David A. Franchina Partner

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Dave is the co-leader of McGuireWoods’ Environmental Enforcement & Regulatory Counseling practice group, where he serves as environmental counsel to clients seeking regulatory and compliance advice in a wide variety of substantive areas, including solid and hazardous waste, water and air pollution, wetlands and surface water reclamation, chemical regulation, environmental remediation, and occupational safety and health. He has counseled clients in dozens of project development matters with complex environmental implications, multimillion-dollar clean-ups, environmental insurance coverage cases, and Superfund matters. He has steered clients through the web of environmental regulation in real estate and commercial transactions.

Further, Dave has provided advice to clients on an array of environmental enforcement matters, including negotiation of civil penalties, defense of criminal prosecution, and resolution of debarment from government contracting arising out of environmental incidents.

Dave also regularly partners with the firm’s corporate, finance and real estate practices to provide environmental due diligence in the course of acquisition, sale, leasing and financing transactions.


  • Advised a Brownfields redeveloper in acquiring and cleaning up a former paper manufacturing plant ready to be proposed for inclusion on the federal National Priorities List. Worked with the client, the U.S. EPA and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality to develop a Memorandum of Understanding to allow for the cleanup of the property while protecting the client from federal and state legal cleanup liability. After closing, worked with the client to complete the cleanup years ahead of schedule.
  • Advised developers of and investors in renewable energy projects on environmental liability, and on environmental permitting necessary to allow development to proceed on a timely basis. Projects included solar and biomass.
  • Assisted a national discount retailer and a national outlet mall developer client in obtaining individual wetlands fill permits, on an accelerated timetable, in connection with major regional real estate development projects. In each instance, the client obtained the necessary permits within an abbreviated time period necessary to commence construction in a timely fashion, without burdensome requirements or public opposition.
  • Advised several publicly-traded real estate investment trusts on environmental risks associated with the acquisition and disposition of commercial real estate.
  • Advised one of the world’s largest lumber companies on environmental cleanups affecting several of its facilities, including closure of its wood treatment operations under complex U.S. environmental laws.
  • Advised a formulator of wood treatment chemicals on the cleanup of such chemicals under U.S. EPA oversight, and on financial settlement of costs associated with such cleanup.
  • Advised and defended several companies respecting potential criminal liability under environmental laws.
  • Advised numerous commercial developers in securing Brownfields agreements to facilitate property development. To date, advice has been provided on over 75 Brownfields agreements.
  • Assisted a golf course developer in securing wetlands permits for a new golf course in the North Carolina mountains. Work included securing permits from federal and state authorities, litigating the terms of the permits with opponents of the project, and securing a settlement to the litigation.
  • Advised a client on wetlands permitting strategy in connection with its efforts to develop over 6,000 acres of land in a mixed-use, multi-phased development.
  • Defended clients from efforts by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to bar them from government contracting.
  • Represented a developer in negotiating a prospective purchaser agreement with the U.S. EPA. The agreement allows the developer to own a portion of a Superfund site and to conduct significant construction activities on that site, without exposure to Superfund liability.
  • Assisted a public/private partnership in its effort to redevelop several environmentally contaminated properties to facilitate development in an economically distressed parts of Charlotte, N.C. and Atlanta, GA.
  • Advised several companies respecting management of PCBs in building materials, including in connection with redevelopment of an office tower.
  • Represented several clients regarding management and cleanup of coal ash.
  • Represented generator of electricity regarding financial and legal restructuring of existing generation units, including advice on managing environmental permitting and conducting environmental cleanup of on which generation units sit.
  • Represented a developer in defending a permit issued under the Endangered Species Act.