Rob Kirsch assists clients with controversial environmental issues, at the cusp of law, science and public policy.
Mr. Kirsch has defended clients in criminal, civil and administrative investigations and enforcement proceedings. Recent experience includes representation of a Fortune 100 company in simultaneous criminal and administrative investigations, representation of a government contractor involved in investigations by the US Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency, and negotiation of the first global environmental and contract-based settlement between the Departments of Defense and Justice and a contractor.
Mr. Kirsch regularly represents clients in judicial and administrative litigation including in cost recovery disputes, state and federal enforcement cases and permit appeals. Recently matters include: a precedent setting cost recovery matter through the trial and appellate stages involving shareholder, successor and indemnity claims; a successful three year permitted modification for a major solid waste facility through administrative approval and judicial appeal proceedings; and a vigorously litigated proceeding relating to an application to relicense a controversial nuclear energy facility.
Managing high-profile issues for energy clients is a focus of Mr. Kirsch's practice. He has represented proponents of energy, solid waste and manufacturing facilities before state and federal agencies. That work has included developing permit and permit appeal strategies, defense of IPP operators in administrative and civil proceedings, contract negotiations relating to energy production facilities, defending and attacking administrative decisions in judicial appeals, defense of energy development clients against claims of coastal damage, and due diligence work in facility acquisitions.
Mr. Kirsch has devised and pursued many innovative permit applications and appeals. He advises about the environmental aspects of mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions, SEC disclosure requirements, the implications of Sarbanes-Oxley and other environmental reporting obligations. He has counseled clients under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Oil Pollution Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the clean air and clean water acts, as well as state and federal laws relating to radioactive materials.
Mr. Kirsch represents industrial as well as research and development clients using state and federal self-disclosure policies and has been involved in disclosures implicating more than 100 locations in the United States. He currently serves as common counsel in multiple Superfund proceedings, has lead common defense efforts involving more than 1,000 parties, and recently ensured 25 years of positive cash flow for one client group, building a solar energy facility on a CERCLA landfill site. .
Since 2004, Mr. Kirsch has been a leader of a WilmerHale pro bono team representing men held at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. That team prevailed before the Supreme Court in Boumediene v. Bush, and, in November, 2008, in the first habeas corpus trial in US District Court. In 2009, Mr. Kirsch negotiated the first resettlement of a non-citizen from Guantanamo to an EU nation. All six WilmerHale clients are now free.