Greenberg Traurig’s Environmental Practice assists our clients with issues under the environmental and natural resource laws that  affect their businesses.  We assist them in transactions, defend them in enforcement actions, represent them in other litigation, help them understand and comply with regulatory requirements, support them as they prepare for and respond to emergencies, craft approaches for their legacy cleanup issues, and develop solutions for their product regulation, market access, and environmental policy challenges. Our client-focused, problem-solving approach has led major national companies in a variety of industry segments, as well as municipalities, to turn to GT with their most challenging environmental issues. Our attention to fitting service to the client’s needs has also led much smaller organizations facing less daunting environmental challenges to trust us to resolve their issues cost-effectively.

Our Lawyers

More than 65 lawyers at GT practice environmental law in more than 20 of GT’s 36 offices around the United States and the world.  The Environmental Practice is not dominated by lawyers inside the Capital Beltway, but instead by lawyers closer to the facilities, resources, regulators, and courts that matter to our clients.  We have the ability to be on-site or in court quickly, while still offering our clients effective regulatory and legislative advocacy.

We are the lawyers of choice for clients who want to try a different approach tailored to the situation.  They anticipate that the conventional approach to their problems will yield conventional outcomes, but that those outcomes will be unacceptable and therefore they need another option. As a result, you will find our lawyers recognized broadly by publications like the Chambers & Partners guides, and Best Lawyers in America

Clients’ Needs Right Now and in the Future

The services our clients request do not remain the same as business shifts and the priorities of regulators and environmental groups change.  Our recent engagements have clustered in several areas.

  • Infrastructure projects – We help clients meet the regulatory and litigation problems posed by development of pipelines, ports, roads, dams, and the like under the laws requiring environmental impact review like the National Environmental Policy Act; laws for the protection of specific resources like the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act; the air pollution laws; land management regulations of the United States, states, and tribes; and private tort law.
  • Energy projects – We counsel clients and litigate on their behalf with respect to similar NEPA, ESA, CWA, Clean Air Act, and land management problems posed by development of power plants, wind farms, transmission lines, biomass facilities, and solar power projects.
  • Mines, oil and gas wells, and other extraction projects – We represent clients in regulatory disputes and litigation under the mining laws, the wetlands rules, and the Clean Air Act that have arisen during development and operation of phosphate mines, oil and gas wells, hard rock mines, and coal mines, including disputes over the safety and effects of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) of shale oil and gas deposits.
  • Complex redevelopment projects – We help clients evaluate and manage risk from environmental conditions on old industrial, military, and other brownfields sites, and advise them on how to apply insurance or other risk transfer  tools, along with more conventional voluntary cleanup programs, to manage those risks under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or “Superfund”) and other clean up programs.
  • Superfund sites – We represent clients in enforcement and allocation disputes and litigation arising under the Superfund program, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”), and similar authorities, including complicated problems at contaminated sediment sites and sites with claims for natural resources damages.
  • Facilities with allegedly injured neighbors – We represent clients in litigation over alleged toxic torts arising from groundwater contamination, surface spills, and air emissions.
  • Facilities with newly or differently regulated air emissions – We counsel clients, negotiate with regulators on their behalf, and represent them in litigation over disputes engendered by adoption or application of new rules mandated by Congress and the courts under the Clean Air Act regulating everything from greenhouse gas emissions and climate change to hazardous air pollutants to particulates.
  • Product stewardship and market access – We help clients manage the rising tide of product and chemical regulation that is creates market access challenges and opportunities, such as chemical regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”), California’s Green Chemistry initiative, the European Union Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (“REACH”), its Regulation on Classification, Labelling, and Packaging of Substances (“CLP”), the EU Directives on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (“WEEE”) and Restriction of Hazardous Substances (“RoHS”), energy efficiency standards, and value chain management, including compliance with the SEC’s recent conflict minerals rule.

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At Greenberg Traurig, we are committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The individual attorneys at Greenberg Traurig are committed to nurturing diversity throughout the firm and creating an environment where differences are embraced and utilized creatively.

For us, diversity is about taking action - opening doors for lawyers.

That commitment is reflected by the fact that overall, 40 percent of Greenberg Traurig's attorneys worldwide are women or minorities as defined by the American Bar Association. As of Dec. 31, 2014, our U.S. employees, including attorneys and staff, who met the definition of minority persons reflected a total of 29 percent of our employment base. Approximately 32 percent of our U.S. attorneys and 52 percent of our U.S. employees are women.

Greenberg Traurig's commitment to diversity and inclusion goes beyond any single committee. Committees cannot nurture; they cannot mentor; they cannot create an environment where differences are embraced and utilized creatively. Committees do not lead. Our diverse attorneys however, can and do.

* We welcome and reflect the communities we represent better than any other major law firm in our markets.

* We do not simply rely on a "committee" to achieve this.

* We do so through a commitment to providing a fair opportunity for each of us to reach our full potential.

* We have the personal dedication of many at Greenberg Traurig who identify and bring into our firm this very special diversity.

