An outstanding litigator ... has the organizational skills necessary to manage large cases.
The Legal 500 U.S.

Christopher McNevin leads Pillsbury’s Environmental Litigation team. He has twice been recognized by Best Lawyers (published by BL Rankings LLC) as the “Lawyer of the Year” for Natural Resources Law (2012, 2016, 2020).

Chris has extensive experience handling environmental litigation in federal and state court and agency tribunals, as well as investigations, remediation actions and regulatory compliance matters. He advises on water rights, climate change matters, soil, groundwater and sediment contamination, and air and water quality issues. Chris has successfully handled variance petitions, mandamus, CERCLA and real property contamination cases and NOVs, as well as spearheaded precedent-setting litigation involving transborder pollution claims.

Representative Experience

  • Defended Teck Metals, a Canadian mining and smelting company, in a historic cross-border contamination case involving CERCLA response cost and natural resource damages (NRD) claims related to emissions in Canada.
  • Represented ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil in asserting claims against the City of Long Beach, Calif., for the cost of hazardous waste disposal. 
  • Advised a manufacturing company in a site investigation and cleanup, and litigated groundwater contamination claims arising from the manufacture of circuit boards.

Professional Highlights

  • Named Best Lawyers’ Lawyer of the Year in Natural Resources Law – Los Angeles (2012, 2016) and Natural Resources Law – Houston (2020), recognized in its Natural Resources Law, Environmental Law and Environmental Litigation categories (2010–2020).
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 U.S., Environmental Litigation (2006–2019) and Chambers USA, Environment – California (2009–2014).
  • Authored a chapter on wildlife protection in the Matthew Bender treatise, California Environmental Law and Land Use Practice.

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  • Honors & Awards
    • Who's Who in LA Law, Environmental Law, Los Angeles Business Journal (2008)
    • Top Los Angeles Lawyer, Los Angeles Business Journal
    • Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Preeminent Rated
    • Super Lawyers (published by Thomson Reuters) (2003–2016)
  • Speaking Engagements
    • "Climate Change Litigation: The Targets, the Cases, and What You Need to Know to Prepare," PLI Webinar, October 20, 2017


  • J.D., Stanford Law School, 1983

    B.S., Biology, University of Miami, 1979
    summa cum laude


  • California



  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

    U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

    U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

    U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

    U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

    U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

    Supreme Court of California