George S. Van Nest
Superfund sites. Brownfields. Petroleum spills. Toxic tort actions. These are some of the most difficult issues in environmental law today. As chair of the firm’s Environmental and Municipal Practice Groups, and a partner in the Litigation Group, George has handled all of these—and more.
George has handled Superfund and petroleum spill site matters throughout the northeast, civil and criminal environmental enforcement matters, defense of toxic tort actions claiming personal injury and property damage, cost recovery litigation, municipal and private Brownfields redevelopment, SEQR environmental impact review, landfill permitting, wetlands permitting, land use and rezoning, and litigation of related matters. George’s construction practice includes the representation of owners, contractors and subcontractors in litigation and arbitration of Lien Law claims, delay and extra work claims, and termination and breach of contract claims. In addition, his municipal practice includes serving as municipal counsel and special counsel for environmental and land use matters.
George's work at the EPA, Office of Regional Counsel in Chicago, focused on Superfund and hazardous waste remediation and cost recovery matters.
PROFESSIONAL & COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
George is an active member of the Buffalo community. He is a member of the Air and Waste Management Association and Buffalo Niagara Partnership, the Environmental Law Section and Petroleum Task Force of the New York State Bar Association, and a member and past chair of the Environmental Law Committee of the Erie County Bar Association. George also serves as a youth hockey coach to the Amherst Knights and the Buffalo Regals Hockey Club. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Upstate New York Chapter of NAIOP, and spent ten years on the Clarence Planning board in addition to formerly serving as an adjunct professor, environmental law, at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
George was named to the 2015-2022 editions of Best Lawyers in America® for Environmental Law. "Best Lawyers" also named George "Lawyer of the Year" in their 2021 edition for his work in Environmental Law in the Buffalo, NY area. The "Lawyer of the Year" recognition is awarded to the lawyer with the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographic region. Only one lawyer is recognized as the "Lawyer of the Year" for each area of practice and location. He was recently selected a 2021 Upstate New York Super Lawyer. The group represents the top 5% of attorneys in Upstate New York who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.