Environmental Compliance & Litigation

Environmental Compliance & Litigation

There are myriad reasons to choose Thorn & Associates: extensive environmental experience, scientific background, flexible and competitive billing, responsiveness, and the firm’s focus on developing long-term relationships. Collectively, these factors allow us to provide high quality environmental services while keeping costs low.

Extensive environmental experience

The firm’s attorneys have a wealth of practical environmental experience.  Mr. Thorn has extensive experience practicing environmental law. He has practiced both at US EPA, Region 5 (covering Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) and a large Chicago law firm. While at EPA, he was the attorney assigned to several hundred inspections, enforcement actions, and lawsuits. He was also the attorney assigned to assist the RCRA Subtitle C (hazardous waste) inspectors with issues that might arise during inspections and drafting Notice of Violation letters. He was a member of the EPCRA enforcement workgroup, helping the agency draft information requests regarding possible environmental releases. 

Other environmental attorneys at the firm began their careers as environmental engineers at consulting companies before becoming environmental attorneys.

Scientific and Engineering backgrounds

All of the firm’s lawyers have either scientific or engineering backrounds.  Mr. Thorn has an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Yale University and a Master of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois. He also has a Master of Science degree in natural resources from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment. His scientific background, coupled with his legal experience, allows him to comprehend both the legal and technical issues that invariably arise in environmental issues. It also allows him to communicate effectively with both technical staff and attorneys and to bridge the gap between people with expertise in different areas.  Other environmental lawyers at the firm have degrees in engineering.

Flexible and competitive billing

We provide our services at very competitive rates and are also open to alternative billing methods such as flat rate billing and capped billing. In addition, we typically can conduct electronic legal research at no cost to our clients.


Unlike many law firms, we do not concentrate on billing as many hours as possible. Instead, we focus on being highly responsive to our clients’ needs and finishing matters expeditiously.

Long-term relationships

We are interested in establishing long-term relationships with our clients and effectively acting as an in-house environmental counsel. We strongly believe that it is in a company’s best interest to avoid agency enforcement, litigation, and harming the environment by taking preventative actions. In keeping with that stance, we believe a company can minimize its environmental risks and costs by having an established relationship with an attorney who is familiar with the environmental issues relating to its facilities and operations.