Andrew L. Spielman


Co-Partner-in-Charge, Denver Office

Chair, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Practice

Spielman, Andy

Andrew (Andy) Spielman is a widely regarded leading preeminent public lands, environmental and natural resources lawyer whose practice involves administrative and regulatory proceedings and government relations, and centers around assisting energy clients with policy and regulatory issues involved in developing new facilities, as well as representing ski areas, mining, oil and gas companies, and tribal governments in the public land use and environmental permitting process. Mr. Spielman serves as chair of WilmerHale's Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Practice, and is a partner-in-charge of the Denver office.

Mr. Spielman combines federal, state and local government experience with natural resources, land use and Western public lands law to assist energy developers, mining companies, ranchers, ski areas, water suppliers and others with obtaining regulatory approvals and permits from governments across the United States.

Mr. Spielman is admitted to practice in Colorado, District of Columbia and Hawai'i. He is also admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court and the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Tenth Circuits. He's also admitted before the US District Court for the District of Colorado and the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

Mr. Spielman is a frequent lecturer on public lands law and policy and speaks on the subjects of natural resource, environmental and land use law, and wind energy and resort development across the country.

Past Experience

Prior to joining WilmerHale, Mr. Spielman was global co-head of Hogan Lovells' Energy and Natural Resources Group.

Following completion of graduate work in governmental administration, Mr. Spielman earned a Presidential Management Fellowship and later served in senior positions at the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington DC, including acting Associate Director of the Office of Sustainable Ecosystems and Communities and Special Assistant to EPA's Administrator. Mr. Spielman's bi-partisan governmental experience also includes positions in the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, and the US Senate, as well as with local government in parks, open space, utilities, and housing and economic development. He has also served on campaign committees for Senator Mark Udall, Senator Michael Bennet and Governor John Hickenlooper, and has served on the natural resources transition teams for Colorado's two most-recently elected governors.

While in federal service, Mr. Spielman taught environmental policy in Central and Eastern Europe on behalf of the US Agency for International Development, and was recognized by Vice President Al Gore for his contributions to Reinventing Government (environment and natural resources).

Recent Highlights

In recent years, Mr. Spielman's work has included:

  • representing Newmont Mining in a historic 1.5-million-acre voluntary, landscape-level conservation agreement with the Department of the Interior, among other stakeholders, to promote the conservation of sagebrush habitat and species in exchange for the potential to earn credits to offset the impact of future mining operations in the state of Nevada;
  • securing federal, state and county land use approvals for nearly 4,000 megawatts of wind energy, including more than 1,000 megawatts in Eastern Colorado;
  • representing 25 ski areas nationwide as public lands, NEPA, forest service and land use counsel, securing approvals for a new ski area and year-round facilities expansions;
  • assisting with siting of interstate renewable energy transmission facilities serving solar and wind resource projects nationwide;
  • assisting with development approvals of interstate pipelines for natural gas transmission; 
  • representing mining companies before the US Department of the Interior;
  • on a pro bono basis, representing seven national, state and Western Slope environmental and conservation groups as parties to the successful mediation and settlement of the 30-year long Black Canyon of the Gunnison water rights litigation;
  • representing numerous public utilities before the US Forest Service and Department of the Interior;
  • successfully defending a Forest Service permittee's lands approval in appeals to the Ninth Circuit and before the United States Supreme Court;
  • representing major Independent Power Producers (IPPs) with ensuring compliance with federal and state wildlife laws; and
  • representing ranchers and institutional landowners in Colorado and Hawai'i with resource-based energy and economic development.

Professional Activities

Mr. Spielman's government experience is extensive. He currently serves as chair of Colorado's Regional Air Quality Council, treasurer and a board member of the National Parks Action Fund, a member of the Advisory Council of the University of Colorado Denver Business School's Global Energy Management program, and a member of the Public Lands Committee of the National Ski Areas Association.

He previously served as chair of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, chair of the National Parks Conservation Association's Southwest Advisory Council, president of the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts, a member of the Board of Governors for the Metro Denver Economic Development Council, and on the Governor's Task Force on Cooperative Strategies Regarding State and Local Regulation of Oil and Gas Development.

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 editions of The Best Lawyers in America for natural resources law 
  • Named to The National Law Journal's 2017 list of Energy & Environmental Trailblazers
  • Ranked in the 2008-2017 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business in the category of natural resources and environment, with sources saying he is one of the "top attorneys" in the sector, with a "unique ability to work with a variety of stakeholders from local government to private clients to federal government." Others note he is "amiable, knowledgeable and extremely good at building relationships," "an important player in the field" and a "'skilled counselor and negotiator' who is commended for his work on renewable energy"
  • Recommended in the 2016 and 2017 editions of The Legal 500 United States for energy: regulatory
  • Named a Top Rated Energy & Natural Resources Attorney by Colorado Super Lawyers in 2017
  • Named by Law Week Colorado as the 2016 Best Environmental Lawyer and 2017 Best Renewable Energy Lawyer in its Barrister's Best lists. In 2017, Law Week said: “It is safe to say that Andy Spielman has his ear to the ground. In addition to his successful practice that is centered around assisting energy clients, Spielman represents ski areas, oil and gas companies, and tribal governments.”
  • Named to the Denver Business Journal's 2012-2017 lists of Who's Who in Energy
  • Named by 5280 Magazine as a 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Denver Top Lawyer for Environmental Law
  • Named the Best Renewable Energy Lawyer - Barrister's Best/People's Court in 2009 and 2012-2014 by Law Week Colorado
  • Selected by clients and peers as being among the world's leading energy lawyers in the 2012-2014 editions of Who's Who Legal
  • Named "50 for the Future" by the Colorado Statesman in 2007
  • Named to the Denver Business Journal's 2006 "Forty Under 40" list
  • Recipient of the 1994 Reinvention Award by the Vice President's National Performance Review
  • Selected as a 1990 Presidential Management Fellow


