David J. Hayes

Retired Partner

David J. Hayes retired from the partnership in December 2008. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Global Chair of the Environment, Land & Resources Department at Latham & Watkins, a department composed of nearly 100 lawyers who work on environmental, energy and resources matters throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Latham & Watkins has been recognized as the leading environmental legal practice in the world by Who's Who Legal, and as one of the leading practices in the US by Chambers & Partners.

Mr. Hayes was resident in the firm's Washington, D.C. office, where his practice focused on counseling, litigation and transactions involving environmental, energy and natural resources matters.

Mr. Hayes served as the Deputy Secretary of the Interior during the Clinton Administration. As Deputy Secretary, he was second in command at Interior under Secretary Bruce Babbitt, with statutory responsibility to serve as the Chief Operating Officer over Interior's 70,000 employees and US$10 billion budget. Mr. Hayes was nominated for the position by President Clinton, and confirmed by unanimous vote of the United States Senate. While at Interior, Mr. Hayes played a lead role in many of the Department's most difficult and important matters with a primary focus on the acquisition and protection of threatened lands (e.g. acquisition of the Headwaters old-growth redwood forest in Northern California); the restoration of threatened ecosystems (e.g. the Bay-Delta ecosystem restoration project in California); the introduction of modern water management approaches in the west (e.g. the Colorado River initiatives undertaken by the Administration); the negotiation of habitat conservation plans under the Endangered Species Act; energy-related issues associated with federal lands and resources (e.g. oil and gas development, hydropower licensing, etc.); and the settlement of long-standing Indian water and land disputes.

Mr. Hayes served in a variety of leadership positions in the environmental, energy and resources field, including Chairman of the Board of the Environmental Law Institute, a nonprofit research and publication center for environmental law and management professionals. He also served as the Vice Chair of the Board of American Rivers and was a Board member of RESOLVE and the Natural Heritage Institute.

In the fall of 2007, Mr. Hayes served as Consulting Professor at Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment. While at Stanford, he directed a Woods Institute dialogue project on carbon offsets. The results of his work at Stanford were published by the Center for American Progress. Mr. Hayes also was a Senior Fellow at the World Wildlife Fund, with a focus on climate change matters, and a Senior Fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, the think tank that is affiliated with the Democratic Leadership Council, where he served on PPI's energy task force.

Mr. Hayes was recognized by Chambers & Partners USA as one of the two highest rated environmental lawyers in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Hayes is a 1978 graduate of the Stanford Law School, where he was notes editor for the Stanford Law Review, and he is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He currently serves as the Chair of Stanford Law School's Board of Visitors.

Books that Mr. Hayes has co-authored include:

  • "Climate Change and U.S. Law", Michael Gerrard, editor; American Bar Association (2007) (co-author, with Joel Beauvais, of chapter that addresses legal and policy issues associated with natural and geologic carbon sequestration).
  • "Whose Water Is It?: The Unquenchable Thirst of a Water-Hungry World",  Bernadette McDonald and Douglas Jehl, editors;  National Geographic Books (2003) (author of chapter devoted to the Colorado River).

A selection of Mr. Hayes' publications include:

  • "Climate Change Policy in the New Administration", The Environmental Law Reporter, 39 ELR 10042 (January, 2009). 
  • "Connecting Population Growth and Water Supply: Strangers No Longer", Environmental Law Reporter Vol. 38, page 10597 (August 2008).
  • "Digging a Deep Hole: the Bush Administration's Assault on Natural Resources", Progressive Policy Institute Report (August 2008). 
  • "Getting Credit for Going Green: Making Sense of Carbon “Offsets” in a Carbon-Constrained World", Center for American Progress (March 2008).
  • "Junk the Term “Offsets” for Carbon Credits", Sacramento Bee (November 29, 2007) (guest op-ed column).
  • "Bring the U.S. into the Global Carbon Market", Environmental Forum (March/April 2007).
  • "The Promise of Biofuels:  A Homegrown Approach to Breaking America's Oil Addiction", Progressive Policy Institute Policy Report (March 2007) (co-authored with Roger Ballentine and Jan Mazurek).
  • "The Global Climate Change Marketplace: Moving Forward Without the United States", Progressive Policy Institute Policy Report (February, 2007).
  • "Winning the West", Progressive Policy Institute Policy Report (April, 2006).
  • "Why the Endangered Species Act Is Becoming More Controversial: A Lack of Leadership on All Sides", Environmental Forum (July-August 2004).
  • "River Management and the ESA: American Rivers' Missouri River Litigation", The Water Report (June 15, 2004) (with Janice Schneider and Cassandra Sturkie).
  • "Federal Court Raises Uncertainty for ESA “No Surprises” Policy", Washington Legal Foundation, April 30, 2004 (with Janice Schneider).
  • "Privatization and Control of US Water Supplies", Natural Resources and Environment Journal (Fall 2003).
  • "Behind Big Deal on the Colorado", Sacramento Bee, October 22, 2002 (lead article, Forum Section of Sunday Sacramento Bee).
  • "The Role of Carbon Sequestration in the U.S. Response to Climate Change", Environmental Law Reporter (November 2002) (with Nicholas Gertler).
  • "Federal-State Decisionmaking on Water: Applying Lessons Learned", Environmental Law Reporter (October 2002).
  • "Energy Again – But With a Kicker", Natural Resources and Environment Journal (Spring 2002).
  • "Domestic Oil and Gas Production: Pursuing a Principled Approach", Progressive Policy Institute (June 2002).
  • "Climate Change and Energy:  A Policy Imperative", Progressive Policy Institute (February  2002).
  • "Integrating ESA Goals into a Larger Context: The Lesson of Animas La Plata", Natural Resources Journal (Summer 2001).
  • "Land Conservation and Restoration: Moving to the Landscape Level", Virginia Environmental Law Journal (Vol. 2, 2002).
  • "The Elusive Goal: New ADR Models Help in Natural Resources Disputes", ABA Dispute Resolution Magazine (Winter 2001).
  • "Old Wine in A New Bottle", Environmental Forum (September/October 2000) (commentary on the “Enlibra” approach to resolving natural resources disputes).
  • "Saving the Headwaters Forest: The Jewel That Nearly Slipped Away", Environmental Law Reporter (ELR) (February, 2000).
  • "Quenching the West's Thirst", San Diego Union-Tribune (October 31, 1999) (feature article on the Colorado River).
  • "Cross Pollination", Environmental Forum (July/August 1998) (commentary on the importance of melding principles from industrial-based environmental law and natural resources-oriented environmental law).


  • JD, Stanford Law School, 1978
    Note Editor, Stanford Law Review
  • BA, University of Notre Dame, 1975
    summa cum laude