Environment & Life Sciences

Steptoe works in a broad range of dynamic, international regulatory fields which require mastering not just the law but the underlying science.  We have built an integrated team of lawyers, scientists, and technical consultants to guide clients through the complex, politically charged, and ever-changing regulatory landscape.  With questions of health, safety, and the environment receiving ever greater scrutiny from regulators, who coordinate their efforts across national borders, our skills provide us with practical solutions to overcome regulatory hurdles. Steptoe has a reputation for constructive engagement with regulators and legislators to shape our clients’ commercial environment.  We have a particular focus on the US, European Union, and China markets.

We have particular experience helping clients in five principal fields:

Our clients are national and multinational companies, trade associations, and public institutions. They consult us in five principal areas:

  • Building and executing strategies for compliance with regulatory schemes across a wide range of sectors, including pre-market authorizations
  • Legal advocacy before decision makers on legislative, administrative and policy proposals in order to help shape the general regulatory environment and product-specific regulation
  • Assessment and management of environmental risks accompanying corporate acquisitions and disposals
  • Regulatory monitoring and analysis to keep abreast of the latest legal developments
  • Representation before the courts, administrative authorities, and enforcement bodies

We have particular experience helping clients in the following sectors:

  • Agricultural biotechnology (GMOs)
  • Antimicrobials and biocides
  • Automotive
  • Chemicals (commodity & specialty)
  • Cosmetics
  • Defense
  • Electronics
  • Energy
  • Flavors and fragrances
  • Food contact materials
  • Food, feed, and seeds
  • Medical devices
  • Metals
  • Mining
  • Nanotechnologies
  • Pipeline
  • Plant protection products (pesticides)
  • Plastics
  • Textiles
  • Transportation
  • Waste


  • Band One, Chambers Europe, Regulatory: Environment (Europe-wide), 2014-2015
  • Tier One, Legal 500 EMEA, EU Regulatory Chemicals, REACH (Belgium), 2011-2015
  • Tier One, Legal 500 EMEA, Environment (Belgium), 2013-2015
  • Tier One, Legal 500 EMEA, Food (Belgium), 2013-2015
  • Chambers USA, Environment, including water rights (Arizona), 2008-2010
  • Chambers Europe, Regulatory: Environment (Europe-wide), 2009

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