Peggy Otum


  • Co-Chair, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Practice

Peggy Otum is co-chair of WilmerHale’s Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Group. Ms. Otum represents large corporations, public companies and universities in federal and state environmental enforcement matters and litigation.

With over 20 years of experience in environmental enforcement defense, Ms. Otum has played a leading role in a number of high-profile environmental crises and disputes. She routinely assists clients in conducting internal investigations and responding to multi-faceted governmental investigations brought by a range of federal and state environmental, health, and safety regulators, including the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Justice, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (better known as Cal/OSHA) and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.

Ms. Otum has extensive experience advising clients on significant environmental permitting matters and corporate transactions involving complex environmental issues. Her wide-ranging practice has earned her recognition as a trailblazer in the environmental field by the National Law Journal, and she has been consistently ranked by Chambers USA, Legal500, and other prominent publications. Clients describe her in the Chambers guides as a "fantastic lawyer" who "really stands out in emergency response and risk management," and she has been praised for her "robust command of the law, as well as the political dimensions of negotiations." 

As a leader in the firm’s ESG cross-functional working group, Ms. Otum also actively advises clients on evolving legal and business considerations related to ESG risks and opportunities, including with respect to responding to shareholder proposals related to climate change, environmental justice and racial equity.

Professional Activities

Ms. Otum is a fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers and serves on the Board of Directors of the Environmental Law Institute. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Bar Association of San Francisco and is a member of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Advisory Council.   

  • Climate Change: What’s Next With Regulation and Renewable Energy

    In the sixth episode of WilmerHale’s podcast, In the Public Interest, co-host and Partner John Walsh welcomes Partner Peggy Otum, who leads a discussion with guests Professor Daniel Farber and Marsden Hanna on climate change and renewable energy.

    April 28, 2021
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  • Recipient of Diversity Journal's Black Leadership award (2022).
  • Named a Woman Worth Watching in Leadership by Diversity Journal (2021).
  • Named among The National Law Journal’s 2021 Energy & Environmental Trailblazers
  • Selected by peers for inclusion among the 20212024 Best Lawyers in America for her work in environmental law and in 2022 and 2024 for environmental and energy regulatory law. She was also recognized for her work in energy law (2023–2024) and environmental litigation (2023–2024).
  • Regularly recognized by Chambers USA Guide in California for Environment law. One client notes “her robust command of the law and the nuances, as well as the political dimensions of negotiations.” Others praise her ability to “handle matters with strength and diplomatic skill.” 
  • Recognized in the 2023 edition of Northern California Super Lawyers.

Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, Howard University School of Law

      Managing Editor, Howard Law Journal
    • BSc, Psychology, University of Toronto

  • Admissions

    • California

    • District of Columbia

    • Maryland



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