Beyond the business challenges all companies encounter in the face of globalization, advances in technology and shifting client demands, the highly regulated nature of the chemical industry adds an additional layer of complexity. Companies in this space turn to Katten because our nationally recognized team is considered a leading authority on process safety regulations for chemical companies and on crisis management in the wake of major accidents and fatalities at chemical plants. Our deep experience with the toughest times these companies can face has led to our work with some of the largest chemical companies in the world on a wide variety of their legal matters.

Protecting your business

With big changes on the horizon for the chemicals industry, you want someone who knows your business inside and out to help meet your unique needs. At Katten, we have assembled a deep bench of highly experienced attorneys whose experience with the industry helps minimize risks and maximize business potential. From environmental and workplace safety matters to handling transactional and intellectual property needs, our Chemicals team is ready.

Environmental and workplace safety
  • Advises on major accident response, regulatory and enforcement matters before federal and state agencies, including the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Chemical Safety Board (CSB)
  • Provides counsel on legal matters related to a variety of key statutes, including: the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), among others
  • Facilitates crisis management, providing boots-on-the-ground representation in the wake of major accidents and fatalities
  • Develops strategies for meeting process safety regulations, such as OSHA's process safety management (PSM) standard and the EPA's risk management program (RMP)
  • Obtains governmental approvals, licenses and permits needed for vital infrastructure and new development
  • Assists in preparing environmental impact statements
  • Helps navigate local land use requirements

  • Develops structured financings, including nonrecourse and limited-recourse debt, bonds, equity, quasi-equity, and mezzanine debt, together with various forms of credit support
  • Manages debt restructurings — both inside and outside of bankruptcy


  • Represent Fortune 50 chemical manufacturer in investigations by the CSB, OSHA, the EPA and other agencies into a four-fatality accident resulting from the release of toxic chemicals, including subsequent enforcement.
  • Represented one of the largest independent US liquids terminal and pipeline operators in an internal investigation of alleged chemical exposure of an employee during maintenance on a storage tank at a terminal.
  • Represented major petroleum exporter and marketer regarding claims that long-term occupational exposure to benzene and related chemical components of aromatic hydrocarbon and other petroleum distillate products it allegedly distributed caused plaintiff to develop acute myelogenous leukemia. Our aggressive defense through the discovery phase resulted in an extremely favorable settlement for the client.
  • Defended industrial products corporation against claims brought by 51 homeowners residing near a detergent manufacturing plant who alleged personal injuries and property damage caused by the release of sulfur trioxide during facility testing operations. The matter was resolved by a de minimis settlement.
  • Represent Fortune 100 refiner in investigation by the CSB and Washington State Department of Labor & Industries into a refinery accident that resulted in seven fatalities.
  • Represent chemical manufacturer in investigation by the CSB into a release of toxic chemicals that necessitated a community evacuation in Pennsylvania.
  • Represent chemical manufacturer in preparing for inspections and subsequent enforcement by OSHA under the PSM Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program.
  • Represent one of the world's largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers in a federal criminal investigation into shipments of byproducts, co-products and co-products used as fuels.
  • Counsel chemical manufacturer in evaluating the effectiveness of company's systems for EHS corporate oversight.
  • Represent global leader in the manufacture and distribution of water treatment chemicals in a federal criminal investigation into the alleged storage of hazardous waste for more than 90 days without a permit.
  • Represent global leader in the manufacture and distribution of water treatment chemicals in a federal criminal investigation into alleged violations of the Clean Water Act on an offshore oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Represent global leader in specialty chemicals in the divestiture of a specialty-batch chemical manufacturing facility subject to pending federal civil and criminal investigations.
  • Represent leading lawn and garden manufacturer in one of the largest FIFRA civil and criminal enforcement matters.
  • Represent specialty chemical manufacturer in FIFRA pesticide registration issues.
  • Represent global leader in specialty chemicals in federal civil and criminal investigations arising out of an alleged failure to operate pollution control equipment at a wastewater treatment facility.
  • Represent one of the world's largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers in an internal investigation into the OSHA recordability of alleged exposure to a chemical manufactured by less than 10 facilities in the world.
  • Represent leading petrochemical company with respect to issues arising from a fire that occurred at a chemical manufacturing site during a maintenance turnaround. We also provide counsel regarding confidential “whistleblower” investigations with respect to actions taken and decisions made both pre- and post-incident, and in connection with follow-on enforcement by the EPA and OSHA.
  • Represent client in successfully obtaining first Regulatory Flexibility Order from the TCEQ for use of the EPA Comparable Fuels Rule allowing substitution of fuels at chemical manufacturing facility.
  • Defended leading chemicals manufacturer in grand jury investigation of potential price-fixing and market allocation. No indictments were returned.
  • Represent global paints and chemical coatings company on intellectual property matters. We handle and coordinate trademark infringement litigation and disputes in Europe, multiple Community Trade Mark proceedings, and multiple trademark disputes and administrative oppositions in other countries.