Environment: New York
Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.
THE FIRM This transactional practice is most notable for its global approach. It advises on international deals and many of its lawyers have expertise in multijurisdictional matters, including those relating to emerging markets. The team is also praised for its extremely high levels of client service. Recent highlights include its advice to the Department of Energy on the $967 million financing of the Agua Caliente Solar Project in Arizona.
Sources say: "The team's most important quality is its tenacity to stay relevant to our business. The lawyers go the extra mile to understand our business."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Kenneth Rivlin is described as "extremely focused, responsive and loyal to his clients." He tackled GE's acquisition of 90% of Converteam. This international environment leader is praised for "bringing a wealth of experience, thinking outside the box and helping to anticipate risk."
Felise Cooper is a more junior member of the team who has impressed interviewees. She is an expert in supply chain analysis regarding conflict minerals, slave labor and war. She is praised for her ability to "anticipate and offer a broader context."
THE FIRM This firm has offices throughout New York state and is recommended as one of the best upstate practices for clients requiring environment counseling. The team advises on air quality and hazardous waste matters, as well as health and safety issues. Its clients include municipalities as well as private companies such as Inergy.
KEY INDIVIDUALS "Solid attorney" Kevin Bernstein is widely respected for his work in compliance and permitting relating to energy projects, contamination and hazardous substances. He also represents clients in litigation, including enforcement defense.
Virginia Robbins is a "strong lawyer" praised for her "good-quality work." She specializes in representing clients in the renewable energy sector and advising on solid waste, landfill and brownfield matters.
Barry Kogut frequently advises on regulatory compliance at both a state and federal level. He often represents universities and colleges on compliance and enforcement matters.
THE FIRM This diverse team handles a range of environment work including transactional support, project development and litigation. Its five-partner practice has had recent success advising on the redevelopment of contaminated brownfield sites. The group recently advised on the new Manhattan subway line for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The team also represents New York University, McAllister Towing & Transportation and Terex.
Sources say: "A great practice, with wonderful lawyers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Roberta Gordon focuses on environmental aspects of business transactions. She is "dogged in pursuit of her clients' interests and very well respected." She acted for Capmark Finance on the brownfield cleanup aspects of a Queens real estate development.
Kevin Healy is praised for his CAA knowledge and general regulatory expertise. He has "a wealth of experience and knowledge," according to sources. He recently handled the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn on behalf of Empire State Development.
"Great litigator" Philip Karmel was part of the firm's team that advised Extell Development and The Carlyle Group on a range of regulatory matters, including land use and environmental impact, relating to the Riverside Center in Manhattan. According to one source, he "understands the complexity of the technical analysis, watches out for the interests of our clients and is very prompt in his review."
THE FIRM This full-service firm's environment practice both advises and litigates on a wide range of environment issues. Climate change and emissions trading issues are key areas of focus, with the team regularly advising clients on the consequences of emissions trading programs. The practice also deals with the purchase and sale of manufacturing sites.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Environment group co-director Christine Fazio handles both litigation and environment counseling on regulatory matters, including CAA and CWA compliance as well as brownfield redevelopment.
Stephen Kass is a respected and experienced attorney who advises clients on a range of environment regulation. His expertise encompasses corporate transactions, land use and environmental litigation.
THE FIRM This high-quality firm tackles major environmental transactions as well as large loans financing transactions. Its work is frequently international in scale and its lawyers are highly commended by interviewees for the quality of their advice on the most complex transactions. The practice recently represented the underwriters on a $350 million debt offering of Air Products & Chemicals. Clients are particularly impressed with the firm's ability to utilize its deep transactional expertise in related environmental matters.
Sources say: "The firm is very service-oriented, does a good job with staffing, is responsive and communicates well."
KEY INDIVIDUALS According to commentators, Matt Morreale "doesn't just churn the work, he works for a resolution." He is also commended for "knowing when to be aggressive and when to be reasonable." Recent highlights include his representation of BNSF Railway on its $750 million registered debt offering. He also acted for a consortium of banks on the purchase of a senior debt offering of Hapag-Lloyd.
The "very smart" Annmarie Terraciano advised Styrolution on its high-yield senior debt offering worth EUR480 million.
