An industry-leading environmental attorney, Lisa Rushton guides corporate clients, including global, multi-national, and local corporations, real estate developers, financial institutions and investment funds on matters relating to federal, state, and local environmental, health and safety laws and regulations and was identified by Chambers as one of the leading environmental practitioners for business transactions. Lisa serves as Head of the firm's Business Litigation Practice Group, Co-Head of the Energy and Natural Resources Sector and Head of the firm’s Renewable Energy Subsector.
With substantial experience in matters relating to air and water pollution control laws, solid and hazardous waste management and cleanup, toxic substance control laws and the development of “brownfield” properties, clients rely on Lisa’s guidance and due diligence to understand environmental issues attendant to corporate and real estate transactions, debt and equity financings, public offerings, and bankruptcy proceedings. She routinely assists buyers, sellers, lenders, borrowers, debtors, landlords and tenants with understanding and apportioning environmental liabilities; manages the environmental due diligence process; and drafts and negotiates contractual provisions covering environmental aspects of business and real estate transactions.
Lisa has more than twenty years of experience representing clients in environmental litigation and overseeing the investigation and remediation of site conditions. She counsels clients on compliance obligations and the implementation of environmental management systems and assists clients in the defense of claims relating to environmental liabilities and allegations of non-compliance. She has specific experience representing clients in such industries as:
- Energy generation and sale
- Waste management
- Real estate development
- Adhesives and coating manufacturing
- Pulp and paper manufacturing
- Aluminum and steel mills, and
- Airport management
Lisa is described as "incredibly responsive, efficient, business-oriented and practical" by a client, who further highlights her ability to "parse through complicated environmental issues amazingly quickly and thoroughly."
- Co-Author, "Energy Transition Faces Challenges, Will Need Greater Investment," Offshore Magazine, February 13, 2024
- Author, “Implementing an Agile Supply Chain for EV Batteries in the US and Latin America: Opportunities and Barriers,” Environment + Energy Leader, April 6, 2023
- Author, "ESG Strategies Must Be Tailored to Company Culture," Triangle Business Journal, November 4, 2022
- Co-Author, “Op-ed: Is the Jones Act Out of Time?,” Oil and Gas Investor, July 8, 2022
- Co-Author, “The Regulator Structures or Economic Opportunities That Are Driving – Or Hindering – Building Electrification,” Power Magazine, June 10, 2022
- Author, Creating targeted roadmap can help companies attain ESG goals, Offshore, March 2022
- Author, ESG: How it Applies to the Oil & Gas Industry and Why It Matters, Womble Bond Dickinson Client Alert, September 22, 2021
- Co-Author, Legal Guide to Starting a Business in the United States, Womble Bond Dickinson Publication, May 2021
- Co-Author, The Vineyard Wind Supplemental EIS – A Strongly Positive Signal for the Growth of US Offshore Wind Industry and Supply Chain, Womble Bond Dickinson Client Alert, June 25, 2020
- Author, Trump Administration Proposes Sweeping Reforms to National Environmental Policy Act Requirements for Federal Agencies, Womble Bond Dickinson Client Alert, January 23, 2020
- Contributing author to the Environmental Law Institute’s Climate Change Deskbook
- Repeat contributing author on regulatory developments reported in the Environmental, Energy, and Resources Law The Year in Review
- Unconventional Oil and Gas Reporter: State Rules for Frac Wastewater Management Vary Widely Across the US, Reflecting ‘Tightrope’
- Co-Presenter with Belton T. Zeigler and Joseph G. Tirone, "Contract Provisions and Regulatory Issues for Offshore Wind Sector During COVID-19," April 13, 2020
Professional & Civic Engagement
- Tinina Q. Cade Foundation, Trustee
- Commercial Real Estate Women
- Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment
- American Chemical Society
Honors & Awards
- Recognized in Business North Carolina magazine's Legal Elite, Environmental Law, 2023
- Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings), Energy Law, 2023 - Present
- Chambers USA Ranked Lawyer, Environmental, North Carolina, 2014 – Present
Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
Representative Transactional Experience
- Served as environmental counsel for one of the largest national waste management companies on over one billion dollars in acquisitions of landfills, hauling routes and transfer stations, including the conduct of due diligence, oversight for permit transfers, compliance with good character disclosure requirements, and negotiation of purchase and sale agreements
- Supervised the diligence and advised on both the acquisition and divestment of a leading manufacturer of complex, highly-engineered solutions for the aerospace, defense and space industries, including products used to facilitate the transfer of fluids and gases at extreme temperature and pressures required for mission-critical applications
- Represented fortune 500 pharmaceutical company with an assessment of environmental liabilities and compliance obligations arising from, and the drafting and negotiation of transactional documents related to, the $1.25 billion acquisition of a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that develops medicines to treat chronic pain
- Provided environmental counsel to second largest publicly traded fuel and convenience retailer in the sale of interest in its wholesale fuel supply business for $50.4 million
- Supervised the environmental due diligence and negotiated the environmental provisions of the related deal documents for the acquisition of Class II disposal wells and management facilities for E&P waste and various biogas facilities across the United States
Representative Remediation Experience
- Counseled client on a $250 million remediation of a former nuclear rod manufacturing facility through the New York State Voluntary Clean-up Program
- Represented one of the largest international food and nutrition companies on the negotiation of fixed price remediation contracts
- Represented private developers in high profile brownfield redevelopment of a mixed use project in New York City and municipal government on the negotiation of “brownfield” redevelopment contracts for more than 1,000 acres of contaminated property
Representative Counseling, Enforcement and Litigation Experience
- Represented major telecommunications company and major pharmaceutical company in cost-recovery litigation, including the investigation and remediation of a legacy manufacturing facility associated with early atomic energy work, which resulted in more than $250 million in costs to remediate onsite conditions and spurred numerous toxic tort actions and allegations of off-site groundwater contamination. Asserted and defended a series of cost recovery and common law actions against both private parties and federal government entities. Liability was tied up with a complex corporate history involving mergers, joint ventures, name changes, and corporate restructuring, various acquisitions and divestments and contract operations that triggered numerous levels of indemnification. Primary contaminants of concern were PCE, TCE, TCA, nickel, uranium and thorium.
- Counseled clients on reporting issues of non-compliance and permit exceedances and response to information requests, oversaw facility self-audits and assisted clients with the negotiation and development of programs to bring the companies into compliance (in certain instances without the assessment of any fines).
- Represented utility association, individual power producers and various chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturers on the development of state and federal laws and regulations, including the preparation of comments on draft legislation, lobbying state regulators, drafting state legislation and providing guidance on the implementation of national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for the miscellaneous organic chemical (MON) manufacturing industry, mercury regulations, NPDES nutrient trading programs, MACT Standards (e.g. Boiler MACT and Coke Oven Battery MACT), TSCA Section 4 Test Rules, and renewable portfolio standards and trading programs.