Perkins Coie Adds Two Top Former Justice Department Litigators to Environmental Practice

01 Jun 2018

Perkins Coie is pleased to announce that Andrew C. Hanson and Bradley H. Oliphant have joined the firm’s Environment, Energy & Resources (EER) practice in the Madison and Denver offices, respectively.

Andrew and Brad are former trial attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), where they represented the United States in various energy, wildlife and natural resources cases. Andrew was also previously an attorney with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and most recently, an attorney with Alliant Energy. With over two decades of combined government experience, Andrew and Brad bring to Perkins Coie extensive institutional knowledge of federal agency operations, including enforcement, approval and authorization procedures.

“Andrew and Brad add to our existing bench of former DOJ and EPA attorneys, strengthening our ability to help clients manage complex government processes involving energy and infrastructure projects, and enforcement matters,” said Karen McGaffey, Chair of Perkins Coie’s EER practice. “We are focused on providing clients with practical and creative business solutions, and Andrew’s in-house experience and deep industry knowledge also fits well with our approach.” 

Andrew was a trial attorney with the DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division in Washington, D.C. from 2008 until late 2015, where he was recognized by DOJ and EPA for his work on high impact environmental cases under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. Shortly thereafter, Andrew took a position as a senior attorney with Alliant Energy Corporate Services. There, he provided strategic advice on energy project acquisitions, development and construction, and prepared regulatory filings that allowed the company to significantly expand its renewable energy resources. He previously held positions at the EPA, where he focused on matters related to the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Air Act. Andrew earned his J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School and received his B.S. from the University of Michigan. 

“Andrew’s government experience is a true value-add for our clients, and his in-house experience adds a unique perspective to his advice to clients,” said Michelle Umberger, Managing Partner of Perkins Coie’s Madison office. “He’s known as a trusted counselor and colleague, and we’re excited to welcome him to the firm.”

Brad served as a DOJ Senior Trial Attorney in Denver and Washington, D.C. for nearly 10 years, advising regulatory agencies and high-level government officials on compliance issues related to land management and natural resource matters. He has extensive experience related to the development of renewable energy projects and led the Endangered Species Act litigation that arose from the operation of the Central Valley Project in California, the nation’s largest federal water management project. Brad is a three-time John Marshall Award nominee, once for an “outstanding win” in a California salmonid litigation case and twice as part of the Environment and Natural Resource Division’s Renewable Energy Litigation Team. He also received various DOJ performance awards, as well as recognition from various client agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers District Commander’s Coin for Excellence and the NOAA General Counsel Award for Exceptional Performance and Significant Contributions. Brad earned his J.D. from Cornell Law School and received his A.B., cum laude, from Harvard University.

“As Denver’s business sector rapidly expands, we’re seeing more energy and environment clients who require guidance on how to navigate federal regulations,” said Sonny Allison, Managing Partner of Perkins Coie’s Denver office. “Brad’s superlative understanding of the industry and compliance regulations is of great value to our clients in the Denver area as well as nationally.”

Perkins Coie’s EER practice includes more than 100 EER attorneys in offices across the United States and is widely recognized for its ability to help plan a project’s development, secure the necessary permits in a timely manner, reduce the likelihood of litigation and help facilitate post-development and ongoing compliance and regulatory contacts. Perkins Coie’s EER attorneys also represent private companies and public agencies in the full range of environmental litigation matters. Chambers USA ranks the firm’s environmental group as one of the nation’s top national practices. Perkins Coie’s EER lawyers also have high ratings in The International Who’s Who of Environment Lawyers, Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers. Perkins Coie was named the 2017 U.S. News - Best Lawyers “Law Firm of the Year” in Natural Resources Law. 

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