Keith B. Walker

Associate

Overview

Landowners with interests in redeveloping brownfield properties seek Keith's direction for handling the complex remediation work necessary for obtaining case closure from governmental agencies. This often involves environmental due diligence during real estate acquisition, financing, and development phases, and quite frequently federal and state environmental response cost recovery litigation.

Brownfield Redevelopment/Regulatory Compliance Advisor

Guiding clients through the regulatory closure process, Keith has extensive experience coordinating the investigation and remediation necessary for obtaining "No Further Action" status so that former commercial and industrial properties can be redeveloped. In addition, Keith counsels property owners, developers, and lenders on the most effective ways of addressing human health risks in order to avoid the risk of future toxic tort liability. He has substantial experience advising clients on most effective methods for managing environmental risk, for example through negotiation of effective indemnities and the purchase of environmental insurance policies.

Environmental Litigation Counsel

Keith has successfully litigated landmark federal cost recovery suits, including the first case to uphold a plaintiff’s ability to assert the bona fide prospective purchaser defense to counterclaims asserted under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (3000 E. Imperial, LLC v. Robertshaw Controls Co.). He also has valuable experience using pretrial litigation to compel otherwise recalcitrant responsible parties to provide reimbursement for environmental assessment and remediation costs.

Environmental Due Diligence For Real Estate Developers

Keith performs complex environmental due diligence for site acquisitions involving single property acquisitions, purchases of numerous contiguous properties as part of a regional development plan, and acquisition of hundreds of properties in numerous states across the country, including industrial and residential portfolios where multiple extensive cleanups will be ongoing for years. 

Negotiator Of Environmental Insurance Policies

Keith negotiates environmental insurance policies on behalf of owners and developers of individual properties and for larger portfolios. He is also successful at resolving claims for coverage for numerous sites, securing reimbursement for remediation costs amounting to millions of dollars. 

Representative
Matters

Represented an institutional investor in acquisition of 75-property portfolio, including multiple industrial properties at sites across the United States, for a purchase price exceeding $1 billion.

Represented an institutional investor in acquisition of majority stake in LCOR Inc., from Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., including 14 rental-apartment properties with nearly 5,000 apartments for a purchase price exceeding $820 million.

Represented various plaintiffs – including private party developers, municipalities, and redevelopment agencies – in numerous successful federal cost recovery actions asserting causes of action under CERCLA (and its state counterpart, the Hazardous Substances Account Act) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and tort claims for negligence, nuisance, trespass, and negligent interference with prospective economic advantage, including 3000 E. Imperial, LLC v. Robertshaw Controls Co.

Served as regulatory compliance counsel for commercial landlords with properties across the United States, with an emphasis on obtaining regulatory closure for former and active dry cleaner and gasoline service station sites.

Led a multi-party cleanup of land heavily contaminated by an industrial accident, including negotiation of financial responsibility among responsible parties, engaging environmental consulting firms in an arduous remediation process, and obtaining "No Further Action" determination from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Represented an institutional investor in acquisition of multiple sites in South Gate, California, with site-wide redevelopment and ongoing remediation of extensive petroleum hydrocarbon contamination caused by underground storage tanks.

Represented a commercial lender in environmental due diligence associated with billions of dollars of loans made on hundreds of separate properties across the United States.

Represented commercial landlords with multiple ongoing environmental cleanups at multiple sites, obtaining "No Further Action" status for numerous sites either through completion of environmental remediation or through ongoing management of risks posed by residual contamination.

Represented commercial landlords in obtaining portfolio environmental insurance policy covering hundreds of properties and numerous covered ownership entities.

Publications &
Speaking Engagements

Publications

New Law Extends Unprecedented Immunities From Cleanup Liability While Expanding The Class Of Eligible Parties, CCN Client Alert, 2009

Supreme Court Confirms Right Of Potentially Responsible Parties To Recover Cleanup Costs Under CERCLA, CCN Client Alert, 2008

Just When You Thought The Site Was Clean: A New Standard For Soil Vapor Assessment, CCN Perspectives, Summer 2008

Speaking Engagements

NACAB Commercial Real Estate Lending Opportunities Conference, 6/26/2013

Environmental Issues of Land Ownership and Management, 4/9/2009

Tax and Legal Considerations of Real Estate Development, UCI Extension, 2008

 

Awards &
Affiliations

Awards & Recognition

  • Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2012

Professional Affiliations

  • International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
  • NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association

Spotlight

Five Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP Attorneys From The Los Angeles Office Were Listed As Southern California Rising Stars 2013

Super Lawyers named five Cox, Castle & Nicholson attorneys as Rising Stars in its 2013 publication. More»

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 2004
  • B.S., California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 1996, President's Council Scholar
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