this established global presence is heavily involved in a range of cutting-edge environmental matters including climate change, rare earth mining and hydraulic fracturing. Key clients include Eastman, Georgia Gulf and J.F. Lehman & Company. The team recently represented 3D Systems in the environmental aspects of its acquisition of Z Corporation.
Sources say: "They helped us get through what could have been a crisis. They were very sensitive to the importance of the matter, and very responsive."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The highly experienced Christine Morgan is "a delight to work with," according to impressed sources. She has recently been providing environmental advice to PCS Nitrogen.
Interviewees highlight Graham Holden's excellence in air quality matters. He has been advising Oglethorpe Power on the acquisition of existing power plant facilities.
The "extremely helpful" Jack Grady is applauded for his "complete understanding of the regulatory process from both sides," and his effectiveness in dealing with authorities.
THE FIRM This boutique firm is a merger of Meezan Coddington Cloud and Kazmarek Geiger & Laseter. The firm offers an environmental practice that spans transactional, regulatory and contentious matters. The team is known for its handling of environmental issues in significant financing transactions. It has served as national environmental counsel to LNR Partners, and represented Balfour Beatty Communities in the purchase and lease of a number of military housing projects across the country. It recently represented Georgia Industry Environmental Coalition in Voluntary Remediation Program Act (VRPA) compliance issues. Other clients include Energen and Selig Enterprises.
Sources say: "I think they are all excellent attorneys."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Horder is "absolutely first-rate," according to sources. He has over 35 years' experience in the field and a particular area of focus is the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the legal issues relating to compliance with it.
Skip Kazmarek was a lead partner on the Balfour Beatty Communities matter. He has also handled environmental litigation, Superfund and transactional issues for AGL Resources.
Scott Laseter focuses on all elements of environmental law, including regulatory compliance and dispute resolution. He counts significant financial institutions, REITs and real estate companies among his clients.
Managing partner Carol Geiger acted as a lead partner on the Balfour Beatty Communities matter. She is highly regarded for her regulatory compliance counseling.
Douglas Cloud was the lead partner on the Georgia Industry Environmental Coalition matter. Interviewees applaud his handling of regulatory matters.
Robert Mowrey was recently involved in the firm's representation of Walter Energy in a high-value class action dispute involving air emissions and water discharges.
David Meezan continues to command respect from sources. His forte is the transportation of hazardous materials. He has also undertaken prominent climate change work.
Max Zygmont's profile continues to grow, with sources quick to speak to his activity. He counts Walter Energy and Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia as clients.
THE FIRM HunterMaclean's environmental practice encompasses an array of areas, including hazard communication, insurance coverage, remediation, waste management and wetland assessment. The team is well known for performing environmental due diligence investigations and continues to handle significant liability litigation.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Andrew Ernst is noted for his in-depth knowledge of the state's Coastal Marshlands Protection Act (CMPA) and Shore Protection Act.
THE FIRM The team at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton is adept on the full range of environmental issues, including transactional planning, compliance counseling and litigation. It has represented Georgia Ports Authority in issues arising from its Savannah Harbor Deepening Project. It has also been assisting Glynn County with the purchase of a brownfield property on the federal Superfund list. Other clients include Knoxville Utilities Board, Nestlé USA and Allied Systems Holding.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Susan Richardson is one of the attorneys involved in the Georgia Ports Authority matter. She has significant experience in wastewater permitting and enforcement issues.
The "very responsive" Gary Sheehan has been representing the City of Atlanta in matters surrounding the development of a water reservoir in a former rock quarry. He is well known for his expertise in issues arising under the Clean Air Act (CAA).
THE FIRM McKenna Long & Aldridge is renowned for its handling of matters pertaining to the CWA. It also has considerable experience in regulatory issues arising under the ESA, the CAA and the CMPA. The team has recently been representing the State of Georgia in the Tri-State Water Wars litigation.
Sources say: "They are very knowledgeable."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Todd Silliman's practice is focused on environmental litigation. Recent activity includes acting as lead counsel for High Point on a prominent case against the National Park Service in relation to convenient water access.
THE FIRM Morris, Manning & Martin's environmental team regularly advises clients on the impact of environmental considerations on corporate real estate. A particular area of focus is the redevelopment of contaminated properties. Key clients include Equity One and Metlife Financial.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gerald Pouncey has recently been assisting Branch Capital Partners with an expansive redevelopment project. According to commentators: "He has developed a very good practice and is very solid."
Heather Friedman has represented clients in the regulatory and transactional aspects of hazardous site cleanups. Sources say: "She understands her business. She speaks sense and really adds value with her practical advice."
Since publication, Barbara Gallo has passed away.
John Spinrad of Arnall Golden Gregory LLP concentrates on environmental due diligence. He has particular expertise in the structuring of real estate transactions.
David Moore of Balch & Bingham LLP is said to be "an excellent lawyer and expert in water law." He has 20 years' experience in environmental litigation, permitting and counseling.
Clients consider Leah Knowlton recently joined Ballard Spahr LLP from Miller & Martin. Clients consider Knowlton to be "professional, straightforward and creative." At her previous firm, she served as lead defense counsel for Coca-Cola in a lawsuit investigating contamination at a Superfund site.
Joan Sasine of Bryan Cave LLP is highly regarded for her work on water pollution and hazardous waste matters. She also advises clients on complex real estate and M&A issues.
Gordon Alphonso of McGuireWoods LLP focuses on air, and solid and hazardous waste issues. He is "a very responsive lawyer, who was very interested in getting to know our business," according to sources.
Stephen O'Day of Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP is deeply experienced in the sector. He recently represented Belectric in the sale of a 30 MW solar generation project in California to Constellation Energy.