Scott Laseter´s practice has included litigation, regulatory and transactional aspects of environmental law. For the last dozen years, he has devoted a substantial portion of his practice to manufactured gas plant issues ranging from investigation and remediation oversight to cost recovery, insurance coverage and common law litigation.
In recent years, he has also devoted a substantial portion of his practice to representing publicly traded real estate companies, parties to CMBS transactions, financial institutions, REITs, developers and public and private investors in connection with environmental problems arising out of buying, selling, owning and financing real estate. Through this work, Scott has been involved in the redevelopment or repositioning of hundreds of environmentally challenged properties.
Prior to attending law school, Scott spent several years in the insurance business. He has built on this experience by handling a wide-range of environmental and non-environmental insurance matters on behalf of policyholders, including successfully securing coverage for such diverse claims as environmental clean up costs, defense of asbestos lawsuits, and disability coverage for silicone induced autoimmune disease.
Chambers USA first recognized Scott in its 2005 edition of America´s Leading Lawyers for Business as a Leader in the environmental practice area. More recently, he was selected for inclusion in the 25th anniversary edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the environmental law specialty.
Scott is a member of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership class of 2013. He has served as a member and chairman of Georgia Justice Project and currently serves on the board of AH Capital Campaign, Inc., a support organization for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity.
- Recently represented the policyholder in an environmental coverage case that resulted in Alabama Supreme Court decision holding that EPA PRP Letters trigger the insurers’ duty to defend.
- Represented a real estate investment company buying one of the first sites ever removed from Georgia’s hazardous site inventory in securing environmental insurance to protect against the risk that the state agency might change its mind. When the state did, in fact, change its mind and re-listed the property, we successfully secured coverage under the environmental insurance policy for the costs of defending against both the state claim and a toxic tort claim brought by an adjoining landowner. Several years later, we helped the client sell the property at full fair market value.
- In an especially unusual Brownfield transaction, represented a rapidly growing suburban church land-locked by an abutting city hall property. Directly across the street from the church, however, sat a partially vacant contaminated property mired in receivership both because of the environmental problem and the loss of its anchor tenant. Scott helped the church buy the mortgage on the property across the street from a CMBS pool using a limited liability company. After taking a deed in lieu of foreclosure through the LLC to get the contaminated site out of receivership, Scott worked with the local government to re-route a road across the contaminated area and arrange a swap transaction to move the city hall across the street onto the uncontaminated portion of the property. As a result, the church doubled the size of its campus, and the municipal government gained a greatly expanded city hall complex.
- Represented municipality in case seeking contribution for costs associated with manufactured gas plant against successors to companies dating back to 1850. A two week trial resulted in a finding of liability, after which the matter was settled with the creation of multimillion dollar escrow fund for cleanup of impacts to river sediments.
- Represented the owner of a warehouse in Tennessee in bringing suit for injunctive relief and recovery for property damage associated with chlorinated solvent contamination. After discovery, the case settled with a substantial cash payment and the assumption of clean up responsibility by a major chemical company.
- Representing individuals and trusts benefitting the children and grandchildren of the deceased founder of a major pesticide plant which facing claims for tens of millions in cleanup costs, filed suit against the insurance companies covering the plant in the 1960s and 1970s. Won partial summary judgment, secured multimillion dollar settlement and obtained a release of liability from USEPA.