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Jeffrey
Gracer

Principal

Jeffrey
Gracer

Principal

Jeff fashions solutions to environmental problems by harmonizing business imperatives with legal and regulatory mandates, funding requirements, public policy considerations, and community and stakeholder interests.  In addition to his domestic practice, he regularly represents companies based outside of the United States, helping non-US clients understand and navigate the nuances and complexities of the US legal system.  Jeff’s clients report that he “communicates well and listens to the client,” that he is “a strong strategic thinker and planner,” and that he “has great insights” and “comes up with innovative solutions.”

Jeff approaches complex environmental problems by stepping back from the law and thinking first about the client’s business objectives.  He then designs strategies that meld legal, technical, strategic, financial, and regulatory considerations, working with environmental consultants and other professionals to deliver integrated solutions.  His experience includes hazardous substance and toxic tort litigation; environmental permitting and approvals; resolution of federal, state and local regulatory enforcement matters; environmental impact assessments; historic preservation reviews; contaminated site remediation and brownfield redevelopment; and environmental insurance coverage.  Increasingly, his practice involves legal and other responses to climate change, including navigating the requirements of state and municipal laws mandating or incentivizing efforts to decarbonize business operations.

Jeff’s clients include public companies, family businesses, governmental and non-profit development agencies, real estate owners and developers, financial institutions, and pension and private equity funds, among others.  He also maintains an active pro bono practice working on behalf of environmental non-profits.

Jeff is a former Chair of the Environmental Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association.  He founded the Environmental Program at the Vance Center for International Justice at the City Bar, which provides pro bono assistance to environmental organizations around the world.  He also co-founded and is President and Chair of the New York City Climate Action Alliance, a non-profit that engages the private sector in efforts to mitigate climate change.

Leadership in Action Award, New York City Environmental Law Leadership Institute
Environmental Thought Leader, Who’s Who Legal
Chambers and Partners
Best Lawyers in America
New York Super Lawyers

Solid Waste Company Acquisitions and Divestitures

Location: Across the United States | Date: 2002 - Present

Represented private equity fund in connection with its purchase and sale of solid waste management companies.

Response to Spill Incident

Location: North Carolina | Date: 2016

Represented public company in connection with response to spill incident, including root cause analysis and resolution of regulatory and insurance issues.

Carbon Credits for Forest Preservation

Location: Peru | Date: 2016

Represented non-profit organization in connection with carbon credits for forest preservation.

Site Remediation, Cost Recovery, and Sale for Redevelopment

Location: New York, NY | Date: 2014

Represented real estate company in connection with its remediation and sale for redevelopment of a NYC site previously utilized as a manufactured gas plant and in the company’s associated cost recovery lawsuit.

Environmental Insurance Coverage

Location: New Jersey | Date: 2012

Represented public company in connection with obtaining environmental insurance coverage for Superfund defense and indemnity costs.

Community Facility and Supermarket Development

Location: New York, NY | Date: 2007

Represented public development entity in connection with its purchase of federal property and lease of former naval officer’s quarters for redevelopment as a community facility and supermarket.

Ski Property Development

Location: Utah | Date: 2005

Represented real estate company in its purchase and redevelopment of former mining property, including its lease of property for construction of a ski-in, ski-out luxury hotel.

Waterfront Development Project

Location: New York, NY | Date: 2003

Represented US public company in sale of surplus waterfront property previously used for industrial purposes and its subsequent successful remediation and redevelopment, including negotiation of environmental insurance coverage for site cleanup.

“Landlord-Tenant Collaboration: Key Strategies for Whole Building Energy and Emissions Performance”

For: Climate Week NYC (with the Institute for Market Transformation and the Building Energy Exchange)

September 2019

“SPR Attorneys Explain the NYC Buildings Emissions Law”

For: SPR Webinar (with Alexis Saba)

August 2019

“Environmental Citizen Suits in the US”

For: Tianjin University Law School, China

2019

“Challenging BigLaw in NYC to Help Save the Planet”

For: New York Law Journal

2018

“A Call to Action for New Yorkers”

For: New York Law Journal

2017

“The Paris Agreement on Climate Change”

For: Legal Talk Network Podcast

2017

“Companies Are Embracing Green Policies: Why Won’t Washington?”

For: The Hill

2017

“Environmental Aspects of Business Transactions”

For: American Law Institute

2016

“Strategic Risk Update: Climate & Sustainability”

For: Conference Board

2016

“Structuring Environmental Risk Transfers”

For: Stafford Webinar

2015

“Environmental Considerations in Business Transactions”

For: American Bar Association

2015

“US Climate Change Developments”

For: University of Toronto Law School

2014

“How US Developers Address Site Contamination”

For: Lobo de Rizzo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

2014

“Best Practices for Environmental Risk Management in the US”

For: Brazilian Bankers Association, Sao Paulo, Brazil

2013

“Climate Change: Strategic Implications for Business”

For: Conference Board

2013

“SEC Issues Interpretive Guidance on Climate Disclosure”

For: International Law Office

2010

“Climate Change Litigation”

For: Environmental Law Institute

2010

“Managing Environmental Risks in US Bankruptcies”

For: Environmental Claims Journal

2009

“Can Carbon Trading Save The World (or Does the World Need to be Saved from Carbon Trading)”

For: American Bar Association

2009

“Climate Change Litigation”

For: NYC Bar Association

2009

“Cross-Border Environmental Handbook”

For: Practical Law Company

2009

“Disclosure of Climate Change Risk to Investors”

For: Practical Law Company

2009

“NYC Climate Protection Act Sets GHG Reduction Targets”

For: International Law Office

2008

“Vapor Intrusion Meets Reality”

For: Air & Waste Management Association

2008

“Cross-Border Litigation Gains Traction”

For: Environmental Claims Journal

2008

“Lender Beware: Navigating the Superfund Safe Harbor in Workouts and Foreclosures”

For: New York Law Journal

2008

“Disclosure of Climate Change Risk to Investors”

For: Bloomberg Law Reports

2008

“Superfund Cost Recovery Actions”

For: New York State Bar Association

2007

“Changes in GAAP Put Spotlight on Environmental Disclosure”

For: Metropolitan Corporate Counsel

2006

“Environmental Diligence Under Pressure”

For: Power Assets Acquisition & Divestiture Summit

2006

“Disclosing Contingent Environmental Liabilities”

For: Metropolitan Corporate Counsel

2004

“Implementing NY’s New Brownfield Law”

For: New York Law Journal

2000

Mayor de Blasio Announces Suite of Historic Buildings Emissions Reduction Laws

To commemorate Earth Day on April 22, 2019, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced  a groundbreaking suite of laws enacted by the New York City Council to require and facilitate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from a significant number of buildings ...

Columbia University School of Law, J.D., Charles Evans Hughes Fellow

Columbia College, B.A., 1981, (Comparative Literature)

New York, 1987

New Jersey, 1987

Hon. Myron H. Thompson, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, M.D. Alabama

President and Chair, New York City Climate Action Alliance

US Board Member, The Climate Group

Leadership Council Member, Environmental Law Institute

Former Chair, Environmental Law Committee, New York City Bar Association

Founder, Environmental Program, Vance Center for International Justice, New York City Bar Association