Greggory C. BrandtAttorney

Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP 1111 Broadway, 24th FloorOakland, CA 94607
TEL:
510.834.6600
FAX:
510.808.4645
VCARD:
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Profile

Gregg has more than 20 years of experience in the environment, health and safety industry and is the firm’s Environmental Practice Group leader. He also helps clients purchase, sell and lease commercial, retail and residential real estate.

Gregg advises clients on federal, state and local environmental requirements and helps clients resolve problems related to environmental contamination of real property. He assists clients in negotiations with private parties, government agencies, in administrative hearings and appeals, and with obtaining environmental insurance coverage. He has significant experience with environmental issues that arise during real estate transactions; identifying and addressing concerns during the due diligence period; efficiently resolving issues surrounding contaminated properties; and drafting and enforcing contractual provisions that assign responsibility for investigation, cleanup, defense and indemnity. 

Gregg has helped resolve contamination claims at former industrial properties, dry cleaners and gas stations. He is experienced in environmental cleanup and cost recovery litigation, administrative proceedings and appeals, underground storage tank issues, environmental insurance, remediation of contaminated property, environmental permitting and compliance. Gregg has also handled a variety of administrative proceedings, including variances and appeals under of a wide variety of environmental, health and safety provisions, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and rules and regulations adopted by Air Quality Management Districts.

In addition to his environmental work, Gregg also helps his clients purchase and sell retail, commercial and industrial properties. He has negotiated retail and office leases for both landlords and tenants and helps resolve lease disputes. For the last several years, Gregg has acted as an editor for various chapters of the Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) Retail Leasing and Office Leasing treatises and has spoken at the National Retail Tenants Association annual conference on environmental due diligence and strategies for resolving lease disputes.

Experience

Clean Up Cost Recovery and Defense

  • Represented a Fortune 500 chemical manufacturer in the defense of a number of lawsuits concerning the contamination of industrial, residential and agricultural property across California and associated claims for personal injury.

  • Represented a municipal corporation in the prosecution of several lawsuits to recover the costs to investigate and remediate environmental contamination caused by prior owners and operators on the property. The lawsuits resulted in the recovery of millions of dollars for the client.

  • Represented the owners of a shopping center in Alameda, California, assisted with remediation of historical contamination on the property and regulatory closure plus recovery from the party that was responsible for the contamination of 100% of past environmental costs and indemnification for any future environmental issues.

  • Represents the former owner of a shopping center in litigation related to the investigation and remediation of contamination from a dry cleaner and the enforcement of contractual provisions in the previous sales agreement regarding the responsibility for environmental costs. Worked to investigate and uncover insurance coverage for the defense of the litigation.

  • Represents a land owner in Yolo County with the investigation and remediation at a scrap metal facility and the corresponding lawsuit to recover costs from the operators of the facility.

  • Represented a Fortune 500 home builder in a lawsuit to enforce a contractual agreement with a major oil refiner that was responsible for contamination stemming from a pipeline release. Recovered lost profits and environmental costs incurred by the client associated with the investigation and remediation of the contamination.

 

Compliance and Regulator Matters

  • Assisted a nationwide warehouse and logistics management company with a number of environmental, health and safety compliance issues, including the appeal of a citation issued by Cal/OSHA with a potential multi-million impact on the company.

  • Assisted a Northern California refinery with environmental permitting and compliance issues, negotiation with local regulatory agencies as well as handling the responsibility for environmental due diligence matters for a potential sale of the facility.

  • Provided a municipal corporation with an analysis of the impact of greenhouse gas emission inventory and reporting requirements on its operations.

  • Assisted a real estate investment trust with review of air regulations that covered certain maintenance activities and developed a compliance strategy.

 

Real Property Transactions

  • Assisted a Fortune 100 retailer dealing with environmental issues, including the response to Polanco Act demands from a California redevelopment agency, ultimately resulting in the successful sale of the multi-million dollar property to a third party.

  • Assisted the purchaser of commercial/industrial property in the San Francisco Bay Area with identification of potential environmental issues at the target property and the placement of environmental insurance to address the associated risks.

