THE FIRM This full-service firm is best known in the Illinois market for its representation of Kraft and General Dynamics. The Chicago practice offers a large team with experience in litigation, regulatory matters, permitting, due diligence, toxic tort and insurance recovery proceedings.
Sources say: “Cost-efficient, effective, and I don't need to supervise them constantly.” "An outstanding firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Graham's recent highlights include representing Sierra Club, as well as other citizen groups, in CAA litigation relating to the proposed construction of a fuel refinery in South Dakota.
Lynn Grayson cochairs the firm's environmental practice and is viewed by sources as “a dynamo; the go-to person for transactional work.”
Prominent litigator Steven Siros represented Dow Chemical and General Dynamics in liability proceedings relating to groundwater contamination at an ordnance site in Nebraska.
Sources single out Gabrielle Sigel, cochair of the firm's climate and clean technology practice, for her outstanding commitment to contentious work.
THE FIRM Sidley Austin's 16-lawyer Chicago practice has a long history in this sector. Its attorneys cover a broad spectrum of work, including clean air and water litigation, compliance issues, and project development. The team recently represented NCR in a complex Superfund remediation case.
Sources say: “Our first choice for counsel. They're outstanding.” "Fantastic national practice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Olian is regarded as “an excellent trial lawyer with a stellar reputation." He continues to advise BP in long-running enforcement proceedings relating to alleged contamination at an Illinois refinery complex.
James Cahan is widely regarded as a leading practitioner in the environmental field, specializing in clean air regulation, permitting and transactional finance.
Also well versed in environmental enforcement and contamination litigation, Andrew Schlickman currently acts as counsel for NCR regarding the remediation of one of the country's largest contaminated sediment sites.
Suggested by peers to be the “new source review guru,” Byron Taylor handles both litigation and regulatory work for clients such as Kraft and Commonwealth Edison.
THE FIRM This two-partner boutique operates out of Chicago, and covers all aspects of environmental litigation. Current mandates focus on land, air and water regulation for the likes of Deere and Exelon.
Sources say: “Top-notch lawyers with high-quality clients.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Susan Franzetti is viewed by many as being “head and shoulders above the competition” when it comes to water pollution issues. She advised Midwest Generation in CWA proceedings relating to the Chicago Area Waterway and Lower Des Plaines River.
Recent matters handled by Jennifer Nijman include litigation concerning air and groundwater contamination. Clients appreciate her practical approach, and note that "she's a strong advocate – very knowledgeable, responsive, and extremely cost-efficient."
THE FIRM Schiff Hardin provides compliance counseling, permitting advice, litigation, and transactional support to a diverse range of environmental and energy investors. Recently, much of its work has centered on clean air and water matters for utility providers and large multinationals.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Renee Cipriano is the cornerstone of this practice, with a background in the Illinois EPA and expertise in new source review. Among her highlights from the past year, she advised DeKalb County on the siting process for a major landfill expansion.
Sources describe Stephen Bonebrake as a “real deal environmental lawyer,” highlighting his new source review work for clients in the energy industry.
Russell Selman continues to be known in the Illinois environmental market as a capable sediment and Superfund litigator.
THE FIRM Baker & McKenzie's Chicago-based environmental group maintains a particularly strong international presence, with significant regulatory climate and renewable energy expertise. Of late, the team has been in involved in EPA rulemaking proceedings and toxic tort litigation.
Sources say: “They do an excellent job in environmental matters.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS John Watson chairs the firm's North American environmental practice, and is singled out by clients for being “highly experienced and communicative, with a thorough knowledge of the regulatory framework.”
Rick Saines heads the firm's North American climate change and environmental markets practice. He assisted Camco International Group in securing project financing for the development of an agricultural methane digester.
THE FIRM An expanding presence in the Chicago market, the Barnes & Thornburg team continues to increase its numbers and enhance its reputation in litigation and local regulatory work.
Sources say: “They're prominent figures in the market.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Bruce White is “a terrific litigator with a great reputation,” say sources, highlighting his 30 years of experience in dispute, permitting and enforcement proceedings.
Joseph Madonia is a recent addition to the team, and is hailed by peers as a “terrific lawyer in the litigation arena.” Satisfied clients highlight “the spirit of cooperation he brings to proceedings.”
Another key member of the group is Fredric Andes, who sources describe as "knowledgeable, with a great deal of experience and who does a good job of providing business as well as legal advice.” Andes is particularly known for his work on water pollution issues.
THE FIRM This national firm's Chicago practice made its name in the environmental market working on renewable energy transactions and brownfield remediation. Centerpoint Properties Trust and CITGO Petroleum feature among the team's many prestigious clients, a number of which have been maintained from historic agency relationships.
Sources say: “A strong practice getting stronger.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources regard Michael Ohm as an exceptionally competent and experienced transactional attorney. He focuses particularly on brownfield and renewable energy work.
Since joining Bryan Cave, Francis Lyons has been active on the counseling and litigation side of many of the firm's environmental transactions. His previous experience includes several years as a regional administrator of the EPA.
With an excellent reputation on the transactional side, Thor Ketzback is best known for his work on air pollution litigation matters. He is lauded for his practical knowledge and client relationship skills.
