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Environmental Litigation

Latham helps clients resolve environmental disputes around the world, with battle-tested litigators and trial lawyers who routinely deliver victories before administrative boards, at all levels of the judiciary, and in international and US-based arbitrations.

We represent public and private companies, project developers, utilities, as well as trade associations, financial institutions, and investors operating across industries. We defend clients against criminal and civil enforcement actions and citizen-suits, secure and defend permits and approvals in administrative record litigation, and litigate commercial disputes and potential liabilities in state and federal courts, and before regulatory bodies, across industry sectors. We also routinely secure insurance coverage for various environmental and other matters.

Accidents, Explosions, and Other Disasters

Our team helps clients in the immediate aftermath of a disaster or crisis event to assemble a team of seasoned litigators and regulatory, technical, and public relations experts, make quick decisions, and design a path to recovery and resolution. We draw on vast experience advising on past disaster responses to guide engagement with government regulators and investigators, and to address site security, evidence collection, and public relations — decisions that can impact a company for years to come. We also coordinate the many overlapping legal, regulatory, and business issues that clients face in the months and years after an accident or disaster, including related investigations, insurance coverage disputes, litigation, and enforcement actions.

Contaminated Properties, Emerging Chemicals & Toxic Torts

Latham environmental litigators represent clients facing claims arising from alleged contamination and exposure to chemicals and hazardous substances, including PFAS, to mitigate their liability, whether through negotiated settlement, dispositive motions, or trial. Our experience includes US state and federal enforcement actions under CERCLA, RCRA, the Clean Air Act, and other statutes, private party cost recovery actions, multi-plaintiff toxic tort and nuisance suits, and class actions.

We understand the technical issues at the heart of environmental litigation matters, such as exposure analysis, behavior patterns impacting the “dose” received, and the “fate” of hazardous substances in the environment. We routinely litigate the most cutting-edge and technical issues, leveraging the insight of engineers and scientists in our group with in-depth knowledge across disciplines, including epidemiology, chemicals, toxicology, risk assessment, hydrogeology, and groundwater and air dispersion modeling. We routinely succeed in challenging and debunking “junk science” expert testimony.

For more than four decades, Latham & Watkins has helped clients around the world resolve environmental disputes. The firm’s market-leading environmental practitioners and battle-tested litigators provide clients a winning combination before administrative boards, at all levels of the judiciary, and in international and US-based arbitrations.