McGuireWoods partner Benjamin L. Hatch will become chair of the firm’s Environmental & Mass Tort Department effective Sept. 1, 2023. Hatch will lead a litigation and investigations team with deep experience in high-stakes mass tort, environmental and product liability matters; federal and state attorney general-led investigations and enforcement actions; and regulatory proceedings.
A former federal prosecutor, Hatch represents clients in high-stakes civil litigation, criminal investigations and appeals. He has first-chaired numerous jury trials, conducted bench trials, and argued appeals in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 4th, 5th, 7th and D.C. Circuits, as well as the Supreme Court of Virginia. He served as a law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court of the United States and Judge J. Michael Luttig on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Hatch is based in Norfolk, Virginia, and works from the firm’s Washington, D.C., office.
“Ben’s record of outstanding service to clients and the firm will serve him well in his new position,” said Todd Steggerda, McGuireWoods’ deputy managing partner for litigation. “I am excited to work with Ben and the entire team as we continue to grow this powerhouse department.”
The Environmental & Mass Tort Department is structured into four key practice groups.
- Crisis Management & Incident Response: Lawyers in this group employ a multifront strategy to assist clients with all aspects of emergency response including civil and criminal prosecution; shareholder litigation; class actions; insurance disputes; investigations by Congress, regulatory agencies and/or state attorneys general; and reputational/public relations issues.
- Environmental Enforcement & Regulatory Counseling: Lawyers in this group counsel clients on regulatory programs for air, water, waste, natural resources and chemicals; defend clients against regulatory enforcement actions; and assist clients in addressing policy issues on climate change, environmental justice and emerging contaminants.
- Environmental Litigation: This group litigates high-exposure environmental and toxic tort actions that frequently proceed in parallel with government investigations and enforcement actions.
- Product Liability & Mass Tort: The group’s lawyers represent clients across industries in high-exposure matters that frequently involve allegations of systemic product defect, public nuisance, product mislabeling, negligence and strict liability. The team handles internal and government investigations and defends class actions, multidistrict litigation, attorneys general actions, and high-exposure individual death and injury cases.
“The Environmental & Mass Tort Department combines powerful litigation and regulatory capabilities and strategic insight to help clients respond to litigation challenges and manage legal and reputational risks,” Hatch said. “I am proud to lead this world-class team.”