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Aerospace & Defense


Experienced California Environmental Litigator Richard J. McNeil Joins Crowell & Moring

New Orange County partner will advise on air and water quality, hazardous waste, and land use

Irvine, Calif. – January 23, 2018: Crowell & Moring LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Richard J. McNeil as a partner in the firm’s Environment & Natural Resources Group in Orange County. McNeil brings more than 30 years of private practice experience litigating and counseling on environmental matters, much of it in California, for clients in the manufacturing, chemical, land development, aerospace, metal, and insurance industries. His deep knowledge of the California environmental landscape broadens the national reach of the ENR Group.

“We are excited to welcome Rick to the firm, particularly at a time of significant change in environmental law at the federal and state levels,” said Philip T. Inglima, chair of Crowell & Moring. “Just as the Trump administration is rolling back environmental regulations and enforcement, California is taking a more aggressive approach on environmental protection. Rick’s presence will help clients navigate the litigation and regulatory risks amid this unsettled period.”

A respected environmental lawyer for his work in California and nationally, McNeil advises on numerous environmental issues, including Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act enforcement cases, hazardous waste, Superfund, brownfield redevelopment, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and endangered species matters. He is an experienced trial lawyer who has handled numerous jury, bench, and administrative trials in commercial, land use, tort, and contract litigation. He recently won a hotly contested case on summary judgment involving a major commingled groundwater plume in Los Angeles County, Calif., that is now on appeal. He has practiced before the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which covers Los Angeles and Orange counties, as well as both the Los Angeles and Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Boards. In addition, he advises clients with large land holdings and accompanying environmental law needs. He joins the firm from Snell & Wilmer LLP.

“Rick’s experience litigating environmental matters and advising on the federal and state regulatory issues in California is a great complement to our group’s existing broad-based experience,” said Elliott P. Laws, chair of Crowell & Moring’s ENR Group. “His addition strengthens our capabilities to serve national clients on both coasts.”

McNeil’s arrival continues the firm’s Environment & Natural Resources Group’s recent growth, following D.C. environmental partner Michael Boucher’s move in December to Crowell & Moring from Dentons US LLP.

“Crowell & Moring has a preeminent national environmental practice, and it’s a great fit for my practice and my clients,” McNeil said. “I am excited to join this esteemed group of colleagues and for the opportunity to help the firm build out its environmental presence in California.”

McNeil earned his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law. He serves on the Orange County Bar Association’s board of directors and as chair of the organization’s Diversity Committee. He also is a member of the American Law Institute. McNeil is actively involved in the community, serving on the board of directors for Legal Aid, and is chair emeritus of the Pacific Chorale. He is admitted to practice in California.

About Crowell & Moring’s Environment & Natural Resources Group

Crowell & Moring's nationally recognized Environment & Natural Resources Group has more than three decades of experience successfully representing clients across the United States in all forums, including federal and state courts, agencies, and legislatures. Our lawyers and policy advisors are nationally acclaimed in air and water quality, civil and criminal environmental litigation, environmental tort litigation and trial, land use, toxic substances, chemical regulation, and site clean-up and reclamation matters.

About Crowell & Moring LLP 

Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with approximately 500 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity. The firm has offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, London, and Brussels.


Christine Elfmann
Senior Communications Manager