Preston W. Brooks

Partner

Overview

Chair of the firm's Environmental Team, Preston assists property owners, developers, pension funds, lenders, and municipalities to craft environmental risk management strategies in the context of real estate acquisition, financing, and development. He focuses on identifying legal risk associated with contaminated properties, and in finding solutions to address those risks.

Brownfields Redevelopment

Preston also represents purchasers of contaminated properties, known as brownfields, negotiating with government agencies to help minimize his clients' environmental liabilities using tools such as the California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act, the Polanco Act, and the Brownfields Revitalization and Environmental Restoration Act. One of Preston's foremost areas of expertise is in assisting clients to obtain and tailor environmental insurance policies to address environmental issues associated with real property. In that capacity, he has helped clients procure over 500 environmental insurance policies for brownfields sites. 

Environmental Litigator

In addition, Preston has litigated a variety of environmental matters including lawsuits brought to recover cost of environmental cleanups, mold exposure claims, Proposition 65 actions, and insurance recovery actions. Preston was co-lead counsel in the seminal 3000 E. Imperial, LLC v. Robertshaw Controls Company, et al., which established for the first time that a property owner could acquire contaminated property, even with knowledge and at a discount, and recover 100% of the cost of remediation from responsible parties.

Associations

Preston is a member of the National Brownfields Association, the California Solar Energy Industries Association, and the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties and has written numerous articles on environmental issues. His published articles have dealt with brownfields redevelopment, environmental insurance, green building, mold, electromagnetic fields, OSHA asbestos standards, Proposition 65, and the federal Clean Air Act's transportation control measures.

Representative
Matters

Represented a large municipality in cleanup and development strategies for infamous Whittaker-Bermite site, which had resulted in the closure of drinking water supply wells and necessitated a cleanup in excess of $250 million.

Negotiated on behalf of the owners of a large shopping center in Lynwood the requirements for obtaining regulatory closure and compelled prior industrial manufacturers to undertake the required cleanup of extensive soil and groundwater contamination at a cost exceeding $12 million.

Publications &
Speaking Engagements

Recent Publications

Recent Speaking Engagements

Life Beyond Cost Cap:  Innovative Cleanup And Insurance Strategies, EPA Brownfields Conference, 5/17/2013

Ten Things You Don’t Know About Renewable Energy, Harvard University, 5/28/2011

Re-Powering America’s Land: Revitalizing Communities With Renewable Energy, An EPA Forum On Renewable Energy, 1/12/2010

Financial, Legal And Technical Tools For Brownfield Redevelopment, 3rd International Conference On DNAPL: Characterization And Remediation, 2008

Waiting To Inhale: Legal Developments And Risk Management In The Vapor Intrusion Context, Vapor Intrusion University, 11/6/2008

Negotiating Environmental Issues In Real Estate Contracts, Los Angeles County Bar Association, 10/8/2008

Awards &
Affiliations

Awards & Recognition

  • Best Lawyers, Environmental Law, 2016-2017
  • Southern California Super Lawyers, 2004-2006; 2008-2016

Professional Affiliations

  • United Friends of the Children, Board of Directors
  • California League of Conservation Voters, Green Advisory Council
  • GreenWish, Board of Directors
  • National Brownfields Association
  • National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP)
  • California Building Industry Association (CBIA)
  • Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Alicemarie H. Stotler of the United States District Court, Central District of California

Spotlight

Twenty-One Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Have Been Selected for the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

Cox, Castle & Nicholson is proud to announce that 22 of the firm’s lawyers have been selected for inclusion in the 2017... More»

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California

Education

  • J.D., Yale Law School, 1989
  • B.A., Harvard College, 1986