Kathleen M. Brill

Partner - Boston

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Kathleen Brill concentrates her practice on complex environmental and land use matters. Kathleen leverages her experience in the environmental consulting and real estate development fields to assist her clients in acquiring, protecting, and developing properties. On behalf of her clients in the public, private, energy, institutional, and development sectors, she has handled matters related to environmental and real estate development permitting, regulatory compliance, environmental due diligence, environmental insurance, tax credit and infrastructure bond financing applications, and government investigations. Kathleen has been recognized by Chambers USA as a leading practitioner of environmental law.

Kathleen has helped clients acquire permits at the local, state, and federal levels. She has advocated for clients’ interests before numerous local, state, and federal entities, including conservation commissions, assessors’ offices, zoning boards of appeal, the Massachusetts Division of Conservation Services, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Department of Environmental Protection, Energy Facilities Siting Board, Massachusetts Historic Commission and MEPA office, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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  • Boston College Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, 2010
  • Harvard College, A.B., cum laude, 2004

Representative Experience

Energy Sector

  • Advising multiple power plant operators regarding regulatory compliance issues, including development and implementation of strategy to address water supply issues, development and implementation of strategy to pursue permit modifications to facilitate more efficient operations, addressing impact of planned plant closure on existing licenses and associated obligations, addressing and responding to Notices of Violation, and meeting requirements of Clean Air Act, Toxic Use Reduction Act, and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act
  • Representing owners of electric generating facilities in proceedings related to major capacity expansions and other matters before the Energy Facilities Siting Board 
  • Preparing power plant operators’ responses to EPA information requests under Section 114 of the Clean Air Act
  • Drafting inter-agency and private agreements for energy sector client to facilitate environmentally beneficial mitigation projects
  • Counseling energy sector clients on project planning and development strategy, including preparation of materials for presentation to MEPA, MassDEP, the Energy Facilities Siting Board, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Developing detailed analysis for transmission generation client of all local, state, and federal permits required for construction

Development Sector

  • Serving as project counsel and securing all necessary permits, approvals, and agreements for the development of a music theater in downtown Boston 
  • Securing more than $40M in I-Cubed Infrastructure bond financing for multiple development sector clients 
  • Assisting development sector client in all aspects of obtaining Economic Development Incentive Program Financing
  • Preparing development feasibility analysis for residential developer analyzing restrictions and opportunities under M.G.L. c. 40B (affordable housing), M.G.L. c.91 (waterfront development), and local zoning requirements
  • Managing real estate holding company’s environmental insurance portfolio policy, including overseeing the addition of all new property acquisitions to the portfolio
  • Assisting real estate holding company in all environmental aspects of acquisitions, sales, and refinancings, including conducting environmental due diligence and evaluating environmental indemnities
  • Advising multiple real estate holding companies in solicitation, evaluation and selection of environmental insurance policies to protect holdings
  • Assisting golf course owner in acquiring all necessary permits and agreements to redesign golf course in environmentally sensitive area including wetlands and endangered species habitat
  • Advising client on compliance with outdoor advertising regulations, including newly applicable electronic signage provisions, and successfully securing first permits issued under new regulations
  • Counseling multiple property owners regarding remediation of contaminated sites under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, including managing environmental consultants and supervising insurance recovery
  • Counseling multiple industrial clients in conduct of response actions at former manufacturing sites, including compliance, arbitrations, and disputes under M.G.L. c.21E (the Massachusetts Oil and Hazardous Material Release Prevention Act) and CERCLA

Non-Profit/Educational/Institutional Sector

  • Representing non-profit community health center in real estate transactions and related proceedings before the Boston Zoning Board of Appeal
  • Counseling non-profit cultural institutions regarding anticipated climate change impacts on real estate holdings; permitting a new public park and developing strategies for funding same; and permitting a new exhibition space along waterfront
  • Representing non-profit environmental advocacy groups in proceedings before the MassDEP Office of Appeals and Dispute Resolution regarding wetlands orders of conditions
  • Representing educational sector client before MassDEP in drinking water enforcement action
  • Assisting educational sector clients with strategy to interface with proposed public transportation infrastructure improvements adjacent to client’s campus; strategy to enhance drinking water supply capabilities; permitting a new boathouse and coordinating efforts of consultants on same
  • Advising institutional client on development of a strategy to preserve and expand existing real estate holdings and evaluate potential future acquisitions

Private Sector

  • Representing industrial manufacturer in Clean Air Act environmental enforcement action and related proceedings before the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office
  • Representing multiple owners of waterfront property in Ch. 91 jurisdictional disputes before MassDEP and the Office of Appeals and Dispute Resolution
  • Counseling small property owner regarding development of a strategy to bring existing structures into compliance with wetlands and waterways regulations
  • Developing and executing strategy for small property owner to achieve goals of protecting oceanfront property, preserving future development rights, and reducing property taxes and successfully negotiating a conservation restriction, achieving a local property tax abatement, and obtaining a state conservation land tax credit
  • Counseling pharmaceutical manufacturers regarding applicability of Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations; strategic participation in rulemaking process; and applicability of Endangered Species Act regulations

Public Sector

  • Counseling local municipality regarding negotiation of agreements with private entities and state agencies to facilitate public/private smart growth development project
  • Counseling local municipality regarding Designated Port Area regulations and associated boundary review proceedings
  • Assisting local redevelopment authority in negotiating agreements with private entities and making necessary zoning changes to facilitate downtown redevelopment project
  • Advising state agency on applicability of Commonwealth’s Article 97 to proposed real estate transactions
  • Massachusetts Environmental Law, co-author of Massachusetts Clean Air Act chapter (MCLE, 2016 and 2019 editions)



  • Environmental Business Council New England, Inc., Member, Board of Directors
  • Climate Adaptation Forum, Steering Committee Member
  • Massachusetts Turnpike Air Rights Citizen’s Advisory Committee, Member
  • Fenway Civic Association, Vice President of the Board (2008-2018)
  • National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (Massachusetts Chapter), Member, Government Affairs Advisory Committee; Past Government Affairs Co-Chair and Member, Executive Committee  
  • Boston Bar Association, Environmental Section, Member
  • Women’s Bar Association, Member
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Member
  • Boston College Law Review, Senior Editor
  • Boston College Environmental Law Society, Career Development Officer
  • Speaker, “The Business of the Business,” Environmental Business Council New England, EBC Site Remediation and Redevelopment Program, March 2020  
  • Speaker, “Environmental Aspects of Buying and Selling Energy Facilities,” Northeast Energy and Commerce Association Environmental 101 Seminar, April 2019 
  • Program chair, "Mastering Mixed-Use Developments: Lessons Learned from the Fenway, One of Boston’s Top Mixed-use Neighborhoods," MCLE webcast, July 2017
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Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit