Co-Chair; Energy, Environment & Natural Resourcesemail
Chair; Land, Environment & Natural Resourcesemail
We help business and individual clients when the worlds of environmental regulatory compliance and environmental litigation collide. Our attorneys fully understand that this collision can mean the risk of significant financial or property loss, deteriorated relations with communities, and civil and criminal sanctions for any company. Whether negotiating with regulatory agencies over a release of hazardous materials, responding to environmental class-action lawsuits or determining potential Superfund liability, we give our clients commonsense advice that avoids fruitless and costly controversy. If litigation is unavoidable, Manatt has a nationwide reputation for the ability of our trial-experienced attorneys to design and implement a winning strategy.
We help clients with a multifaceted range of environmental issues that encompass virtually every major industry and have a huge impact on everyday operation, such as:
Manatt’s environmental lawyers have the practical experience to give sound counsel on these and many other concerns. Members of our team have worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of the Interior, have held senior environmental regulatory positions in California and other state governments, and have headed local planning commissions. We are skillful and effective at representing clients in administrative proceedings before these regulatory authorities, and address environmental issues on behalf of our clients before committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and state legislatures and regulatory agencies. Using Manatt’s nationwide litigation capability, we act as counsel for plaintiffs and defendants—individual property owners and multinational corporations—in numerous environmental contamination cases, environmental class actions, chemical exposure cases, regulatory actions, and Proposition 65 actions. Following is a more detailed look at the many ways we can help you.
Environmental Regulatory ComplianceEnvironmental compliance is mandatory for any business in the current regulatory climate of aggressive enforcement and sanctions for noncompliance. At Manatt we work to give our clients compliance programs that have a reasonable cost and are consistent with good business practices. We are experienced in negotiating and resolving federal, state and local enforcement actions and responding to citizen groups’ and class-action complaints. Working with a team of business, technical and public relations experts, we address compliance matters ranging from regulated emissions to hazardous material management, disposal, transportation and treatment. We guide clients through the emerging local, state, national and international standards for environmental management and assist concerned businesses with pollution prevention and recycling.
LitigationWhen environmental compliance becomes environmental controversy, Manatt litigators are trial-experienced counsel and vigorous advocates in any forum. We represent clients ranging from small property owners to large international corporations involved in federal multidistrict litigation, as well as developers, financial institutions, energy and chemical companies, manufacturers, construction contractors and environmental consulting firms. Our lawyers have the technical skills to handle civil and criminal trials, alternative dispute resolution, and aggressive defense when government agencies exceed their authority or unreasonably obstruct legitimate projects. Because of our depth of courtroom experience, our trial preparation and strategy are structured equally well for effective settlement or a successful judgment.
We represent clients in state and federal courts concerning a wide variety of environmental and land use disputes, including Superfund, RCRA, cost recovery and cleanup of contaminated properties, cost allocation, toxic torts, the Clean Air Act, Natural Resource Damage Claims, Proposition 65 actions and eminent domain claims. Our attorneys understand that the cost of remediating environmental contamination or the exercise of eminent domain by government can have a significant negative financial impact on landowners, so we focus on both the legal and business issues to represent our clients in a dispute.
Transactional Due Diligence and Liability AllocationsWe know that mergers, acquisitions, lending/financing and real estate ventures all raise environmental concerns. Our lawyers have honed their skills at pretransactional due diligence and assessment and can evaluate the existence of prior or current business location operations, on-site and off-site disposal practices, and potential liability to or from adjacent property owners. Our ability to identify environmental issues enables us to minimize their impact on our clients’ transactions. Working closely with Manatt’s corporate real estate and finance lawyers, we weigh environmental due diligence investigations against the requirements and goals of a transaction to help the client achieve their strategic objectives while protecting against and allocating risk and liability.
Environmental Remediation and Restoration ProjectsOur environmental lawyers team with geotechnical engineers, hydrogeologists, chemists, regulatory agencies and other legal counsel to apply sophisticated techniques that restore contaminated sites. We work with these specialists to evaluate the nature and extent of the contamination, estimate the cost of remediation, and develop a cost-effective, environmentally sound response within the right legal framework. This may include representing clients on a multiparty Superfund committee or in negotiations securing environmental insurance or settlement with regulatory agencies on a voluntary cleanup.
We also work with clients in connection with Brownfield projects. Many commercial and industrial areas include contaminated properties that would regain value if restored and remediated. In such situations we help our clients evaluate the nature and extent of the contamination, estimate the cost of remediation, and define the potential return from an investment in cleanup. If the project makes sound business sense, we coordinate it with developers, environmental consultants, financing institutions, insurance providers, regulatory agencies and other legal counsel, all within a proper legal strategy that provides the greatest return and protection.
Land Use Planning and Project DevelopmentManatt’s land use attorneys represent private and public landholders and developers before city councils, county boards, state planning commissions and other local, state and federal administrative bodies. Our clients have included motion picture studios, manufacturers, developers, schools and municipal entities. We help them obtain permits and other entitlements, including general plan amendments, specific plans, zone changes, environmental compliance documentation, tract maps and development agreements. If projects hit a snag, we vigorously represent our clients in defense of project approvals and in actions challenging adverse administrative actions.
Legislative and Regulatory DevelopmentEnvironmental regulations constantly change. We monitor and affect legislative and regulatory developments to help our clients keep pace and actively protect and advance their interests by advocacy in Washington, D.C. and in state capitals.
Ranked Nationally for Environmental Law 2013-2015
Ranked Nationally for Litigation – Environmental Law for 2015
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