Douglas M. Halsey | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
Douglas Halsey
Douglas Halsey

Douglas M. Halsey

Partner, Miami

T +1 305 995 5268

T +1 305 371 2700


in LinkedIn profile

“Douglas Halsey is lauded for his ‘ability to bring people to the table and avoid getting into litigation.’ He maintains an excellent reputation for his forward-thinking and strategic approach, and sources assert that he is ‘ahead of the game all the time.’”

Chambers USA 2014


Head of White & Case's Environmental Practice Group, Doug advises clients on all aspects of environmental and land use law, including litigation, business transactions, and regulatory matters.

Over the last 35 years, Doug has tried numerous cases in state and federal court with a special emphasis on cost recovery claims and land use disputes involving wetlands and endangered species.

He has represented manufacturers, developers, and property owners in complex civil litigation and defended enforcement actions brought by federal, state, and local government agencies. He has experience litigating under the Clean Water Act, CERCLA, RCRA, CAA, NEPA, and parallel state and local government regulatory schemes. In 2003, following 11 years of litigation in federal and state courts, Doug obtained for property owners in Monroe County, Florida, the largest recovery in US history for a "temporary taking."

He has also defended numerous toxic tort cases based on alleged exposure to a variety of hazardous substances, including creosote, chlorinated solvents and mercury. A Florida Supreme Court certified mediator and qualified arbitrator, Doug mediates environmental and land use cases in multiple jurisdictions and facilitates settlements of complex environmental disputes.

Doug represents industrial and developer clients before environmental agencies on regulatory and permitting matters on a local, state and national level. His many years of experience include representing the largest solid waste company in the United States, as well as coordinating wetlands and endangered species permitting and complex land use matters in environmentally sensitive areas in Florida and other jurisdictions.

Doug also advises on environmental risks associated with business transactions. He is frequently called upon to work with the Firm's corporate partners in multibillion-dollar acquisitions, financings, stock and bond offerings and real estate deals. Much of his corporate environmental work is in the power, pharmaceutical and oil and gas industries. As head of the firm’s global environmental practice, he coordinates with lawyers from the firm’s international offices in handling cross-border business transactions involving environmental issues in multiple jurisdictions.

He frequently lectures on various environmental and land-use topics. The former chairman of the Environmental and Land Use Law Section of the Florida Bar, he has been recognized by the Florida Bar for his pro bono work for children in foster care.

Bars and Courts

  • Florida State Bar
  • US District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida
  • US Courts of Appeal for the Fifth, Eleventh, and DC Circuits


  • JD, University of Miami School of Law
  • BA, Columbia University


  • English


Collier Resources Corporation – Oil Exploration Permitting, 2014

Doug is advising the largest private owner of oil and gas interests in Southwest Florida on their oil and gas exploration activities in the Big Cypress National Preserve. The matter concerns a variety of regulatory issues, including wetland protection, endangered species, and public use of the Preserve.

Litigation for the Miami Museum of Science, 2014

Doug defeated a challenge to a new US$275 million, state-of-the-art facility under construction in the new Museum Park in downtown Miami, Florida. The plaintiffs alleged that the Museum's lease with the City of Miami violated the City's Charter, and contended that the City's authorization of bonds that partly financed the Museum project violated the Florida Constitution's provisions prohibiting municipalities from using their taxing power to aid a private entity. On April 22, 2014, after extensive briefing and oral argument, the Miami-Dade Circuit Court granted final summary judgment to the Museum and the City.

Dynegy – Power Plant Acquisition and Stock Offering, 2014

Doug represented Dynegy Inc. in addressing environmental issues associated with the acquisition of six coal-fired power plants and six natural gas power plants. He subsequently advised Dynegy on environmental disclosures in stock and bond offering memoranda.

Novacap – High Yield Bond Offering, 2014

Doug helped the Paris office to address environmental issues associated with a high yield bond offering for Novacap International S.A.S., a multinational diversified chemicals group which produces and distributes chemicals internationally.

Waste Management Development Agreement with the Town of Medley, 2013

Doug represented the company in defeating litigation challenging the expansion of a landfill, and to secure the necessary government approvals for the landfill's continued operation. He helped negotiate a new Development Agreement with the Town of Medley, authorizing the extension of operations for an additional 30 years.

Cypress Creek Litigation for R.E. Jacobs Group and Sierra Properties, 2012

Doug successfully represented one of the nation's largest developers of shopping centers in a dispute regarding the impact of a development in Pasco County, Florida. Environmental groups contended that the wetlands permit issued for the project violated the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. The district court judge rejected the plaintiffs' Endangered Species Act claim, but concluded that the Corps should have prepared an EIS instead of an EA, and had not sufficiently considered different site configurations. Both sides appealed the district judge's decision and in 2012 the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District Court's CWA and NEPA rulings, allowing the development to proceed.

Speaking Engagements

"Environmental Due Diligence Update and Construction at Contaminated Sites" , October 23, 2014: Construction Law Seminar,
Miami, Florida

"Development in Environmentally Sensitive Areas: Strategies for Avoiding Litigation Under NEPA, CWA and ESA", July 23–25, 2014: Florida Chamber's 28th Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School, Florida Chamber of Commerce,
Marco Island, Florida

"Climate Change Tort Litigation: An Update", August 11–12, 2011: Environmental and Land Use Law Section of the Florida Bar Annual Update,
Jacksonville, Florida

"Liability of Environmental Professionals in Florida: Recent Developments", July 21–23, 2010: Florida Chamber's 24th Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School, Florida Chamber of Commerce,
Marco Island, Florida

"Bert Harris Act Overview and Update", July 22–24, 2009: Florida Chamber's 23rd Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School, Florida Chamber of Commerce,
Marco Island, Florida

"Arsenic, The Science and the Law", July 19, 2007: Florida Chamber's 21st Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School, Florida Chamber of Commerce,
Marco Island, Florida

Awards & Recognition

Named by Best Lawyers 2016 as the Miami Environmental Law "Lawyer of the Year"

Recognized by Best Lawyers 2016 for Commercial Litigation, Environmental Law, Litigation – Environmental, and Litigation – Land Use and Zoning

Who’s Who Legal, 2015


Leading Lawyer, Chambers USA 2003–2014


2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Energy/Environmental/Natural Resources, The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel

The Best Lawyers in America, 2006–2013

Environmental Law, Environmental Litigation, Land Use & Zoning Litigation

Miami Environmental Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers, 2010

Most Effective Lawyer Finalist, Daily Business Review, 2012

Appellate Law

Florida Trend's Legal Elite, 2005–2014