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Former Director of Illinois EPA Renee Cipriano joins Thompson Coburn

January 13, 2020

Environmental attorney Renee Cipriano has joined Thompson Coburn as a partner. Renee is the former director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and also served as the Governor of Illinois’ Senior Advisor on Environment and Natural Resources. She comes to Thompson Coburn from Schiff Hardin LLP, where she served as the deputy leader of that firm’s environmental group.

Renee provides strategic counseling to companies on their most critical environmental concerns, from statutory and regulatory requirements and legislative approaches, to litigation and major transactions. She represents major manufacturers, energy companies, public utilities and other entities in environmental matters and sustainability efforts throughout the Midwest.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that Renee will be joining our team,” said Ed Cohen, co-chair of Thompson Coburn’s Environmental group. “Renee is one of the most well-known and well-respected environmental attorneys in our field. She’s a very skilled problem solver, and her experience as a senior government official gives her a unique perspective on the challenges faced by businesses in the regulated community.”

As the Governor-appointed Director of the Illinois EPA from 2001 to 2005, Renee directed a staff of 1,000 and managed an agency budget of more than $1 billion while leading the development and implementation of the state’s environmental programs. In that role, she worked to promote economic growth and job creation, while providing the state with effective programs aimed at protecting the environment and public health.

Renee started her career as an Assistant Attorney General in the Environmental Control Division of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

“I’m very happy to be joining the environmental team at Thompson Coburn,” Renee said. “This is a skilled group of practitioners with strong connections to industry and a depth of experience in both litigation and regulatory matters on behalf of companies. I think my governmental and public policy experience will provide a great addition to the group’s diverse offerings for clients across a range of industries.”

Named multiple times as the Lawyer of the Year for Environmental Law in Illinois by The Best Lawyers in America (2012 and 2019, by BL Rankings), Renee is a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers and served on the Board of Directors of the Environmental Law Institute (ELI). She currently serves on ELI’s Leadership Council.

Renee earned both her J.D. and B.A. from Loyola University Chicago.

She serves on the board of directors for the Innsbrook Institute, an annual summer classical musical festival and academy in Innsbrook, Missouri.

About Thompson Coburn LLP

Thompson Coburn is a full-service law firm with nearly 375 attorneys practicing in more than 50 areas of law, with offices in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, St. Louis and Southern Illinois. In 2019, the firm was recognized by the Association of Corporate Counsel as an ACC Value Champion, an international honor that recognizes “best-in-class” innovations that drive value and dramatically improve efficiencies within corporate law departments.