Jeanne Cohn-Connor is a partner in the Firm's Environmental Practice Group. As lead environmental counsel, she has represented debtors and distressed investors/creditors in some of the most complex environmental bankruptcy matters in the country. She has also advised clients on complex corporate and real estate transactions where she has counselled on environmental liabilities and risk allocation issues and she has handled a broad range of environmental regulatory, enforcement and compliance matters. The Deal Pipeline recognized Jeanne for her principal role in the global environmental settlement for Tronox Incorporated in its Chapter 11 proceedings, and she was recognized by Law360 for her leadership of Tronox’s environmental settlement negotiations.
Jeanne brings to her versatile practice an intuitive talent for resolving contentious disputes among adversarial stakeholders. Her work includes government settlement negotiations, due diligence and contract negotiations, brownfields redevelopment, environmental compliance auditing, regulatory counselling, and environmental trusts. Jeanne has been recommended by The Legal 500 U.S. for Environment: Transactional and Regulatory and has been recognized by leading legal publications for her environmental work.
Jeanne’s pro bono immigration work has been featured in nationally and internationally broadcast media. In 2014, Jeanne accepted KIND’s Allegiance Award for Kirkland’s efforts in representing unaccompanied child immigrants.
Co-authored chapter on institutional controls in Maine for inclusion in American Bar Association book, “Implementing Institutional Controls at Brownfields and Other Contaminated Sites” Second Edition
Authored article titled “Environmental Settlements in Bankruptcy: Practice Pointers for the Business Lawyer” published for the American Bar Association Business Law Section Environmental and Energy Business Law Reporter
Published materials and gave presentation on “Environmental Settlement Agreements in Bankruptcy: Process and Practice Pointers” at the American Bar Association 40th Annual Conference on Environmental Law, Salt Lake City, Utah
Wrote and published chapter titled “Institutional Controls in Maine” for inclusion in American Bar Association book, “Implementing Institutional Controls at Brownfields and Other Contaminated Sites” First Edition
Co-authored book “A Practical Guide to Environmental Regulation in Maine”
Co-authored book “Avoiding Environmental Liability in Maine”
Moderator on "When Financing Goes Bad: Doing Deals and Litigating Cases When Bankruptcy, Workouts or Ability to Pay for Environmental Liabilities is at Issue," the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources' 48th Spring Conference, Denver, CO
Moderator and panelist on “Creative Compromises: Negotiating Environmental Settlements in Bankruptcy,” 14th Annual Environmental Transactional Roundtable, Washington, D.C.
Profiled in an article in The University of Chicago Law School Record titled “Jeanne Cohn-Connor, ’84: Driving Change for the Environment and Women’s Rights”
Keynote speaker at Annual Stout Luncheon on “Making an Impact: How Woman Lawyers Can Drive Change,” University of Chicago Law School
Panelist on “Lessons Learned on Distressed Oil Assets,” 12th Annual Environmental Transactional Roundtable, New York, NY
Panelist on “The Clean Power Plan and Its Potential Impact on United States Energy Policy, Markets and the Environment” at an event sponsored by the University of Chicago Law School and Booth School of Business
Moderated panel on “Making the Law Work for Women’s Human Rights” sponsored by the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia
Featured speaker for the University of Chicago Law School's "Environmental Law: A Transactional Approach"
Spoke at KIND Annual Awards Gala in New York City accepting Kirkland's Allegiance Award for its pro bono work with KIND
Panelist on session titled "Pro Bono in Practice: Human Trafficking" at the Pro Bono Institute Annual Conference; also participated in Pro Bono Institute webinar on the same topic
Guest speaker at the EPA Annual Bankruptcy Conference in Austin Texas; spoke on debtors' perspective on environmental settlements in bankruptcy
Organized and moderated panel on "Combining Red Ink and Brownfields: Dealing with Environmentally Contaminated Properties in Bankruptcy" at the American Bar Association 39th Annual Conference on Environmental Law, Salt Lake City, Utah
Spoke on “Environmental Law and Bankruptcy,” 6th Annual Environmental Transactional Roundtable, Philadelphia, PA
Moderated and presented panel at the Maine Brownfields Conference sponsored by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection
Chaired all-day Maine State Bar Association seminar on "Zoning and Land Use" and published materials and gave presentation on "Hazardous Waste Issues, Brownfields, and Contract Provisions To Address Liability"
Half hour television interview regarding small business contracts for cable television program "Getting Down to Business"
Organized and presented workshop on "Understanding Contract Language" at 10th Annual Women Business Owners Conference
Presented program on "Buying and Selling Dirty Property" at conference sponsored by the Maine Chamber and Business Alliance and Environmental Business Council of Maine
Organized and presented program on "Brownfields Redevelopment" for conference sponsored by Environmental Business Council of Maine
Organized and presented program on "Environmental Compliance Audits" at conference sponsored by Environmental Business Council of Maine
Published materials and gave presentation on "Getting the Deal Done - State Voluntary Cleanup Programs and Other Means for Redeveloping Contaminated Properties" at American Bar Association, Business Law Section Spring Meeting
Recommended by The Legal 500 U.S. for Environment: Transactional and Regulatory
Guest Lecturer on Environmental Law at Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University
Guest Lecturer on Administrative Law at the American University Washington College of Law
Kirkland & Ellis LLP Washington Pro Bono Service Award
Memberships & Affiliations
Member, Kirkland & Ellis Pro Bono Management Committee
Member, Leadership Council, Environmental Law Institute
Vice Chair, Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee, American Bar Association Section of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law
Member, American Bar Association Section of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law
Board of Directors, Sinai House
Board of Directors, Lubuto Library Project (2013–2016)
Board of Directors, Environmental Business Council of Maine (1995–2000)
Board of Directors, Gorham Land Trust, Gorham, Maine (1990–1995)
Member and Troop Leader, Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital
Admissions & Qualifications
- 2001District of Columbia
- 1985New York
- University of Chicago Law SchoolJ.D.1984Semifinalist, Hinton Moot Court Competition
- University of PennsylvaniaB.A., History & Englishcum laude1978Studies included Honors Theoretical Calculus and Sciences