Ward L. Benshoof - Alston & Bird LLP

Ward L. Benshoof

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2013
Phone: 213-576-1108

Ward Benshoof is a trial lawyer who has specialized in environmental litigation for nearly 30 years. He represents plaintiffs on challenges under the major federal and state environmental statutes such as the Coastal Zone Management Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, and California’s Porter-Cologne Act, as well as defendants on civil penalty actions under state and federal environmental statutes, hazardous waste litigation under CERCLA and RCRA, toxic tort actions arising from environmental releases and challenges under the California Environmental Quality Act. 

Ward has been active in the development of environmental law in California and currently is closely involved in the implementation of California’s Green Chemistry Initiative. He also presently serves on the External Advisory Council to the Director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and has been a regular panelist at the California Air Resources Board’s annual Enforcement Symposium. 

In 1984, Ward, with four other partners, formed the Weston, Benshoof firm. Ward was recognized in the 2015 edition of Who’s Who Legal: Environment. In 2012, he was named by Chambers USA as one of the “highly regarded” environmental lawyers in California, and in 2004 Chambers named Ward as one of the leading attorneys in the nation for water quality litigation. 

Macalester CollegeBA 1968New York UniversityJ.D. 1972

Case History

  • Served as lead counsel for a major U.S. airline on jet fuel and solvent contamination issues at Los Angeles International Airport and related LARWQCB and other regulatory matters.
  • Representation of a major Southern California airport authority on the prosecution of environmental claims against a former tenant.
  • Served as lead environmental and litigation counsel for major industrial clients (oil, chemical and aerospace) on a wide variety of petroleum products and industrial solvent contamination cases.
  • Served as lead counsel for a major aerospace client in a multiparty community exposure/toxic tort action.
  • Served as chief trial counsel in the earliest cost recovery cases brought under the federal and state Superfund statutes.
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  • Prosecuted and defended numerous claims for environmental cost recovery and related tort claims on behalf of both public entities and private parties.
  • Served as lead counsel for a major oil industry client in a groundwater contamination case brought by a Southern California municipality.
  • Key involvement in many of the major appellate decisions that have defined the law of environmental cost recovery, under both statutory and common law.
  • Close association with senior members of the environmental regulatory community in California through over 20 years of a leadership participation in the annual California EPA Enforcement Symposium.
  • Key relationships with the foremost experts in the environmental/toxic tort consulting community.

Office Location

333 South Hope Street, 16th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071-3004
United States

Practice Areas

Environmental Law