Lytz, Karl S.

Karl S. Lytz

Retired Partner

It is with great sadness that we mourn the death of our dear friend and retired partner Karl S. Lytz, who passed away on September 17, 2022. He was 72. 

Mr. Lytz joined the firm in 1983 as a member of the Environment, Land & Resources (ELR) Department and was known and well-recognized for his formidable courtroom presence, brilliant legal mind, affability, and character. We will miss him dearly.

Karl S. Lytz retired from partnership on December 31, 2012. He was a partner in the San Francisco office of Latham & Watkins, and was the local Chair of the Environment, Land & Resources Department, and a member and former co-Chair of the Environmental Litigation Practice Group.  

Mr. Lytz  practiced in the environmental field for more than 25 years, representing clients in numerous federal and state court litigations, administrative enforcement proceedings, civil and criminal investigations, administrative rulemakings and rulemaking appeals, project developments and business transactions. 

Mr. Lytz  worked in the areas of hazardous substance liability (response costs and natural resource damage claims), Clean Water Act compliance and litigation (including regulation of cooling water intake structures at nuclear power plants), risk assessments for major capital projects in the oil industry (including the risks of Alien Tort Statute claims for overseas oils operations), federal preemption of state laws governing hazardous materials security and infrastructure protection planning by railroads, toxic tort claims, Endangered Species Act compliance and litigation, California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act compliance and litigation, radioactive materials licensing, federal land acquisitions and military base conversions. 

Mr. Lytz has been a frequent lecturer and a co-author of articles concerning Endangered Species Act and hazardous substance liability issues. He has testified before California legislative committees about proposed legislation.

Mr. Lytz served in the United States Navy from 1972-1980.


  • JD, University of Virginia School of Law, 1983
  • BA, University of Virginia, 1972