Environmental Counseling

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Companies must constantly navigate the many complex and changing environmental rules that govern their business. King & Spalding lawyers work with clients to understand their business goals and help guide them through the regulatory realm to achieve those business goals. Many top companies turn to King & Spalding lawyers for regulatory advice because of our first-hand knowledge of how the regulatory agencies operate, our sophisticated understanding of the multitude of regulations governing these industries, and our strategic counsel oriented to business solutions.

Our team of environmental lawyers has significant experience assisting clients at every stage of their business. From siting and permitting of new projects, to compliance assurance, auditing and environmental management systems for operating facilities, and then remediation and site closure, we partner with our industrial clients to provide strategic and cost-effective counseling. In addition, King & Spalding is working with clients to advise them on the risks and opportunities presented by global climate change, including counseling concerning disclosure obligations related to climate change. Our group includes lawyers with technical backgrounds–engineering, chemistry, biology, land use, environmental policy–who function well at the intersection of law and science, present the issues in plain English, and work with our clients to find solutions.

Our environmental lawyers are strategically located to serve clients across the nation and around the globe.

  • Atlanta. Chambers USA has consistently ranked K&S at the top of the environmental firms in Georgia and Patricia Barmeyer as the number one environmental lawyer in Georgia, and Les Oakes, an engineer as well as an attorney, has particular expertise in securing and defending air permits.

  • Washington. Kathy Rhyne has been recognized by Chambers USA 2011 as "extremely hard working and absolutely amazing to work with;" she has a particular expertise in chemical regulation and risk assessment. In both Washington and Houston, Cynthia Stroman employs her experience as a chemical and environmental engineer to address environmental issues for clients in the oil and gas, chemical and other energy-intensive industry sectors. Jim Vines has a similar industry sector focus and taps into his extensive in-house experience to help clients build, assess and enhance environmental management systems and address company-wide environmental issues across the globe.

  • Houston. Environmental trial lawyer Tracie Renfroe is noted in Chambers for her "intelligent and highly capable approach to litigation," and was recognized by Best Lawyers in America's as Houston Environmental Lawyer of the Year for 2012. Carol Wood defends energy, manufacturing and real estate clients against personal injury, property damage and remediation claims involving oilfield contamination, radioactive materials, chlorinated solvents, and other contaminants, and is recognized by The Legal 500 for environmental litigation.

  • San Francisco and Southern California. Gus Filice and Nick Kayhan are nationally recognized in litigation involving groundwater contamination, municipal water supplies, remediation of redevelopment sites, and actions seeking damages for alleged impacts from air emissions generated at oil refineries and from the application of agricultural chemicals.

  • Paris. Joëlle Herschtel is a leading French environmental lawyer, noted by Chambers Europe for her "stellar client-centred attitude, pragmatism and technical skill." Her expertise encompasses legal assistance in the management of private and public infrastructure projects. She also provides environmental counseling concerning classified facilities, mines and quarries as well as climate change (carbon credits) or chemicals.

  • Moscow. Olga Kozyr provides environmental counseling in relation to land use, construction and privatization projects, and is recognized as being "unafraid to point out potential risks" in real estate transactions. Chambers recognized Jennifer Josefson who specializes in Russian and international transactions in the energy and natural resources sector.


  • King & Spalding's Environmental Practice received the Law360 "Environmental Group of the Year Award" in 2011.

  • Nationally ranked as a leading environmental practice by Chambers USA 2012 Edition.

  • Legal 500:US named King & Spalding as one of the top Environmental Litigation practices in the country in its 2012 guide. Many of our lawyers are individually recognized by Legal500.

  • In its most recent edition, Chambers USA recognized our environmental lawyers in the District of Columbia, Georgia and Texas. Chambers Europe recognized our global environmental attorneys in Paris and Moscow.
Patricia T Barmeyer 
T: +1 404 572 3563 ATLANTA
James K Vines (Jim) 
T: +1 404 572 4822  ATLANTA
T: +1 202 383 8921 WASHINGTON, D.C.
Cynthia AM Stroman (Cynthia) 
T: +1 202 626 2381 WASHINGTON, D.C.
T: +1 713 276 7364 HOUSTON
Gennaro Filice (Gus) 
T: +1 415 318 1262 SAN FRANCISCO
Joëlle Herschtel 
T: +33 1 7300 3918 PARIS
Granta Nakayama 
T: +1 202 626 3733 WASHINGTON, D.C.
Ilana Saltzbart 
T: +1 202 626 3745 WASHINGTON, D.C.