Environment - New York
THE FIRM This five-partner environment group is well regarded in the New York market and offers services across the full range of environmental issues, including litigation, transactions and counseling, for government agencies, financial institutions and businesses. The team acts for Empire State Development on the $4.9 billion development of Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn. Other key clients include Terex, New York University and Och-Ziff Real Estate.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Kevin Healy is praised for his superb expertise in the field and for his excellent strategic sense. Recently, he has been involved in representing Moynihan Station Development in connection with the proposed development of a new train station in Manhattan.
Roberta Gordon is popular among interviewees, many of whom praise her detail oriented approach and her abilities as a negotiator. She has continued to advise McAllister Towing and Transportation Company on all the environmental issues relating to its coastal operations.
Philip Karmel represented New York University with regards to the proposed construction of a 2.5 million sq ft mixed-use development in Manhattan. Sources praise him as an excellent attorney and litigator.
THE FIRM This full-service environmental group handles matters including Superfund cases, toxic tort actions and regulatory compliance issues for clients in a diverse range of industries. The team has been acting for Citi on numerous occupational health and safety matters. It also represents Goldman Sachs, Centerline Capital Group and RXR Realty.
Sources say: "They're excellent; very thorough and supportive." "They are very prepared in all their dealings and leave no stone unturned in their preparation."
KEY INDIVIDUALS John Greenthal has particular expertise in the area of Superfund and brownfield issues. He wins praise from sources, who find that "he's diligent and he knows environmental law inside and out."
Interviewees highlight that the "superb" Jean McCreary is "a pleasure to work with," and particularly appreciate that she is "very detail oriented and thorough." She has recently been busy working on a number of complex Superfund matters.
Scott Turner concentrates his practice on the regulation and permitting of electric generators. According to market commentators, he "is very knowledgeable, brings in a lot of applicable experience, and has good relationships with the agencies."
The "incredibly commercial and helpful" Jesse Hiney "instills confidence" in client sources. He has been advising Goldman Sachs' affordable housing lending and investment group on environmental risk and compliance.
THE FIRM This experienced boutique firm has been a key player in the New York environmental market for over 50 years and is well regarded for its expertise in environmental litigation and brownfield issues. The team has a fine reputation for its work on important infrastructure projects, and a major focus of the past year has been its representation of the New York State Thruway Authority in connection with the $5 billion Tappan Zee Bridge. The firm also represents American Sugar Refining and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Sources say: "An excellent law firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Mark Chertok "knows what's around the corner before he goes around it," according to sources, who agree that "he's very good at what he does." He recently acted for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on two major bridge projects.
Michael Bogin offers expertise on waterfront projects, and continues to be involved in the $60 million development of Admirals Row for Brooklyn Navy Yard Development. He is described by interviewees as "a great guy."
The "talented and knowledgeable" David Paget is well known in the industry. He has been leading the team on the huge Tappan Zee Bridge project.
Daniel Riesel is widely regarded as a dean of environmental law. Sources state that "he's just a delight to work with. He works hard at finding practical solutions."
Interviewees describe Jeffrey Gracer as "an excellent transactional lawyer." He is an expert in cross-border mattersm, and has recently been representing the US subsidiary of a global company in connection with its involvement in the Passaic River Superfund site.
THE FIRM Phillips Lytle's environmental group offers expertise on regulatory matters as well as litigation, regularly handling brownfield redevelopments, renewable energy projects and enforcement proceedings for a diverse client base. The team continues to represent CBS in a number of environmental issues, including negotiating a consent decree at a West Virginia Superfund site. Other clients include VanDeMark Chemical, Reichhold and AT&T Mobility.
Sources say: "They're very easy to work with, they're nice people and they're good at what they do." "They think like business lawyers, looking for a positive solution."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Kevin Hogan is "technically excellent," according to sources, who particularly highlight that he "knows exactly how to get to the heart of the matter and doesn't beat around the bush." He recently brought a federal court action on behalf of AT&T Wireless, successfully overturning a denied zoning variance.
The "very affable" David Flynn "has a great sense of business, and knows when it is important to give on wording and issues to get a deal done." He has been representing URS in several complicated compliance and regulatory issues.
According to one interviewee, Morgan Graham is "one of the most business-oriented lawyers I could hope for – he's a problem solver and a tremendous guy to work with." Graham is an expert in permitting matters, and has been handling a number of those for key client DuPont.
THE FIRM This well-known upstate firm fields experts in areas such as emissions, corporate compliance, and solid and hazardous waste, among others. Including many former government agency officials among its ranks, the 12-partner environmental team regularly acts of behalf of Fortune 500 companies in the pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and chemicals sectors.
