David J. Freeman

David J. Freeman

Senior Counsel, Environmental

This attorney has been selected for the recognitions mentioned herein, which have been conferred by the corresponding publications and/or organizations noted. An overview of the award selection methodologies for these recognitions can be found at https://www.gibbonslaw.com/awards. Links to certain specific methodologies are embedded in individual entries. Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Mr. Freeman has over 35 years of experience representing buyers, sellers, and developers of contaminated properties, as well as both plaintiffs and defendants in Superfund and other litigation regarding the cleanup of hazardous waste sites. He is a frequent author and speaker on environmental law topics. He is the recipient of the 2021 Distinguished Service Award from the New York City Brownfield Partnership and a 2012 Burton Award as “an outstanding law firm author.” His extensive bar association and pro bono activities include service as President of the New York City Brownfield Partnership, Vice Chair of the New York State League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, Co-Chair of the New York State Bar Association Environmental Law Section Committee of Hazardous Waste/Site Cleanup, and Special Legal Counsel to the United Nations Environment Programme for North American Environmental Affairs.

Mr. Freeman is one of six “Band 1” environmental attorneys in New York included in the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.  Chambers has quoted clients as saying of Mr. Freeman, “[He] is a tremendous environmental lawyer and a really nice guy. He’s a legend in the field.” … “[He] is always very responsive. He gets back to us promptly and always follows up.” … “[He is] the dean of the New York environmental Bar and a very effective negotiator,”… “Has many strengths, including excellent analysis of issues, understanding of government agencies, client service and the ability to achieve the best outcome”… “He is a good negotiator who never loses his cool and always stays focused on what’s important.” Mr. Freeman is also included in New York Super Lawyers.

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Freeman served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Frank E. Moss (D-Utah) and a trial attorney at the Federal Trade Commission. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees cum laude from Harvard University. He is a member of the New York, Massachusetts, and District of Columbia bars.

Mr. Freeman’s practice focuses on:

  • Representation of buyers, sellers, and developers of brownfields and other contaminated properties and of parties engaged in hazardous waste cleanups
  • Litigation related to remediation, cost recovery, property damage, and exposure to toxic substances
  • Conducting and/or supervising environmental due diligence
  • Counseling with respect to environmental insurance issues



Harvard Law School (J.D., cum laude)

Harvard University (B.A., cum laude)

Professional Admissions

State of New York

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

District of Columbia

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

District of Columbia Court of Appeals

Supreme Court of the United States

Professional Activities

Director and Past President, New York City Brownfield Partnership

Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees, New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Environmental Law & Practice (West), 1998-2000

Board of Advisors, Real Estate / Environmental Liability News

American Bar Association
Section on Environment, Energy and Resource Law

New York State Bar Association, Environmental Law Section
Co-Chair, Committee on Hazardous Waste
Co-Chair, Brownfields Task Force

Co-Founder, U.S. TAG ISO 14000 Legal Issues Forum

Civic/Charitable Activities

Vice Chair and Member, Board of Directors, New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund

Member, Board of Directors, The New Jewish Home

Member, Village of Mamaroneck Flood Mitigation Advisory Committee

Member (2017-2023) and Chair (2023), Village of Mamaroneck Committee for the Environment

Town of Mamaroneck (New York) Planning Board, 1990-1992

Board of Directors, Mamaroneck-Larchmont Student Aid Fund, 1984-1988

Legal Employment

2000-2012: Chair of New York Environmental Practice, Paul Hastings LLP

1994-2000: Chair of Environmental Department, Battle Fowler LLP

1981-1994: Head of Environmental Law Group, Holtzmann, Wise & Shepard, New York, N.Y.

1977-1981: Ginsburg, Feldman and Bress, Washington, D.C.

1975-1977: Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C.

1970-1972: Office of Senator Frank E. Moss, United States Senate, Washington, D.C.