James A. Thompson Jr.

Of Counsel

Jim Thompson is chairman of the firm’s Global Environmental, Health and Safety Department and heads the US-based Climate Change Practice Group. He is also a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. 

Mr. Thompson has practiced in the environmental law area for over 30 years, including seven years as counsel in the New England and Rocky Mountain regional offices of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and three years as senior counsel reporting directly to the Agency’s General Counsel on all environmental and energy matters arising in the western half of the United States.

He represents large industries and utilities on a wide range of complex environmental permitting, compliance and project development issues throughout the United States. In the past several years, a substantial portion of his practice has been devoted to the siting of energy facilities and the acquisition and sale through auctions and direct negotiations of utility assets and companies.  Recent assignments include advising regulated utilities and insurers on the risks and liabilities associated with climate change and carbon disclosure and trading, developing a regulatory compliance program for a multistate natural gas production, processing and transmission company, defending a natural resource damages suit, counseling an energy company on the re-evaluation of retained liabilities and reserves to meet Sarbanes-Oxley obligations, and advising several national and international energy companies on the siting, environmental impact reviews and permitting of generating facilities, LNG storage and regasification terminals, interstate pipelines and wire transmission corridors.

In addition, he is frequently retained by lenders, borrowers, sellers, creditor committees, project developers, investors, project underwriters and insurers, and portfolio managers to advise on corporate and real estate transactions, including the acquisition and sale of businesses (asset and stock) and real property in the United States and overseas. His work includes pre-transaction counseling and structuring of business deals to limit liabilities (including lender and trustee liability), conducting/overseeing environmental due diligence, negotiating contractual terms which properly allocate risk and liabilities and rendering advice regarding disclosures to the SEC and investors and state and federal environmental agency reporting requirements.

Selected Recent Activities

  • Global Warming Risks for Utilities – EEI Risk Management Committee, February 2008.
  • Three Perspectives on Climate Change Risks and Liabilities – AEGIS Utility Roundtable, November 2007.
  • Climate Change Risks and Liabilities – AEGIS, September 2007.


  • Board of Trustees, Talcott Mountain Science Center, 1990 to 2005

Awards and Recognition

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America
  • Listed, Who’s Who in America
  • Listed, Who’s Who in American Law
  • Listed, The International Who’s Who of Environmental Lawyers
  • Listed, The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers
  • Listed, Chambers USA


  • George Washington University Law School, 1973, J.D.
  • University of Pennsylvania, 1967, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut
  • U.S. District Court, District of Vermont
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan


  • French