Two veteran water law attorneys joined Best Best & Krieger LLP, bringing with them several decades of legal experience in water planning and supply, renewable energy, desalination and construction projects for major water districts across Southern California.

Russell G. Behrens, who became a partner at BB&K, serves as general counsel to three regional wholesale water import agencies – Castaic Lake Water Agency in Santa Clarita, the Municipal Water District of Orange County in Fountain Valley and the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency in Beaumont.

“We are very fortunate to have an attorney of Russ’ reputation and experience joining us,” said Eric Garner, BB&K’s managing partner and water rights attorney who co-authored “California Water II.” The book is widely known as the definitive text on the history, law and policy surrounding the state’s most precious natural resource.

Behrens also provides legal advice to agencies on water system operations, construction projects, water rights, water acquisition and environmental issues.

“BB&K has a solid reputation in the water industry and I’m honored to become part of its respected legal team,” Behrens said.

Joining Behrens at BB&K from Kidman, Behrens & Tague LLP in Costa Mesa is Daniel J. Payne, who for 20 years has represented cities and water districts. His practice focuses on water operations, construction of water facilities, public contracting, solar projects and ocean desalination. He became of counsel at BB&K.

Behrens and Payne join a law firm recognized nationally for its work in water rights and water supply cases. The attorneys became members of the firm’s environmental law and natural resources practice, one of BB&K’s largest and oldest.

Behrens graduated from the University of Southern California Law School in 1960. Payne graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law in 1988.


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