Administrative Law

Clark Hill's administrative law attorneys have extensive experience representing clients before numerous federal and state agencies, administrative and appellate courts, and legislative bodies. 

At a time in our nation’s history when regulation impacts a disproportionately large degree of economic activity, Clark Hill’s regulatory attorneys offer seasoned, effective assistance to clients facing or seeking to improve or challenge government-mandated action. Benefitting from a deep bench of attorneys with long regulatory track records, both in and out of government, Clark Hill is well positioned to handle all types of administrative/governmental law matters.

Clark Hill attorneys have demonstrated proficiency in a wide range of administrative/governmental law areas, including environmental, energy, financial institutions, communications, healthcare, occupational safety and health, securities, international trade, education, tax, and government contracting. Their experience includes notice-and-comment rulemaking, rate cases, procurement and bid protests, contract claims, financial assistance (grants, loans, and cooperative agreements), audit and dispute proceedings, specialized proceedings such as the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, the Freedom of Information Act, Sunshine laws, and all forms of advocacy in the administrative/policy arena, including administrative appeals, contested cases, and court challenges to final agency rules.

Clark Hill's attorneys have served as senior government officials in federal and state agencies, and bring sophisticated understanding of the regulator's perspective, as well as credibility, judgment, and nuanced problem-solving approaches to advocacy efforts on behalf of firm clients. Six Clark Hill attorneys have served at the General Counsel and/or senior trial counsel level in federal and state agencies. Members of the team have longstanding experience in major administrative law rulemakings and associated legal challenges, and many are listed as leading attorneys in the field by the ranking organizations Chambers and Partners, Best Lawyers, and SuperLawyers.

Examples of significant matters include representations:

  • On behalf of trade associations and Fortune 100 companies in numerous, multi-year U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rulemakings and associated challenges before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and other appellate courts
  • For numerous clients, advocating on behalf of a wide array of proposed rules, guidance documents, and policies under the full range of statutory authorities authorizing agency regulatory activity
  • As counsel of record on the briefs and/or on oral argument on rulemaking challenges before all federal circuit courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court
  • As natural resource damages counsel to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission in the Multi-District Litigation In Re: Oil Spill By the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, On April 20, 2010, MDL No. 2179, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
  • As retained administrative law expert on requirements for regulatory license renewal in a high-stakes, controversial energy matter involving a consistency determination under the Coastal Zone Management Act
  • As regulatory counsel to two industry sectors facing novel financial services industry rulemakings by the Consumer Financial Protection Board
  • On behalf of an industry-wide trade association in a negotiated energy efficiency rulemaking before the U.S. Department of Energy
  • Involving service as Special Assistant Attorneys General assigned to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, to provide legal and policy advice on the review and development of state environmental and energy statutes and regulations, and assistance in defending state officials in litigation
  • As counsel for multiple defense contractors before the Defense Contract Audit Agency in disputes involving contract cost allocations
  • On behalf of numerous clients before the U.S. Government Accountability Office on protests of adverse contract awards
  • Assisting clients in interpreting Dodd-Frank Act regulatory requirements
  • Resolving funding disputes on behalf of non-profit organizations and educational institutions with the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Education
  • On behalf of the City of Chicago Procurement Reform Task Force, including the City of Chicago and sister agencies (Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Transit Authority, Public Building Commission, City Colleges, and Chicago Park District) in evaluating each entity's procurement processes, with the objective of creating uniform contract templates across all agencies that implement best practices
  • Successfully appealing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's decision to halt licensing of the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, and obtaining a D.C. Circuit order of mandamus requiring the NRC to proceed with the licensing proceeding
  • As consultant to a financial services trade association in advocacy before state insurance commissioners on regulations implementing life settlement statutes
  • On behalf of numerous clients on communications regulatory requirements, including those governing landline and wireless communications, Internet, cable communications, and related facility siting and interconnection issues
  • For industrial and large institutional clients before federal and state energy regulators, on issues ranging from ratemaking to utility bypass to permitting matters
  • Involving work while in senior government service, including leading agency-wide or coordinated government-wide legal efforts on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Departments of Justice, Labor, Energy, and State, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the State of Illinois
  • Convincing the IRS to expand its interpretation of the applicability of its open-loop biomass tax incentive for use of tire-derived fuel in electric power generation
  • Developing a regulatory strategy for addressing the issue of risk of exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the permitting of an electric utility line
  • Obtaining registration or re-registration of a copper-based pesticide used in water treatment plants, in rice fields, ponds, lagoons, and swimming pools and spas, as algae resistant granules used in roofing shingles, among others
  • Advising a manufacturer of a chemical, the chemical manufacturer’s trade associations, and the trade association representing the product manufacturers that use the chemical, including developing data to submit to the EPA pursuant to the Toxic Substances Control Act to address any regulatory concerns
  • Advising clients concerning whether certain consumer products present an unreasonable risk and when injuries must be reported
  • Advising clients on the treated article exception to the U.S. pesticide laws
  • Advising a client concerning the U.S. regulatory requirements applicable to a proposal to export a used product containing high levels of chromium to Europe for reclamation and re-importing the product with the chromium removed
  • Assisting a trade association in tracking the listing as carcinogens of several chemicals used in its members’ products
  • Advising clients concerning TSCA import and export requirements applicable to numerous products
  • Counseling a number of clients regarding liability pursuant to Section 8(e) of the TSCA for failure to report to EPA a “study” allegedly indicating the chemical presents an unreasonable risk
  • Advising a trade association concerning the applicability of proposed hazardous and nonhazardous waste definitions to their member production process
  • Assisting various clients on testing procedures for consumer products and on the use of testing laboratories located outside the U.S., based on federal agency regulations
  • Advising clients on the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and state equivalents, including matters involving novel issues
  • On behalf of trade associations, companies, and coalitions, advising and advocating on science policy issues
  • Involving work with economic and technical experts in support of regulatory advocacy efforts
  • Assisting a trade association in preparing and submitting confidential business data to the National Highway Transportation Safety Act comparing NHTSA and European Union methods of testing tires as part of building the administrative record in a rulemaking
  • Involving advocacy on behalf of a mining company for changes to the House of Representative’s Ban Asbestos in America bill
  • Advising a company about its potential regulatory liability resulting from its historical use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in the manufacture of a number of products
  • Assisting clients in interpreting the European Union REACH (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals) program and other international regulatory regimes
  • Involving development of an advocacy strategy for a national trade association to defend its members concerning allegations that a product that members utilize was likely to be regulated or banned
  • Involving testimony before Congressional Committees on issues relating to environmental regulation and small business impacts of regulation
  • Advising financial institutions and associations on rulemaking initiatives
  • In rate-making proceedings and associated legal challenges
  • On behalf of offshore wind energy companies, commenting on proposed regulations of offshore facilities, obtaining critical changes streamlining the process, and subsequently assisting in obtaining federal permits and approvals for offshore wind power projects
  • Securing FERC/Corps approvals for private hydropower plants, and license transfers for nuclear power plants and waste facilities from the NRC
  • As lead negotiator for primary stakeholder in development of Maryland’s Nutrient Trading Policy
  • Assisting a rural market telecommunications company in self-reporting violations of several environmental statutes pursuant to the United States EPA’s Self Audit and Disclosure Policy.
