Environment, Health and Safety Department
Our firm's Environment, Health and Safety practice specializes in providing transactional guidance, compliance counseling and management strategy, litigation and dispute resolution, and international environmental law and policy guidance on behalf of a wide range of corporate, electric utility, industrial, real estate, and financial services clients.
We are skilled at performing due diligence and audits, analyzing environmental risks and opportunities, and at negotiating and drafting environmental provisions in transactional and financing documents in connection with mergers, acquisitions, financing of projects, and other ventures, working closely with the firm's mergers and acquisitions, corporate and securities, real estate, real estate securities, structured finance, and public finance attorneys.
In addition to counseling clients on legal requirements and voluntary codes and standards, we advise on drafting policies and designing and implementing compliance programs and management systems, conduct internal investigations, draft and review environmental impact statements, assist corporations and financiers with respect to environmental disclosures, and advise financiers with respect to lender liability and risk, as well as environmental/sustainability services and products.
The firm’s lawyers are also highly regarded for their role advising clients on climate law, policy, and related finance matters, including conducting greenhouse gas (GHG) due diligence, applying carbon and other environmental standards, and drafting and negotiating related provisions in transactional and financing documents in connection with mergers, acquisitions, financing of projects, and other ventures; advising clients on international, federal, and state GHG regimes and initiatives; negotiating and drafting emission reduction purchase agreements; counseling companies on emissions trading activities, GHG emission reduction projects, and voluntary carbon market issues; and advising on GHG-related strategies and governance matters, including policies, management systems, disclosure, carbon footprinting, and offsetting. Our experience in the energy area includes reviewing environmental aspects of projects, transactions, and litigation, as well as environmental impact analysis, permitting and regulatory approval, facility siting, and decommissioning.
Our environmental litigation and crisis management practice represents industry and individual clients in civil penalty and criminal cases, administrative proceedings, civil lawsuits, and domestic and international arbitration involving environmental issues, including disagreements over contractual terms and actions or claims arising under state, federal, and international law.
Willkie’s Environmental team is also uniquely well positioned to advise companies, financiers, and environmental organizations on issues arising under regional and international environmental agreements. We have counseled industry leaders with respect to foreign legal requirements, provided assistance with monitoring developments in policy and law, and analyzed environmental issues under the WTO, NAFTA, and other trade regimes. We also counsel industry on voluntary environmental standards, initiatives, and codes of conduct; conducting multijurisdictional assessments of legal and regulatory obligations; and applying multilateral financial institution guidelines to projects. Our six offices in Europe provide extensive expertise regarding the evolving body of environmental law in the European Union. This helps us to provide integrated advice to multinational clients with respect to United States and European Union requirements and evolving policies.
The firm also advises employers on obligations under occupational safety and health laws; counseling employers on legal requirements relating to workplace exposure to hazardous substances; and in conducting risk assessments.
Our environmental legislative and regulatory practice entails advocating for our clients’ positions to members and staff of the United States Congress as well as various federal, state, and local agencies. We also advise clients on the potential impact that pending legislation and regulatory initiatives may have on their businesses.