Climate Change

Latham & Watkins advises clients on how to respond to existing climate change regulations, laws, and litigation, shape the development of new policies, and capitalize on market and investment opportunities. The Climate Change Practice provides clients an integrated and effective combination of litigation representation, creative transactional advice, and policy advocacy before multiple government agencies.

Why Latham

Forecasting for Success

Latham has one of the largest and most successful climate change and environmental markets practices globally. Latham’s Climate Change Practice provides clients with lawyers in multiple offices around the world focused almost exclusively on climate issues, which is unique among large global firms.

For decades Latham has advised clients — in industries ranging from transportation, to real estate development, to power generation — on climate change policy, regulation, and litigation. Latham lawyers have been directly involved in the creation of several key environmental markets and in the design and adoption of climate legislation, including:

  • The creation and adoption of the 1989 RECLAIM trading program in California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District
  • The design and adoption of the Clean Air Title IV program in 1994, which resulted in the SO2 allowance trading program
  • The design and implementation of the World Bank’s US$2 billion carbon portfolio under the markets created by the Kyoto Protocol
  • The 2009 Waxman-Markey proposal
  • The extension of California’s cap-and-trade program in 2017
Delivering a Broad Practice

With a multi-disciplinary approach, Latham regularly advises clients on climate change-related:

  • Policy advocacy
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Litigation and enforcement defense
  • Due diligence, disclosure, and risk allocation in corporate transactions
  • Commodity transactions, including environmental credits and fuels credits (e.g., carbon allowances and offset credits)
  • Private equity investments in opportunities related to environmental commodities
  • Real estate project GHG mitigation
  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Hydrogen/green hydrogen projects
Advising on Signature Matters

Latham’s Climate Change lawyers have consistently developed creative solutions for clients. Representative examples include:

  • Advising a real estate developer on the successful design, permitting and implementation of North America’s first and the world’s most important carbon neutral city
  • Representing companies on the diligence, structuring and negotiation of more than 50 carbon offset credits transactions involving a wide range of registries and project types, including forest, dairy farm, wetland, cookstove, ozone-depleting substances and on the creation of multiple carbon funds and similar investment vehicles
  • Leading the multi-industry National Climate Coalition that provides critical input to the United States Environmental Protection Agency and state energy and air quality agencies regarding GHG regulation under the Clean Air Act
  • Leading the National Coalition for Advanced Transportation, a coalition of leading utilities, vehicle and equipment manufacturers, and other companies, in support of state and federal policies to support electric and advanced technology vehicles
  • Representing a large gas utility company to successfully resolve regulatory and liability issues and to mitigate climate impacts arising in connection with a large methane leak
  • Representing a number of companies in the successful defense and resolution of enforcement actions filed pursuant to various climate-related regulations, including GHG reporting regulation and the cap-and-trade program regulations
Clean Energy Law Report Blog

To keep its clients and others informed of significant developments and trends in the field, Latham created the Clean Energy Law Report, a blog updated regularly by members of the practice.

Awards & Rankings

  • Latham Again Honored as a Top Legal Innovator - December 12, 2018
  • Four Partners Receive 2017 MVP Recognition From Law360 - December 10, 2017
  • Two Partners Named “Energy and Environmental Trailblazers” - June 08, 2016
  • Three Partners Named “Energy and Environmental Trailblazers” - May 05, 2015
  • Four Latham Partners Among 2014 "Top 100 Lawyers in California" - September 09, 2014

Latham's climate change practice is praised for its "globally active US-based group with further strong presence in Europe, Africa and Asia," and hailed as being a "premier firm" with lawyers who "completely know the subject matter, they are experts in environmental and climate change-related issues and they are very commercial."

– Chambers Global 2020


EPA’s GHG Rule: Overview and Implications

Media Coverage

Greener Route Cuts Through Legal TangleChina Adopts New Approach to Environmental Governance Environmental Firm Attorney of the Year: Jim Arnone


Latham Releases Book of Jargon® – Environmental, Social & GovernanceFirm Joins World Business Council for Sustainable DevelopmentFinancial Times Again Honors Latham as a Top Legal Innovator

Thought Leadership

Climate Change, the Regulatory Compact, and Public Utility RightsTCI Program Established to Reduce Carbon Emissions From TransportationFinancial Services Trade Organizations Publish Principles for Regulatory Sustainability Transition

Webcasts & Podcasts

The Biden Administration’s Regulatory and Enforcement Priorities: A Six-Month UpdatePodcast – Energy & Infrastructure: How Will EP4 Affect Projects in High-Income Countries?What Biden’s Climate Plan Means for Climate Policy and the Energy Transition Webcast