WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Michael Wigmore, the former co-chair of Bingham McCutchen's Environmental, Land Use and Natural Resources Group, has joined Vinson & Elkins LLP as a partner in its Environmental Practice Group. V&E's deep ties and long-standing history serving the energy industry and natural resources clients will allow Wigmore to extend the reach of his nationally recognized practice serving energy clients.
With a strong national reputation as an environmental lawyer who handles environmental, public lands and natural resources matters before state and federal administrative agencies, in court, and before Congress, Wigmore comes to V&E already representing a number of the firm's energy clients. He is well-known for his endangered species and National Environmental Policy Act work and dealing with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA on wetlands-related matters. Wigmore began his legal career in 1990 with Swidler Berlin, which merged with Bingham in 2006.
"Mike has established a strong national practice and brings important experience in natural resources permitting, regulation and litigation when it comes to endangered species, wetlands, archeology and NEPA issues," said Mark Kelly, Vinson & Elkins' Chairman. "Our clients in the energy industry look to us for such counsel and will seek out Mike's substantial experience given the increasing challenges they face under these statutes in administrative proceedings and litigation."
Wigmore has successfully represented clients in obtaining and defending permits and authorizations for projects ranging from oil and gas development to high-voltage electric transmission lines, undersea fiber optic cables, and all forms of waterfront development. Whether it is environmental permitting, compliance or enforcement defense issues, Wigmore has significant experience litigating matters under the federal Clean Water Act, Oil Pollution Act, Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and related state statutes.
"V&E provides an excellent platform made up of a very talented and highly regarded team of environmental lawyers I respect," Wigmore said. "I'm excited about this opportunity and eager to incorporate my practice into a firm with such long-standing ties to the energy industry. In addition to the added value my clients will receive, V&E and I share many mutual clients. This is an important next step in my efforts to assist energy clients with the very complex issues they face."
Carol Dinkins, the head of V&E's Environmental Practice, says Wigmore is an experienced and trusted lawyer, who is known for his guidance on a wide range of significant environmental and land use issues.
"Mike is a delightful, intelligent, congenial and collaborative lawyer, who will fit well into our culture," Dinkins said. "He is quite modest, and has built strong ties to clients based in Texas without a Texas base. Our platform can help him accomplish a great deal, and we in turn see this as a winning combination for our clients."
Wigmore is highly ranked in 2013 in Chambers USA in the D.C. market, where clients have cited his detailed knowledge of the statutes, pending regulations and case law along with his ability to offer sound business advice. One client commented: "He impresses us with his detailed knowledge of federal and state natural resources law and its impact on industry. We are proud to have him on our team."
Wigmore received his J.D. from The George Washington University Law School with high honors in 1990 and his undergraduate degree in marine engineering, with highest honors, from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 1984. He is licensed to practice in D.C., New York and Connecticut. Prior to attending law school, Wigmore worked as a nuclear engineer at a world-class research and development facility.
"It goes without saying that Mike is a strong and strategic addition to our environmental practice as we work to meet our clients' needs amid an increasingly difficult regulatory environment," said Michael Charness, the managing partner of V&E's Washington, D.C. office. "As a top-notch litigator, Mike additionally offers the experience our clients look to us to provide when a major event happens and an immediate response is needed. We know how to deal with the legal consequences and are prepared to litigate regulations of national importance – and so is Mike, who brings the right dimension to our robust team."
V&E's environmental practice is known nationally for handling environmental litigation and enforcement matters spanning the spectrum from civil and criminal enforcement to private-party litigation, contested permitting, and crisis management and response. The firm's lawyers are as astute at handling a single suit over the permitting of a wind farm as they are a multi-media, multi-state, multi-region EPA enforcement case.
Chambers USA nationally ranks V&E's environmental practice in 2013 and describes it as "widely celebrated" for its knowledge of "energy-related environmental matters." Additionally, Chambers USA, which conducts intensive research including peer and client review, honored V&E in May with its "Award for Excellence" in Energy Projects: Oil & Gas, one of the publication's top honors. That honor was followed in August by the firm being named the top energy litigation practice group in Texas Lawyer's Litigation Departments of the Year competition, which specifically cited examples of V&E's work on behalf of clients in the energy industry.
Vinson & Elkins LLP is an international law firm with more than 675 lawyers across 16 offices worldwide. For more information, please contact Pam Easton at +1.713.758.2904.
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