THE FIRM This highly regarded practice is best known for advising clients in the energy industries, both renewables and oil and gas. Its team of seven attorneys takes on sophisticated M&A transactions as well as litigation. The group advised Aetna on its acquisitions of Medicity, Prodigy Health Group and PayFlex Holdings. Clients are particularly appreciative of the depth of expertise the team can bring to even the most complex of matters.
Sources say: "The lawyers did an excellent job; they were very responsive and patient."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department co-chair Loyti Cheng is widely regarded as a strong presence in transactions. According to interviewees, she "works on enough big deals to know what's what." She acted on General Dynamics' notes offerings on behalf of four banks acting as joint book-running managers.
Fellow cochair Betty Moy Huber is particularly noted for her bankruptcy expertise. She represented Murphy Oil Corporation on the sale of subsidiary Murphy Oil USA.
A highly rated up-and-coming member of the team, Hayden Baker "looks for a fair and balanced perspective from both the sellers' viewpoint and the buyers'."
THE FIRM This team advises a broad range of clients from a variety of industries on major corporate transactions, frequently with cross-border elements. It represented Clayton, Dubilier & Rice on its acquisition of a majority stake in refrigeration systems company Hussmann International. Debevoise also advises International Paper, Mitsui and the Rank Group.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Stuart Hammer is lauded by sources for being "incredibly responsive to our queries with timely, concise and practical advice. He enthusiastically assists on all matters, no matter how small or outside his specialty." He has expertise of air, water and waste regulation, as well as remediation. He recently advised the Reynolds Group on its $4.5 billion purchase of Graham Packaging.
THE FIRM This firm impresses with both its transactional practice and its deep regulatory expertise. Its litigation experience on Superfund proceedings is also noted. On the corporate side, the team handles environmental aspects of M&A, divestitures, and financing and loan agreements. The team acted on the acquisition of the specialty chemicals company of Covidien, representing the buyer, an affiliate of New Mountain Capital.
Sources say: "Fried Frank's lawyers are extremely smart, provide practical advice and are responsive and sensitive to business issues."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Richard Schwartz heads the firm's environment practice and is a corporate and litigation partner. Interviewees say he is "super smart and doesn't fight over the small points." He often acts on Superfund cases.
Land use expert Richard Leland is noted for his "excellent connections and relationships with state officials." He handles environmental impact, transaction counseling and brownfield issues.
THE FIRM The nine-attorney environment practice at this Buffalo firm is one of the strongest environment practices covering the Western New York state area. It advises corporations, developers, municipalities and financiers on land use, environment litigation and other regulatory matters. Key clients include FMC, IDEX and Tonawanda Coke.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Rick Kennedy is the firm's practice contact.
THE FIRM The team at this firm provides a full-service, well-rounded environmental offering which includes advice on enforcement defense, permit renewals and emissions trading. Sources praise the practice for its exceptionally high levels of client service. The firm represents a number of energy industry clients in their environmental issues.
Sources say: "Its strongest qualities are its ability to react quickly to our needs, explain complex regulatory schemes to our business managers and help source the necessary outside resources."
KEY INDIVIDUALS John Greenthal is an expert on remedial issues, including brownfield and Superfund matters. He is described as a "strong lawyer" and is noted for his ability to deal with state regulators.
Jean McCreary is praised for "her knowledge and experience with the technical and regulatory aspects of environmental cleanup laws." Her broad practice deals with publicly traded companies on the implications of potential off-site environmental contamination sources, as well as cleanup and reporting requirements under federal and state environmental laws. She also handles the negotiation of environmental work plans, site access agreements and cost recovery matters.
Scott Turner leads the energy and environmental group and is particularly noted for his power plant expertise. He earns praise from the field for his knowledge of permitting regulations.
Jesse Hiney is "able to explain complex environmental issues in layman's terms," according to sources. He recently joined the firm from Paul Hastings.
THE FIRM This international firm's New York team handles both litigation and major environmental transactions. It offers documentation support and international transactional diligence to major corporations from a wide range of sectors, with a particular focus on energy and utilities. Peers note the firm's strong regulatory practice.
Sources say: "The team was very clever at trying to figure it out."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Eric Rothenberg is "absolutely switched-on and very client-focused." He frequently advises clients on contentious matters including toxic tort claims, Superfund cases and cost recoveries. He is also praised by one source for "constantly keeping us up to date on environment issues, EPA issues and there is no charge for that, he does not bill us a dime for that, which is superb."
