Nossaman LLP has expanded its Environment and Land Use Practice Group with the addition of Michael Durkee as a partner in the Firm’s San Francisco office. He joins from McKenna Long & Aldridge.

Mr. Durkee practices land use, elections, and local government law in both administrative and judicial proceedings. He represents developers, builders, property owners, cities, counties, special districts, and interest groups in all aspects of California local government, elections, and land use entitlement, review, approval processes and litigation. He has transactional and litigation expertise in the laws and processes regarding the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), local governance, general plans, specific plans, planning, zoning and development, vested rights (common law, development agreements, vesting maps), exactions (fees/dedications), the Subdivision Map Act, Williamson Act, and local elections (initiative, referendum, recall).

“Mike’s extensive experience, coupled with the deep connections he has forged in California throughout his career will greatly benefit our clients,” said Paul Weiland, chair of the Firm’s Environment and Land Use Practice. “Furthermore, his addition strengthens an already robust practice and adds to our momentum in the national market.” In May, a group of six attorneys, led by partners Alan M. Glen and Steven P. Quarles, joined the Firm’s Environment and Land Use Practice Group in its Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C. offices.

Nossaman’s Environment and Land Use Practice Group has a national reputation for assisting clients in achieving their goals by collaborating to develop and carry out strategies at the intersection of law, policy, engineering and science. The Practice Group has been perennially ranked by Chambers USA as a leading California law firm in the practice space, and offers strategic advice to clients on environmental, energy, and natural resource issues before local, state and federal adjudicatory and legislative bodies.

“Nossaman’s stellar reputation in the marketplace, its national Environment and Land Use Practice, and its deep roots in and commitment to California made it very attractive to me,” said Mr. Durkee. “I look forward to working with the Firm’s outstanding group of attorneys to add value for my clients.”

Mr. Durkee has been instrumental in the creation, coordination, and implementation of overall entitlement strategy (including defense tactics) for some of California’s most controversial development projects, including the San Jose Giants Ballpark Proposal, the Buck Center for Aging and Research, Black Point, Buck Mountain Ranch, and the North Livermore Initiative. He is widely recognized for his expertise in effective negotiation and resolution. He has extensive expertise regarding “value-enhancing” entitlements and is considered one of the state’s top creative land-use minds. Mr. Durkee regularly handles the coordination with city/county staff regarding project planning, the negotiation and drafting of all agency documents for legal compliance and tactical advantage, the coordination of all environmental, planning, and engineering consultants and their reports, and the transition into litigation when necessary. He holds a J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (with distinction, moot court honors) and a B.S. from the University of California, Davis.


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