Sean W. Bezark - Greenberg Traurig LLP

Sean W. Bezark

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2013
Phone: 312-476-5027

Sean W. Bezark focuses his practice primarily on environmental matters for public corporations, privately held companies, banks, lenders, REITs and private equity investment funds. He advises clients on environmental aspects of corporate and real estate transactions, bankruptcy cases, environmental investigations and remediation projects, brownfields development, insurance procurement and risk and cost allocations. He also counsels clients on legal and technical aspects of complex contamination remediation projects and in obtaining reimbursement from insurance companies, indemnitors, real estate and corporate predecessors and third parties. Sean's experience also includes negotiating settlement of all types of environmental claims and civil and criminal complaints brought by federal, state and municipal governmental agencies, and various private party environmental claims and demands.

University of MichiganBS 1987Loyola University Chicago School of LawJ.D. 1990
International Bar AssociationEnvironmental Law InstituteChicago Bar AssociationAmerican Bar Association

Case History

Other Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Areas of Concentration
  • Real estate and corporate transactions and development
  • M&A
  • Environmental remediation projects
  • Cost and risk allocation
  • Redevelopment of brownfields
  • Negotiations with local, state and federal environmental regulators
Significant Representations
  • Sean represented an international petroleum company in acquiring the assets of a downstream petroleum company which involved extensive environmental due diligence and the negotiation of four prospective purchaser agreements with the USEPA and the U.S. Department of Justice under the Clean Water Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
  • A client purchased a steel manufacturing facility which was used during World War II to roll uranium ingots as part of the Manhattan Project. Sean negotiated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of Justice and state and local agencies regarding the investigation and remediation of the radiation contamination and other impacts at the site.
  • An airline was developing a state of the art pilot training facility at a major airport. The 26-acre parcel it is developing was previously used by the U.S. Air Force for jet engine testing and manufacturing. Three million gallons of jet fuel were stored on site. The site was a FUDS site and Sean assisted with the complex remediation of it. The USEPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the local environmental regulatory agency and municipality oversaw the work.
Part 2
  • A client's predecessor's operations were alleged to have caused a two-mile plume of solvent contamination in groundwater which impacted more than one thousand private residential drinking water wells. Sean advised the client regarding the remediation of the soil and groundwater and the personal injury and property damage claims, and negotiated with the USEPA and the state and local governments to resolve the numerous issues associated with the plume. Sean also assisted the client with a strategic restructuring and with creating a trust fund to compensate potential future claimants.
  • Sean performed all of the environmental aspects of a $4 billion merger of two publicly traded REITs. In connection with the deal, he also negotiated a novel environmental insurance policy which requires the insurer to issue new policies to purchases of any of the assets.
  • A client filed for bankruptcy and Sean negotiated a first-of-its-kind global settlement of liability at more than 30 Superfund sites with the U. S. Department of Justice. Sean also counseled the client in connection with numerous environmental remediation projects prior to, during and after the bankruptcy case.
Part 3
  • A client owned 30 acres in downtown Chicago (adjacent to Navy Pier) which is being developed into 6000 residential units, a school, park and offices. The property was contaminated with thorium arising from historic manufacturing operations. Sean assisted with the investigation and remediation of the radioactive materials at the property which is located in a densely populated residential area.
  • DBSI, Inc Creditors’ Committee (a $2.5 billion real estate bankruptcy case involving approximately 150 debtors and 8,500 investors).
  • LandSource Communities (a $2.3 billion bankruptcy case involving more than 15,000 acres of real estate immediately north of Los Angeles).
  • Canal Corporation (f/k/a Chesapeake Corporation) Creditors’ Committee (an international manufacturer of value-added specialty paperbound and plastic packaging with 44 locations in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia).
  • Aventine Renewable Energy, Inc. Creditors' Committee (690 million gallon per year ethanol producer).

Client Comments

"Sean Bezark has outstanding skill and experience with environmental matters related to transactions. He is an expert in the deal structure for transactions with complex environmental considerations."

"Sean Bezark is the rare attorney that has the combined qualities of professionalism, expertise, personality, and creativity. He is able to grasp both the legal and practical challenges of an environmental concern and provide advice relative to the business transaction involved."

"Sean put in the extra effort to fully understand the client's objectives in a very difficult negotiation of an environmental problem. He took the responsibility to close the matter and did so successfully in a post-midnight session."

"Sean Bezark is an excellent attorney."

Office Location

77 West Wacker Drive, Suite 3100
Chicago, IL 60601
United States

Practice Areas

Environmental Law