John Rousakis is "solid and gives in-house counsel comfort." He acts on both domestic and multijurisdictional transactions, as well as compliance and litigation.
THE FIRM Phillips Lytle's practice focuses on regulatory matters primarily within New York state. The team represented VanDeMark Chemical on its consent decree negotiated with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The team is commended for being "perfect in timing and application" and its client roster includes CBS, Reichhold and Sovran Self Storage.
Sources say: "The legal team is proactive, available and very reliable."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Flynn "brings in-depth experience and knowledge of the inner working mechanisms of the regulatory bodies." He advised Sovran Self Storage on its purchase of 21 self-storage facilities worth $175 million. He is praised for his "good contacts within those regulatory bodies and ability to get timely responses."
Morgan Graham handles regulatory compliance work, including land use issues. He handled process wastewater and stormwater discharge permitting issues for DuPont.
THE FIRM Complex, high-profile transactions provide the majority of this practice's work. It has recently spent much of its time advising major private equity clients on corporate environmental issues. The team is praised for its experience, and counts The Blackstone Group, First Reserve and L3 Communications among its clients. The group recently handled the purchase of Makhteshim by its client China National Agrochemical. The energy sector is a key area of activity for the practice.
Sources say: "Very good lawyers and a robust practice with strong transactions."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The renowned Adeeb Fadil is described as "a superb transactional lawyer" who is "energetic and professional." He led the team on KKR's acquisition of Capsugel from Pfizer.
Michael Isby handled the construction financing of Union Bank and Crédit Agricole's loan for the California Wind Power Projects of Terra-Gen Power. He is "a fine transactional lawyer who sees the big picture."
THE FIRM This outstanding environmental law boutique advises on the regulatory aspects of many of New York's major infrastructure projects, both in the public and private sectors. For example, the team recently advised the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development on the redevelopment of Admirals Row. It also maintains a stellar litigation practice which frequently advises on major Superfund cases. Peers recognize the firm as a major competitor in the local market.
Sources say: "This is one of the few boutique environment firms left in New York and the lawyers really know their stuff."
KEY INDIVIDUALS According to interviewees, Mark Chertok "has an encyclopedic knowledge of a wide range of environment issues including environment litigation, and takes a practical approach to the solution of problems." He is praised for his ability to work cooperatively with regulatory agencies.
Jeffrey Gracer spans the divide between regulatory and transactional work. He is commended by sources as a "consummate transactional-side lawyer who is thorough, practical and loved by clients."
Litigator Michael Bogin has considerable expertise of Superfund cases. He is noted for his knowledge of wetlands and water law and is described a "good writer with good connections with the agencies, especially at the federal level."
David Paget is praised for his "superb" advice. Clients benefit from his tremendous depth of knowledge, having written widely on environment law.
Daniel Riesel is an experienced figure at the New York Bar and considered a dean in the environmental field. He is an active litigator who represents municipalities, among other clients.
THE FIRM This transaction-oriented practice is noted for the breadth of its lawyers' expertise, enabling them to advise on the environmental aspects of the full range of deals in a variety of industries. For example, it recently represented Rhone Capital on its sale of a majority equity interest in Arizona Chemicals. The team also advises on major environmental litigations, and major clients include BHP Billiton, E.ON and Mitsui.
Sources say: "A strong corporate practice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Matthew Brennan is described as "a pleasure to work with and doesn't miss the forest for the trees." He represented AT&T on its purchase of T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom. He is noted for his expertise on securities and is said to "find a way to get what his clients need without causing havoc on a deal."
Mark Rosenberg is part of the team advising BP on the derivative, securities and ERISA litigation emerging from the Deepwater Horizon incident.
THE FIRM This practice handles environment matters that are both domestic and international in scope, with expertise in major litigation as well as corporate transactions. It recently acted for Gambro Renal Products in its cost recovery dispute regarding the Omega Chemical Superfund side in Whittier, California. The group advises a series of major clients including Deutsche Bank, Estée Lauder and Fortis.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Paul Milmed is known to be "very user-friendly, smart and knows his stuff." He represented Univar on its acquisition of equity interest in Basic Chemical Solutions. He also has litigation expertise and appears in Superfund cases. "He knows how to turn the issues up and get a result for his clients," say impressed sources.