Sources say: "A great firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS According to interviewees, Daniel Ruzow is "very strong and very capable." He focuses his practice on matters related to environmental compliance, permitting and litigation.
The "very practical-minded" Scott Fein concentrates on handling regulatory compliance, enforcement matters and internal investigations for public agencies and corporations.
THE FIRM This top-notch boutique firm offers clients decades of experience dealing with a wide spectrum of environmental issues, such as air quality, waste management, brownfields redevelopment and mining. In the alternative energy sphere, the group is a leader in the development of New York policy, and represents key industry players.
Sources say: "They're a specialty firm and really top notch at what they do."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "absolutely brilliant" Dean Sommer is well known in the New York market, and sources highlight that "he has a very good sense of what's at issue." His area of particular expertise is litigation involving hazardous waste, petroleum, hazardous substances and solid waste that has been released into the atmosphere.
Kevin Young is experienced in all facets of land use and environmental regulations, and has frequently been involved in brownfield and Superfund site litigation.
THE FIRM This upstate firm is highly recommended for its depth and breadth of expertise in a variety of environmental and energy matters, including hazardous waste, water quality, solid waste and wetlands. It has in-depth knowledge of environmental laws on a local, state and federal level, and frequently provides compliance and regulatory advice to a client base that includes commercial entities, municipalities and individuals.
Sources say: "They're very good and I highly recommend them."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Kevin Bernstein is recognized for his work in the solid waste area. His significant experience includes obtaining the required permits and approvals for power generation, wind energy and gas storage projects.
Virginia Robbins chairs the environmental and energy group, and offers particular expertise in issues covered by the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. She also provides regulatory and compliance counseling in matters relating to waste management and water and air pollution.
Sources enjoy working with Barry Kogut, noting that he "instills a great level of confidence." He has a broad range of experience in environmental matters, particularly in the area of regulatory compliance and enforcement matters, which he handles at both the state and federal level.
THE FIRM This firm's environmental group works cohesively with the firm's other practice groups, such as real estate and tax, to provide a seamless service for clients, which include both public and private entities. The group has a broad depth of experience, regularly handling compliance, licensing, litigation and environmental due diligence matters.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Christine Fazio cochairs the environmental practice and is "excellent in clean air," according to sources. Her practice also incorporates brownfields redevelopment, maritime matters and energy law.
The "wonderful" Stephen Kass also cochairs the practice. He is well respected in the industry, and offers expertise across a range of environmental issues, including transactions, permitting and litigation.
THE FIRM This group regularly acts for a broad mix of clients, including municipalities, energy developers, corporations and financing entities. It provides expertise across a range of environment-related issues, and has particular experience advising on the full life cycle of renewable energy projects. Key clients include IDEX, Tonawanda Coke, Tops Markets and Baillie Lumber.
Sources say: "We trust the advice and expertise of Hodgson Russ. It is a firm of integrity and legal acumen."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Rick Kennedy is the firm's practice contact.
Environment: Mainly Transactional - New York
THE FIRM This firm's environmental group is recognized for its expertise in transactions and has a broad range of experience acting for clients in a variety of industries, such as manufacturing, alternative energy, pharmaceuticals and petroleum. Recently, the team advised Grupo Modelo on the environmental issues related to Anheuser-Busch InBev's $20.1 billion acquisition of the remaining stake in the company. The practice also acts for IBM, Goldman Sachs and Unilever.
Sources say: "One of the best firms in the whole world."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Interviewees appreciate that Matthew Morreale "gets a great result for his client, and does it in a way that is very effective and genial." Morreale is a partner in the firm's corporate department, and recently advised Nalco Holding on the environmental aspects of its $8.1 billion merger with Ecolab.
Annmarie Terraciano advises on all environmental issues relating to financings, securities offerings and other transactions. She recently advised Ashland on the $3.2 billion acquisition of International Specialty Products, and sources praise her "business-oriented way of work."
THE FIRM This high-quality practice works hard to provide innovative solutions for its clients, and is renowned for its expertise in capital markets, project finance and M&A transactions. The group represented Morgan Stanley and Citi in connection with their role as lead arrangers of a $6.75 billion unsecured facility for power management company Eaton. Other key clients include Murphy Oil, Metalmark Capital and PPL.
Sources say: "They're very organized and everyone at the firm communicates well with each other." "They're excellent."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "wonderful" Loyti Cheng receives praise from sources, who comment that "she's great at understanding the risk from both a theoretical and a business perspective." Cheng recently acted for Taylor Wimpey on the $955 million sale to TMM Holdings of its Canadian and US business.
