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 permitting, regulatory compliance, environmental due diligence, environmental insurance, tax credit 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, 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
  • 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, 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

  • Representing non-profit environmental advocacy groups in proceedings before the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Appeals and Dispute Resolution regarding wetlands orders of conditions
  • Representing marina operator in proceedings before the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Appeals and Dispute Resolution regarding waterways licensing
  • Counseling development sector client on pursuit of I-Cubed Infrastructure Financing
  • Assisting development sector client in all aspects of obtaining Economic Development Incentive Program Financing
  • Assisting residential developer in obtaining required curb cut permits from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation
  • 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 property owner regarding remediation of contaminated site 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 under the Massachusetts Oil and Hazardous Material Release Prevention Act, M.G.L. c. 21E
  • Representing multiple industrial clients in Superfund cleanup cases
  • Representing industrial client in arbitration under M.G.L. c. 21E

Non-Profit/Educational/Institutional Sector

  • Counseling non-profit museum regarding all aspects of permitting a new public park and developing strategies for funding same
  • Counseling non-profit museum regarding all aspects of permitting a new exhibition space along waterfront
  • Assisting educational sector client with strategy to interface with proposed public transportation infrastructure improvements adjacent to client’s campus
  • Assisting educational sector client with strategy to enhance drinking water supply capabilities
  • Assisting educational sector client with all aspects of 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

  • 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
  • Counsel pharmaceutical manufacturer regarding applicability of Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations and strategic participation in rulemaking process
  • Counsel pharmaceutical manufacturer regarding 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)


  • Foley Hoag Associate Kathleen Brill Receives Excellence in the Law Award by Mass. Lawyers Weekly, May 3, 2019
  • Ranked by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business as one of Massachusetts' Leading Environmental Lawyers (2017-2020)
  • Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Excellence in the Law Award (2019)
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Pro Bono Recognition Award (2014)
  • Boston College Law Review, Senior Editor
  • Boston College Environmental Law Society, Career Development Officer


  • Environmental Business Council New England, Inc., Member, Board of Directors
  • Fenway Civic Association, Vice President of the Board
  • Massachusetts Turnpike Air Rights Citizen’s Advisory Committee, Member
  • National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (Massachusetts Chapter), Member, Executive Committee; Member, Government Affairs Advisory Committee
  • Boston Bar Association, Environmental Section, Member
  • Women’s Bar Association, Member
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Member
  • 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 First Circuit