Eversheds Sutherland Recruits High-Profile Environmental and Energy Partner in Houston


Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce that Marcella C. Burke joined the firm as a partner in the Houston office. A distinguished environmental and energy attorney, Ms. Burke joins Eversheds Sutherland from King & Spalding where she was a partner and led the Houston Environmental Health and Safety practice as well as their global energy transition initiative. Ms. Burke previously held several senior government positions, including at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Interior (DOI). As a sought-after thought leader and strategic advisor she frequently speaks and writes about environmental enforcement and crisis response, energy regulations, and complex environmental corporate matters.

“We are thrilled to welcome Marcella to Eversheds Sutherland,” said Mark D. Wasserman, Co-CEO of Eversheds Sutherland. “She is a renowned veteran in the energy sector with a stellar background in helping clients navigate complex regulatory environments. Her deep experience in private practice and government agencies will provide significant benefits for our clients. Further enhancing our global team with skills that help our clients steer through the energy transition has been an important priority for us.”

“Marcella is a highly accomplished partner who has made a name for herself as a go-to attorney for environmental health and safety compliance and incident response,” said Partner Lino Mendiola III, Co-Head of Global Energy. “She will enhance our strengths in advising clients on critical corporate, regulatory and enforcement issues related to oil and gas, mining, and renewable energy.”

Ms. Burke advises clients on matters across the energy-environmental sector spectrum, including energy technology, carbon capture, conventional oil and gas, mining, hydraulic fracturing, renewables, decommissioning, permitting, chemicals, citizen suit defense, crisis management, criminal environmental enforcement and environmental investigations.

She’s a board member of the Houston ESG Council and serves on environmental committees and advisory councils at the State Bar of Texas, the Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law and the Institute for Energy Law.

Her services include: negotiating with the government for approvals and permits; commenting on proposed rules; achieving permits for projects; environmental diligence on corporate transactions; reviewing or drafting incident response plans to avoid unnecessary risk, confusion, and mistakes in the event of an incident.

She also advises clients on environmental litigation; defending enforcement actions; challenging interpretation of land use and environment regulations before administrative tribunals and in federal court; challenging enforcement actions taken by DOI, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the EPA and the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and state regulators to reduce fines and continue operations; responding to a crisis as a trusted advisor; Helping solve, as a former government official, complex regulatory compliance regimes.

Prior to her role as partner at King & Spalding, Ms. Burke served at the EPA as Deputy General Counsel. She also served at the DOI as Deputy Solicitor for Energy and Natural Resources, and Senior Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. In her roles at the DOI, she was lead counsel for the BLM, BSEE, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), and the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation (OSMRE), all of which oversee management of federal lands, including policy And permitting for carbon capture, conventional oil and gas, renewables, mining, rulemakings, comments to proposed rules, litigation, and enforcement matters.

At the DOI, she served as Counsel to the Royalty Policy Committee and received appointments with the Regulatory Reform Task Force and as National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) team lead for all energy project approvals. In these roles, she worked closely with the Department of Justice, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Office of Management & Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and other federal agencies .

Prior to her government roles, Ms. Burke worked as an energy attorney in private practice and spent an interim year as a clerk for Texas Supreme Court Judge Don Willett.

About Eversheds Sutherland
As a global top 10 law practice, Eversheds Sutherland provides legal services to a global client base ranging from small and mid-sized businesses to the largest multinationals, acting for 79 of the Fortune 100, 65 of the FTSE 100 and 134 of the Fortune 200 .

With more than 3,000 lawyers, Eversheds Sutherland operates in over 70 offices in more than 30 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. In addition, a network of more than 200 related law firms, including formalized alliances in Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa, provide support around the globe.

Eversheds Sutherland provides the full range of legal services, including corporate and M&A; dispute resolution and litigation; energy and infrastructure; finance; human capital and labor law; intellectual property; real estate and construction; and tax.

Eversheds Sutherland is a global legal practice and comprises two separate legal entities: Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP (headquartered in the UK) and Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP (headquartered in the US), and their respective controlled, managed, affiliated and member firms. The use of the name Eversheds Sutherland is for description purposes only and does not imply that the member firms or their controlled, managed or affiliated entities are in a partnership or are part of a global LLP. For more information, visit eversheds-sutherland.com.

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