The West Firm, PLLC
Environmental Law | Serving Albany, NY
New York Environmental Law Firm
Do Business With A Top-Ranking Law Firm In New York State
The West Firm, PLLC is a boutique law firm, located in Albany, New York, known for the development and execution of efficient and innovative strategies to resolve its clients’ legal issues in New York and Pennsylvania. A team of highly knowledgeable attorneys, led by Thomas West, with over 35 years of experience, provides a full range of services, including, but not limited to:
- Project Development
- Assistance with Regulatory Permitting, Compliance and Enforcement
- Representation in Corporate and Real Estate Transactions,
- Representation in Legal Actions and Proceedings at the Local, State and Federal levels
No legal issue is too small, complex or esoteric, as the Firm has a plethora of experience advising and representing individuals, small to large organizations and municipalities. Often, this representation includes a multidisciplinary approach involving regulatory process, litigation, government relations and public relations. Call 518-641-0500 today to arrange your initial consultation.
Attorney Thomas West
Thomas West, founder and managing partner of The West Firm, PLLC, is recognized for his distinguished accomplishments in the environmental field by the Best Lawyers in America®, Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Top Lawyers, and Strathmore’s Who’s Who. He is rated AV, Preeminent, by Martindale Hubbell.
Tom has an extensive environmental and commercial litigation practice, representing a broad variety of clients on environmental issues involving counseling, civil litigation, administrative practice, and criminal defense. He also represents clients concerning contaminated media under federal state Superfund programs, is frequently involved in the representation of clients concerning liability allocation issues concerning contaminated sites, and represents clients concerning the development of sites under the Brownfield Cleanup Program in New York. He represented industry groups in litigation successfully challenging overzealous regulations relative to the State Superfund and pesticide programs in New York State.
Tom is best known for his ability to handle controversial projects, including major energy projects. In that context, he has extensive experience assisting clients in obtaining permits in all of the regulatory programs, including air quality, water quality, water quantity, solid waste, hazardous waste and low-level radioactive waste. He also regularly assists clients with environmental issues associated with real property transactions.
In the oil and gas arena, Tom represents clients on a broad variety of issues involving legislation, compulsory integration, administrative adjudication, civil litigation, and investigations by the New York Attorney General’s office. In his more than 30 years of practice, Tom has represented the oil and gas industry on many issues. He was one of the principal authors of the spacing and compulsory integration legislation that overhauled New York’s oil and gas program in 2005. He was also at the forefront of the 2008 amendments to New York law to accommodate the development of the shale resources in New York State. He has litigated cases involving oil and gas issues in New York and Pennsylvania.
Tom has also represented clients on a variety of pipeline certification and construction issues. He was active in the legislation streamlining the pipeline certification process before the New York State Public Service Commission and regularly counsels clients concerning midstream strategies and transactions associated with midstream development. Also, he has represented major interstate pipelines on environmental issues and has worked with a large interstate pipeline company to help streamline the review process before the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Those projects include representation of clients before the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and the Delaware River Basin Commission. Tom also represents pipeline companies in construction contract litigation.
Attorney Greg Mountain
Partner Greg Mountain, with The West Firm since 2008, presently manages the Firm’s corporate and individual clients in an extensive array of legal areas, including general corporate matters, such as corporate formation and governance issues, real estate transactions, mergers and acquisitions, land use, development and zoning matters, regulatory activities, eminent domain proceedings, tax certiorari proceedings and complex commercial litigation. He has significant experience advising and representing clients with respect to real estate development and renewable energy projects. Greg previously acted as corporate counsel for a real estate and hydroelectric generation project developer, and represented a public benefit corporation, as the owner of a substantial flood control and flow augmentation reservoir that benefited several downstream beneficiaries. He has participated in New York State Public Service Commission proceedings, and appeared on behalf of clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on project licensing and project license compliance and enforcement matters. He has also appeared before numerous local municipal bodies on various matters, including New York State Environmental Quality Review Act compliance matters, siting issues, zoning matters and the negotiation of payment in lieu of tax agreements. Greg has considerable experience in asset management, structuring and restructuring of material contracts and resolving complex disputes with interrelated issues. He has negotiated asset purchase and sale agreements, power purchase agreements and all types of financing transactions, transactional practices, including the Firm’s integrated oil and gas land, title and transactional practice.
