Our Difference

Our Natural Resources attorneys possess a deep understanding of the dynamic and heavily regulated oil, gas, and mining industries, and exceptional experience in advising clients in these industries. We regularly guide companies in these sectors, as well as property owners, lessors, developers, investors, and facilities operators, through the complex array of federal, state, and local environmental rules impacting their projects and businesses. Team members advise on everything from mining and oil and gas exploration through production, processing, and transportation.

Our firm can assist with regulatory matters, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, real estate acquisition and development, all types of business contracts, labor and employment issues, dispute resolution, public advocacy, and a host of other matters.

From day-to-day operations, compliance, and permitting to project development and corporate deal-making, we devise creative solutions to environmental challenges and ensure our clients are fully compliant with all legal and regulatory requirements. Our lawyers are proficient in representing clients in litigation, regulatory investigations, hearings, and enforcement proceedings. We have successfully advocated for clients in courts throughout the country, before the Environmental Protection Agency, state water resources control, water quality control boards, public utilities commissions, city planning departments, land use and zoning authorities, and other federal, state, and local regulatory bodies and agencies.

Sherman & Howard water law attorney James Eklund is considered an authority on water management in the American West. He has made several media appearances discussing the water rights of the Colorado River, water conservation, and water scarcity. To watch or listen as James Eklund shares his insights on water in the West, click here.

Our Approach

At Sherman & Howard, we believe in being proactive. We regularly meet with clients to assess and minimize risk, advise on best practices, and address concerns before they become costly problems. Our multidisciplinary team has the necessary know-how to quickly and effectively address the many and varied issues our clients face, and we staff matters based on each client’s needs. As a full-service law firm, we are able to provide comprehensive, cost-effective, and coordinated counsel.

Our lawyers are active and respected members of our clients’ industry associations throughout the Rocky Mountain West. We stay current on the issues and difficulties our clients face and advocate for them before regulators and the public at large.


We help clients with:



  • Business formation, organization, and structuring
  • Corporate finance
  • Private placement of company securities
  • Mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, joint ventures, and strategic alliances
  • Intellectual property protection
  • Equipment purchases and leasing
  • Labor and employment issues
  • Environmental insurance
  • Day-to-day business operations issues
  • Environmental issues in the context of corporate transactions
  • Oil and gas exploration, production, processing, and transportation issues and agreements
  • Midstream operations and facilities
  • Oilfield services
  • Mining and mine safety
  • Service and vendor contracts



  • Real estate and facilities acquisitions, development, leasing, and sales
  • Project siting, land use, and zoning permits and approvals
  • Land use, zoning, entitlements, and construction
  • Due diligence, environmental site assessments, and environmental impact reviews
  • Brownfields redevelopment
  • Environmental issues in the context of real estate, M&A, divestiture, and other corporate transactions
  • Remediation
  • Solid waste, landfills, and hazardous waste issues



Compliance with the many and varied applicable federal, state, and local regulations, including:

  • Clean Air Act, air rights, and air quality issues
  • Clean Water Act, water rights, and water quality issues
  • Toxic substance and pesticide regulation
  • CERCLA, RCRA, and state regulations
  • OSHA and MSHA workplace health and safety issues and compliance
  • Environmental audits, investigations, and enforcement actions
  • Advocacy before regulatory bodies
  • Due diligence and environmental impact reviews
  • Permits, approvals, and licenses
  • Spill response and reporting
  • Regulatory rulemaking proceedings and enforcement actions



  • Civil actions under federal and state environmental laws, including cost recovery litigation under Superfund/CERCLA, RCRA, and state equivalents
  • Bankruptcies and restructurings
  • Contract, accident, construction, and other litigation