Andrew H. Emerson is a partner in Holland & Knight's Public Policy & Regulation Group. Mr. Emerson is an environmental and regulatory attorney who focuses his practice on helping clients efficiently and effectively navigate the complex web of federal, state and local regulations necessary to successfully operate in the transportation, manufacturing and housing sectors.

Mr. Emerson represents clients in a wide variety of matters relating to environmental laws, focusing on regulatory enforcement, compliance and the environmental aspects of corporate and real estate transactions. He counsels clients with respect to compliance with environmental regulatory requirements under the Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund), Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and state laws, and has successfully resolved enforcement actions related to violations of environmental regulations and migration of contamination. In addition, Mr. Emerson advises clients in connection with the purchase, sale and development of environmentally impacted properties and brownfields development, including the development of military housing privatization projects around the country. He has also represented potentially responsible parties (PRPs) at numerous Superfund sites across the country with respect to site investigation, remediation and cost allocation.

In addition to addressing complex environmental challenges, Mr. Emerson helps his clients develop and implement best-in-class advocacy and compliance programs to ensure that they are positioned to effectively influence government regulation and to respond to oversight and enforcement activity by federal and state agencies – particularly with respect to environmental, health and safety issues.

When clients must ensure compliance with applicable regulations, either proactively or due to government enforcement, Mr. Emerson helps develop well-designed, appropriately resourced and practically effective compliance programs that can withstand scrutiny by government authorities and adverse private parties. When such programs are subject to congressional investigation, he helps his clients work with other stakeholders to develop a unified strategy to respond in order to limit associated market impacts.

As a former corporate chief compliance officer, congressional staff member and lobbyist, Mr. Emerson understands the importance of comprehensive and integrated compliance and advocacy programs. He has extensive experience helping companies implement cyclic risk identification, assessment and response programs consistent with guidance from federal and state enforcement agencies, particularly with clients engaged in activities subject to potential amorphous or indistinct government regulatory requirements or judicially imposed oversight programs related to contact obligations, environmental, health and safety requirements, or political and advocacy laws.

Representative engagements include:

  • developing and overseeing implementation of a Strategic Enterprise Risk Management (SERM) program addressing all aspects of the operations of a public-private partnership (P3) development company working with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), colleges and universities, and local governments
  • successfully defending a client against dual U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state enforcement actions alleging violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations following an explosion and alleged spill of hazardous materials at a transportation terminal
  • developing and overseeing a comprehensive environmental, health and safety (EHS) compliance and auditing program for a transportation company following a federal lawsuit and parallel EPA enforcement action, resulting in day-to-day oversight of the company's compliance with the CWA, Clean Air Act (CAA), RCRA, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and related state laws
  • conducting a portfolio-wide investigation and developing standardized operating procedures (SOPs) with respect to a multi-family housing client's compliance with regulations and best practices related to asbestos, lead-based paint, mold, radon, pesticides and other potential environmental hazards
  • assisting a national insurance provider to develop and implement a comprehensive lobbying and political compliance program, ensuring the company's ongoing compliance with the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA), House and Senate gift and travel rules, as well as related state and local laws
  • successfully represented an individual client subject to investigation by the Federal Election Commission (FEC), resulting in no enforcement action and development of an individual compliance plan to allow the client to continue to engage effectively in federal and state political activity

Prior to his current role with Holland & Knight, Mr. Emerson served as chief compliance officer and deputy general counsel of a vertically integrated development and construction company specializing in developing innovative public private partnerships (P3s) in conjunction with government partners in the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), colleges and universities, and local governments. Prior to legal practice, he worked as a legislative aide to former U.S. Rep. Charles F. Bass (R-N.H.) and as a lobbyist representing clients engaged in higher education, the expansion of energy transmission infrastructure and the development of renewable energy technologies. During law school, he served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Sally Adkins of the Maryland Court of Appeals. Mr. Emerson also was a notes editor for the Journal of Energy and Environmental Law and a Bryce Harlow Fellow for Public Policy Advocacy.

Mr. Emerson previously served as a captain in the U.S. Army. In that capacity, he responded to natural disasters as a member of the New Hampshire National Guard and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his efforts while deployed to the Middle East in 2010.

Representative Experience

  • Compliance: Developed and implemented a comprehensive Strategic Enterprise Risk Management (SERM) program for a national public-private partnership (P3) developer, ensuring that the client identified, evaluated and proactively responded to operational and strategic risk to preserve and create value for its owners, partners and the communities it serves
  • Enforcement: Successful defense and settlement of enforcement actions related to major Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) violations, stormwater violations, Clean Water Act (CWA) permitting, lead-based paint, asbestos, refrigerant and Clean Air Act violations
  • Audit and Oversight: Counseling and oversight of implementation of comprehensive environmental, health and safety (EHS) compliance programs related to compliance with federal and state environmental laws, including those related to asbestos, lead-based paint, hazardous and universal waste, and air emissions
  • Transactions: Transactional representation and support for corporations and individuals, including representations and warranties (R&W) insurers, in a wide variety of corporate merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions, as well as the sale of real estate, including the development and sale of contaminated properties, national real estate portfolios and P3 housing developments on federal facilities
  • Nonprofit Formation: Incorporate, organize and provide ongoing counsel to multiple lobbying coalitions, trade associations, educational foundations and nonprofit advocacy groups engaged in the state and federal policy arenas
  • Political Compliance Services: Provide comprehensive political law compliance services to political active corporations and high-net-worth individuals, including vetting of political contribution plans related to applicable state and federal limits, pay-to-play compliance, establishing and maintaining political action committees (PACs), and compliance with lobbying laws


  • The George Washington University Law School, J.D., with honors
  • Goucher College, B.A., History and International Relations, with distinction
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • American Bar Association, Energy, Environment and Resources Section
  • RIMS, the Risk Management Society
  • Taste of the South, Executive Committee
Honors & Awards
  • Holland & Knight Public and Charitable Service All-Star, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Holland & Knight Emerging Leaders, 2019


Speaking Engagements