Peter Knight is a member of the firm's Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group, where he focuses on litigation, defense of agency enforcement actions, and regulatory matters. He regularly assists clients with private cost recovery and complex multiparty Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) cases and class actions, as well as environmental remediation projects. He also represents a variety of coastal and maritime interests in connection with large vessel casualties, oil spills and emergency response, criminal enforcement, and counseling on U.S. Coast Guard regulatory matters.
Environmental Litigation and Enforcement
Peter has represented clients in complex environmental and energy litigation matters across the United States. These claims typically are brought under a variety of federal and state statutes, including CERCLA, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. He has represented Fortune 500 companies in connection with the defense and prosecution of CERCLA cost recovery and contribution claims, including claims brought against the United States in connection with historical wartime operations. Peter's experience defending agency enforcement matters includes civil and criminal enforcement actions involving both land-based facilities and commercial shipping interests. A number of his maritime matters have involved major vessel casualties, including open water and coastal oil spills as well as container ship fires and explosions. His class action experience includes both environmental, energy and toxic tort matters, as well as consumer products and false labeling cases.
Peter represents and manages the interests of large and small Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) at a number of Superfund sites across the country. He has both negotiated settlements and managed multiparty cases to resolution. He regularly works with clients on all manner of environmental legacy issues involving indemnity claims, historical liabilities, and remediation obligations. Peter also has advised companies on developing and implementing corporate compliance programs and environmental management systems.
Peter represents companies and individuals in a variety of government investigations. While most of these matters involve state and federal investigations of environmental and energy matters, he has also managed investigations headed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Coast Guard, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. In many of these cases, which have spanned jurisdictions across the country, he typically works with the Environmental Crimes Section of the Department of Justice. Many of Peter's maritime matters have involved Coast Guard investigations and U.S. prosecution of claimed oil dumping by commercial shipping companies.
Peter is the firm’s pro bono partner, a role which involves coordinating the firm’s pro bono initiatives, expanding the firm’s network of pro bono clients, and matching Robinson+Cole lawyers with pro bono opportunities. His own pro bono efforts focus on representing children in neglect and abuse cases through the firm’s long-standing relationship with Lawyers for Children America. Based on his many years of service to LFCA, the Connecticut Bar Association honored him with its Anthony V. DeMayo Pro Bono Award in 2016. Peter is also part of a team of firm attorneys involved in a pro bono project to combat poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking in Namibia, Africa by strengthening the country’s legislative framework.
Peter has written and presented on a number of topics related to environmental enforcement, environmental regulation of commercial shipping, environmental disclosures, and climate change litigation. Prior to joining the firm, he practiced in the environmental and utilities group at Dewey & LeBoeuf.