• Contacts



    Chair; Land, Environment and Natural Resources



    Energy, Environment and Natural Resources
    Real Estate and Land Use

    Environmental Law

    The scope and complexity of environmental law and regulation is expanding rapidly in response to continuing advances in environmental science and technology, and to the broader, growing consensus among the public, business leaders and investors demanding environmentally sustainable business practices and products.

    Businesses in all industries are more accountable than ever for their environmental practices and impacts. Failure to adequately anticipate and plan for emerging environmental issues could interfere with current business operations or significantly delay development projects. And even seemingly small or inadvertent regulatory compliance excursions may result in significant financial loss, civil and criminal liability, restraint on future operations, and reputational damage to your company and its products.

    An Experienced Partner

    Manatt’s Environmental practice offers you access to comprehensive representation across a wide range of environmental, legal, and policy issues. We understand your business and interface with scientists, engineers, and development professionals, as well as attorneys and executives.

    The nature and depth of our experience ideally suits us to advise on the most sophisticated environmental legal and policy matters, and we are recognized as top practitioners by Chambers, US News Best Lawyers, and the BTI Client Service All-Stars.

    Full Range of Issues

    Clients trust us to advise them in connection with matters arising under all types of environmental laws, including:

    • Air-quality issues on the local, state, and federal levels
    • Climate change mitigation and adaptation
    • Hazardous waste management and Superfund liability
    • Water quality
    • Cleantech
    • Land use and development
    • Natural resource exploration and production
    • Remediation/Brownfields
    • Management of endangered species and coastal resources
    • Chemical regulation, including registration, use, and marketing of pesticides
    • Consumer and other product content restrictions and disclosure
    • Environmental due diligence in business transactions

    Regulation, Compliance, and Enforcement

    Manatt has the experience—as well as the deep scientific and technical understanding—to help you develop practical yet cost-effective compliance strategies that adhere to the best practices of your industry.

    On your company’s behalf, we can bring even the most challenging environmental projects to successful conclusion, including:

    • Creating and performing internal environmental health and safety audits and investigations
    • Developing and implementing environmental management systems
    • Establishing and renewing corporate sustainability programs

    We routinely affect the regulatory landscape. When new regulation occurs or new court decisions are handed down, we quickly evaluate the likely effects on both your compliance obligations and your business practices. We also help you identify opportunities that might arise from new or revised regulations and offer creative solutions that can produce significant revenue.

    Manatt’s environmental professionals are well-respected in federal, state, and local tribunals, as well as in environmental regulatory offices across the country. Oftentimes, we can assist you by interfacing with administrations without the need for dispute. But, in a crisis—when targeted, for example, by enforcement agencies, citizens’ groups, or the “headline” tests—we have both the legal and public relations resources to handle and defuse the situation.

    Transactional and Redevelopment

    Whether you are involved in a corporate transaction, a real estate purchase/divestiture, a Brownfield redevelopment program, or any other kind of deal, our lawyers are skilled at identifying, quantifying, allocating, and resolving environmental risks so as to maximize transaction value and minimize potential liability.

    We understand these kinds of transactions, having written the book on Brownfields redevelopment and assisted in the creation of many of the tools used today to complete them. Working closely with our real estate, land use, tax, finance, and corporate practices, we weigh all factors against your strategic objectives and risk tolerance. We assess potential liabilities, anticipate possible exposure, and help you gauge environmental consequences while still in negotiation.


    With the understanding that environmental rules are always evolving—that they are as subject to development as the science behind them—we constantly monitor both the rules and the science.

    Through our offices in the nation’s key regulatory centers—Washington, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, New York City, Albany—we address environmental issues at all levels of government. Many team members have previously held senior environmental positions in local planning commissions and state government, making them highly effective advocates in front of committees of Congress, state legislatures, and regulatory agencies.

    We work closely with senior stakeholders in trade groups, in regulated industries, and among the regulators and policy makers themselves. If a rule is clearly not working—or places onerous financial or operational burdens on our clients—we have the resources and the influence to effect changes. Manatt does not just react to environmental policy—we help make it.


    In the event your issues spill over into litigation, our team of seasoned litigators can represent you vigorously in any situation, from civil lawsuits to criminal proceedings to government enforcement actions. Over decades, they have developed and honed a formidable set of environmental litigation skills in federal and state courts all over the United States, providing incisive counsel on strategic approaches.

    We have successfully represented plaintiffs and defendants in, among others, pursuing cost recovery actions; challenging rules before regulatory bodies; and asserting, prosecuting, and defending claims in virtually all types of environmental matters, including:

    • Environmental liabilities in the context of bankruptcy proceedings
    • Property, natural resources, and sediment remediation
    • Toxic torts
    • Government and citizen enforcement
    • Legal challenges to environmental regulations
    • Water-quality matters
    • Hazardous waste handling and disposal disputes
    • Contract disputes over environmental liabilities

    Like our clients, we see every dispute as a business problem—not just a legal or political concern—and any litigation strategy we create will be focused squarely on your business and financial objectives.

    Attorneys & Professionals

    Bassak, Andrew A. San Francisco 415.291.7449
    Bloomgarden, Craig S. Los Angeles 310.312.4240
    Costantino, Jon Sacramento 916.552.2365
    Davidson, Jeffrey J. Washington, D.C. 202.585.6678
    Dombroski, Matthew A. New York 212.790.4556
    Duchesneau, Peter Los Angeles 310.312.4209
    Elson, David Los Angeles 310.312.4151
    Farkas, Steven D. Los Angeles 310.312.4137
    Huard, David L. San Francisco 415.291.7430
    Lawson, Kristina D. San Francisco 415.291.7555
    McGrath, David Los Angeles 310.312.4147
    Moyer, Craig A. Los Angeles 310.312.4353
    Raptis, Stephen T. Washington, D.C. 202.585.6550
    Riedel, Adam Washington, D.C. 202.585.6522
    Shatz, Benjamin G. Los Angeles 310.312.4383
    Soneff, George M. Los Angeles 310.312.4186
    Votaw, James G. Washington, D.C. 202.585.6610
    Walsh, James S. Albany 518.431.6717
    Wolff, Ted New York 212.790.4575


    Selected Clients

    • 3M City of Los Angeles
    • Dansk Investments (USA Petroleum)
    • GATX
    • Goodrich
    • Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
    • San Gabriel Valley Water Quality Authority
    • Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics
    • Sun Chemical
  • Awards & Rankings

    logo/img/@altRanked Nationally for Environmental Law 2013-2016

    logo/img/@altRanked Nationally for Litigation – Environmental Law for 2015-2016