In the oil and gas arena, Greg represents operators in support of all of their oil and gas land operations. He negotiates and closes development agreements, joint venture and joint operating agreements, asset purchase and sale agreements for leases and other development rights. Additionally, he renders drilling, acquisition and division order title opinions, works on lease and right of way acquisitions, due diligence reviews, curative measures, the exercise of force majeure rights, drill site and pipeline permitting activities, the calculation of complex division orders, lease foreclosure proceedings and other land related matters. Greg also handles compulsory integration proceedings, including the integration hearing and all related adjudicatory proceedings, as well as land related litigation. He has appeared before several New York State Courts in the defense of oil and gas leases, and responded to requests for information from the New York State Attorney General. Greg also actively participated on behalf of service providers in the environmental review process being conducted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for high volume hydraulic fracturing.
Greg’s litigation experience includes appearances before the New York State Supreme Court in several Article 78 proceedings associated with government agency interpretation of its governing statutes, Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law Article 15 actions, and several plenary actions related to oil and gas lease issues. Additionally, he has extensive litigation experience with respect to real property disputes, building code violations, and the protection of corporate trade secret and proprietary information. His work also includes litigation before various tribunals, including: the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, in a successful challenge to a local municipality’s condemnation proceedings; the United State Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of New York, in the successful protection of a right of first refusal in a bankruptcy auction; and the New York State Division of Tax Appeals where he obtained an Administrative Law Judge decision overturning a long standing New York State Department of Tax and Finance policy on franchise taxes.
Attorney Michael Peters
Michael Peters, a partner in the firm, concentrates his practice in environmental law and complex litigation. Mr. Peters routinely represents corporations and other business entities, developers, public utilities, and municipalities on a broad range of environmental matters involving civil and administrative enforcement, regulatory compliance, regulatory approvals and permitting, adjudicatory and enforcement proceedings, hazardous waste site remediation, brownfields redevelopment, corporate and real estate transactions, project siting and development, and land use and zoning reviews and approvals.
Mr. Peters has litigated numerous cases involving environmental matters and other complex civil and business matters in federal and state trial and appellate courts. He also has arbitrated and mediated similar matters, and has served as an arbitrator in other cases. Mr. Peters also counsels clients on the means of avoiding or minimizing legal risks and liability under the applicable laws and regulations, and has extensive experience negotiating cost-effective and expeditious non-litigation solutions to issues with regulatory and government agencies, private parties, and municipalities.
Martindale-Hubbell, a leading lawyers’ rating directory, has given Mr. Peters an individual “AV pre-eminent lawyer” rating, its highest rating. The American Lawyer and Martindale-Hubbell has named Mr. Peters a Top-Rated Lawyer in Energy/Environmental. Mr. Peters received the International Law Office (ILO) Client Choice Award in the Environmental category for the United States in 2012 and for New York State in 2013 and 2015.
Mr. Peters received his law degree, magna cum laude, from Albany Law School of Union University, where he was Executive Editor of the Albany Law Review. He received his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Marist College. Previously, Mr. Peters was a partner in the international law firm LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, LLP, practicing in the Environmental and Litigation Practice Groups, and a member of Stockli Slevin & Peters, LLP. In addition to his law practice, Mr. Peters was also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Albany Law School.
Attorney Cindy Monaco
Cindy Monaco has been with The West Firm since 2011. She regularly works for municipal, industrial, commercial and energy clients on a broad range of environmental and land use matters involving siting, permitting, compliance, civil and administrative litigation, and general regulatory issues. Her twenty years’ legal experience includes work for clients involved with large scale project development in a variety of areas, including municipal facilities, solid and hazardous waste management, power generation, mining, and water regulation for recreational facilities.
Cindy also has expertise in the application of a number of general environmental review statutes, including the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act and Coastal Management Program, as well as their federal counterparts. She likewise has experience in the application of a broad array of other state and federal environmental regulatory programs and frequently assists clients with their submissions to regulatory agencies in the permitting, compliance and enforcement contexts.
Finally, Cindy has particular expertise in appellate advocacy. In this capacity, she has worked on a vast array of matters in the environmental arena, including suits involving application of State and federal statutes, as well as novel questions of State law.. She has also worked on a variety of other administrative and civil matters for her clients, including contract interpretation issues, labor/prevailing wage issues, and arbitration issues.
Attorney Kristopher T. Wilson
Kris Wilson was born in Pensacola, Florida. Mr. Wilson graduated from Louisiana State University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in International Trade and Finance. Mr. Wilson received his Juris Doctorate from Louisiana State University, where he was the recipient of the Erick Vincent Anderson Memorial Scholarship. Admitted to the Louisiana bar in 1995, he practices before all Louisiana state and federal courts. A significant portion of Mr. Wilson's practice includes toxic tort litigation, insurance coverage disputes, personal injury defense, construction litigation, collections and commercial litigation.