  • Represented the former owner of an automobile dealership interested in selling the associated real property. Reviewed historical records and obtained insurance coverage to pay costs to investigate and remediate contamination at the property in order to facilitate the sales transaction.

  • Provide ongoing environmental due diligence nationwide for a major health club and assist in the evaluation, investigation and remediation of a number of properties to allow for the construction of the client’s facilities.

 

Remediation of Contaminated Property and Regulatory Negotiation

  • Worked with the trustee of a trust to meet difficult deadlines for the remediation and sale of a 1-acre parcel to a municipal transit agency for expansion of its maintenance facilities. Negotiated an agreement in which the former operator of the property conducted a significant portion of the environmental work so the transaction could close on time and without the need for litigation.

  • Ongoing representation of a real estate investment trust with regard to the investigation and remediation of a solvent spill at a property located in Dublin, California. Conducted negotiations with the other potentially responsible parties regarding the allocation of costs.

  • Ongoing representation of the owner of commercial property in San Mateo County with efforts to investigate and remediate contamination from a former dry cleaner, to identify potentially responsible parties and to recover environmental costs from those parties.

  • Represented a property owner in the emergency response efforts caused by a release from a petroleum pipeline and the resulting negotiations to allocate emergency response costs.

  • Assists several clients with the remediation of underground storage tank sites, including interpretation and successful navigation of the UST Cleanup Fund regulations to allow clients to recover their investigation and remediation costs.

  • Represented a client in negotiations associated with the remediation of a former fuel oil tank at a multi-million dollar residence in Tiburon, California to meet the seller’s timing and cost goals and complete the necessary environmental work requested by the buyer.

 

Business, Employment and Probate Litigation

  • Successfully defended a municipal corporation against claims of harassment and retaliation alleged by an employee. Obtained a unanimous jury verdict absolving the client of liability and successfully opposed the plaintiff’s appeal of the trial court’s ruling on summary judgment of certain claims that were resolved in the client’s favor before trial.

  • Prevailed in a jury trial on claims of financial elder abuse and trespass, resulting in a verdict of nearly $250,000 for the client. Also obtained an order awarding attorneys’ fees and successfully defended the opposing party’s appeal of the jury’s verdict.

  • Obtained summary judgment for client in a contractual dispute concerning the transfer of an interest in a partnership that owns real property in the East Bay, allowing the client to unwind the failed transaction and clear title to the property.

  • Prevailed on a motion for summary judgment against a member’s claim that a limited liability company had mishandled funds, overpaid the managing member and failed to make appropriate distributions. After the motion was granted, judgment on all claims was entered on behalf of the client.

  • Obtained a non-dischargeable judgment in United States Bankruptcy Court against a partner that had embezzled partnership funds prior to filing for bankruptcy.

  • Successfully defended a dry cleaner against a claim that the dry cleaning facility failed to meet the access requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Obtained summary judgment and disposed of the case shortly after it was filed and at minimum cost and expense to the client.

Publications

Available Articles:

  • "A Fine State of Affairs for Retailers Transporting Goods," Western Real Estate Business, May 2016
  • "Efforts to Reform CEQA Find Support Heading into 2013," Oakland Builders Alliance Newsletter, August 2012
  • "AB 32 DOES WHAT? The Spillover from CA's Global Warming Law to Landowners, Developers, Landlords and Tenants," The Wendel Report, Winter 2008

 

Affiliations
International Council of Shopping Centers

American Bar Association

Alameda County Bar Association
Presentations

Featured Presentations:

  • "Land Use Law: Current Issues in Subdivision, Annexation and Zoning," co-presenter with Bruce S. Flushman, National Business Institute, December 12, 2007
  • "Emerging Issues in Environmental Law: Concerns and Remedies," Advanced Commercial Real Estate Leases, Law Seminars International, November 5, 2007
  • "Underground Storage Tanks," Northwestern Environmental Training Center, February 8, 2006

 

Recognitions
  • Wendel Rosen's Environmental Practice Group selected as one of top three in the San Francisco Bay Area in The Recorder's 6th Annual "The Best" survey, 2012