Howard focuses his practice on real estate development. He has extensive experience handling the complexities associated with contaminated property, including litigating cost recovery actions, negotiating consent decrees and administrative orders with federal and state agencies, securing insurance coverage for clients facing significant environmental liabilities, and obtaining regulatory closure for complex sites. As part of this practice, he counsels clients on the risks of buying and selling contaminated property and assists them in drafting contractual protection against such risks. Howard frequently prepares and negotiates real estate documents such as purchase and sale agreements, options, leases, construction contracts, and easement agreements.

Representative Matters

  • Represents national and regional development companies on real estate and environmental matters, typically involving acquisition and development of property for multimillion dollar, mixed-use projects.
  • Helps clients with all aspects of commercial and residential development projects, including purchase and sale negotiations, financing and title issues, construction contracts, tenant leases, and property management agreements.
  • Represents mining and aggregate companies and assists them with cleanup and reclamation activities.
  • Works extensively with federal and state cleanup laws including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA).
  • Works daily on projects involving liabilities arising under the Washington Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), and helps clients and environmental consulting firms develop and complete remedial investigations, feasibility studies, disproportionate cost analyses, interim actions, and cleanup actions.
  • Counsels lenders on the risks of lending funds for the development of projects on contaminated property and drafts loan conditions to mitigate those risks.
  • Negotiates consent decrees, agreed orders, and enforcement orders with federal and state regulators, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology), and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
  • Successfully litigates actions in court to recover costs spent to investigate and remediate contaminated property.
  • Secures insurance coverage for clients facing significant cleanup liabilities.
  • Serves as outside environmental counsel to publicly traded corporations, multi-state companies, and small businesses.


Member, King County Bar Association (KCBA)
Member, Washington State Bar Association (WSBA)
Member, Oregon State Bar Association (OSBA)
Member, American Bar Association (ABA)
Admitted, Supreme Court of the State of Washington
Admitted, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
Admitted, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
Admitted, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Articles and Presentations

  • Developers Roundtable Chairperson – Marcus & Millichap Multifamily Forum (2018).
  • Panelist, Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) and the “New” NFA Policy: How’s It Coming? MTCA Seminar, Law Seminars International (2013).
  • Presenter, Managing Uncertainty, Cost, and Risk, Re-Using Contaminated Land Conference, Sound Earth Strategies, Inc. (2013).
  • Presenter, How to Effectively Use an Environmental Consultant, 11th Annual Washington CLE Bootcamp (2006).
  • Presenter, Northwest Environmental Business Council Management Forum (2006).
  • Presenter, WSBA Environmental Law & Land Use Section Midyear (2004, 2006).
  • Presenter, Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys Annual Conference (1998).

Honors and Recognition

Selected as a Best Lawyer® in the areas of Environmental Law, Real Estate Law, and Environmental Litigation by Best Lawyers in America (2019-present)
Selected as a Super Lawyer® in the area of Environmental Law by Super Lawyers and Washington Law & Politics magazine (2004–present)
AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating, the highest rating awarded by Martindale-Hubbell® (2011–Present)
Rated 10.0 by Avvo, the leading lawyer-rating website


J.D., University of Washington School of Law (1995)
B.A., Whitman College (1991)


Howard is happiest when he spends time with his wife and children.  They love to travel, ski, and hike, and when at home, play board games.  Howard has a great joy for life and you will rarely find him without a smile.