  • Involving negotiation of a consent agreement which resulted in EPA’s waiver of approximately $675,000 in civil penalties, with the negotiated civil penalty being less than $10,000
  • Involving negotiation of amended Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) hazardous waste permits and/or consent orders with state agencies for addressing trichloroethylene (“TCE”) and other solvent and heavy metal contamination at sites in Mississippi and South Carolina
  • Involving negotiations of the amount and documentation of financial assurance (e.g., performance bonds and standby trust agreements) for post-closure care at permitted RCRA sites
Newsletter Alerts
New Momentum for Federal Infrastructure Initiatives and Regulatory ReformNew Executive Order on Infrastructure Ups the Ante on Streamlining the Environmental Review and Permitting ProcessBipartisan Senate Regulatory Accountability Act Adds Another Important Element to Reform EffortsEPA Doubles Down on Regulatory Reform Outreach, But is More Necessarily Better?Regulatory Reform: A Closer Look at Opportunities and ChallengesPresident Trump Orders Revisit of "Waters of the United States" RuleRegulatory Restructuring Initiatives Keep ComingExtraordinary Opportunity for Bankers to Impact Federal Policy and Regulations Next Steps on the Executive Order on Reducing Regulation: OMB's Guidance Provides Some ClarityNew Administration Orders Federal Agency Action to Reduce Regulatory Burden on ManufacturingTrump Administration Memorandum Imposes Regulatory Freeze Pending ReviewIllinois Passes Sweeping Energy LegislationU.S. EPA Issues Final Rule on Hazardous Waste Import & Export - Effective December 31, 2016DC Circuit Issues Landmark Decision Holding the CFPB's Structure Unconstitutional: What Happens Next?U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes New Mitigation PolicyNext Steps on New EPA Toxics Rule Implementation Reinforce the Need to Engage TSCA Reform: Something Old, Much That Is New -- Will It Make Industry Blue? Supreme Court Issues Stay of Clean Power Plan - What Now?Conflict Minerals and Supply Chain Accountability (Video)Changing The EPA's Opaque Scientific MethodsSupply Chain Accountability - The News Just Keeps ComingVolkswagen Scandal Prompts EPA to Target Auto IndustrySix Things the Private Sector Should Know About EPA’s Final Vapor Intrusion GuidanceBeyond Ebola: Environmental Regulatory Issues Creating Business Risks for Health Care ProviderseDisclosure to Modernize Implementation of the EPA's Audit Policy Supreme Court Widens Federal Agency Latitude on Guidance DocumentsSupreme Court Decision Serves as Reminder of Sarbanes-Oxley Disclosure RequirementsMI Legislature Passes Law Barring MDEQ From Enforcing A Proposed EPA Regulation Limiting Emissions From Wood HeatersPost-Election Analysis: Environment and EnergyConcerns Raised over PHMSA Proposed Crude-by-Rail RuleEPA Asks for Additional Comments on Clean Power Plan
Clark Hill Attorneys Named 2018 “Leaders in their Field” by Chambers USAClark Hill attorney, David G. Ries, to present annual Information Security Law Update at Pittsburgh Chapter of Information Systems Security Association on March 6, 2018Clark Hill Attorney, Thomas A. Brooks, published in Financier Worldwide, March 2018 Issue, “ To serve your community or sit in jail: is there any reward to this banking risk?”Clark Hill Attorneys Joann Needleman, Jane C. Luxton and Thomas A. Brooks Published in DRI’s For The Defense, “If the CFPB Is Remiss, the Court Must Dismiss” February 2018Clark Hill Member Joann Needleman Quoted in Philadelphia Business Journal, “Why court ruling in PHH case not a clear win for CFPB advocates” February 1, 2018Clark Hill Attorney Joseph R. Brendel to Present on Vapor Intrusion Issues at the 2017 National Brownfields Training Conference – December 7, 2017Confirmed - Clark Hill Attorney Eric M. Hocky speaking at General Counsel Symposium of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association on November 17, 2017Clark Hill PLC Receives National and Regional Tier 1 Rankings in the 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers, “Best Law Firms”Seventeen Clark Hill Attorneys Named to the 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers & Rising Stars List Clark Hill PLC Receives National Rankings in the 2017 Edition of U.S. News-Best Lawyers, “Best Law Firms”Clark Hill