Robert C. Kirsch is a partner in the firm's Regulatory and Government Affairs and Litigation/Controversy Departments, and a member of the Environmental, Government and Regulatory Litigation and the Investigations and Criminal Litigation Practice Groups. He joined the firm in 1983.
Mr. Kirsch represents clients in environmental defense, counseling and permitting contexts. He helps clients in many industries to manage their environmental liabilities quickly and cost effectively.
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. He recently litigated precedent setting decisions through the trial and appellate stages, including a cost recovery case involving complex shareholder and corporate successor liability claims, as well as indemnity issues, and a proceeding relating to a major solid waste disposal facility.
Assisting clients with high profile environmental issues is part 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 facility-wide permitting 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 and due diligence work in facility acquisitions. He currently serves as lead counsel in litigation relating to the relicensing of a nuclear power plant.
Mr. Kirsch has devised permit strategies and pursued a variety of innovative permit applications and appeals. He advises clients 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 has represented 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 major Superfund proceedings and has lead PRP defense efforts involving more than 1,000 parties.
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 both before the Supreme Court in Boumediene v. Bush, and, in November, 2008, in the first habeas corpus trial in US District Court, resulting in freedom for five men previously held at Guantanamo.