* The Minority Law Journal 2014 Diversity Scorecard has recognized us as follows:
o No. 1 Ranking, African American Partners
o No. 1 Ranking, Hispanic American Non-Partners
o No. 2 Ranking, Hispanic American Partners

* The National Law Journal has previously recognized our attorneys as among:
o No. 2 Ranking, Female Partner Numbers, Female Scorecard (2013)
o "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America" (Three) (2008)
o "The 50 Most Influential Women Attorneys" (Two) (2007)
o "The 100 Most Influential Attorneys in America"
(Two diverse attorneys; three total) (2006)

Diversity in Action: Fostering Diversity in the Profession and Preserving the Pipeline

Greenberg Traurig's Diversity Leadership Community has initiatives that focus on fostering an environment within the firm that supports and encourages diversity and inclusion, and increasing diversity in the profession by increasing access to a legal education for minority students. Helping today's law students and lawyers become tomorrow's business and legal leaders means a larger, more diverse marketplace and a greater pool of talented professionals. And that means more business opportunities for everyone - our firm, our colleagues and, most importantly, our clients.
In this way, our approach to diversity and inclusion mandates a high-level of personal responsibility with regard to the recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys. Attorneys in recruiting, hiring and supervisory roles are continuously made aware of the progress of our efforts. Our personal approach to diversity and inclusion means that Greenberg Traurig lawyers are active at their alma maters and at law schools local to their offices, participating in such programs as career panels; "Meet the Employer" days; and mock interviews, among others.

It has been, and continues to be, our goal to create a well-balanced workforce that contains a significant presence of minorities and women.

Greenberg Traurig creates and supports partner programs with women, minority, gay/lesbian or disability-focused bar associations. We attend and sponsor events at these organizations regularly throughout the United States. The firm works closely with national and local minority bars to address the fostering of diversity and inclusion in the profession on many levels. We support the work of several organizations, including MCCA, NAPABA, NASABA, NBA, NLGBTBA, HRC, HNBA and others.

Additionally, we provide funding through the Holly Skolnick Greenberg Traurig Fellowship Foundation for lawyers and law students to work with public interest groups. Through the Foundation, Greenberg Traurig serves as the largest sponsor of Equal Justice Works Fellowships in the United States and has invested approximately $8 million to support, in whole or in part, almost 127 Equal Justice Works Fellows since 1999.

We invite clients to join us as we work towards:

* Cultivating strategic partnerships with clients and potential clients to leverage our diversity platform to create and deepen relationships and cultivate business opportunities.

* Encouraging our lawyers to facilitate opportunities for our diverse and women lawyers to develop relationships with clients before and after new matters are received.

* Broadening the pipeline of diverse attorneys by expanding relationships with minority bar associations and other legal diversity organizations through our combined support of these networks.

* Focusing on strengthening mentoring programs for female and diverse attorneys at every level.

* Instituting a program that provides a variety of mentoring, rainmaking and training opportunities that can be accessed by a wide range of diverse attorneys across a variety of underserved communities.

* Engaging our Affinity Groups and their allies as a forum for professional development and business development opportunities, as well as for recruiting and retention assistance and as a social exchange to promote inclusion.

Diversity in Action: Employee Resource Networks

Greenberg Traurig's Employee Resource Networks (Affinity Groups) have the goal of addressing the needs of our attorneys and professionals who are diverse. We support Affinity Groups for our attorneys who are African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, LGBT and women, and we continue to gauge opportunities to expand those groups as our needs and demographics dictate.

The firm's Affinity Groups are as follows:

* African American Affinity Group

* Asian Pacific American Affinity Group

* Hispanic American Affinity Group

* Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affinity Group

* South Asian American Affinity Group

* Women's Initiative

Our goals include:

* Mentoring of junior attorneys within the specific group;

* Recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys;

* Active participation in organizations addressing specific groups; and

* Serving as a forum for group members to discuss and explore issues and opportunities that will add value to client relationships.

Women's Initiative

As an example of our approach, Greenberg Traurig's firm-wide Women's Initiative focuses on retaining and supporting women attorneys through professional development and work/life balance initiatives, as well as through business development training programs and networking opportunities.

We work with like-minded organizations to address these issues on a broader scale in a variety of industries and communities.

Our program targets:

* Attracting and retaining talented women attorneys.

* Supporting business development for women attorneys.

* Serving as industry leaders.

* Impacting the community through leadership and service.

* Maintaining a culture that benefits women attorneys.

Diversity in Action: Suppliers

Greenberg Traurig is committed to the development of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and Small Business Enterprises (DBE & SBE) suppliers.

As such:

* All business concerns, large and small, majority- or minority-owned, are afforded an equal opportunity to compete.

* A national director of procurement within the firm supports this practice.

* We are committed to diversity with respect to our vendors and suppliers.

* We are amenable to using diverse vendors and suppliers recommended by clients.

Diversity from the Top Down

Cesar L. Alvarez, Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig, leads our diversity efforts. This is a matter of personal responsibility for him, having entered the U.S. as an immigrant with humble beginnings.

He has previously been honored as follows:

* "Lifetime Achievement Award," Hispanic National Bar Foundation

* "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America," The National Law Journal

* "50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America," The National Law Journal

* "Top Most Powerful Hispanics," The Black Book of Poder

* "25 Best Latinos in Business," Hispanic Magazine, The Power Issue

* "President's Award of Merit for Diversity Efforts," The Florida Bar

* "Spirit of Excellence Award," ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession

* "Lifetime Achievement Award," Chambers USA Awards for Excellence

* "CEO of the Year" award, Multicultural Law Magazine

* "Attorney of the Year Award," Hispanic National Bar Association


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