(Updated 1:49 p.m.)
Crowell & Moring is beefing up its environment and natural resources practice in a big way.
This week five environmental partners jumped to Crowell from Patton Boggs, including John Martin, who had previously co-headed Patton Boggs’ environmental group. Martin is joined by three other partners in Washington.
As part of the move, the firm has also launched an Anchorage, Alaska office, marking its first foray into the 49th state. That office will be operated by Kyle Parker, who was also previously with Patton Boggs. Parker is a former assistant attorney general for the state of Alaska.
In Washington, Crowell also added this week former Patton Boggs partners Amy Chasanov, who practices environmental litigation, Susan Mathiascheck, who previously served as deputy chair of Patton Boggs’ litigation department, and Duane Siler, who advises clients on hazardous and toxic chemical issues.
Martin said the move will allow his group to join Crowell’s “dream team” of environmental lawyers at a time when clients are more concerned about green issues than ever before.
“Environmental and natural resource issues are at the highest point that they have been at in the past decade or longer. Corporations are very concerned about maintaining a reputation of being upstanding environmental stewards,” Martin said. “Crowell has a long history of serving clients in those areas.”
The team of former Patton Boggs lawyers adds to the two former government officials who joined the firm earlier this year. In April, the firm added Michael Bogert as a senior counsel. Bogert had previously served as counselor to then Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and has also served as regional administrator for the EPA's Region 10, which includes Alaska.
In July, Robert Meyers signed on to Crowell after leaving his post at the Environmental Protection Agency, where he served as acting assistant administrator of the Office of Air and Radiation. At the OAR, Meyers oversaw efforts within the EPA to respond to the Supreme Court's 2007 ruling in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, which required the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as pollutants.
Update: By all accounts, the environmental law group's departure from Patton Boggs was an amicable one. In a firmwide e-mail obtained by The National Law Journal, Martin thanked the firm for his time there.
"For me, this was a very difficult, personal decision," Martin wrote in the e-mail. "Over my 24 years at Patton Boggs, I've been fortunate to have worked with wonderful people and I'm particularly grateful for my enduring friendships with the lawyers and staff at PB. I'm also thankful for the opportunities and fine professional experiences I've had at the firm."
Martin's e-mail goes on to say, "I fully expect that many of our paths will cross and, since we'll be only a short distance away, I'll look forward to seeing folks in the DC office (and those of you who will be traveling to DC)."
Rebecca Carr, a spokeswoman for Patton Boggs, says, "The firm is sorry to see them go and wishes them well because they're a very talented group of lawyers. But the core of our environmental group remains strong."
Patton Boggs has made some big plays of its own in recent months. In April, the firm added three attorneys from Foley & Lardner’s bankruptcy and business reorganization practice group. And earlier this month, Patton Boggs announced that it had added a six-lawyer mortgage finance team from Weiner Brodsky Sidman Kider.