Susan guides clients in handling environmental issues related to business and real estate transactions, particularly brownfields redevelopment, and regulatory compliance at the local, state and federal level. Her practice is rounded out by her representation of clients in environmental litigation involving a variety of issues including toxic torts, cost recovery, property damage, and administrative penalties.
For over 20 years, she has worked with clients on business and transactional matters involving environmental issues and helped clients perform due diligence, environmental audits, reporting, environmental training, negotiate contracts and resolve regulatory compliance matters. She represents clients in negotiations and agreements with regulatory agencies such as the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (formerly Department of Environment and Natural Resources) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), handling such issues as RCRA, brownfields, USTs, dry cleaners, wastewater, and permitting. Her experience includes representation of companies in CERCLA (Superfund) matters, including internal investigations and negotiated settlement agreements with the EPA and SCDHEC. She has also served as defendants’ and plaintiffs’ counsel in environmental litigation matters ranging from complex mass toxic tort cases to leaking underground storage tank cases.
Susan is ranked among the top lawyers in North Carolina for Environmental Law by Chambers USA, where clients have praised her as “very good and practical," and "very smart and detail-oriented." She was named to Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite for Environmental in 2020 and has also been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Environmental Law since 2015.
- Co-Author, North Carolina’s Road to the Redevelopment of Brownfields, NC Lawyer’s Weekly (1999)
- North Carolina’s Dry Cleaning Solvent Cleanup Act of 1997, NC Lawyer’s Weekly (1998)
- Co-Author, The North Carolina Brownfields Property Reuse Act of 1997, Commercial Real Estate Today (Fall 1997)
- North Carolina’s Draft Risk Analysis Framework, Newsletter of the NC Groundwater Professionals (1997)
- Co-Author, Superfund Reform Part II – What’s Ahead for 1995? For the Defense (1995)
- Co-Author, The Effect of Environmental Costs of Financial Statements, The Journal of Commercial Lending (1994)
- Co-Author, Superfund Reform: Will It Happen in 1994? For the Defense (1994)
- Co-Author, Monitoring the Development of the Medical Monitoring Claim, NC Lawyer’s Weekly (1994)
Civic and Professional Activities
- NC Bar Association
- City of Charlotte Brownfields Site Selection Committee, 2001-2002
- Charlotte Chamber Manufacturing Council, Environmental Committee, 2001, and Government Task Force, 2000
- Co-Editor, Environmental News, NC Environmental & Natural Resources Law Section, 1996-1998
- Minor Fundraising Chair, Patriots Elementary School, 2010-2011
- Youth Basketball Coach, Harrisburg Park & Recreation, 2009-2013
- Volunteer, Youth Soccer Coach, 2006-2008
Honors and Awards
- Recognized in Business North Carolina magazine's Legal Elite, Environmental Law, 2020 – 2021
- Chambers USA Ranked Lawyer, Environment, North Carolina, 2017 – 2020
- Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings) in the fields of Energy Law, Energy Regulatory Law, Environmental Law, 2015 – Present
- Charlotte Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award Winner, 2003
- Services to the Indigent Award, Mecklenburg County Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program, 1998
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.
- Represented a major international social media company in negotiating a brownfield agreement (BFA) for a $900 million data center in Rutherford County, NC. The brownfield agreement was negotiated while construction was underway
- Counseled real estate developer on structuring complex transaction for property purchase involving multiple parties and brownfields redevelopment
- Advised client on due diligence and contract negotiation related to stock purchase sale of company with multiple locations across the country
- Co-lead counsel for Fortune 100 company in a complex federal jury trial related to the migration of hazardous substances, including PCBs, into surface water and groundwater, and related claims for property damage and lost profits. The case involved numerous fact witnesses, expert witnesses and documents spanning a 30-year period
- Advise lenders on environmental risks related to loans and foreclosure issues