Environmental Transactional and Disputes

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Environmental regulation and the complexities of compliance impact all types of businesses. The costs of coming into compliance and the potential liability for failing to comply can be material, requiring careful planning and knowledgeable counsel to limit liability. Dechert’s environmental transactional and disputes team works collaboratively with clients to understand their businesses and develop practical and creative solutions for managing environmental risk. Applying our extensive environmental legal experience and our transactional, industry and political knowledge, we help clients formulate strategies to address environmental risks and identify opportunities.

We advise a broad range of clients, including business entities, private equity and other financial investors, lenders, property owners, operators and developers, hospitals, universities and nonprofit organizations on domestic and international business, real estate and financing transactions, regulatory compliance matters and regulatory and government coordination activities. We also regularly represent clients in environmental litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings.

Business and Real Estate Finance Transactions

Dechert’s environmental lawyers work collaboratively with our corporate, M&A, finance, bankruptcy and reorganization lawyers applying our broad range of experience to evaluate environmental liabilities that may arise during stock and asset sales and purchases, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, divestitures, loans, real estate finance transactions, bankruptcies and reorganizations. Our services encompass all phases of a transaction, including conducting environmental due diligence investigations, evaluating and quantifying environmental risk and assisting in risk allocation determinations. We draft and negotiate agreements to address environmental issues, identifying appropriate extra-contractual mitigation devices, such as environmental insurance and applicable regulatory programs, provide transaction-structuring advice and oversee post-closing and completion activities.

Our lawyers possess a deep understanding of United States and European environmental laws and have advised clients on multinational transactions involving entities and properties throughout the world.

Environmental Disputes

When environmental matters become adversarial, Dechert’s litigators defend clients in enforcement proceedings, citizen suits and third-party actions, as well as seek recovery of cleanup costs from responsible private parties or our clients’ own insurance carriers. Our environmental litigators offer in-depth experience in all phases of federal, state and local administrative and judicial proceedings and have handled a broad range of environmental cases including climate change litigation, brownfields and natural resource damages (NRD) claims, disputes involving water and stormwater and solid/hazardous waste issues, as well as waste management, chemical regulation, land use controls and community right-to-know matters.

Dechert has extensive Superfund litigation experience, having represented clients in more than 25 states in each significant facet of this complex litigation. We have participated in major trials involving multiparty site cleanups and have chaired steering and allocation committees. We have also negotiated and developed consent agreements for clients who own or have contributed to contaminated properties and have monitored developments at sites where our clients are only minor contributors.

Knowledge of environmental statutes and regulations, an understanding of remedial technologies and years of litigation experience have prepared our environmental litigators to handle everything from complex constitutional challenges to fast-track injunction proceedings and defense in civil and criminal matters.

Regulatory Advice

Dechert provide comprehensive counseling on the full range of regulations impacting our clients, their industries and transactions. Our strategic advice enables clients to maintain compliance with current regulatory requirements and plan for changes in laws, regulations and directives in the U.S. and Europe. We also guide clients through regulatory and management audits, the permitting process and UK planning permission as well as assist clients with developing, implementing and monitoring audit programs to assure ongoing compliance with environmental laws, regulations and directives. We advise clients on best practices to prepare for and follow up on environmental inspections by regulatory authorities and when facing penalties, our clients can rely on our skillful negotiation of consent agreements and penalty assessments.