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Practice Overview

Environmental

Our environmental lawyers have extensive experience advising and supporting clients on complicated environmental issues across a broad range of contexts, including mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity offerings, bank loans and other business transactions. We also advise corporate clients and their boards of directors on evolving, and often novel, challenges and opportunities associated with environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) issues, sustainability concerns and climate change. In addition, we represent clients in complex environmental litigation and investigations, including those relating to remediation matters, climate change and indemnification disputes.

Environmental matters facing businesses are increasingly complex and sophisticated, both legally and scientifically. They often involve difficult technical and regulatory issues that can have significant effects on both day‑to‑day operations and strategic business decisions. As public awareness and investor expectations continue to increase with respect to the management and reporting of such matters, companies must address risks that can impact their financial and reputational core.

We are frequently engaged to assist clients in identifying, assessing and allocating environmental liabilities in corporate transactions, including addressing significant legal challenges relating to environmental regulatory issues, remediation and other liability matters and SEC environmental disclosure requirements. This also includes the management of significant post‑closing obligations and legacy liabilities, such as mass toxic tort matters, and resolving environmental‑related contractual disputes. We also regularly advise clients on sustainability reporting and ESG‑related shareholder engagement and proxy matters. Our experience in virtually every industry enables us to understand the long‑term operational and strategic needs of our clients as well as industry‑wide trends and practices, and we use that knowledge to help develop practical solutions to environmental problems and to use environmental opportunities to their best advantage.

Cravath has been ranked as a top‑tier firm for our environmental transactional expertise by Chambers USA since its inception in 2003, and the publication quotes clients as saying:

  • Cravath’s environmental practice is “superb” for its “breadth and depth of resources, expertise and flexibility”
  • “There is a total focus on the client and the service is extraordinary”
  • “They are timely and proactive, acting essentially as an in‑house resource at times, but with a very good understanding of market standards and the ever‑changing regulatory landscape”
  • Cravath’s environmental lawyers are “very responsive and pragmatic”
  • “They solve problems, are always available and provide a prompt service”
  • “Outstanding service provided in complex deals”
  • “The firm is very service-oriented, does a good job with staffing, is responsive and communicates well”

With respect to environmental‑related litigation, which often can involve high‑stakes disputes across multiple forums and involve novel and varied legal theories, Cravath litigators are ideally positioned to secure results that can reshape legal and business landscapes for our clients. In defending against these actions, we draw on our technical knowledge to comprehensively address the substantive claims, while our generalist litigation training equips us with the skills to simultaneously manage, coordinate and direct a successful defense, often of numerous concurrent actions.