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Miller Canfield Named Among Michigan Lawyers Weekly's 21st Century Innovators for its Climate Change Practice

November 2, 2009

Miller Canfield, known for 157 years of legal leadership, is proud to be selected as a 21st Century Innovator by Michigan Lawyers Weekly for its Climate Change Group, an initiative led by senior counsel, Mark J. Bennett, and principal, Anna M. Maiuri, and the first of its kind in Michigan.

Miller Canfield’s Climate Change team, comprised of lawyers throughout Michigan, as well as in Chicago, New York, Toronto, Mexico and Shanghai, advises clients from a global perspective and uses multi-disciplinary expertise to address and resolve new green issues, including research and development on carbon finance, renewable-energy corporate formation and green building and sustainable development.

Bennett, Maiuri and team have applied collective knowledge and an interdisciplinary approach to interpreting and providing advisement on climate change-related issues, paving the way for a successful future not only for Miller Canfield and its clients but for local businesses and communities.

The formation of the group three years ago was being proactive to client needs. “As I look at the Midwest, arguably, this is the industrial heartland, and we were the furthest behind,” Bennett said. “The combination of the industrial targeting and the fact that for whatever reason, politically, over the years we had not been engaged in CO2 and climate-related issues was the light bulb that went off for me.”

Maiuri added, “When you’re looking at alternative energy and decreasing the carbon footprint and trying to accomplish several goals at the same time, you look at what massive changes in thinking and legislation are going to be necessary and what clients will need to do to adjust to those changes.”

“Because climate regulations haven’t been solidified in the U.S., we must advise clients on where it’s believed things will evolve. It means staying ahead of the curve and interpreting regulations that are very vague,” said Bennett.

Bennett has combined his dual training in real estate and environmental law into his position as leader of the Climate Change Group, managing a broad array of issues in this emerging area of law.  His practice also includes a focus on advising clients in the acquisition and development of commercial real estate, as well as guiding companies in conducting environmental due diligence in real estate transactions.

Maiuri, who also serves as chair of Miller Canfield’s managing directors, has extensive experience in helping corporations, business owners and operators assess environmental liabilities when purchasing, selling or leasing assets both across the country and around the world. She is particularly experienced in helping utility companies and manufacturers achieve regulatory compliance.