Interviewees state that Betty Moy Huber is "as good as it gets" when it comes to environmental transactions, and particularly admire that she is "incredibly knowledgeable, diligent, responsive and effective." She has been advising Crestview Partners on $7.3 billion of oil and gas investments.
Hayden Baker offers significant expertise in capital markets and M&A transactions. Sources "truly trust his recommendations" and highlight him as "a very bright individual who remains very much informed on industry trends."
THE FIRM This sophisticated practice regularly advises the firm's private equity clients on the environmental aspects of transactions, and has extensive experience in the areas of electrical power generation, oil and gas pipelines, refining, and alternative energy sources. The group recently acted for Eaton on its $11.8 billion acquisition of Cooper Industries. Other key clients include Blackstone, JPMorgan Chase and Centerbridge Partners.
Sources say: "They do excellent work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources praise the "super-effective" Adeeb Fadil as being "good at thinking on the fly and constructing concise, clear language." He represented the underwriters in relation to a $1 billion debt offering by Halliburton.
Interviewees agree that Michael Isby has "enormous experience" in the area. He recently acted for First Reserve on its acquisition of a 1 GW generation portfolio.
THE FIRM The team at Debevoise & Plimpton offers vital support to the firm's corporate group, advising on all the environmental aspects of financings, M&A transactions and securities offerings. In one recent highlight, it represented International Paper in connection with its $4.3 billion acquisition of Texas-based manufacturer Temple-Inland. Other notable clients include Diamond Castle Holdings, Kelso & Company, and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
Sources say: "A fine firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Stuart Hammer wins praise from sources, who comment that "he's great to work with, very quick and very responsive." Hammer was recently part of a team acting for Reynolds Group and Rank Group on more than $15 billion of transactions, including the $6 billion acquisition of Pactiv.
THE FIRM This high-quality practice has capabilities in all aspects of environmental law, but is especially recognized for its expertise in handling transactional matters for substantial mining, petroleum and chemicals sector clients. One highlight of late saw the group act for biotechnology company Amgen on its acquisition of KAI Pharmaceuticals. The firm also represents Eastman Kodak, BHP Billiton and Bucyrus International.
Sources say: "An excellent firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Matthew Brennan is widely regarded as "a fantastic lawyer," with sources especially commending his "combination of substantive skill and deal savvy." He recently advised United Rentals on its $4.2 billion acquisition of RSC Holdings.
Mark Rosenberg offers particular expertise in the area of environmental insurance issues, and has been representing a client involved in personal injury litigation relating to the World Trade Center. Commentators describe him as "very solid, with many years of experience."
THE FIRM Allen & Overy's environmental group operates on a truly international level, and is most widely recognized for handling deal-related indemnity disputes and major transactional-related issues. A recent highlight saw the team represent SAP in connection with its purchase of NYSE-listed cloud computing company SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion. Other key clients include Jabil Circuit, Adisseo France SAS and AllianceBernstein.
Sources say: "An excellent firm for handling environmental compliance."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of the firm's environmental law group, Kenneth Rivlin is a "very effective lawyer and negotiator," according to sources, who particularly highlight his "energetic" and "proactive" approach. He is the key contact for major client GE, and helps to manage its transactions on a worldwide scale.
The "extremely knowledgeable" Felise Cooper offers expertise on the law related to product safety and supply chains. She regularly advises clients on the environmental aspects of major transactions.
THE FIRM The environment group at Fried Frank offers clients expertise in a broad variety of matters, including environmental litigation, project development and land use. It also has an active practice handling the environmental aspects of bankruptcy proceedings and corporate transactions. Recently, the group advised SPX on the $1.15 billion disposal of its automotive service business to Robert Bosch.
Sources say: "They have a talented environmental group."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Leland is described as "a really excellent transactional lawyer." He is an experienced real estate attorney, who specializes particularly in land use and development.
Richard Schwartz heads the environmental group and is highly recommended for his skill in the area of sureties. His broad practice also covers bankruptcies, M&A transactions, and private equity.
THE FIRM This firm's environmental practice provides deep experience across the spectrum of environmental matters, including litigation and transactions, as well as governmental and regulatory affairs. The team regularly advises clients like Apollo Management, Edison Mission Energy and ExxonMobil. A recent highlight saw the group represent Chromalax in relation to the sale of portfolio company Heat Holding to Sentinel Capital Partners.
Sources say: "They're very responsive and very knowledgeable, and they get us good results."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Environmental department head Eric Rothenberg is popular among interviewees, who admire his "enormous depth of knowledge," and highlight that he "knows Superfund work well."
