FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Laura L. Leonard

Laura L. Leonard

Sidley Austin LLP

Chicago, IL, USA

LAURA L. LEONARD focuses her practice on transfers and allocations of environmental risk in a variety of settings. On the transactions side, Ms. Leonard has extensive experience identifying and managing sources of environmental risk. This includes coordinating diligence and advising on contractual allocations in a wide variety of real estate, merger and acquisition, project finance and alternative energy transactions on behalf of buyers, sellers and lenders, providing structuring advice to minimize successor environmental liability, monitoring financial markets disclosures, assisting with respect to SEC reporting of environmental matters, and counseling with respect to brownfields redevelopment and environmental insurance.  She has also advised both creditors and debtors on environmental aspects of bankruptcy, including the discharge of environmental claims, and the sale or purchase of  properties and assets out of bankruptcy.

Ms. Leonard also handles a variety of regulatory counseling and enforcement matters, including spill reporting and emergency response (particularly with respect to the petroleum and pipeline industries) and has worked on several voluntary disclosure/audit policy penalty mitigation matters. She is also well-versed in regulations and industry practices relating to managing asbestos, lead-based paint and mold.

Ms. Leonard has lectured frequently on the environmental aspects of business transactions and SEC environmental reporting and is on the Advisory Board of Bloomberg BNA’s Environmental Due Diligence Guide. She is included in the International Who’s Who of Business and Environmental Lawyers and in the Environment category of the Legal 500 publication. Additionally, Ms. Leonard is included in The Best Lawyers in America 2013-2014 in Environmental Law.


  • Environmental - Transactions
  • M&A
  • Project Finance and Infrastructure
  • Commercial Lending


  • Environmental Aspects of Transactions and SEC Disclosure
  • Alternative Energy
  • Compliance Management
  • Energy Projects
  • Environmental Experience in the Energy Sector


  • U.S. District Court, N.D. of Illinois - General, 1983
  • Illinois, 1983


  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law (J.D., 1983)
  • University of California - Davis (A.B., 1978)

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