  • "Energy and natural resources practice contracts for some sectors, but grows for others," Law Week Colorado, August 21, 2017
  • "Between a Hardrock and a Hard Place: Key Deal Points for the Foreign Investor in U.S. Mining Projects," Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, July 17, 2015
  • "Big Federal Push For Expediting Infrastructure Projects," Law360, May 30, 2014
  • "Industry Awaits FWS Decision On First Eagle Take Permit," North American Windpower, April 2012
  • "This Land Is Your Land: BLM Seeking Input On Solar Project Development," Solar Industry Magazine, February 9, 2012
  • "Change is in the wind: The Forest Service is looking at allowing wind power on its lands," Ski Area Management, January 2012
  • "The Antiquities Act," The Denver Post, June 9, 2011
  • "Development on Public Lands Is a Federal Priority – Or Is It?" North American Windpower, May 2011
  • "Denver Benefits from Sustainable Recreation Industry," Denver Business Journal, December 3, 2010
  • "Renewable Energy Siting and Non-Renewable Public Lands–A Government Balancing Act," Clean Energy Daily, February 24, 2010
  • "Stimulus Cash," Ski Area Management, Beardsley Publishing Corporation, July 1, 2009
  • "Community Environmental Compliance Flexibility," EPA 230-R-95-001, US Environmental Protection Agency, January 1995
  • "Local Government Implementation of Environmental Mandates," EPA 230-R-93-007, US Environmental Protection Agency, August 1993

Publications & News


February 7, 2018

Ninth Circuit Holds Indirect Discharge of Pollutants Requires Clean Water Act Permit

Last week, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Clean Water Act (CWA) does not require that pollutants be discharged directly from a point source into navigable waters for liability to attach.

January 24, 2018

SCOTUS: WOTUS Rule Suits Belong in District Courts

On January 22, 2018, the US Supreme Court unanimously held that challenges to the Obama-era Clean Water Rule, commonly referred to as the WOTUS Rule (for “waters of the United States”), must be filed in federal district courts rather than directly in federal appeals courts. The case is National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense et al., case number 16-299.

January 12, 2018

Three Denver Partners Named Top Lawyers by Influential 5280 Magazine

WilmerHale partners Natalie Hanlon Leh, Andy Spielman and Keith Trammell have again been recognized as three of Denver's Top Lawyers by 5280 Magazine in its annual ranking of the city's most respected attorneys.

December 21, 2017

WilmerHale Shepherds Model Pact Between Boulder County Ski Resort Client, Environmentalists and Community

Balancing environmental concerns related to wilderness areas with thoughtful ski resort development to serve a wide spectrum of interests and abilities can raise significant challenges to reaching an outcome supported by all interested parties.

December 6, 2017

Denver Partner Andy Spielman Featured in Leading Legal Podcast

Andy Spielman was featured in the November 21 edition of the Leftfoot podcast, a series focusing on business development, client retention and innovation issues in the legal industry.

October 24, 2017

Denver Business Journal Interviews Andy Spielman in Power Book Series

The Denver Business Journal recently published the Power Book, an annual compendium of the 50 most influential people in Colorado and WilmerHale Partner Andy Spielman is included on the list.

October 24, 2017

WilmerHale Leads All Firms in Law Week Colorado's Annual Barrister's Best Awards

WilmerHale lawyers in the Denver office have been recognized with seven Barrister's Best awards from Law Week Colorado, more than any other law firm in the state.

August 31, 2017

Law Week Colorado Interviews Andy Spielman on Energy and Natural Resource Law

Law Week Colorado Reporter Julia Cardi speaks with WilmerHale Partner Andy Spielman about the state and lucrative nature of energy and natural resource law practices and practitioners in Colorado.

August 28, 2017

DC Circuit Holds FERC Must Analyze Downstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Approving Interstate Gas Pipelines

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion in Sierra Club v. FERC, No. 16-1329 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 22, 2017), concluding that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, when analyzing the environmental effects of an interstate natural gas pipeline under the National Environmental Policy Act, is required to analyze the greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that burn the natural gas to be transported in the pipeline.

August 16, 2017

WilmerHale Lawyers Named Among the 2018 Best Lawyers in America®, Nine Recognized as Lawyers of the Year

Best Lawyers in America®—the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal industry—recognizes 107 WilmerHale lawyers and names nine partners as Lawyers of the Year in its 24th edition.