Susan Brice is a new addition to the team. Servicing major industry clients such as Caterpillar and US Steel, her experience lies in toxic tort, renewable energy, infrastructure, and project liability.
THE FIRM Hodge Dwyer & Driver is one of the few down-state firms with a solid environmental practice. Based in Springfield, the boutique works primarily in compliance counseling.
Sources say: “It's the group to go to in Springfield.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Katherine Hodge is especially commended for her regulatory experience. “You think of Kathy when you're looking outside of Chicago,” say sources.
THE FIRM Clients benefit from this firm's multidisciplinary environmental practice with a global reach: it is able to provide assistance on issues in the USA as well as in Europe and Asia. The team guides clients through litigation in state and federal courts, and also provides regulatory and climate change counseling. A notable matter saw the group successfully represent Dow Chemical in a case involving public nuisance claims relating to allegations that emissions of greenhouse gases increased the strength of Hurricane Katrina.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources unanimously consider Timothy Bishop to be an exceptionally strong appellate lawyer. He took the lead on representing U.S. Sugar in two cases that involved CWA permitting for water transfer.
John Berghoff is the seasoned former head of the group, with a strong environmental litigation history centered around hazardous waste issues. He is currently advising BNSF on allegations stemming from contaminated soil and groundwater in Montana.
THE FIRM This practice is known throughout the Illinois market for representing developers and construction clients in a range of permitting issues and toxic tort litigation, as well as safety and compliance matters. The team's standout clients include Rhodia, SSAB North America and Heritage-Crystal Clean.
Sources say: “Very supportive, accommodating and proactive.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers regard Andrew Perellis as a solid litigator with an impressive knowledge of federal regulations. Much of his work of late has centered on vapor intrusion issues.
The "bright and enthusiastic" Eric Boyd specializes in air permitting and EPA enforcement. Clients recommend him as an “available and thorough” counsel.
Philip Comella is a highly experienced attorney in matters regarding waste treatment and storage, and is recognized as an “astute, knowledgeable advocate” with many impressive clients.
THE FIRM Approaching environmental law as a core business issue, SNR Denton's Chicago group handles a range of matters, including assisting in obtaining operational consents and permits, defending enforcement actions and dispute resolution.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jeffrey Fort is a transactional lawyer lauded for his finance and regulatory work. Clients praise him as “one of the most knowledgeable attorneys in environmental law.”
THE FIRM Edwards Wildman Palmer's high-profile environmental practice is active in regulatory compliance work, toxic tort litigation, and health and safety matters. Created from the recent merger of Wildman Harrold Allen & Dixon with Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, the Chicago office is widely recognized for its litigation expertise, and for its particular strengths in clean air and water permitting as well as CERCLA and hazardous waste compliance matters.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Managing partner Robert Shuftan serves as counsel to a number of chemical companies and has more than 30 years' experience in environmental class action and mass tort cases.
THE FIRM This broad-based practice is principally dedicated to large-scale environmental and toxic tort litigation. Other recent work includes water-related state and federal class action suits, and the EPA Passaic River Superfund claim.
Sources say: “An excellent litigation practice.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Todd Wiener is known throughout the market for his 25 years' experience in transactional work, enforcement proceedings and brownfield remediation projects.
THE FIRM This strong environmental player covers areas of litigation such as enforcement, Superfund, toxic tort, and permitting. The Chicago practice is well reputed for its due diligence and wind-related work, and several of its attorneys offer a truly national presence.
Sources say: “Provides sophisticated advice in a prompt manner.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Eleni Kouimelis, formerly assistant regional counsel with the EPA, heads the firm's Chicago environmental practice and works primarily on transactional deals. Clients describe her as a “fabulous communicator and strategist."
With close to 40 years' experience, Russell Eggert
of Lathrop & Gage LLP commands great respect among peers, who describe him as “able, precise, and tough.”
of Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a “careful, thorough, creative litigator”
with experience in regulatory violation and hazardous waste claims.
, also of Kirkland & Ellis, has over 25 years of environmental litigation experience representing oil and gas companies in Superfund cleanup and liability claims.
of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP represents corporate, utility, local government and financial institution clients in both transactional and litigation issues. Clients describe her as “a timely, creative strategist.”
Clients of Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP's Lisa Zebovitz
hail her as a “top-notch negotiator and extremely tough advocate.”
of Rooney Rippie & Ratnaswamy LLP advises on Superfund, brownfield, cost recovery, permitting and enforcement matters. Her recent work includes representing Sun Chemical in a multimillion-dollar remediation.
is a senior member of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP's environment and energy group, and is currently handling a number of water pollution counseling matters for municipal and industrial clients.
Currently practicing at the Chicago office of Jones Day, Thomas Skinner
has developed a reputation as a skilled attorney in the environmental market. Peers rate him as “a good advocate,”
with “excellent litigation exposure.”
Since publication, David Rieser
has joined Much Shelist Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, PC from McGuireWoods LLP. He handles regulatory, compliance and enforcement matters in the environmental sphere, and is lauded by peers for his "analytical mind."
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