FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Christine  Leas

Christine Leas

Sive Paget & Riesel P.C.

New York, NY, USA


Christine M. Leas, Principal

Christine is admitted to practice in New York, California and Connecticut. She specializes in environmental regulatory compliance and transactional matters, counseling clients on complex brownfield and contaminated site redevelopments and environmental aspects of project finance, mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. She has over fifteen years of experience negotiating manuscript environmental insurance policies and resolving coverage disputes.

During the past several years, Christine has worked on many aspects of brownfield redevelopment of properties under the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program, Superfund sites (CERCLA and its state counterpart) and petroleum spill sites subject to the New York Navigation Law, including wetland permitting and other waterfront development approvals. She frequently counsels clients on compliance with New York City E zoning designation requirements with respect to hazardous materials, air quality and noise attenuation. In addition to project development (due diligence investigation, structuring and negotiating the property sale transaction, environmental consulting and remediation service procurement and oversight, environmental insurance and regulatory compliance), Christine has worked with corporate and financial institution clients on environmental aspects of mergers and acquisitions involving many domestic and international properties.

Representation
• Due diligence and environmental acquisition counsel on dozens of individual projects and portfolio acquisitions within New York region and nationally for clients including: private equity investors, institutional lenders, turn-key developer of distribution facilities, shopping center and self-storage facility operators
• Environmental counsel for many mixed use residential and commercial projects on brownfield locations
• Environmental counsel to family-owned businesses with legacy liability obligations
• Led several insurance claim recoveries under environmental policies and for legacy environmental liabilities under general liability policies dating back to the early 1900s
• Permitting counsel and enforcement defense against asserted violations of coastal zone and freshwater wetland regulations

Clients
• Avalon Bay Communities
• Empire State Development Corporation, including its subsidiary, Queens West Development Corporation
• Extell Development Company
• Georgetown Companies
• Greenpoint Landing Associates
• Spitzer Enterprises
• The SunCap Group
• Several school site projects: Christine has represented the Lycée Français de New York, Roosevelt Union Free School District on Long Island and The Robin Hood Foundation on several charter school projects in New York City

Admissions
• Admitted to practice in New York, California and Connecticut

Publications
• Lender Beware: Navigating the Superfund Safe Harbor During Workouts and Foreclosures, New York Law Journal (2008), co-authored with Jeffrey Gracer

Presentations
• NYSBA Environmental Law – Redeveloping Contaminated Properties, November 2015 Panelist
• NYSBA Environmental Law Committee, January 2015 Panelist - Waterfront Development
• New Partners For Community Revitalization, Fall 2013 Brownfield Roundtable Panelist
• NYC Department of Transportation: Management of Urban Soils at Construction Sites
• Continuing legal education (Law Seminars):  Brownfields Incentives
• Continuing education course for professional engineers and surveyors (Half Moon):  New York and Federal Site Contamination Law

Education
• University of California, Hastings College of Law (J.D. 1991)
• University of Wisconsin - Madison (Environmental Studies Certificate, 1984)
• University of Wisconsin - Madison (B.A. 1983, with honors)

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