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Katten Snags Top Workplace Safety Litigator in Houston, Rounding Out Its Award-Winning Environmental Practice

Firm News | March 10, 2015

(HOUSTON) Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP announced today that Gregory C. Dillard, a leading workplace safety attorney concentrating in on-site crisis response to major onshore and offshore incidents and litigation of subsequent regulatory enforcement cases, has joined its Houston office as a partner in the Environmental and Workplace Safety practices. Dillard has successfully defended clients against the largest enforcement actions ever brought by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and assisted in responding to more than twenty process safety or fatality incidents in the last four years.

"Katten's Environmental and Workplace Safety practices are uniquely suited to address the growing needs of clients in this area. Greg's broad skills and extensive experience on a wide range of safety compliance matters will significantly enhance the already outstanding national team we have in place," said Katten Chairman Vincent A.F. Sergi.

Dillard, who has represented multiple facilities after major accidents, will be based out of the Houston office, and work with Mark Farley, nationally recognized co-head of Katten's Environmental practice and head of the Workplace Safety practice.

Dillard is the latest to join Katten's Environmental and Workplace Safety practices, becoming part of the firm's strategic growth initiative to attract premiere talent in this practice area, the energy industry, and locations such as Houston, Austin, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area.

"We are very pleased to have Greg join Katten," said Farley, who served in lead attorney roles for several significant refinery accidents in the United States in the last 20 years. "Effectively responding to catastrophic workplace accidents such as a fire or explosion requires attorneys well-versed in the regulatory requirements and experienced in managing the perfect legal storm that accompanies these events. Clients expect the best, and Greg deepens our already strong team."

Formerly a partner at Vinson & Elkins in Houston, Dillard has advised refineries, chemical companies and manufacturing plants preparing for OSHA inspections. He counsels clients faced with major incidents involving upstream, midstream and downstream Process Safety Management (PSM) incidents. He regularly counsels and trains companies on all aspects of safety compliance law to prevent incidents. Additionally, Dillard is experienced in a myriad of employment-related business disputes, among other federal and state employment statutes.

With the addition of Dillard, companies in the energy, chemical and manufacturing industries will benefit from Katten's unrivalled experience in major accident response and environmental civil and criminal matters, as well as the firm's experience in assessing and developing high-performance compliance programs and processes that reflect industry benchmarks and regulator expectations. Government enforcement agencies have moved to couple enforcement of process safety incidents with related environmental criminal investigations, seeking to utilize the vastly more severe penalties and terms of imprisonment found in the environmental statutes. The firm's clients seek counsel whose skills and experience can address the full scope of this worker endangerment and environmental enforcement strategy, which has the potential for lasting reputational damage, significant fines and multi-year reporting obligations, and as noted above, individual criminal exposure.