Graham J. Gilbert

Graham J. Gilbert: Attorney with Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.
  • Associate at Snell & Wilmer L.L.P. (433 Attorneys)
  • Gateway Tower West, 15 West South Temple, Suite 1200, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
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Graham Gilbert's practice focuses on water, land use and environmental law. He regularly works on issues related to appropriation, management and sale of water rights; acquisition, entitlement, development and disposition of commercial and residential real estate; purchase, sale and cleanup of environmentally impaired properties; and wetlands and water quality permitting.

Before becoming an attorney, Graham worked as a hydrologist with water conservation district, municipal, ski resort, agricultural and energy clients in Colorado. He prepared technical information in support of water rights applications and change applications; developed technical information to support NEPA review of ski area expansion and reservoir development; designed and managed water quality monitoring programs and completed water quality analyses; and prepared and managed stormwater pollution prevention plans. Graham's background as a hydrologist helps him to understand technical issues, to effectively communicate with regulators, engineers and scientists and to develop practical solutions for clients.

Representative Presentations and Publications

• Utah Lake/Jordan River General Water Rights Adjudication: I am on the List of Unclaimed Water Rights, Now What? Author, S&W Environmental, Natural Resources, Oil and Gas Law Blog (February 19, 2019)
• Protests Flow Freely After Utah and Idaho Apply to Appropriate 400,000 Acre Feet of Water From Bear Lake, Author, S&W Environmental, Natural Resources, Oil and Gas Law Blog (July 10, 2018)
• Utah Supreme Court Clarifies Administrative Agencies’ Fact Finding Duty and the Standard of Review for Administrative Appeals, Author, S&W Environmental, Natural Resources, Oil and Gas Blog (December 21, 2017)
The Water-Energy Nexus in the 21st Century, Presenter, Energy & Environment Symposium (November 8, 2017)
• The Science Behind Water Quality, Moderator, ABA 35th Annual Water Conference (March 28, 2017)
• Water Markets and Water Transfers: Critical Water Management Strategies, Moderator, ABA 33rd Annual Water Conference (June 4, 2015)
• The Future of Interstate Water Compacts: Is the Compact Era Over? Moderator, ABA 32nd Annual Water Conference (June 6, 2014)
• Acquisition of Water Rights for Hydraulic Fracturing, Presenter (May 6, 2013)
• Stormwater Laws and Regulations, Presenter, Utah Water Laws and Regulations Professional Education Course (March 22, 2013)

Community Involvement

•Constitution Day, Volunteer (2016)
•Street Law Clinic, Volunteer (2012-present)
•Choose Law Project, Volunteer (2012)

Other Professional Experience

•Smith Hartvigsen, PLLC, Associate
•Utah Supreme Court, Judicial Clerk to The Honorable Jill N. Parrish
•Resource Engineering, Inc., Staff Hydrologist

Related Publications

Jun 08
Legal Alert - Utah Legislative Update: 2015 Water Law Legislation

Areas of Practice (6)

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Environmental and Natural Resources
  • Oil and Gas
  • Water and Water Rights
  • Zoning and Land Use

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
801.257.1911  Phone
University Attended:
Quinney Award Recipient, 5th Ranked Student; Lewis & Clark College, B.A., Environmental Studies, with honors
Law School Attended:
University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law, J.D., highest honors, 2011; The Order of the Coif; Articles Editor, Utah Law Review
Year of First Admission:
United States District Court, District of Utah; Supreme Court of Utah; Utah

Professional Memberships and Activities

•American Bar Association
•Planning Committee, Annual ABA Water Law Conference (2013-present)
•Environment, Energy, and Resources Section
•Salt Lake Chamber, Water Steering Committee
•Utah State Bar
•Energy, Natural Resources, and Environmental Law Section
•Appellate Practice Section
•Salt Lake County Bar
•Young Lawyers Division
•Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation

Reported Cases:
Representative Matters: Assisted clients with appropriating new water rights, changing existing water rights and securing related approvals (e.g. requests for reinstatement, requests for extension, reports of conveyance, etc.); Completed due diligence for acquisition of water rights, including tribal water rights, for industrial, commercial, ski resort, golf course and residential developments in Utah, Nevada and California; Managed water rights portfolios for agricultural and commercial landowners; Assisted lenders with securing an interest in water rights as loan collateral; Secured and defended easements for water diversion and conveyance infrastructure; Completed due diligence regarding the design, construction and capacity of a wastewater reclamation facility; Obtained land use entitlements for commercial and residential developments; Completed due diligence on behalf of developers, lenders and a receiver for acquisition or sale of commercial, golf course, residential and school properties; Worked with counties, cities and local districts on issues related to water supply, land use, zoning enforcement and development agreements; Advised developers regarding impact fees; Participated in administrative proceedings before the Utah Division of Water Rights; Utah Division of Water Quality; Utah Board of Oil, Gas and Mining; and the Utah Office of the Property Ombudsman; Served as outside general counsel for a large wastewater treatment facility; Replied to notices of violation from the EPA and Utah Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste; Assisted oil and gas and commercial clients with voluntary disclosure of permit violations; Analyzed hazardous waste contamination, explored cleanup alternatives, completed corrective action and negotiated contribution claims

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Lex Mundi

Salt Lake City, Utah

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