THE FIRM This international firm covers the full spectrum of environmental work, including regulatory compliance, enforcement work and litigation. The Atlanta office handles work in Georgia, further afield in the Southeast region and also nationally. The Atlanta team is particularly well known for its deep experience relating to water law following the 'water wars' case, and also boasts considerable expertise in Superfund work. Longstanding clients for the firm include Longleaf Energy Associates, which it continues to advise on its attempts to construct a new coal-fired power station in Georgia.
Sources say: "The firm is generally viewed as the gold-standard."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Patricia Barmeyer is universally praised as "a stellar lawyer" who is "absolutely top-notch." She is particularly renowned for her water work. Charles Tisdale is also a very senior practitioner, with a national profile for his exceptional experience in the Superfund field. According to sources, Leslie Oakes is a "very solid, scarily bright" lawyer. Amelia Magee is particularly well known for her work in relation to Superfunds, and commentators note that she is "technically very sharp." Clients praise Lewis Jones as "a brilliant thinker and analyst who we go to with our cutting-edge work."
Since publication, Charles H Tisdale Jr has retired from this practice.
THE FIRM Troutman Sanders has a very substantial environment and natural resources practice. With ten environmental partners, the team is notable for its particularly deep bench strength and longstanding expertise. The firm advises a range of clients, including businesses, governmental organizations and industry groups, on matters that are often national or international in scope. The team covers the full spectrum of environmental work, encompassing litigation, regulatory and policy issues. Highlights include representing the Georgia Coalition for Sound Environmental Policy in litigation and rulemaking relating to Georgia's inclusion in the interstate trading program.
Sources say: "Comprehensive knowledge and experience in dealing with complex environmental issues."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice group head John Johnson is a "highly respected" lawyer and a "terrific leader," commentators report, while Douglas Henderson is a "very talented" lawyer with a "real appetite for trying to think through new and emerging issues." Gregory Blount is "an excellent attorney – clients love him." Margaret Claiborne Campbell is "technically very sharp" and "widely recognized nationwide." She has particular expertise in relation to air work. Hollister Anne Hill is singled out as being "very responsive to clients' needs." Randy Brogdon is another well-regarded practitioner who is known as an air quality expert, according to sources.
THE FIRM Despite the departure of several well-known partners to set up a new practice, this respected team continues to attract high-caliber work for clients such as MEAG, Shell Oil and the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia. It covers a wide range of environmental work, including compliance, enforcement, litigation and environmental issues relating to land use and development. In recent times, it has been particularly active in litigation work, including class actions relating to cleanup costs. Highlights include successfully defending US Pipe, a subsidiary of Mueller Water Products, against a class action.
Sources say: "They have saved us a tremendous amount of money in managing litigation so as to reach an early favorable settlement."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Douglas Arnold heads the environmental and land development practice, and is praised by clients as "extremely client-focused, responsive and a creative problem-solver." Highly experienced lawyer Lee DeHihns is regarded as "very sharp and knowledgeable," and has particular expertise in water work.
THE FIRM The respected environmental group at Hunton & Williams generally focuses on work with an energy element, particularly renewables and energy infrastructure. Of particular note is the firm's pipeline practice, which handles environmental and regulatory issues for the oil and gas pipeline industry. The Atlanta team also draws upon the strength of the firm's wider environmental team in other offices, including Washington, DC, New York, Virginia and Los Angeles.
Sources say: "They often save us money through the preventive measures they put in place."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Hogfoss is well known for his pipelines work, with clients noting that he is "both very knowledgeable and very pragmatic." Catherine Little is another highly respected lawyer in the department, with particular expertise in renewables and wetlands work.
THE FIRM This compact but very well-established dedicated environmental practice has a strong client base in the Southeast, and nationally. It covers the full range of environmental work, including regulatory, transactional and litigation. The lawyers stand out for their experience of handling environmental issues in relation to real estate and corporate transactions. In recent times they have also acted on lawsuits pertaining to greenhouse gas regulations. Other highlights include advising AGL Resources on a range of environmental issues relating to its gas utility operations, and representing Balfour Beatty Communications in the purchase and lease of military housing projects. The team also advises on environmental matters such as hazardous waste, pesticide use and clearup and historic preservation.
Sources say: "They understand that our goal is usually trying to find a way to get a deal done. They are deal-makers, not deal-killers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Skip Kazmarek is a "top-notch" lawyer with "broad experience and a very practical approach," according to sources. He focuses on environmental litigation. Scott Laseter is "thorough and patient, and understands the business and helps to get deals done." Carol Geiger is praised by clients as being "responsive and helpful in achieving the business results we are looking for." Richard Horder is one of the most experienced practitioners operating in this field, and highly respected as "a very fine lawyer and a great litigator who has done it all."
THE FIRM This established Savannah-based firm covers a wide range of environmental work, particularly in the region's coastal areas. It handles land acquisitions, obtaining permits, brownfields development, as well as litigation work. The team is also particularly noted for its expertise in obtaining permits for the development of wetlands and marinas.
Sources say: "Very good lawyers, with a good reputation for wetlands work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Highly experienced partner Andrew Ernst specializes in environmental permitting and land development issues.
