January 25, 2017… Latham & Watkins LLP1 is pleased to announce that five accomplished lawyers will join the firm in the coming weeks after recently completing public service in key senior positions at three US federal Departments and Agencies.

Bill Voge, Chair and Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins, said: “We’re delighted to welcome a dynamic group of lawyers to the firm who have served the public with distinction in high-ranking positions, each of whom brings abundant experience in critically important energy and environmental matters.”

The lawyers and their most recent titles are:

  • From the US Department of the Interior:

o   Janice Schneider, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, who will rejoin the firm as a partner in the Environment, Land & Resources Department in Washington, D.C. Schneider previously served as Chair of the Department in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and as Global Co-Chair of the firm’s Project Siting & Approvals Practice Group.  Schneider first joined Latham in 2001 and became a partner in 2005. She left the firm in 2014 on her confirmation by the US Senate as Assistant Secretary, where she oversaw four Interior Department agencies – the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement – with a combined budget of $1.5 billion.

o   Tommy BeaudreauChief of Staff, joined Latham as a partner in the firm’s Environment, Land & Resources Department on Jan. 23 in Washington, D.C. As Chief of Staff to Secretary Jewell, Beaudreau oversaw the Department’s policy and operations across its entire 70,000-employee enterprise.  Since joining the Department of the Interior in 2010, Beaudreau also served in other senior leadership positions, including as the first Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (2011-2014) and as Acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management (2013-2014). He was previously in private practice as a partner in an international law firm.

o   Nicole “Nikki” Buffa, Deputy Chief of Staff, who will rejoin the firm as counsel in the Environment, Land & Resources Department. As the Deputy Chief of Staff, she managed a diverse set of missions within the Department of the Interior and served as point person in the Secretary's office on issues ranging from conservation to Indian education.  Buffa was an associate at the firm (2006-2008) prior to joining the White House Council on Environmental Quality at the start of the Obama administration (2009-2011).  She also served as the Deputy Director of Cabinet Affairs at the White House (2011-2013), working closely with senior White House staff and agency leadership to advance the policy priorities at the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Energy, and Transportation. She joined the Department of the Interior in May 2013.

  • From the US Department of Energy:

o   Steve Croley, General Counsel, who will join as a partner in the firm’s Litigation & Trial Department and the Environment, Land & Resources Department in the firm’s Chicago and Washington, D.C. offices. He actively managed the Department of Energy's major litigation, regulatory, and energy policy matters.  Croley previously served in the Office of White House Counsel (2011-2014), as Senior Counsel to the President and then as Deputy White House Counsel, and on the White House Domestic Policy Council (2010-2011). He previously served as a Special Assistant US Attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan (2006-10), where he represented the federal government in affirmative and defensive civil litigation in the district and appellate courts. He has also served as a tenured professor of administrative law and civil procedure at the University of Michigan Law School.

  • From the US Environmental Protection Agency:

o   Joel Beauvais, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Water, who will rejoin the firm as a partner in the Environment, Land & Resources Department in Washington, D.C. Beauvais has held positions in the EPA’s Office of Policy (2013-2015) and Office of Air and Radiation (2012-2013), and as Special Counsel to the Office of the EPA Administrator (2011-2012). He previously worked on Capitol Hill as Counsel to the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce and to the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. He first joined the firm as an associate (2005-2007) after completing a clerkship with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Jim Arnone, Global Chair of the firm’s Environment, Land & Resources Department, said: “Latham’s environmental practice has long been at the top of the market. This outstanding group of seasoned lawyers will further enhance our ability to advise on key policy and market developments. We’re looking forward to putting this exceptional team to work helping our clients comply with complex federal regulations, navigate agency rulemakings, win approvals for energy and infrastructure projects, and deal with environmental enforcement and litigation.”

Mary Rose Alexander, Global Vice Chair of both the firm’s Litigation & Trial and Environment, Land & Resources Departments, added: “Latham has a phenomenal track record in environmental disputes, from complex trials and settlements to strategic and preventative counseling. The skills and experience of these new and returning lawyers will strengthen our entire practice and bolster our team approach to advising clients on such vital matters.”

Michael Egge, Managing Partner of Latham’s Washington, D.C. office, said: “This group is a strategic complement to the broad government agency coverage Latham offers in Washington.  Many of our 300 plus lawyers have previously served in public sector leadership positions and are distinguished by their keen knowledge of the inner workings of government. Our DC team and these new colleagues know the agencies and issues well, and they offer our clients astute insights into policy, regulatory and enforcement activities.”

Schneider stated:  “I’ve seen in both government and in private practice that the best results are achieved when thoughtful people forge effective strategic approaches and solutions together. That’s a hallmark of Latham’s environmental practice. I’m very excited about rejoining the firm and working with clients who share our commitment to excellence.”

Beaudreau commented: “I’m thrilled to return to private practice at a firm that has earned a stellar reputation for its market-leading natural resources and environmental practice. When major regulatory or litigation issues arise for clients -- including in crisis situations – I look forward to strengthen the firm’s existing capabilities by adding my experience developing strategic responses to challenging and multi-faceted issues.  This is one of Latham’s particular strengths, and I am excited to add my experience to the team.”

Buffa said: “Working with the incredible people at the Department of the Interior and at the White House over the last eight years was an honor and a privilege.  I’m excited to return to Latham to rejoin my former colleagues, and particularly pleased to do so with several other wonderful colleagues from the Obama Administration. I look forward to working with them and our clients, putting to use the experiences I've gained to address our clients' important legal and business concerns.”

Croley added: “We’ll continue to see complex legal issues play out in the courts and at government agencies over the nation’s energy and environmental policies and priorities. I’m looking forward to working closely with clients and my new colleagues at Latham to deal effectively with such important and intricate matters.”

Beauvais said: “I’ve focused throughout my career on the most important legal and policy issues facing the country in the areas of energy, climate, air quality and water resources. Leading companies are facing big challenges and opportunities in these areas, building and managing critical infrastructure while working to balance the imperatives of environmental protection and economic growth. I’m thrilled to join a team at Latham that understands these challenges well and works collaboratively to advise clients on innovative solutions.”