Kramer Levin Names Andrew Otis Chair of Environmental Department

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kramer Levin is pleased to announce that Andrew Otis has been named chair of the firm’s Environmental department. 

As chair, Mr. Otis will lead a distinguished team that helps developers, investors, miners, carbon market participants and companies across industries manage environmental issues so they can focus on improving properties, maintaining efficient operations, building projects, closing transactions and planning their future.

Co-Managing Partners Paul H. Schoeman and Howard T. Spilko said, “We congratulate Andrew on his new role. Under Andrew’s leadership, we will continue to deliver outstanding results for our clients, further build the practice through collaboration across disciplines such as Land Use and Real Estate, and provide valuable support for our transactional and bankruptcy practices.”

Kramer Levin’s Environmental lawyers have strong relationships and deep experience working with federal, state and local regulators — including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection and Department of City Planning. As a result, the firm has exceptional credibility that often enables it to streamline environmental assessments, speed cleanups, facilitate carbon credit trades, and acquire permits and approvals more quickly than would otherwise be possible.

The department works closely with the firm’s multidisciplinary Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) group, which advises public companies, boards of directors, private equity sponsors and other asset managers and their portfolio companies, investors, and others, helping them navigate ESG business, legal, regulatory and political challenges.

The group includes practitioners such as Special Counsel Toni L. Finger, who has extensive experience in New York environmental reviews and advises leading developers, universities, hospitals and nonprofit organizations on the environmental aspects of real estate development and land use.

“It has been a privilege to work with such an exceptional and talented group of colleagues, and I am honored to continue serving with them in this new capacity,” said Mr. Otis. “We look forward to helping our clients navigate a wide variety of consequential environmental matters in today’s complex and dynamic business and regulatory landscape.”

Bringing more than three decades of legal and environmental experience to his work on behalf of clients, Mr. Otis joined Kramer Levin as a partner in the Environmental department in 2022 and previously worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. There, he assisted in writing rules under the Clean Air Act, including standards under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, and played a key advisory role in policy areas such as global climate change, use of market mechanisms and sustainability. Prior to joining Kramer Levin, he was a partner in the environmental practice at one prominent international firm and headed the environmental team at another.

Mr. Otis helps clients across a range of industries, including in the commodity trading, mining, energy and insurance sectors. He helps clients address and mitigate environmental risks; advises on cleanups and compliance; counsels on environmental issues in domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, financings, and real estate development projects; and represents clients in international arbitrations involving environmental claims outside the United States and domestic litigation. He also guides clients in navigating ESG policy developments and reporting under the ever-evolving ESG disclosure standards and advises clients in the greenhouse gas emissions trading markets.

Mr. Otis earned his J.D. from Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law, his M.P.A. from Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and his B.A. from the State University of New York at Geneseo.

About Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Kramer Levin provides its clients with proactive, creative and pragmatic solutions that address today’s most challenging legal issues. The firm is headquartered in New York with offices in Silicon Valley, Washington, DC, and Paris and fosters a strong culture of involvement in public and community service. For more information, visit www.kramerlevin.com.