In April, Quarles & Brady LLP formed a group of 50 attorneys' specializing in climate change, clean energy and sustainability law. The group of attorneys came from different fields including real estate, tax and environmental, and was assembled by drawing from its offices in Chicago, Phoenix and Wisconsin.
At the time of the announcement, Roger Ferland, co-chair of the firm's industry group said, ''We pride ourselves and our law firm on being ahead of the curve. We look at where we are going to be in the future.'' Ferland explained, that ''the future is a more sustainable one where law is concerned and there are numerous issues involving green technologies, from intellectual property to potential environmental hurdles on the state and federal level that have to be addressed in terms of their deployment.''
Ferland added that ''companies are dealing with entirely new ways of financing projects, including clean renewable energy bonds, which can help companies find money in a difficult economy. Because it is increasingly complex and deals with different state and federal laws
, the practice area can result in numerous challenges, even for the smallest projects. When people clamour for a solar power plant, it’s not as easy as finding a site and building it.''
According to John Daniels, chairman of Quarles, ''the move was necessary to keep pace with clients' changing needs. Environmental sustainability has become one of the most influential and defining forces for our clients.''