Jenner & Block announced today that Sam Hirsch, former acting Assistant Attorney General and principal deputy at the US Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD), has rejoined the firm as a partner in the Washington, DC office. Mr. Hirsch will be a member of the firm's Environmental and Workplace Health and Safety Law, Energy, Government Controversies and Public Policy Litigation, and Election Law and Redistricting Practices. He will also lead the firm's work involving Indian law.
"The firm has been handling significant environmental, energy and regulatory matters on behalf of clients for many years," said Terrence J. Truax, Managing Partner of Jenner & Block. "We are thrilled to welcome back a great colleague in Sam, whose extensive experience handling a broad range of legal, public policy, and administrative issues involving the environment, energy and natural resources complements our growing platform."
When he headed ENRD – considered the nation's largest environmental "law firm" – Mr. Hirsch's primary responsibility was litigation and policy work relating to the prevention and cleanup of pollution, environmental challenges to federal programs, stewardship of public lands and natural resources, property acquisition, wildlife protection and Indian rights and claims. As Acting Assistant Attorney General and principal deputy, he oversaw the drafting of more than 200 briefs, including more than 40 US Supreme Court cert-stage, merits and amicus briefs, as well as more than 150 appeal-recommendation memos to the Solicitor General. These briefs and memos dealt with cases in all 13 federal circuits and covered nearly the entire range of federal environmental and natural resources statutes, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund), the Oil Pollution Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Lacey Act.
"I had the privilege of working with Sam before at Jenner & Block, as well as during my time as Associate Attorney General when he served as my Deputy," said Thomas J. Perrelli, Chair of Jenner & Block's Government Controversies and Public Policy Litigation Practice. "Sam is a particularly talented lawyer, whose skill, not only in litigation, but also in resolving problems, is unquestionable. His eight years at the Department have given him a broad and deep knowledge of the environmental and related issues facing a wide range of clients. I look forward to once again working alongside him."
Mr. Hirsch was involved in all phases of the Deepwater Horizon litigation, including helping structure the global settlement, which imposed a $5.5 billion civil penalty on BP, the largest in the history of environmental law, and directed more than $8.1 billion toward restoring damaged natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico. He also drafted portions of BP's and Transocean's 2013 criminal plea agreements that created the National Academy of Sciences' $500 million Gulf Research Program, which funds and conducts studies and projects to enhance oil-system safety, human health, and environmental resources in the Gulf of Mexico and other US outer-continental-shelf regions that support oil and gas production.
"Earlier this year, we announced the formation of our new Energy Law Practice with the addition of several former members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to our team of energy practitioners. Sam's experience and credentials continue to build upon this strength, and we are excited about how we can serve the needs of clients with significant energy and environmental needs," said Randall Mehrberg, Co-Chair of the firm's Energy Practice.
Mr. Hirsch also has extensive experience in Indian law. As the supervisor of ENRD's Indian Resources Section, Mr. Hirsch oversaw all litigation in which the US sought to protect tribal lands, resources, jurisdiction and treaty rights. He led the Department of Justice's ground-breaking efforts in working with Native Americans for all eight years of the Obama Administration. In particular, his work to craft and get enacted into law provisions that protect Native American women from domestic violence has earned him wide-ranging praise from women's groups and tribal governments.
"I am excited to return to Jenner & Block and be a part of the firm's growth in the environmental and energy sectors," said Mr. Hirsch. "And I look forward to working alongside great colleagues and friends to build a premier regulatory litigation practice that matches the firm's renowned reputation. It is a great privilege to be back at Jenner & Block."
Mr. Hirsch graduated in 1984 from Rice University and received a J.D. in 1993 from Harvard Law School, where he served as treasurer of the Harvard Law Review. From 1993 to 1994, he clerked for Judge Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
ABOUT JENNER & BLOCK'S ENVIRONMENTAL AND WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY LAW PRACTICE
Jenner & Block's Environmental and Workplace Health and Safety Law lawyers provide clients an integrated and proactive approach to the practice of environmental and workplace health and safety (EHS) law. Our lawyers handle the full spectrum of EHS legal issues, including litigation, regulatory and transactional matters. We understand the legal and business issues involved in safeguarding and advocating our clients' interests, and we work to minimize risk by identifying issues early and creating comprehensive and cost-effective solutions.
ABOUT JENNER & BLOCK'S ENERGY PRACTICE
Amid high-stakes changes in the energy sector, Jenner & Block provides clients with cutting-edge strategic guidance, a nationally recognized litigation track record, public policy advocacy and deep transactional experience. Our lawyers, who include a former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Commissioner, the former Chief Legal Officer of Exelon Corporation who also served as former President of PSEG Energy Holdings, and the former FERC General Counsel, have experience handling the full range of issues confronting energy companies today. These issues include bankruptcy and restructuring, litigation and investigation matters, transactional and regulatory counseling, including for environmental-related issues. We have also counseled energy clients on privacy and data breach response.
ABOUT JENNER & BLOCK'S GOVERNMENT CONTROVERSIES AND PUBLIC POLICY LITIGATION PRACTICE
Jenner & Block's Government Controversies and Public Policy Litigation Practice, led by a former US Associate Attorney General, draws on Jenner & Block's strength and depth as a premier litigation firm and its internationally recognized Investigations, Compliance and Defense Practice to provide a full suite of services. This includes internal investigations and crisis management for businesses facing problems that draw the attention of the state and federal civil and criminal law enforcement authorities, government regulators, Congress, state legislators and the media.
ABOUT JENNER & BLOCK's ELECTION LAW AND REDISTRICTING PRACTICE
For decades, Jenner & Block has been involved in a wide variety of landmark election law and redistricting cases. We have successfully represented clients before the US Supreme Court and in state, federal and local courts across the country at both the trial and appellate levels. We combine extensive knowledge of this area of law with advice and litigation strategy tailored to each client's political and legislative needs.
ABOUT JENNER & BLOCK
Jenner & Block (www.jenner.com) is a law firm with global reach, with more than 500 lawyers and offices in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC. The firm is known for its prominent and successful litigation practice and experience handling sophisticated and high-profile corporate transactions. Firm clients include Fortune 100 companies, large privately held corporations, financial services institutions, emerging companies and venture capital and private equity investors. The American Lawyer named the firm as the #1 pro bono firm in the United States, a distinction it has had seven of the past 10 years; the firm has been ranked among the top 10 in this category every year since the ranking began in 1990.