Richard Horsch handles both contentious matters and corporate deals. He represented New York Communities for Change in litigation against the New York City Department of Education in a complicated environment dispute.
THE FIRM This Albany-based practice is noted for its advice on hazardous waste, air emissions, land use and wetlands issues. It frequently advises on the environmental aspects surrounding major infrastructure projects, including bridge construction. It also handles related litigation.
Sources say: "Whiteman Osterman & Hanna is widely regarded as being one of the leading firms for upstate work in Albany."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "terrific" Daniel Ruzow is strong on the environmental regulations surrounding major construction projects. "He is at the top end of the practice," according to commentators.
Cited as a "go-to litigator in New York state," Scott Fein earns acclaim as someone who "understands the business side and is incredibly efficient at getting his clients to where they need to be." His broad practice encompasses authority, public agency ethics, rules for boards and public entities, government rules and accountability. Sources also noted: "When the wheels fall off the bus you would want to go with Fein."
Mark Sweeney frequently advises on major development projects, helping with land use and financing matters, among others.
THE FIRM This Albany-based environment boutique firm is noted for its expertise on brownfield redevelopment projects and wind turbine projects, as well as a range of other environmental regulatory work. The practice is also noted for its ability to take on complicated environmental litigation, including Superfund cases.
Sources say: "Very strong lawyers who do great work. They are top-quality."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Litigator Dean Sommer is known as a brownfield expert. He is based in Albany and is "a sharply skilled, fast-thinking attorney."
Kevin Young is "a very bright guy with an interesting client base." He frequently counsels municipalities on land use and environmental regulations including enforcement matters and environmental audits.
, who recently joined Gibbons P.C. from Paul Hastings, primarily handles brownfield site matters and hazardous waste cleanups. He is praised for "knowing the ins and outs of the permitting and environment enforcement actions from a real estate perspective."
The "extremely capable" Gail Port
of Proskauer Rose LLP is praised for her smooth negotiation skills. She represented Teva on the Lower Passaic River Superfund matter and its state court litigation.
She is joined at Proskauer Rose by the vastly experienced Robert Kafin
. He is described as "an absolute go-to person"
and praised for his responsive and practical approach. He was a member of the firm's team that advised the Village of Sleepy Hollow on litigation and land use issues regarding the development of a former GM facility.
The "fantastic and sophisticated" Jeffrey Salinger
of Shearman & Sterling LLP is lauded as "smart and creative."
He frequently advises blue-chip companies on the environmental aspects of corporate transactions.
chairs the environment practice at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP. He is "extraordinarily well versed himself but also can interface with government and he has extraordinarily high respect from public officials."
He often advises on the CAA, CWA and TSCA.
recently joined Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP from Latham & Watkins LLP. He is praised for being a "careful, good lawyer"
and is particularly noted for his strength on environmental transactions.
The "very gifted" Kathy Robb
of Hunton & Williams LLP has a significant transactional practice and strong litigation expertise, particularly on clean water cases. She represents water districts, chemical manufacturers and electric utilities.
of Hancock Estabrook LLP handles hazardous waste matters as part of a broad practice. She is praised for her "creative lawyering"
and ability to bring complex disputes to resolution.
of K&L Gates is noted for his expertise on Superfund cases. He has deep experience of environmental litigation of both a civil and criminal nature.
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP partner Gail Suchman
is well respected for her background in policy work and deep knowledge of regulators. She has a particular expertise of climate change and issues regarding carbon emissions.
of Beveridge & Diamond PC stands out for his expertise on sanitary landfill and hazardous waste issues. He often represents local government clients.
of McDermott Will & Emery LLP is commended for his "great work product"
on toxic tort, product liability and other environmental matters. He has represented ExxonMobil many times in mass tort product liability cases.
At Sidley Austin LLP, Maureen Crough
handles the environmental aspects of major M&A, securities offering and financing transactions. Her clients include sellers, lenders, landlords and tenants.
recently joined Crowell & Moring LLP from Cravath to kickstart its environmental regulatory practice in New York. He is described by sources as "a lion in the field who has forgotten more than everyone else is ever going to learn."
of DLA Piper LLP (US) is described as "one of the smartest lawyers I have ever worked with"
by sources. He has spent much of his recent practice advising investors, developers and utilities on their investments in renewable energy and development projects.