WilmerHale is pleased to announce that former US Department of the Interior Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau has joined the firm as a partner and co-chair of its industry leading Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Practice.
Beaudreau, who held senior leadership and policymaking roles in the Interior Department for nearly a decade across two presidential administrations and enjoyed considerable success in previous private practice, is among the nation’s most knowledgeable, trusted, and experienced lawyers on a broad range of energy, environment, and natural resource issues. His practice will leverage his deep understanding of all parts of the energy sector, environmental litigation, crisis management, internal investigations, and tribal issues. He will be based in the firm’s Washington, DC office.
“We are delighted to welcome Tommy to WilmerHale,” said Robert Novick, WilmerHale’s co-managing partner. “His achievements at the Interior Department and in private practice, his experience in the energy and natural resources sectors, along with widespread and well-earned respect that he has garnered nationally make him truly unique in our industry. He’ll be a tremendously valuable resource for our clients and his colleagues at the firm.”
Beaudreau’s arrival represents the latest in key investments the firm has made in its distinguished Energy, Environment and Natural Resources (EENR) Practice. In recent years, the firm added Peggy Otum, a nationally recognized environmental enforcement defense lawyer, whom Beaudreau will join in leading the EENR practice. “I am thrilled to welcome Tommy to the firm. Tommy is exceptionally skilled at solving high-stakes and difficult challenges, and I couldn’t be more pleased about him joining our team,” Otum said. The firm also recently added Davina Pujari, an accomplished environmental litigator based in San Francisco.
Known for his strategic and sophisticated work in conventional and renewable energy, permitting large scale infrastructure, and public lands, climate, and environmental law and policy, Beaudreau was confirmed by the US Senate to his deputy secretary role in an impressive, bipartisan vote of 88-9 in June 2021.
During his most recent tenure at Interior which ended in October 2023, Beaudreau displayed his extraordinary legal, negotiation, and crisis management skills as he led the successful federal effort, working with seven states and 30 tribes, to stabilize the Colorado River system in the face of historic and prolonged drought. He also oversaw the Interior Department’s deployment of billions of dollars of infrastructure and ecosystem restoration projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Biden and was point on infrastructure permitting, including onshore and offshore renewable energy and transmission projects.
“WilmerHale is nationally known as the firm to partner with on complex governmental issues, regulatory matters and congressional and executive branch investigations, as well as to provide unparalleled legal and strategic judgment and experience,” Beaudreau said. “For those reasons, and the firm’s well-known esteem for public service, I view WilmerHale as the ideal platform for renewing practice. I’m looking forward to helping our clients navigate difficult legal and regulatory challenges and solve complex problems.”
Before joining the Biden Administration as Interior’s deputy secretary, Beaudreau was a partner in private practice from January 2017 to June 2021 in the Washington, DC office of another international law firm. During much of that time, he was also a non-resident fellow at Columbia University’s Center for Global Energy Policy.
From June 2010 to Jan. 2017, he held various posts at Interior during the Obama Administration, including as the first director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management and chief of staff for the Department. He first joined the Department in 2010 to help lead the response and reform agenda following the Deepwater Horizon crisis.
Prior to his first stint at Interior, Beaudreau was a partner and associate in the Washington, DC office at the first of the three international law firms where he has practiced, and clerked in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Beaudreau earned his BA from Yale University in 1994 and his JD from Georgetown University Law Center in 1997.