THE FIRM The environmental group at this international firm is highly recommended for its work advising corporate clients on transactional issues. It also provides counseling on carbon emissions and carbon trading. The group recently advised Ardagh Group on the environmental aspects of its $881 million purchase of Anchor Glass Container from Wayzata Investment Partners. Other clients include Deere & Company, Dow Chemical and the United States Department of Energy.
Sources say: "They have a great national practice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "excellent" Jason Pratt offers a wealth of expertise, counseling individuals, financial institutions and companies on the impact of environmental regulations and laws on commercial transactions.
Department head Jeffrey Salinger is praised by sources, who appreciate that he "has clear vision and good judgment." He recently represented BE Aerospace in its $400 million acquisition of UFC Aerospace.
THE FIRM The environmental group at White & Case makes use of the firm's global platform in order to advise international clients on cross-border matters. It represents clients in a range of industries, including mining, pharmaceuticals, electronics and aviation. The group provides a range of environmental services, including transactional due diligence, compliance and regulatory advice.
Sources say: "A very fine firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "very strong" Paul Milmed focuses on representing lenders and principals, providing advice on the environmental aspects of financial and corporate transactions, on a national and international level.
Interviewees enjoy working with Richard Horsch, and describe him as "a feisty, vibrant guy." He offers a wealth of experience representing clients in toxic tort litigation, as well as Superfund cost recovery actions.
Stephen Gordon of Beveridge & Diamond PC is noted for his work related to power plants, and recently advised Bayonne Energy Center on the permitting required for the construction of a submarine electric transmission system between New York and New Jersey.
Interviewees are full of praise for Gregory Battista of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, noting that he is "a very thoughtful and very effective guy." Formerly a partner at Cravath, he joined Cahill in 2012 after working in-house at LRN.
The "very intelligent" Jeffrey Smith of Crowell & Moring LLP earns effusive praise from interviewees, who admire that "he's very strategic, he understands all the moving parts in a transaction, and he understands how the environmental issues and risks need to be integrated into the transaction."
Sources are fond of Robert Alessi of DLA Piper LLP (US), who they describe as "outstanding – he is shrewd, politically astute, a great thinker in terms of strategy, and easy to work with." Formerly of Dewey & LeBouef, Alessi now heads up the environmental group at DLA. Recently, he has been representing Central New York Oil and Gas Company in litigation relating to the MARC I Hub Line Project.
David Freeman of Gibbons P.C. focuses on handling environmental due diligence and toxic exposure litigation. He is also experienced in representing the sellers, developers and buyers of brownfields sites.
Doreen Simmons of Hancock Estabrook LLP is praised as being "highly responsive, proactive, engaged and dedicated to achieving results." She is an expert in environmental permitting matters, and also has substantial experience in Marcellus Shale oil and gas issues.
Kathy Robb of Hunton & Williams LLP is particularly noted for her skill and prominence in the area of water law. She represents investors, water districts and developers in contentious, transactional and advisory matters.
Donald Stever of K&L Gates is recognized as "a very strong practitioner" in the New York market. He is a skilled litigator who offers particular expertise in complex regulatory matters.
Kerri Folb of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP is celebrated for her "thoughtful analysis, responsiveness, and ability to help quantify and assess risks."
Former EPA regional administrator Charles Warren is chair of the environmental group at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP. He advises clients on issues arising under many key statutes, including the Clean Water, Clean Air and Toxic Substances Control Acts.
James Pardo of McDermott Will & Emery LLP is described as "a very strong writer, detail oriented but also strategic, and able to see the big picture." Sources also highlight that "his advice is always cogent, practical and useful."
Interviewees highlight that the "very experienced" Peter Sacripanti, also of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, is "very much focused on getting the best result" for his client. He has extensive experience representing large corporations in mass tort, class action and product liability litigation.
Formerly of Latham & Watkins, Matthew Ahrens is now at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP and acts for clients on a variety of environmental issues. He has notable experience in resolving matters related to M&A and corporate restructurings.
Robert Kafin, also of Proskauer Rose LLP, is "very well known and very respected" in the industry. He spends much of his time advising nonprofit environmental organizations.
Gail Port heads the environmental group at Proskauer Rose LLP. Clients appreciate that she "is efficient and understands our business needs."
The "terrific" Maureen Crough of Sidley Austin LLP is well regarded in the market and described by interviewees as "a very strong environmental attorney; she's very innovative, and also very creative in evaluating issues and helping to find solutions."
Gail Suchman of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP has more than 25 years of experience in the field. Her broad practice covers environmental litigation, compliance, permitting and transactional due diligence.