James A.
Thompson, Jr.


Jim Thompson’s dynamic legal practice spans four decades and focuses on environmental and energy law matters, including seven years as counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and three years as senior counsel reporting directly to the agency’s general counsel on all environmental and energy issues arising in the western half of the United States.

Jim counsels large industries and utilities on a wide range of complex energy and environmental permitting, compliance and project development issues throughout the United States. His work spans matters concerning the siting of natural gas and renewable energy generation and transmission facilities, the acquisition and sale of utility assets and companies through auctions and direct negotiations, and counseling of senior management and general counsel on the management of regulatory risks.

Jim also represents lenders, borrowers, sellers, creditor committees, project developers, investors, project underwriters and portfolio managers on corporate and real estate transactions, including the acquisition and sale of regulated businesses and contaminated real property in the United States and overseas. His knowledge and substantial experience help clients negotiate contractual terms to properly allocate risk and structure business deals to limit and manage liabilities.

Throughout his legal career, Jim has advised several clients on U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission corporate governance issues, and energy companies on the re-evaluation of retained liabilities and reserves to meet Sarbanes-Oxley obligations. Prior to joining the firm, Jim was Of Counsel at Pepper Hamilton. From 2007 to 2012, he was a partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf. From 1996 until 2007, Jim was the chairman of the global Environmental and Health Practice and head of the U.S.-based Climate Change Practice at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae. 

Awards and Rankings

Named to The Best Lawyers in America in the area of environmental law (1992-2017), including D.C. (2008-2017)

Recognized by Chambers USA: Guide to Leading Business Lawyers in the area of environmental law

Selected for inclusion in Who’s Who in America

Selected for inclusion in Who’s Who in American Law

Selected for inclusion in The International Who’s Who of Environmental Lawyers

Selected for inclusion in The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers

Selected for inclusion in Washington, D.C., Super Lawyer® (2016)

Professional Activities

Member, American Bar Association (Environmental, Natural Resources and Energy Sections)
Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Talcott Mountain Science Center (1998-2009)

  • J.D., George Washington University Law School
  • B.A., University of Pennsylvania
Bar Admissions
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts

Our Story

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is an international law firm helping the Fortune 100, industry leaders, sector innovators and business entrepreneurs solve their biggest challenges and reach their business goals. Dedicated to unfaltering excellence in client service, we are known for our business savvy and industry intelligence, providing creative and custom solutions for each of our clients. Industry and business experience makes the difference for our clients.

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