THE FIRM This international firm's environmental and health and safety department in Atlanta covers both regional and national work, and focuses particularly on environmental Superfunds work and toxic tort litigation. Recent highlights have included successfully defending Centre Point Energy Resources against a claim for costs attributed to environmental damages from a gas plant attributed to a former parent company of the client. Other clients include Oglethorpe Power and Georgia Electric Membership.
Sources say: "Their added value is the practical nature of their advice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Graham Holden is a "very fine lawyer" with "solid technical understanding that makes it easier to interpret the most complex legal and regulatory requirements." He has many years of environmental law experience. Christine Morgan is a very well-regarded counsel who "provides excellent service," according to sources, while Charles Perry is a "strong attorney" noted for his hazardous waste expertise.
THE FIRM The team here represents public bodies and large commercial companies in relation to a range of environmental work. It is especially strong on water and waste work relating to municipal organizations, including permit and enforcement issues; another area of expertise is brownfields work on sales of contaminated land. Recent significant matters handled by the Atlanta office include representing the City of Atlanta in a service delivery dispute with extraterritorial users of the water system in the city.
Sources say: "Excellent service – they worked very well, within a reasonable budget."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gary Sheehan is known for his work on air-related issues and often acts for manufacturing companies on permit and enforcement matters. He is praised by clients as being "very responsive and efficient," with one adding: "I feel confident that he is handling our issues effectively." Susan Richardson is regarded as "one of the leading environmental law experts in Georgia," and praised by clients for her fast turnaround time. Brownfields certification is an area of particular strength.
THE FIRM McKenna Long has an environment practice that works across the firm's US and European offices. The Georgia office is best known for its water litigation and regulatory enforcement work, particularly on account of its ongoing representation of the State of Georgia in the high-profile tri-states water rights litigation. The team has also increased its focus on renewable energy work of late, and on financing and environmental work for local government projects. Recent highlights include defending Ernest Merkelis against an enforcement act brought against him by Georgia Environmental Protection Division, which involved attempts by the public body to prevent construction of a home on environmental grounds.
Sources say: "They are strong and able to take on the bigger environmental cases."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources report that Todd Silliman is a "very thorough practitioner and a good communicator."
THE FIRM This respected firm has a 12-lawyer environment practice based in Atlanta, which represents clients such as Regency Centers, Atlantic Station and Metropolitan Life Insurance. It has developed a particularly strong track record for work on development and redevelopment of corporate real estate sites with environmental issues. It has also been active recently on work relating to the development of ports on the East Coast, and work involving sale of debt on environmentally effected property. Highlights include acting as lead environmental counsel on the cleanup and development of a site containing radioactive material, where investment amounted to $220 million.
Sources say: "A rounded practice that is very client-oriented."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gerald Pouncey is highly regarded by peers and clients alike, who note his "incredible level of experience with every kind of environmental issue" and describe him as "reliable, accessible and very talented." He heads the environment practice and is well known for his expertise on brownfields work.
THE FIRM This brand new firm opened its doors in 2010 under the leadership of four former Alston & Bird partners. They operate as a specialized environmental firm covering a broad range of matters, including regulatory, litigation, public policy and enforcement issues, as well as transactional work. The client base includes the likes of Dow Chemical and Boral Industries, and so far the team has carried out a range of work both within Georgia and further afield. Work from the past year included advising the City of Atlanta on matters concerning Clean Air regulations and permits, and acting for international steel manufacturer Gerdau AmeriSteel on ongoing groundwater contamination issues.
Sources say: "They are all very well-regarded lawyers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Market sources report that Douglas Cloud is "an excellent and timely communicator, who is consistently reliable and extremely responsive." He is known for his work on brownfield redevelopment and clean air legislation, and "his knowledge of the regulatory environment is wide and deep." Robert Mowrey is an "excellent attorney" who "has an intimate knowledge of the regulatory environment," according to sources. David Meezan is "expert, timely and cost-effective." His areas of strength include work on hazardous materials transportation and climate change issues.
of Arnall Golden Gregory LLP is "very meticulous and on top of what is going on,"
according to sources. Adam Sowatzka
of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC is widely praised by clients, who particularly appreciate his "practical and insightful advice."
He is noted for his expertise in issues relating to the EPA. Clients report that David Moore
of Balch & Bingham LLP is "thoughtful and thorough, backed up with deep experience,"
and "a go-to lawyer who always responds in a timely manner with the right advice." Joan Sasine
of Bryan Cave Powell Goldstein LLP is also praised by sources as an "excellent attorney." Gordon Alphonso
of McGuireWoods LLP is a very well-regarded practitioner, known for expertise on air enforcement work. Barbara Gallo
heads up the broad-based environmental practice at Krevolin & Horst, LLC., and is another notable lawyer. Experienced lawyer Stephen O'Day
of Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP divides his time between environmental litigation and alternative energy and corporate sustainability issues. Craig Pendergrast
of Taylor English Duma LLP is praised by sources as "an informed, thoughtful and creative lawyer."
Since publication, Adam G Sowatzka has joined King & Spalding LLP
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