Environmental and Construction

Results – Delivered
The firm’s experience in environmental practice is long and deep. We represent business and industry, in both private litigation and government enforcement actions brought by local, state and federal agencies.

Hazardous Waste Litigation
The firm defends business and industry from government enforcement actions, as well as from state and federal orders for investigation, clean up and abatement, long-term remediation and cost recovery in cases brought under federal statutes, including CERCLA and RCRA, as well as their California counterparts. We handle cases involving pollution in a number of media, including air, soils, surfaces water and groundwater. Our environmental attorneys have prosecuted and defended private cost recovery actions, bringing and defending claims involving other private parties for the costs of investigation and remediation.

Hazardous Waste Mitigation Counseling
The firm works with clients, major environmental consulting firms, and state and federal regulatory agencies to develop testing and study protocols (PEAs, RIs and FSs), as well as clean-up levels and immediate- and long-term response strategies (removal plans, remedial action plans, O&M plans, monitoring programs, and institutional controls). Our environmental team’s experience includes working closely with clients, consultants and regulators to develop and implement community notification processes and public participation plans. We also counsel clients on assessment and mitigation of liabilities arising from status and participation as a responsible party-at-large and small hazardous waste sites, including negotiating settlements before enforcement or cost recovery actions have been filed.

Chemical Exposure Litigation
Thomas Whitelaw represents business and industry in claims and lawsuits arising out of alleged exposure to toxic chemical substances, including solvents, heavy metals and asbestos. The head of our environmental team has served as national defense counsel to several companies, leading the development and implementation of coordinated defense strategies across the United States.

Land Use Counseling and Representation
Our practice includes counseling clients on compliance with CEQA and NEPA, as well as representing landowners, lenders, purchasers, developers and other stakeholder clients in regulatory proceedings and writ actions arising from potential environmental impacts in property development and real estate transactions.

Purchase, Sale and Development
Clients also call on us to represent and counsel them in certain aspects of real estate transactions, including prospective property development, where hazardous substances, wetlands, or other environmental impacts are present and potentially material to the deal. This includes representing clients before local commissions and state agencies for development and improvement entitlements, as well as representing them in transactions with private parties to negotiate deal terms minimizing and mitigating potential environmental liabilities.