Skip to Main Content

Nancy J. Rich

Chicago Office

Nancy J. Rich represents clients in complex matters under environmental and common law including Superfund, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and environmental toxic torts.

Nancy devotes a significant portion of her practice to counseling corporate, utility, local government and financial institution clients in major transactional matters. She advises clients on Brownfields and other environmental matters in real estate, analyzes and negotiates environmental insurance policies, and implements compliance and defense strategies in Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) matters. Her work on environmental sustainability projects includes advising clients on alternative energy issues and contracts.

Clients note that Nancy is "always on top of her game and knows when to negotiate and when to hold firm" (Chambers USA). She developed her litigation skills as an Illinois Assistant Attorney General in the Environmental Control Division, where she served as a member of the Attorney General’s Toxic Waste Strike Force and litigated environmental issues in federal and state trial courts and before the Illinois Pollution Control Board. She represented the State of Illinois in negotiating the first multi-party cleanup of a hazardous waste site under the state's then newly enacted Superfund law.

A prolific writer, Nancy has authored numerous publications, including a comparative analysis of state Superfund laws and a law journal article addressing the Clean Air Act. She is repeatedly recognized in the media and has been described by clients in Chambers USA as “a timely, creative strategist” and “someone we keep going back to.” Nancy also serves as pro bono general counsel for Climate Cycle, an organization that educates students and community members on sustainability issues and economic benefits in the green economy.

Shown below is a selection of Nancy’s engagements.

  • Representation of a food manufacturer for alleged multiple, repeat violations of worker health and safety requirements. Obtained a reduction of several hundred thousand dollars in an OSHA penalty case.
  • Representation of client in obtaining a cost of defense settlement of federal Superfund cost recovery lawsuit after locating and deposing the plaintiff’s retired employee. The employee testified that waste from the plaintiff’s manufacturing line was dumped outside on the ground at the plaintiff’s property on multiple occasions over a period of years.
  • Representation of client in connection with the negotiation with the client’s co-lender, defaulting borrower and the regulatory agency to avoid environmental litigation on a Brownfield development loan. Worked with the client to develop a strategy that allowed the client to exit the loan and recoup most of the loan value.
  • Development and oversight of a multi-layered liability and allocation and insurance plan which allowed a client to successfully divest an environmentally challenged business.
  • Provision of advice to a nonprofit, off-the-grid incubator for sustainable businesses regarding the applicability of federal and state environmental and utility laws and regulations applicable to its anaerobic digester and combined heat and power system. As a result, the client qualified for a loan to build the system to supply the building's energy needs, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs over the life of the facility.
  • Counsel to a foreign investor in acquiring US manufacturing plants by implementing an environmental investigation plan to develop an appropriate environmental baseline for lenders. Persuaded the seller to retain certain assets that would likely impede financing of the acquisition.
  • Counsel to the acquirers of nearly one million acres of timberland regarding oil and gas well liability issues. Negotiated contractual provisions to carve out locations and liabilities of concern.


Chambers USA, 2008–2019
Super Lawyers, Illinois, 2006–2009, 2013–2015

Leading Lawyers Network

Leading Lawyers Network, Top 100 Women Real Estate-Related Lawyers, 2015

Who's Who in American Law

Who's Who in American Law

Midwest Real Estate News

Midwest Real Estate News
Firm News
May 12–13, 2016
Speaker | Environmental Insurance – Identifying, Negotiating and Allocating Liabilities | Spring CLE Symposia | Boston, Massachusetts
November 16, 2015
Speaker | Digging Through the Field of Environmental Insurance – Identifying and Addressing Legal Issues Through Negotiation | Florida Bar Association Real Property and Title Law Committee | Teleconference
January 7, 2015
Panelist | Building the Survey Team – Addressing Critical Project Issues | American Bar Association eCLE | Videoconference
June 24, 2014
Speaker | Environmental Due Diligence – Legal Liability and Strategy Issues | Client CLE Presentation | Oak Brook, Illinois
November 8, 2013
Speaker | New Issues in Environmental Property Assessment | ABA RPTE Leadership Meeting | New Orleans, Louisiana
Nancy J. Rich


  • JD, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • AB, Loyola University Chicago, Honors Program

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
  • US District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • US Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit


Chambers USA
Super Lawyers
Illinois, 2006–2009, 2013–2015

Leading Lawyers Network

Top 100 Women Real Estate-Related Lawyers, 2015

Who's Who in American Law

Midwest Real Estate News

Previous Next


  • American Bar Association, Section of Real Property, Trust and Estates – Green and Sustainable Transactions Committee – Commercial Real Estate Transactions Group Chair
  • The Chicago Bar Association
Katten Websites   Careers  |  Alumni  |  Mobile Site
Contact Us   Offices  |  Media Center  |  People  |  Email
Legal Notices   Disclaimer  |  Privacy Notice  |  Cookie Notice  |  United Kingdom Notices  | Accessibility 
Attorney Advertisting. © 2019 Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP