Peggy Otum represents clients on a broad range of environmental enforcement, litigation, and transactional matters, primarily involving hazardous waste requirements, natural resources, and real estate issues under the major federal environmental statutes and state analogs.

Ms. Otum has over a decade of experience advising companies in a variety of sectors, including chemicals, energy, pharmaceutical, consumer electronics, real estate development and private equity. Her litigation experience includes toxic tort defense in addition to representing clients in enforcement actions brought by federal and state regulators for violations of RCRA, CERCLA, EPCRA, TSCA, the Clean Air Act and OSHA, as well as California extended producer responsibility and consumer product stewardship laws. She has worked extensively with officials from DOJ, USEPA, DTSC, the California Regional Water Boards, and a number of California District Attorney Offices to resolve a wide range of allegations and to negotiate agreements on compliance, cost recovery, and remediation.

Her transactional experience includes M&A and real estate environmental due diligence for large scale and single parcel transactions, insurance and risk mitigation counseling, and post-sale indemnity disputes.

Ms. Otum is an ardent supporter of women leaders in business and law and has helped cultivate the firm's San Francisco WomenConnect program, which provides a forum for San Francisco Bay Area women lawyers and senior-level clients to network and learn from each other. She was featured on Working Mother magazine's list of "The 2015 Working Mothers of the Year."

Experience

  • Oil Spill Cleanup and Litigation. Represented BP in connection with multiple aspects of the environmental regulatory, cleanup and litigation matters, primarily involving the use of chemical dispersants in the spill response to the Deepwater Horizon incident.
  • California Air Resources Board. Represent vehicle and engine manufacturers in several regulatory matters before CARB, including emissions testing and defect reporting.
  • California Consumer Product Recycling Regulations. Provide compliance advice to consumer products clients subject to California consumer product recycling regulations, including e-waste, used paint and mercury thermostat disposal regulations.
  • RCRA Enforcement in EPA Region 9. Represent California nutritional supplement manufacturer in RCRA enforcement case alleging violations of federal hazardous waste storage and disposal requirements.
  • National RCRA Enforcement Defense. Represent the Mosaic Company in defense of a "national initiative" by EPA and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) seeking rigorous enforcement of RCRA hazardous waste requirements at mineral processing facilities subject to the Bevill Amendment, which excludes certain such activities and whose scope and applicability are the subject of dispute between the industry and the government.
  • Toxic Tort Class Action Defense. Defended mining company in two 7,500-person class actions seeking damages for alleged impacts to property values and health of residents from groundwater plume associated with former fertilizer manufacturing facility.
  • Cost Recovery Under Government Contract. Obtained contribution from a federal agency on behalf of former WWII industrial manufacturer.
  • Cost Recovery Litigation. Successfully represented client in litigation to recover contractual indemnification in excess of $20 million for liabilities incurred in the defense of class action litigation arising from the purchase of a facility that was the subject of a federal Superfund cleanup.
  • Cal/OSHA. Represent multiple clients in response to Cal/OSHA citations and on appeal.

Perspectives

The Chemical Compound—July 2019
Legal Updates on High Priority Chemicals and Important Chemical-Regulatory Developments
California Legislature Narrows Legislation to Now Regulate Single-Use Packaging and "Most Littered" Single-Use Plastic Products
Advisory
Calif. Bills Would See Huge Changes For Single-Use Products
California Law360, Environmental Law360, Food & Beverage Law360, Hospitality Law360, New York Law360, Public Policy Law360, Retail & E-Commerce Law360
California Legislature Proposes Expansive and Unprecedented Regulation of Single-Use Products and Packaging
Advisory
The Chemical Compound—May 2019
Legal Updates on High Priority Chemicals and Important Chemical-Regulatory Developments
More

Recognition

The Legal 500 US
"Next Generation Lawyer" – Product Liability, Mass Tort and Toxic Tort: Defense (2017-2019)
"Next Generation Lawyer" – Environment: Regulatory (2017-2019)
Chambers USA
Environmental (California) (2018-2019)
Who's Who Legal
Environment (2018)
More

Credentials

Education
  • JD, Howard University School of Law, 2003
  • BSc, Neuropsychology, University of Toronto, 1999
Admissions
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
Activities
  • Member, Board of Directors, The Environmental Law Institute
  • Member, Board of Directors, Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Members, Board of Directors, California Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)
  • Member, Leadership Advisory Committee, National Women's Law Center (NWLC)
Overview

Email Disclaimer