When a major industrial or environmental accident plunges a company into crisis, there are few law firms that can launch an effective response in real time. Katten's Environmental and Workplace Safety attorneys can deploy within hours of a developing crisis. Our blueprint for incident response has been stress-tested in some of the most recent high-profile accidents in the United States, including refinery fires, chemical plant toxic releases and offshore platform explosions.

Response on every front

Clients turn to us when the stakes are highest. Their incident-related problems are often highly visible, involving fires, major injuries and fatalities. The damage to operations and reputation can be profound, while the legal and financial impacts can persist far into the future. We have the skills to advise clients responding to multiple stakeholders: governmental agencies, local law enforcement, private litigants, the public and the media.

Anticipate and engage

Our attorneys are adept at handling the array of regulatory and enforcement agencies that can descend on a company in the aftermath of a serious incident. We are adept at supporting the response to multiple investigations and simultaneous civil actions, and we come to the table with proven strategies and tactics to protect the client’s interests. We have experience across a wide range of industries and are accustomed to working with technical consultants and subject matter experts. We have sat across the table from investigating and enforcement agencies many times and we have developed strong relationships based on mutual respect. If EPA, OSHA or another regulatory agency alleges non-compliance, we know what to expect and how to defend against it. If criminal action is forthcoming — against either the company or its employees — our White Collar practice is positioned to assist at the earliest stages of any investigation and provides this support through to final disposition.

We have deep experience in the full spectrum of environmental and workplace incident responses, including:

  • Crisis management
  • Internal investigations
  • Administrative proceedings
  • Enforcement actions and other government inquiries
  • Civil and criminal litigation


  • Represent Fortune 50 integrated energy company in Cal/OSHA investigation into steam pipeline rupture that resulted in serious burn injuries, including subsequent enforcement.
  • Develop major incident response toolkits and programs for energy companies with upstream and downstream operations.
  • Represent Fortune 50 integrated energy company with respect to investigations by CSB and Cal/OSHA into refinery explosion.
  • Represent Fortune 50 integrated energy company in investigations by CSB, Cal/OSHA and EPA into refinery fire, including subsequent enforcement.
  • Represent supermajor in multi-agency investigation following refinery fire, including the CSB, the EPA, OSHA, and other state and local agencies.
  • Represent Fortune 100 refiner with respect to investigations by the CSB, Cal/OSHA and the EPA into a chemical spill and subsequent enforcement.
  • 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.