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.