Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances
Sidley’s environmental lawyers deliver invaluable insights to benefit our clients in effectively foreseeing hurdles and adapting their business plans accordingly. More than 70% of the members of our Environmental practice nationwide have held senior positions as government officials — more than any other top-ranked firm — including Chiefs of the Environmental Enforcement and Appellate Sections of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and as Associate Administrator for Policy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Additionally, our products liability lawyers have substantial experience in handling related lawsuits filed in state and federal courts on a nationwide basis, as well as federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceedings. Our litigators have substantial experience defending against personal injury, property damage, environmental remediation, and class claims involving alleged exposure to PFAS. Our teams include lawyers who have distinguished themselves in scientific fields or are familiar with nearly every subject matter and field expert in the related STEM industries.
All of our lawyers work in collaboration — across practices — to fully understand the minutiae of up-and-coming PFAS issues and build a foundation for successful outcomes.
Consumer Class Actions
PFAS are used in numerous consumer products, and companies face an increasing risk of costly class action litigation as a result. Sidley’s Consumer Class Actions team helps clients defend their reputations and win lawsuits, both by defeating class certification and obtaining victories on the merits. We understand class actions are more than just a short-term financial threat, but an attack on reputation, brand quality, and product identity in the marketplace Our lawyers are familiar with not just the many laws that govern consumer-facing behavior, but also the particular industries in which our clients market their goods and services.
Corporate and Private Equity
Sidley has a global Private Equity practice with lawyers who provide strategic counsel to our corporate and private equity clients. With increased interest on the impact of PFAS use in commercial practices, our teams shield corporate and private equity funds from becoming prime targets for litigation. Our transactional experience in industries impacted by PFAS regulations makes us well equipped to assist equity funds and their portfolio companies in preparation for new and upcoming guidelines, as well as assess and pinpoint any potential exposure and preempt any related risks.
The firm has developed a strong team well-equipped to address environmental enforcement defense and compliance. Having represented federal, state, and local governmental bodies, our Environmental practice has the vast experience necessary to help clients meet and address their environmental challenges, including those involving emerging contaminants such as PFAS. We have handled virtually every kind of environmental matter, from complex air, water, waste, and climate change-related litigation and compliance to the environmental aspects of multijurisdictional business transactions.
Our Environmental Justice lawyers are regarded as thought leaders in this area, handling increasingly important regulatory and policy issues at the federal and state level, while also monitoring PFAS activity. We counsel clients on compliance with environmental justice principles in connection with new projects and facilities and the operation of existing assets, as well as government enforcement actions. Our practice is an essential component of environmental, social, and governance and other corporate governance considerations.
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)
ESG issues are top of mind for boards and management of companies across a wide range of industries. Our team assists companies that are grappling with new and evolving needs and expectations regarding ESG, as communicated by shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, regulators, and communities, as well as rating agencies and standard setters. We help our clients make sense of this rapidly changing area and the opportunities and challenges that can arise, including evaluating and adhering to best practices in PFAS matters.
With one of the leading practices in the U.S. and an extensive global presence, our Products Liability group has decades of experience handling claims associated with products, the facilities that manufacture them, and the companies that sell them. We have played key roles in counseling specialty materials manufacturers, having successfully taken many of the most significant product liability litigation cases to trial in state and federal courts. Clients from across a variety of industries value our team’s ability to offer high-caliber and efficient work with a constant awareness of and sensitivity to their overall business objectives.
Sidley’s Restructuring group is involved in the largest global restructurings, with a focus on crafting innovative solutions to the most complex financial and operational challenges. Leveraging the firm’s complementary practices and industry knowledge, we advise clients on various liability management approaches to mitigate risk related to PFAS, including through in- and out-of-court restructuring processes.