Max Kelln draws from his wide-ranging experience and unique, energetic brand of client service to develop creative solutions to environmental problems. Max does not simply “dabble” in environmental law, but is fully devoted to the practice and keeping up to date with developments and trends. He has been at the epicenter of today’s most significant environmental issues, including “Waters of the United States,” climate change, sewer overflows and impacts from historic lead contamination.

Environmental Compliance, Enforcement and Transactional Issues

A true pragmatist, Max puts clients first by helping municipalities and businesses of all sizes come up with practical solutions to compliance with state and federal environmental laws, defending agency actions, and shepherding clients through environmental issues in transactions. Max draws upon his in-depth knowledge of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, CERCLA, RCRA, and other state and federal environmental laws to “cut to the chase” of any matter and strive for swift outcomes. Max is frequently called upon to lend his assistance to many of the country’s largest manufacturing companies and facilities.

Government, In-House and Prior Experience

Max’s broad background helps him appreciate the important history of environmental jurisprudence yet adapt as long-settled issues get turned on their heads.

Prior to joining Faegre Drinker, Max worked in Indiana state government, as the Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) counsel at an international pharmaceutical company in New York, and most recently at a large, multinational law firm in Chicago. These tools have helped Max to implement a novel plan to coordinate state environmental agencies, insurance companies, local stakeholders and a client to sell a former glass bottling plant for redevelopment despite recent failed attempts because of known off-site contamination.

Municipal Water & Sewer Issues

In addition, Max represents municipalities in the niche area of Clean Water Act regulation of sanitary and stormwater sewers. Max has firsthand experience helping sewers and publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) overcome challenges posed by aging infrastructure and requirements to implement capital upgrades. This includes through negotiating (or modifying) Clean Water Act consent decrees. Case-in-point, Max was a key negotiator between state and federal agencies, a client POTW and interested neighboring communities to resolve decades’-old environmental and rate-paying issues.

Environmental Educator

Max is the creator and executive producer (aka Podfather) of “Notice & Comment: Faegre Drinker Environmental Podcast.” This monthly podcast showcases attorneys from Faegre Drinker’s offices nationwide and guests as they discuss cutting-edge issues in environmental law.

Related Policy, Advocacy, and Consulting Services

Related Industries


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana


Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
J.D. summa cum laude, Indiana Law Review (articles editor) (2007)

Ripon College
B.A. magna cum laude (2004)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • Air Permitting – How to Manage Changes at Your Facility
    2016 Indiana Environmental Conference, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, October 2016
  • Challenges, Innovation and Opportunities: Emerging Issues in Water Resource Regulation
    Co-presenter, 2016 Water Conference, Faegre Baker Daniels, Chicago, July 2016 
  • Ethical Considerations in Environmental Law
    Co-presenter, Faegre Baker Daniels, Indianapolis, July 2016 
  • EPA Orders IDEM to Crack Down on Air Violations During Equipment Malfunctions
    Environmental Forum, Indiana Manufacturer's Association, August 2015

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

  • Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic
  • Wills for Heroes & Eskenazi Wills Clinic
  • National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), 2008-11

Professional Associations

  • Indiana State Bar Association
  • Indianapolis Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association – Standing Committee on Professional Conduct (2009-11)

Civic Activities

  • Indiana University McKinney School of Law Alumni Association — Board Member, 2011-17


  • Chambers USA — Indiana, Environment, 2022-23
  • Faegre Drinker — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2023
  • Faegre Baker Daniels — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2019
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