Kevin Haroff is the managing partner of the firm’s San Francisco office. He has represented businesses, individuals, and governmental entities in civil litigation and regulatory matters for more than 25 years. Clients and colleagues have recognized Kevin as a “world-class … professional,” one of the “best in the business,” and “a talented and trusted … lawyer with the strategic vision to advocate for his clients while understanding their business realities.” Chambers USA has described him as a "highly regarded litigator," with "great expertise and experience in more complex environmental matters."
Kevin has spoken at numerous business, law, and policy conferences in California, throughout the United States and abroad. His speaking engagements have included presentations at Cornell University, Harvard Business School, and the Euromoney Conference on Trade and Finance in Shanghai, China. Through these engagements and various writing projects, Kevin has “repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to furthering public dialogue about critical legal issues.”
Complex Civil and Appellate Litigation
Kevin Haroff has represented clients in federal and state court litigation matters, at both trial and appellate levels, throughout the United States. A significant part of Kevin’s litigation experience involves representing clients in cases involving government entities, including “bet-the-company” judicial enforcement actions brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. Kevin was one of the lead counsel involved in litigation over the provisions of federal and state contracts to deliver water from the San Francisco Bay - Sacramento and San Joaquin River Delta (Bay Delta) and the California Central Valley Project. Recently, Kevin obtained a decision in a case of first impression from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, affirming the dismissal (with prejudice) of an environmental and insurance subrogation claim against a major U.S. manufacturing client - appellant's petition for certiorari review of the decision was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Environmental Law and Land Use
Kevin has represented clients on a variety of environmental matters under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the federal Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and various other federal and state environmental laws. He also has handled regulatory disputes involving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and various EPA Regional Offices (Regions 5, 8, 9 and 10), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the Bay Area and South Coast Air Quality Management Districts, the California State Water Resources Control Board and various regional water quality control boards, and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.
Kevin is a recognized expert on land use issues under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and related state laws, and he has been involved with some of the largest residential and commercial development projects in the state over the last ten years. He has represented both developers and project opponents in legal challenges to environmental review documents supporting specific project approvals and general planning determinations. He also represented a civilian airport authority in negotiations with the U.S. Department of Defense over the public benefit transfer of a former Naval air station on Guam. In addition to his law practice, Kevin has served on a local planning commission and city council addressing a range of complex project and planning issues.
Oil, Gas and Alternative Energy
Early in his career, Kevin served as in-house counsel with a one of the world’s largest multi-national oil companies, where he supported the company’s petroleum exploration and production businesses. In addition, Kevin has been involved in a number of alternative energy projects over the years, advising on permitting issues for cogeneration and biomass power generation; defending regulatory claims against owners and operators of geothermal and biomass power generation facilities; and challenging the permitting of a biomass power generation facility. Kevin currently serves on the board of directors of a local not-for-profit electricity provider focused on delivering power from a range of renewable energy sources.
Toxic Tort and Proposition 65
Kevin has defended clients in complex toxic tort cases and a variety of matters brought under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65). Kevin obtained the complete dismissal of a multi-plaintiff personal injury and fear-of-cancer case involving alleged exposure to dioxin and other chemicals – the dismissal was upheld in all respects by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In Proposition 65 cases, Kevin has defended clients against claims of alleged unlawful exposures to lead, cadmium, mercury and other chemical substances (including second-hand smoke) in connection with a variety of different consumer products (including food) and exposure scenarios. Most recently, Kevin help negotiate industry-wide settlement of Proposition 65 claims alleging exposure to chemical flame retardants in foam-cushioned furniture products.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Kevin has been involved in the mediation and arbitration of a number of different types of disputes. Kevin helped prosecute one of the first arbitration claims submitted to the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in the 1980’s. He also was involved in one of the first arbitration proceedings convened to allocate environmental response liability under California’s hazardous waste control laws. He has had substantial roles in private party mediations over environmental liability under CERCLA, groundwater contamination issues, disputes over costs and pricing to dispose of municipal solid waste, arrangements for the provision of municipal water supplies, and insurance disputes. Kevin has been praised by clients for his ability to “keep adversaries at the table working toward a solution.”