Attorney Joseph P. Byrne, a California water leader who chairs the California Water Commission, recently joined Best Best & Krieger LLP where his practice is focusing on public law and business law.

Byrne, who is of counsel at BB&K’s Los Angeles office, has extensive experience advising public agency and private-sector clients on environmental, water-related and land use issues; business transactions, and implementing legislative and regulatory strategies.

“Joe’s experience throughout California on water issues is very impressive and adds a great perspective to the services we offer our clients,” said Eric Garner, the firm’s managing partner and a leading water rights attorney.

BB&K is one of the state’s premier public law firms, with nine offices across California and in Washington, D.C. In addition, it boasts a significant private-sector practice.

“Joining BB&K gives me the opportunity to work with a firm that is not only fully engaged in a wide variety of land use, environmental and public law issues but also has a sophisticated private-sector practice,” Byrne said.

Byrne, 42, has played a key role in California water policy issues for several years, including serving as the chief policy consultant on water/environment and public safety to then-Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg from 2000 to 2002.

In 2010, Byrne was appointed to the California Water Commission by then-Gov. Schwarzenegger and has since become its chair. The nine-member panel meets monthly in Sacramento and has responsibilities related to the California Department of Water Resources.

The commission is also responsible for advocating for federal funds for water projects within the state and reporting to the Legislature on the condition of the State Water Project, which transports water to more than 25 million people and 750,000 acres of farmland.

At BB&K, Byrne is part of four practice groups: environmental law and natural resources, special districts, business services and municipal law.

Prior to joining BB&K, Byrne worked at Burke, Williams & Sorensen for a number of years in its public law practice. After he worked at the state Legislature, Byrne joined Hertzberg at the law firm of Mayer Brown where he advised clients on transactional matters and gave strategic advice on state legislative and regulatory matters. In addition, he was the executive director of the Los Angeles County Homeland Security Advisory Council, a coalition of businesses, public agencies and academics who work to improve homeland security and the emergency response capabilities of the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area through public-private partnerships.

Byrne received his law degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1997.


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