The lawyers in McGuireWoods’ Environmental practice are experienced in all of the fundamental matters relating to environmental law — permitting, enforcement defense, rulemaking, legislation, project development, crisis management, and acting as an agency liaison at the federal, state and local levels. More importantly, our practice has distinguished itself by focusing on broader client needs, including preventing future problems, capitalizing on environmental assets, searching for more sustainable practices, and helping the public understand the benefits of the client’s business and activities. In addition, we also align our services with a client’s strategic business objectives.

Our group includes former governmental regulators and lawyers with technical backgrounds in engineering and the natural sciences. By integrating the skills of group members with the latest technological approaches to the practice of law, we work with clients to focus on cost-effective ways to solve problems.

Our environmental practice is diverse in subject matter, national, regional and international geography; industries, and the unique businesses we serve. Some lawyers concentrate on air, water, solid and hazardous waste, wetlands, and other permitting under federal and state regulatory programs. We have gained recognition for results that allow facilities maximum flexibility in meeting legal requirements, with the greatest protection for business and personnel.

We also focus on transactions involving natural resources development, major manufacturing facilities and energy projects. Additionally, we emphasize federal and state legislation and rulemaking, litigation and other dispute resolution to preserve or defend our clients’ positions. We have significant depth of experience with organizing and managing groups of clients with common regulatory interests for an optimum outcome. In all these areas, we routinely use business and tax concepts to optimize project or transaction value.

U.S. and Global Experience

Our lawyers have extensive experience throughout the United States counseling clients, participating in federal and state administrative proceedings, and resolving disputes in federal and state courts, in every area of environmental and natural resources law. Our representation of clients in Europe, Latin America, and Asia has honed the tools necessary to represent clients’ needs throughout the world.

Our clients include large and small domestic and international businesses, as well as trade organizations, municipalities, public authorities, developers, and client groups organized to address individual issues or long-term regulatory efforts.

As individuals and team members, we bring a personal and group commitment to each client. We will help you solve your environmental problems quickly, innovatively, and cost-effectively, as well as minimize your environmental risks, and enhance the value of your business transactions.

Litigation and Multiple Legal Practice Experience

Our specific environmental services are described below. Some members of the group also are part of other McGuireWoods’ practices: litigation, including toxic torts; corporate services, including the environmental aspects of transactions such as mergers and acquisitions; government investigations and white collar litigation, including energy enforcement; real estate and land use, including sustainability; and occupational safety and health.


The construction or expansion of industrial plants, power production facilities, solid waste facilities, towns, mines and malls, whether in green fields or brown, requires a host of permits. We have years of experience at identifying the permits and approvals necessary for a project, and this identification process is how we begin most undertakings.

From that point on, we believe that we have the strongest team to make certain that permitting is completed as quickly as possible, with as few problems as possible. We provide complete project permitting management for clients across North America. We work closely with environmental consultants and engineers who have the technical knowledge and information readily available to prepare the initial permit application. Then it goes for legal review by our environmental lawyers. For the client, the value of this approach is that all relevant experience is put to use in focusing on the matter.

This approach allows our clients to bring any number of specialty consultants onto their team without fear of contradictory permit provisions or fatally flawed time frames. We provide project management control data to our clients and “troubleshooting” for any problems that occur in the permitting process, whether the problems relate to regulations, regulators or project opponents.

We have an extensive “toolkit” of approaches and techniques that can facilitate project success, ranging from targeted community relations campaigns to “green solutions” —socially and environmentally responsible approaches to traditional engineering issues.

When delivering the project permitting package, we can provide further support in the form of legal opinions that provide assurance for lenders and new equity participants that all of the permitting necessary for construction and operation of the facility has been completed appropriately.

Our Environmental practice experience can be categorized broadly into four areas: Air, Brownfields, Waste, and Water.

Team Leaders

Full Team
Back to top