O’Melveny Worldwide

John helps his clients to evaluate and manage environmental risks and spot opportunities in an increasingly complex regulatory landscape.

He represents clients on acquisitions and divestitures of industrial, energy, transportation, telecom and other businesses, on infrastructure development and real estate projects, and in federal and state Superfund matters. He also provides strategic and regulatory counseling on a range of environmental, health and safety and ESG matters, including development of ESG programs and policies.

John’s work is informed by his experience in state and local government, including his position as the General Counsel at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the agency responsible for supplying New York City’s drinking water, treating wastewater at 14 major facilities, regulating air quality, noise, and hazardous substances, and advancing key sustainability initiatives.

During his time at the Department of Environmental Protection, John led the Bureau of Legal Affairs and advised the Commissioner and management on a full range of legal issues affecting the agency, including environmental compliance and enforcement, contracts, litigation, real estate, and employment. He negotiated consent agreements with state and federal regulators, and played a key role in representing the City’s interests in relation to the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek Superfund Sites.

John has been recognized as a leading US environmental lawyer by Chambers USA.

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Transactional Matters 

  • Apollo Global Management in multiple acquisitions, including its acquisitions of Tenneco, Univar, ABC Technologies, Novolex, Atlas Air, Sun Country Airlines, Ingenico, Constellium, Xstrata Aluminum, Verso Paper, Borden Chemical, Parallel Petroleum, Jacuzzi Brands, Rexnord, Berry Plastics, Graanul Invest, ClubCorp, Constellis, and Rackspace, 
  • LaGuardia Gateway Partners in the redevelopment and long-term operation of the Central Terminal Building at New York LaGuardia Airport
  • JFK Millennium Partners in the redevelopment of JFK Airport Terminal 6
  • The City of Miami in the development of the Miami Freedom Park stadium and related commercial and recreational assets
  • TTM Technologies in its acquisitions of Anaren Inc. and Telephonics
  • DL Chemical in its acquisition of Kraton Corporation
  • Microsemi Corporation in its acquisition of Vectron International
  • Palladium Equity Partners in its acquisition of American Gilsonite Co.

Site Remediation and Litigation Matters

  • Nu-West Industries in connection with the investigation and remediation of former phosphate mine sites in Southeast Idaho 
  • American Airlines in the defense of a State enforcement proceeding related to the remediation of soil and groundwater in connection with the redevelopment of JFK Terminals 8 and 9, and in the related contribution action for recovery of remediation costs
  • Combe Fill South Landfill NPL Site (Chester Township, NJ):  Common counsel for 14 defendants in US$200 million cost recovery action by USEPA and the State of New Jersey
  • Gulf Nuclear Sites (Webster, Texas):  Defense of industrial entity in cleanup cost recovery action brought by USEPA and State of Texas
  • BEMS Landfill (Burlington County, NJ):  Defense of commercial entity in multiparty landfill cleanup cost recovery action initially brought by NJDEP


Bar Admissions

  • New York

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York


  • New York University, J.D.; Editor-in-Chief, NYU Environmental Law Journal
  • Princeton University, B.S.E., Civil Engineering: magna cum laude

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by The Legal 500 US in Environment: Transactional (2020-2023)
  • Recognized in Chambers USA - Environment: Mainly Transactional (2018-2023)
  • Recommended in Environment & Climate Change by Who's Who Legal (2023)
  • Recommended in Environment by Who's Who Legal (2019)
  • America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Chambers USA (2008-2011)

Professional Activities


  • New York City Bar, Committee on Environmental Law (Co-Chair, 2023-2026; Member, 2016-present)
  • New York City Bar, Committee on International Environmental Law (Chair, 2006-2009)

Board Member

  • Greenway Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley (2001-2010)


  • “Vagueness In Calif. Climate Law Makes Compliance Tricky,” Law 360, co-author (February 2024)
  • “Calif. Climate Disclosure Bills Promise Challenges For Cos.,” Law 360, co-author (October 2023)
  • “SEC Sues Mining Company Based on ESG Disclosures,” Insights: The Corporate & Securities Law Advisor (July 2022)
  • “Environmental Law,” Corporate Legal Departments: Practicing Law in a Corporation, PLI co-author (2022)
  • “International Environmental Law," International Corporate Practice: A Practitioner's Guide To Global Success,” PLI (2022)
  • “Corporate Compliance Challenges: Environment, Corporate Compliance Practice Guide: The Next Generation of Compliance,” LexisNexis, co-author (2022)
  • “As Trump Administration Attempts to Roll Back Environmental Regulations, Past Lessons Are Prologue,” New York Law Journal (December 19, 2018)
  • “Environmental Counseling in Divestitures,” Westlaw Journal Mergers & Acquisitions (June 2018)
  • “The Price of Greenhouse Gas Legislation,” Environmental Law360 (October 5, 2009)
  • “Exploring the Carbon Trading Landscape,” New York Law Journal (July 16, 2007)


  • “The ESG Schism: Navigating Conflicting Stakeholder & Shareholder Interests in Corporate America,” New York City Bar Association (May 2024)
  • “California’s Landmark Climate Disclosure Laws: Preparing Now for Far-Reaching Impact on Public and Private Companies,” Strafford (January 2024)
  • “Green Finance: Leveraging Investment for Environmental Protection,” Environmental Law Institute (June 2017)
  • “Major Developments in EU Environmental Law,” New York City Bar Center for CLE, Chair and Speaker (October 2006)
  • “International Issues in Environmental Auditing,” Auditing Roundtable NY Regional Meeting (September 2006)
  • “Recent Developments in EU Environmental Law,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute Environmental Law Forum (April 2005)
  • “Environmental Policies for Lending Institutions,” EDR Financial Services' Environmental Risk Summit (October 2004)