Shannon Morrissey focuses her practice on environmental, natural resources and ESG matters, including environmental justice and related emerging policy issues. She has assisted clients in technology, real estate, mining, airline and other industries—including multi-national industrial corporations, manufacturers, and oil and gas companies, as well as major residential and commercial developers—on a wide variety of permitting, compliance, enforcement and litigation matters. Ms. Morrissey has also led environmental diligence on significant mergers and acquisitions for various clients, including solar, mining and shipping/logistics companies.

Ms. Morrissey was previously an associate at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, and an associate, law clerk and summer associate at Stoel Rives LLP. While pursuing her legal education, Ms. Morrissey was an extern in the Office of Chief Counsel for the State Water Resources Control Board and in the Public Rights Division for the California Attorney General. She also worked at the Southern Environmental Law Center in Birmingham, Alabama.

Professional Activities

Ms. Morrissey is on the Board of Directors for the Bar Association of San Francisco Barristers, and was formerly on the executive committee for the Barrister's Environmental, Land Use and Real Estate Section. She is also on the steering committee for the Environmental Law Institute’s Women in Environmental Law & Leadership in San Francisco, and she was selected for the 2022-2023 Leadership Development Program (LDP), ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER). Ms. Morrissey currently serves on WilmerHale's Western Diversity Committee.


  • Ms. Morrissey’s experience includes representing clients facing Clean Water Act citizen suits, hazardous waste investigations and eminent domain litigation. She has experience with the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, CERCLA, the California Environmental Quality Act and the California Mitigation Fee Act.

    Ms. Morrissey has also worked closely with agency representatives from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the California State Water Control Board and various regional water boards, and California District Attorney Offices to reach agreement on compliance and enforcement matters.

    Recent representative matters include:

    • Conduct civil rights audit and prepare public report in response to shareholder proposal for major medical services company, including an environmental justice screening of the company’s US industrial facilities and assessing the company’s policies and procedures that implicate environmental justice risks and opportunities.
    • Conduct racial equity audit and prepare public report in response to shareholder proposal for global snack food company, which review included an environmental impact assessment and environmental justice evaluation, and a review of the company’s plastics and packaging impacts and initiatives.
    • Conduct deforestation assessment in response to shareholder proposal for major home improvement retailer, prepare recommendations for enhancement of policies and procedure, and draft public forestry report.
    • Led high-profile OSHA investigation for major transportation company, which investigation included union involvement and national media attention, and reached favorable settlement on numerous proposed citations, and worked with corporate communications to prepare press responses.
    • Represent major transportation company in environmental enforcement actions and related litigation initiated by various federal and state agencies in the wake of a significant incident garnering national media attention.
    • Represent Ukrainian family feeling Russian invasion in obtaining temporary protected status (TPS) and submitting application for asylum.
    • Analyze Environmental, Social, Corporate Governance (ESG)-related disclosure frameworks and recent Securities & Exchange Commission Proposed Climate Disclosure Rulemaking, and consult with consultants and securities attorneys to counsel clients on comment letters and compliance policies.
    • Conduct environmental justice (EJ)/racial equity audits and deforestation assessment for three major public companies in response to shareholder proposals, including internal fact investigation, recommendations for enhancement of policies and procedures to address potential EJ concerns, and proponent engagement.
    • Successfully represented pro bono trafficking victim in obtaining vacatur of criminal record due to alleged crimes committed while under the control of the client’s trafficker.
    • Counsel on environmental insurance issues, including negotiation and favorable settlement with insurance coverage counsel for remediation coverage at redevelopment site.
    • Assisted ongoing congressional investigation regarding strategy for disclosure of sensitive documents and newsworthy events.
    • Assessed (and, with a team at the firm, is currently closely tracking) President Biden’s climate change policies, including developing issues relating to ESG disclosures, emissions reductions strategies, and environmental justice initiatives.
    • Counseled several major Bay Area and national companies on compliance with state and local public health orders, business operational requirements, and related OSHA mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic, including during the shelter in place orders issued across the country.
    • Advised semiconductor manufacturer on recycling exemptions under RCRA hazardous waste regulations.
    • Defended retail client in hazardous waste enforcement action brought by California Attorney General and various county District Attorneys.
    • Represented a major residential and commercial developer in obtaining approvals for remediation and redevelopment construction site. Issues at the site included vapor intrusion mitigation and compliance with deed restrictions.
    • Represented a corporate client in connection with deed restrictions and a soil management plan at a redevelopment site. Successfully petitioned Regional Water Board to reduce mandates imposed under Water Code section 13267 Letter.
    • Represented client in major transaction and assisted with environmental diligence and analysis for redevelopment. Issues at the site included vapor intrusion mitigation and compliance with land use covenants.
    • Negotiated various asset and stock purchase agreements and merger agreements and conducted environmental diligence for transactions on behalf of technology, real estate, mining, airline and other corporations.
    • Represented major industrial manufacturer in administrative enforcement proceeding before the California South Coast Air Quality Management District and successfully negotiated air emissions curtailment agreement.
    • Advised large oil and gas client on environmental liability issues in bankruptcy proceeding and represented client in filings before the California State Lands Commission related to assets in bankruptcy.
    • Negotiated diverse land use agreements including development agreement with local government agency and advised various corporations, including solar developer, on zoning, land use and permitting issues throughout California.
    • Successfully represented pro bono clients in guardianship proceeding, obtained approval for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status in federal immigration proceeding and received approval for Lawful Permanent Residence status.


  • Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for natural resources and environmental law (20222024).
  • Named a Northern California Super Lawyers "Rising Star" in 2022 and 2023 in the areas of energy and natural resources law and environmental litigation.

Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, Environmental Law Certificate, University of California, Davis School of Law, 2015

      Witkin Award, Administrative Law

      Senior Articles Editor, UC Davis Law Review

      Summer Grant Recipient, King Hall Legal Foundation

    • BA, Criminology, Minor in Environmental Studies, University of Florida, 2012

      summa cum laude Dean’s List, W.W. Massey Presidential Scholarship, University Scholars Program
  • Admissions

    • California

    • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

    • US District Court for the Central District of California

    • US District Court for the Eastern District of California



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