Faegre Drinker announced that Judith Praitis has joined the firm’s Los Angeles office as a partner in the environment and energy practice. Praitis comes to the firm from Sidley Austin, where she held senior practice leadership positions.
“Judith is one of the industry’s leading environmental lawyers,” Co-Chairs Tom Froehle and Andrew Kassner said in a joint statement. “Clients turn to her to solve their most complex environmental-related issues, and over the years, she has successfully guided clients through significant transactional, regulatory and litigation matters across the country. We’re pleased to welcome Judith to our growing firm.”
Praitis counsels clients on environmental transactional issues and on air, water and waste management permitting, compliance, release reporting and enforcement issues under California and federal law. With decades of experience in environmental law, she is a trusted source of legal and business guidance for clients working to develop and implement environmental management systems, audit compliance protocols, and anticipate and adapt to emerging regulatory environments.
She also has experience managing complex environmental matters for distressed entities, or those with material legacy environmental liabilities, to orchestrate a controlled resolution of such obligations. Praitis is particularly adept at crafting novel settlements with governmental regulators and prosecutors. At Sidley, her practice leadership positions included head of the West Coast environmental practice and global co-leader of the firm’s environmental practice.
“Judith is a renowned environmental lawyer who has built a highly successful and sophisticated practice,” Faegre Drinker’s environment and energy practice co-leaders Bonnie Barnett and Max Kelln said in a joint statement. “Her knowledge and experience add depth and breadth to our group’s bench and geographic footprint in California and across the U.S. It also strengthens our national presence by building upon the expanded capabilities of the environment and energy practice from the firm’s recent combination.”
Faegre Drinker’s national environment and energy group serves clients coast to coast, partnering to develop solutions to their most complicated environmental and energy challenges. They deliver transactional, regulatory and litigation support to a wide range of industries, including the pharmaceutical, food and agriculture, chemical, manufacturing and energy industries.
Praitis earned her bachelor’s degree, with honors and Phi Beta Kappa, from The University of Chicago and her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Harvard Law School.
Faegre Drinker launched global operations on Feb. 1, 2020, the result of the combination of Faegre Baker Daniels, an international law firm with deep roots in the Midwest, and Drinker Biddle & Reath, a full-service national law firm with storied mid-Atlantic origins. The merger brought together more than 1,300 attorneys, consultants and professionals in 21 locations in the United States, London and Shanghai.
The launch came just six weeks before the firm began remote operations in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but this has not slowed its integration efforts or plans for strategic growth. Praitis’ addition follows more than 20 lateral partner and counsel hires at Faegre Drinker since June 2020, including finance and restructuring partner James Conlan, whom Praitis worked alongside at Sidley Austin on restructuring matters.