Attorney Mark Steger Co-Authored the “Environmental Law Issues in Eminent Domain Litigation” Chapter In Illinois Eminent Domain Practice – 2016 Edition Clark Hill Attorney Michael J. Pattwell and State Senator Tom Casperson to Present at State Bar of Michigan’s Environmental Law Section Annual Meeting on September 22, 2016 Sixty Clark Hill Attorneys Named 2016 Michigan Super Lawyers & Rising StarsKen von Schaumburg Named National Law Journal Energy & Environmental Trailblazer Sixty-Four Clark Hill Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the 2017 Edition of Best Lawyers in AmericaClark Hill Lands Two Additional Nationally Prominent Environmental AttorneysClark Hill Attorneys Named 2016 “Leaders in their Field” by Chambers USATwenty-Six Clark Hill Attorneys Named to Pennsylvania Super Lawyers & Rising Stars 2016 ListClark Hill Adds Top-Tier Chicago Energy Group, Expanding Clark Hill's National Energy Presence Clark Hill Attorney Martin T. Jones to Speak at the Arizona Association of School Business Officials Spring Power-up Conference Sixty-Six Clark Hill Attorneys Selected for the 2015 Super Lawyers Business EditionClark Hill Named to The Environmental Law360 100Clark Hill Attorney David Ries to Speak on Emerging Standards for Technological Competence in eDiscoveryClark Hill Attorney Joseph Brendel to Participate in Mackrell International Webinar "Updates on Current Environmental Issues: Self-Disclosure, Energy Reforms in Mexico, and Traps" – October 29, 2015Clark Hill Attorney Jennifer J. Sackett Pohlenz to Present at CREW Chicago Open Forum September 22, 2015 in Oak Brook, ILSixty-Five Clark Hill Attorneys Named to Michigan Super Lawyers 2015 ListClark Hill PLC Receives National and Metropolitan Tier 1 Rankings in the 2016 Edition of Best Lawyers in America's “Best Law Firms”Sixty-Two Clark Hill Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the 2016 Edition of Best Lawyers in AmericaClark Hill Attorney David Ries To Speak at the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation’s 36th Annual Institute - June 17, 2015Clark Hill Attorney David Ries Re-Appointed To Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Board Of DirectorsClark Hill Attorneys Named 2015 Washington DC Super Lawyers
"White House Regulation Push Is Just Getting Started" by Jane Luxton, Karen Bennett, Kenneth von Schaumburg and William Walsh for Law 360, January 11, 2018"To serve your community or sit in jail: Is there any reward to this banking risk?" Financier Worldwide, March 2018. Jane C. Luxton Quoted in Financier Worldwide, "Tackling modern-day slavery within global supply chains" December 2017"Honestly, What Is The Best Science?", Law360 - April 25, 2017"Regulatory Reform: A Closer Look at Opportunities and Challenges" by Karen Bennett, Jane Luxton, Kenneth von Schaumburg, and William Walsh for JD Supra, April 10, 2017What Product Manufacturers Need to Know About TSCA Reform, by William Walsh"CWA Citizen Suits Seek to Erode the Permit Shield," by Karen Bennett for the National Association of Clean Water Agencies "Top Supply Chain Accountability Risk Trends for 2016", Financier Worldwide, April 2016Robert Strong Quoted on Michigan Radio: Michiganders Could Get A Break on Energy Bills Under Transmission Rates Ruling, January 2016Attorney Jane C. Luxton Quoted in "Conflict Minerals: The Pressure Remains On", Supply & Demand Chain Executive, September 2015"Conflict Minerals: A Second-Year Update", ABA In-House Counsel Committee Newsletter, August 2015"9th Circuit Opinion May Create Hurdles For De Minimis CERCLA Settlements" in Westlaw Journal"Conflict Minerals Disclosure Requirements", Risk & Compliance Magazine, Oct. - Dec. , 2014"Conflict Minerals: First-Year Reporting Results and Lessons Learned", ABA In-House Counsel Committee Newsletter, August 2014"DC Circuit's En Banc Meat Packers Ruling Strengthens the SEC's Hand on Conflict Minerals Disclosure Requirements", Clark Hill Update, July 2014"Conflict Minerals: Why SEC Compliance Should Be the Least of Your Worries," CSR Wire, April 2014"Conflict Minerals and Associated Risks: The Deadline is Near," Clark Hill Update, February 2014Finalized Injection Rules End Ohio Impass40 Years of Clean Water Act Muddy Aspects Remain
WEBINAR: New Compensatory Mitigation Policies; Opportunities for Strategic, Market-Based Eco-Asset ProjectsWEBINAR: Lead in Drinking Water