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 Prospective Purchaser Agreements. 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 costs of environmental cleanups, 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.


Preston is a member of the Urban Land Institution, and 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.


Represented a large municipality in cleanup and development strategies for the infamous Whittaker-Bermite site, which had resulted in the closure of drinking water supply wells and necessitated a cleanup in excess of $300 million.

Obtained regulatory closure for the owners of a regional shopping center in Lynwood and compelled prior industrial manufacturers to undertake the cleanup of extensive soil and groundwater contamination at a cost exceeding $12 million.



Speaking Engagements


Awards & Affiliations

Honors & Recognitions

GlobeSt.com, “Industrial Influencers", 2023

Named a "Commercial Real Estate Visionary" by LA Times B2B, 2023

Best Lawyers, Environmental Law, 2016-2022, 2024

Southern California Super Lawyers, 2004-2006; 2008-2024

Professional Affiliations

California Department of Toxic Substances Control, Land Revitalization and Redevelopment Collaborative, Member

United Friends of the Children, Co-Chair, Board of Directors

California League of Conservation Voters, Green Advisory Council

GreenWish, Board of Directors

Urban Land Institute, Member

National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP)

Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Alicemarie H. Stotler of the United States District Court, Central District of California

Bar & Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California


J.D., Yale Law School, 1989

B.A., Harvard College, 1986

at Cox Castle

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