Simon, Donald S.

Donald S. Simon
Attorney

t: 510.834.6600
f: 510.834.1928
dsimon@wendel.com

Education

Ohio State University; J.D.

Ohio State University; B.A.

Admissions

State Bar of California

State Bar of Ohio

  • Profile
  • AFFILIATIONS
  • Recognition
  • INSIGHTS

Donald primarily focuses on matters related to business and construction law, solar energy, green building, cannabis industry, and environmental policy. Donald co-founded the firm’s Green Business Practice Group and led the firm’s internal sustainability efforts, including becoming the nation’s first law firm to gain green business certification.

Construction

He has broad experience representing public and private clients on a multitude of contract, litigation, regulatory and general business issues.

Developing the green economy

Donald is a national leader and frequent speaker for the green economy and has devoted himself to creating the framework necessary for incenting business to become the engine of environmental sustainability and social responsibility. He co-chaired the effort to write and pass California’s Benefit Corporation law (AB 361), creating a new legal framework for businesses seeking to do well while doing good.

Green building leadership

He co-founded the two organizations that have made California the global green building leader ‰— the U.S. Green Building Council‰’s Northern California Chapter and Build It Green. He is general counsel to both organizations, as well as the California Solar Energy Industry Association. Donald hosted the West Coast Green conference and trade show for green innovation. On the international level, he teamed with the City of San Francisco in 2005 to organize and host the United Nations‰’ largest international conference of local government leaders to address urban environmental sustainability issues. Early in his career, Donald worked with Environmental Defense Fund to develop a framework for reducing international air pollution along U.S. ‰-Mexican border. He also represented several organizations on issues related to old-growth forest protection and logging on public lands.

Other leadership activities

After many years in policy arena, Donald recognized the political system’s ability to address complex environmental and social issues is undermined by the corruptive influence of money in politics. Since 2012, he has served on the board of directors of the California Clean Money Campaign, where he continues to work to pass the California DISCLOSE Act which will inform voters who is really funding campaigns.

California Clean Money Campaign

  • Board Member, 2012 – present
  • Contributing author of the California DISCLOSE Act, 2012-present

U.S. Green Building Council, Northern California Chapter

  • Co-Founder
  • Board member, 2002 – 2005
  • General Counsel, 2001 – present

Build It Green, Berkeley

  • Co-Founder
  • President, 2001 – 2010
  • Board member, 2001 – 2011
  • General Counsel, 2001 – present

California Solar & Storage Association (formerly, California Solar Energy Industry Association)

  • General Counsel, 2010 – present

Alameda County Bar Association

  • International Green Industry Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Award, April 2014
  • U.S. Green Building Council’s 2012 Leadership President’s Award, October 2012
  • “California Lawyer Attorney of the Year” Award, California Lawyer Magazine, February 2012
  • “Founder Recognition” Award, Build It Green, December 2011
  • “B Corp National MVP” Award, B Lab, November 2011
  • “B Corp I’m Just A Bill” Award, B Lab, November 2011
  • “Green Building Visionary” Award, 2nd Annual Build It Green “Green Building Awards,” December, 2010
  • “Community Partnership in Sustainability” Corporate Philanthropy Award, San Francisco Business Times, July 2010
  • “Green Leaders,” California Real Estate Journal, December 7, 2009
  • “Green Super Hero” Special Achievement Award, U.S. Green Building Council, October 2008
  • Top Attorney in the East Bay for Environmental Sustainability, East Bay Business Times, June 2007
  • “Top 40 Under 40,” East Bay Business Times, July 2006

Publications

Wendel Rosen Focuses on More than Just the Law

Wendel Rosen Focuses on More than Just the Law

07/01/2019 | Contra Costa Lawyer

On July 1, 2019, Contra Costa Lawyer published an article by Wendel Rosen attorneys Donald Simon and Amara Morrison. The article touches upon the Bay Area Green Business Program and how…

Full Article

Events

International Green Industry Hall of Fame

International Green Industry Hall of Fame

03/25/2011 | International Green Industry Hall of Fame

The International Green Industry Hall of Fame (IGIHOF) inaugural Induction Ceremony & Conference will be held on March 25, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at University of California…

Full Article
Green Building and Energy Efficiency

Green Building and Energy Efficiency

05/26/2011 | Bar Association of San Francisco

Wendel Rosen Green Business attorney Donald Simon will be a speaker at the Bar Association of San Francisco's presentation of "Green Building & Energy Efficiency – Latest Developments" on May…

Full Article
ACBA Event: CA Benefit Corporation Legislation – Understanding AB 361

ACBA Event: CA Benefit Corporation Legislation – Understanding AB 361

06/02/2011 | Alameda County Bar Association

Benefit Corporation gives entrepreneurs and investors an additional choice when determining which corporate form is most suitable to achieve their objectives.  Benefit Corporation is a new class of corporation that:…

Full Article
Date Category Host Title
07/18/2011 Seminar The Hub Pursuing Profit and Purpose: The Debate in California’s Statehouse and What it Means for Us
11/10/2011 Seminar SF Bay Area Green Chamber Conference California Benefit Corporation Legislation
More Articles
04/27/2012 Seminar Green California Summit Benefit Corporations: A New Structure for Green Business
05/11/2012 Seminar Sustainable Enterprise Conference Sustainable Enterprise 2012 Conference
09/05/2012 Seminar Green California Community College Summit Practical Necessities and Preparation Requirements for Successful Solar Projects
12/13/2012 Seminar Law Seminars International Setting Up Benefit Corporations
03/13/2013 Seminar Recycling Exposition Recycling Exposition IX: Economic Prosperity
05/12/2013 Seminar Pepperdine University M.S., Organizational Development Alumni Council Broadening Your Impact And Reach
More Articles
09/12/2013 Seminar Law Seminars International Benefit Corporations: Setup and Regulatory Issues
12/10/2015 Sponsorship Build It Green Big Bash 2015
10/31/2019 Event The Alameda County Green Business Celebrate Sustainability Fall 2019

News

SF Business Times Recognizes Firm for Corporate Philanthropy

SF Business Times Recognizes Firm for Corporate Philanthropy

07/17/2019 | San Francisco Business Times

As a leading law firm in corporate social responsibility and sustainability, Wendel Rosen LLP has been long committed to corporate philanthropy. We are beyond honored to be recognized as the…

Full Article

Education

Ohio State University; J.D.

Ohio State University; B.A.

Admissions

State Bar of California

State Bar of Ohio

Practice Areas

Construction
Green Business