Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Product Stewardship and Sustainability Practice Helps Companies Navigate Dynamic Environmental Risk and Regulatory Challenges

Time 4 Minute Read
November 16, 2023

Increasing regulatory scrutiny and heightened liability exposure are creating an imperative for companies to develop strategies for comprehensive environmental risk management and mitigation that cover the full lifecycle of their products. To assist clients facing these challenges, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has launched a product stewardship and sustainability practice, providing legal services to raw material suppliers, manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers, and end-users on emerging risks and opportunities across the world.

The firm’s multidisciplinary practice is on the front lines of tracking, analyzing, and engaging on emerging legal trends in the U.S. and abroad. Client activities on which the firm is advising cover the entire product lifecycle, including material sourcing, manufacturing and importation, packaging and labeling, logistics and transportation, and end-of-life product management.

Key areas of legal support include advising on product and packaging compliance across multiple overlapping jurisdictions; developing supply chain due diligence measures (including for conflict minerals and human rights); and helping clients meet circular economy objectives within an increasingly complicated legal framework of waste management and extended producer requirements. In addition to providing comprehensive compliance advice, the firm is working with clients to design compliance management systems, conduct compliance audits, negotiate and draft supplier and customer commercial agreements, review and track advertising and marketing claims, and defend against greenwashing allegations.

When litigation arises, the team defends clients in civil administrative and criminal agency enforcement actions, citizen suit enforcement defense, and other third-party litigation. The firm has also developed a network of global local counsel for issues involving transboundary issues or matters arising in jurisdictions that require specialized experience.

The team is composed of lawyers with a broad range of experience covering all aspects of sustainable supply chain and product stewardship management. Members include:

Rachel Saltzman (Washington, D.C.) Saltzman focuses her practice on environmental law and sustainability. She is respected for her experience with ESG strategy development, environmental and product compliance counseling, and environmental enforcement defense and corporate remediation. Saltzman offers over a decade of experience in private practice, government service, and as in-house counsel at a top-20 Fortune Global 500 company. During her time in-house, she provided both legal support and executive leadership across a full range of business strategy and operations, leading environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy development and environmental, health, and safety compliance (EHS) efforts.

Sam Brown (San Francisco) As a former US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) attorney, Brown utilizes his agency, regulatory, enforcement, and practical experience to help his clients navigate environmental, energy, natural resource, sustainability, and climate-related concerns associated with US- and international-based facilities and operations. Brown’s practice focuses on three core areas – navigating federal and state environmental laws, implementing sustainability and climate-related decarbonization strategies, and minimizing legal and reputational risks associated with international project development and operations. For international matters, Sam works to ensure facility and corporate consistency with nation-based laws, international legal frameworks, and industry-specific standards. He assists with development and compliance with facility-specific Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA) and with advising on consistency with Equator Principles, World Bank established International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards, and other international environmental, health, safety, and social (EHSS) standards.

Alexandra Cunningham (Richmond, Va.) Cunningham is a nationally recognized toxic tort and product liability lawyer,  She is co-head of the firm’s litigation team and formerly led the products liability and mass tort litigation practice group. She represents major corporate clients in all aspects of product liability, mass tort and toxic tort and environmental litigation, including successfully defending catastrophic injury and death claims; asbestos, benzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen sulfide, solvent and silica-related premises and product liability claims; large-scale environmental toxin and exposure claims, involving PFAS, PAHs, fluorides, coal combustion residuals and hexavalent chromium; and claims of bacterial contamination in food and beverage products.

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