Andy Spielman and Rachel Jacobson Named Among The National Law Journal's Energy & Environmental Trailblazers

Andy Spielman and Rachel Jacobson Named Among The National Law Journal's Energy & Environmental Trailblazers


The National Law Journal has recognized Andy Spielman and Rachel Jacobson on its 2017 list of Energy & Environmental Trailblazers. Honorees were selected based on their career achievements and impact on the field of energy and environmental law. Both attorneys' accomplishments were highlighted in a special June supplement of the journal.
In 2016, Spielman, chair of WilmerHale's Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Practice, achieved a historic public-private partnership agreement that conserved more than 1.5 million acres in Nevada. The agreement, negotiated on behalf of Newmont Mining, allowed the leading gold producer to earn preservation credits to offset the impact of future mining operations. 
Spielman has also worked extensively on renewable energy matters, helping clients obtain permits for three gigawatts of wind energy in the United States. He told The National Law Journal that environmental issues have always fascinated him and he was drawn to the field even before going to law school. “It's always been part of my DNA,” he said. “I have a tremendous sense of place and questions about how we are using resources.”

Jacobson, special counsel in the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Practice, entered the field of environmental law when she was assigned to the Exxon Valdez oil spill prosecution while working at the Department of Justice (DOJ) in 1990. Over the course of her career at the DOJ's Environment and Natural Resources Division, she took on several other major matters. These included trying a legacy pollution case involving a mining district in Idaho, the longest Superfund case ever tried. While serving at the Department of the Interior, she helped negotiate a $1 billion early restoration agreement with BP following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and obtained UNESCO World Heritage designation for Poverty Point in Louisiana. 

Looking forward, Jacobson told The National Law Journal that delayed implementation of certain environmental regulations will not affect increased policy activity in other areas, especially around groundwater issues. “I predict that states and citizens will be very vigilant and use the courts to keep both industry and government accountable,” she said.

Read the full The National Law Journal profiles on Andy Spielman and Rachel Jacobson.