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Latham’s land use expertise earns “strong market endorsement.” The team acts on “sophisticated corporate and finance transactions for significant clients” and is “highly experienced in taking on work from REITs, as well as developers, investors, and other critical real estate players.”

Chambers USA 2020

Project Siting & Approvals

No other law firm has lawyers with an understanding of every applicable regulatory requirement and governmental approval needed for energy generation and any other type of infrastructure project.

Architecturural plans, a measuring tape and wood samples

Latham & Watkins’ Project Siting & Approvals lawyers help clients obtain and defend the governmental approvals, licenses and permits needed for vital infrastructure and new development, such as power generation and transmission, refining, manufacturing, ports and airports, mixed use development, office towers, toll roads, educational facilities and new master planned communities.

Unequaled Team of Energy and Infrastructure Practitioners

The firm's Project Siting & Approvals practitioners have assisted successful developers, agencies and infrastructure companies obtain the crucial environmental, land use and regulatory approvals from international, federal, state and local agencies needed to build every conceivable type of facility ranging from nationally renowned art galleries to wind turbines to waste disposal sites. 

The more than 40 lawyers, professional planners and environmental practitioners in this group — which includes many of the leading legal practitioners in the regulation of air emissions, carbon credits, water usage and discharge, wetlands, hazardous waste and endangered species — work in coordination with the lawyers in the firm’s Finance, Project Development & Finance and Real Estate Practices. This team approach allows for an efficient all-encompassing strategy for major projects and transactions. No other law firm has lawyers with an understanding of every applicable regulatory requirement and governmental approval needed for energy generation and any other type of infrastructure project combined with a world class Project Development & Finance Practice.

Advice from the Initial Proposal to the Financing and then Completion of Construction

Latham's Project Siting & Approvals lawyers provide strategic advice and detailed regulatory analysis on every planning and environmental issue that may arise from planning and feasibility studies of potential sites through to defense of approvals. The firm's lawyers then closely shepherd every new development project through financing and the completion of construction.

Agreements with opponents are obtained where possible, and when necessary Latham takes the lead in defending approvals against administrative appeals or courtroom challenges. In today’s highly regulated and litigious public environment, it is not enough to hire lawyers who can answer isolated questions about specific regulations. Project developers must hire lawyers who can provide a combined strategy to get all the approvals and then successfully defend them in court.

Scope of Services

Latham handles every kind of governmental approval or permit for major energy and infrastructure projects, including:

  • Siting permits for fossil fuel, hydroelectric, nuclear, waste to energy and renewable power generation and transmission
  • Permitting major refining, chemical, electronics and other manufacturing facilities
  • University and secondary campus planning and approvals
  • Retail, office, hotel, residential and sports facilities
  • Coastal zone development permits and consistency determinations
  • US EPA and state agency permits for criteria, and non-criteria air contaminant emissions
  • US Army Corps of Engineers dredging, filling and structure permits
  • Compliance with toxic air contaminant exposure regulations
  • Water supply and water rights permit and assessments
  • Endangered Species Act permits and approvals
  • Carbon credits, climate change and greenhouse gas regulatory requirements
  • Land use zoning and planning requirements
  • Franchises, right of way agreements, and leases/use permits for public land and facilities
  • Public Utilities Commission requirements (PUC)
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and other state environmental assessment requirements
  • Environmental Justice Counseling and Compliance

Notice: We appreciate your interest in Latham & Watkins. If your inquiry relates to a legal matter and you are not already a current client of the firm, please do not transmit any confidential information to us. Before taking on a representation, we must determine whether we are in a position to assist you and agree on the terms and conditions of engagement with you. Until we have completed such steps, we will not be deemed to have a lawyer-client relationship with you, and will have no duty to keep confidential the information we receive from you. Thank you for your understanding.