Climate Change 2017: Analysis

In this chapter we highlight 148 leading climate change lawyers who have been recommended by market sources for their experience in carbon-related projects. The individuals listed in the guide have a broad range of expertise ranging from transactional matters, impact assessments and strategic carbon-management advice to complex regulatory and project development matters. 


Thought Leaders
1. Chris Staples Linklaters, London
2. Doug Bryden Travers Smith, London
 The Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as being truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.

Leading Firms 

Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.

Five experts from ALLEN & OVERY are recognised in this chapter.
Matthew Townsend is a highly regarded expert in the field, receiving wide-ranging endorsements for his advice on climate change and carbon trading matters.
Gauthier Van Thuyne draws praise for his strong litigation practice and due diligence expertise.

LINKLATERS sees two highly regarded lawyers listed for their work in the space.
Chris Staples is a pre-eminent practitioner in the region. He is “extremely intelligent with an excellent style of delivery”, according to impressed interviewees.
Vanessa Havard-Williams leads the global climate change practice. She has extensive regulatory expertise and advises on a broad range of corporate reporting matters.

TRAVERS SMITH achieves two listings in the region.
Doug Bryden boasts outstanding transactional expertise and is commended for his “commercially creative deals”.
Owen Lomas is a seasoned climate change adviser. Peers endorse his strategic approach to liability management and superb expertise in emissions trading. 

Other Leading Individuals

We highlight individuals at other firms who also scored very highly in our research.

CLIFFORD CHANCE’s Nigel Howorth is a distinguished practitioner with a wealth of experience in climate change disputes and litigation.

BAKER MCKENZIE is home to Graham Stuart, a highly regarded expert in climate change and emissions trading. He boasts a broad range of knowledge and regularly advises clients from the industrial and manufacturing industries.  

At LATHAM & WATKINS Paul Davies stands out for his vast expertise in climate change. Peers comment particularly on his knowledge of EU emissions trading matters.

Andrew Hedges of NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT has outstanding transactional expertise and is a well-known name in the carbon finance arena. 

North America

Thought Leaders
1. Gray Taylor Gray Taylor Law, Toronto
2. Elisabeth (Lisa) DeMarco DeMarco Allan, Toronto
3. Dennis Mahony Torys, Toronto
4. Jean-Philippe Brisson Latham & Watkins, New York
5. Kyle Danish Van Ness Feldman, Washington

Leading Firms

HUNTON & WILLIAMS is a top-quality firm in the region and achieves an impressive eight listings.
William Wehrum is internationally renowned for his commercial approach and strong litigation experience.
William Brownell is a well-known figure in the market described as “the pre-eminent US practitioner on climate change”.
Shannon Broome is a well-regarded lawyer with a strong litigation practice. She regularly represents clients from the manufacturing and energy sectors and market sources speak highly of her intricate knowledge of the Clear Air Act.

LATHAM & WATKINS achieves four listings in North America.
Jean-Philippe Brisson is commended as “an exceptionally knowledgeable specialist”, with sources calling him “a big name at the top of the market”.
Robert Wyman Jr is an esteemed litigator and expert handler of a vast array of regulatory and transactional matters.  

BLAKE CASSELS & GRAYDON sees two eminent practitioners listed for their work in the space.
The “excellent” Charles Kazaz boasts experience across a broad range of transactions, project developments and compliance matters. Peers “would not hesitate to refer clients to him for Canadian counsel”.
Jonathan Kahn is a prominent name in the market. He regularly advises on transactional and regulatory matters and draws praise for his top-notch prosecution practice.

This year’s research identifies two highly regarded COVINGTON & BURLING practitioners.
Gary Guzy is the former general counsel of the US EPA and has counselled numerous US governments on environmental and climate change policies. He is an exceptionally knowledgeable adviser and a pre-eminent name in the policy arena, according to our research.
Rubén Kraiem co-chairs the firm’s climate change group and is highly recommended for his work in the space. 

Other Leading Individuals


Gray Taylor of GRAY TAYLOR LAW is a thought leader and a clear frontrunner in the field, described by peers as “the dean of climate change lawyers in Canada”.

DEMARCO ALLAN’s Elisabeth DeMarco is “one of Canada’s leading climate change lawyers” and an eminent figure in the emissions trading space.

At TORYS Dennis Mahony ranks prominently for his climate change practice, receiving wide-ranging endorsements for his emissions trading work.


Richard Saines of BAKER MCKENZIE is a trusted adviser to a wide-ranging clientele of high-profile multinationals. He regularly advises on transactional and policy matters.

BEVERIDGE & DIAMOND’s Russell LaMotte is an “excellent operator” and regularly advises a vast array of multinational corporations on sophisticated climate change issues.

VAN NESS FELDMAN’s Kyle Danish is “among the most highly regarded lawyers” in the market and is praised by sources as being “very visible in policy matters”. 

Rest of the World

Thought Leaders
1. Martijn Wilder Baker McKenzie, Sydney
2. Paul Curnow Baker McKenzie, Sydney
3. Federico Ruanova Guinea Baker McKenzie, Tijuana

Leading Firms

BAKER MCKENZIE achieves five listings across the Australian, Mexican, Chinese and Japanese markets.
Federico Ruanova Guinea leads the research in Latin America. He is a longstanding fixture in the market and is commended for his excellent knowledge of impact and risk assessments.
The “pre-eminent” Martijn Wilder AM focuses his practice on climate change law and enjoys a strong reputation in the international marketplace for his work in the area.
Paul Curnow is a standout name at the firm with extensive expertise in carbon capture and storage and emission reduction projects. He has a strong transactional practice and draws praise for his expert handling of cross-border matters. 

Other Leading Individuals

In Mexico Luis Vera Morales, founding partner of VERA & ASOCIADOS, is a leading expert with outstanding transactional expertise in commercial projects with climate change impacts. 

REED SMITH’s Peter Zaman is “a very capable lawyer, particularly in the energy sector”, say interviewees. He enjoys a strong reputation for his wide-ranging expertise, which encompasses carbon finance, emissions trading and green bonds.

At BRONS & SALAS ABOGADOS Guillermo Malm Green is described as “absolutely excellent” by commentators who add, “He is very informed about what is happening in Argentina and a go-to source in the field".

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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