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James (Jim) T. Banks

Washington, D.C.

James (Jim) T. Banks

From the boardroom to the courtroom, Jim Banks takes on the toughest environmental and legal challenges. Always in a leadership role, Jim has spearheaded the advocacy efforts of a national environmental organization, directed the legal and regulatory affairs of a major corporation, and led the global Environmental practice at Hogan Lovells.

Jim is recognized for his in-depth knowledge of the Clean Water Act (CWA). His combination of legal experience and engineering training enable Jim to help clients develop practical, imaginative solutions to their biggest problems. Clients also seek Jim's guidance and representation in regulatory, permitting, and litigation challenges involving endangered species and National Environmental Policy Act matters.

Jim serves clients in the oil and gas, mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and waste management sectors, and he has represented states and cities in high-stakes litigation over the use of river flows. He challenges the EPA's regulations and enforcement orders, the Fish and Wildlife Service's listing of threatened and endangered species, and the Office of Surface Mining's regulation of coal mines. When agencies bring enforcement actions or environmental groups file citizen suits, Jim develops creative legal and technical defenses to resolve them.

Jim also guides clients through complex permitting processes for large development projects. As licensing counsel for large mining operations, crude oil facilities, and liquefied natural gas terminals, Jim provides the vision and strategy to secure agency approvals and withstand judicial challenges.

"Jim Banks is described by sources as 'very knowledgeable, thorough, and with vast experience,' as well as 'a delight to deal with.'"

Chambers USA 2015

Representative Experience

Represented a large poultry producer in a rare federal court decision overturning an EPA enforcement order under the CWA.

Secured an unprecedented federal court decision invalidating an Interior Department decision listing a species under the Endangered Species Act.

Guiding the federal and state permitting efforts for three liquefied natural gas terminals in the Gulf of Mexico region.

Representing the largest underground coal mining company in leading a challenge to Interior Department environmental regulations.

Resolved a citizen suit and storm water permit issues for hundreds of contaminated sites left by the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos.

Education and admissions


  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 1975
  • B.S. Civil Engineering, University of Kansas, 1972

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • District of Columbia
  • Michigan

Court admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


Lawyer of the Year

The Best Lawyers in America



Chambers USA



Who's Who Legal


Environment: Litigation

Legal 500 US


Environmental; Environmental Litigation

Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers

2011-2012, 2014

Washington's Top Lawyers: Environmental



Environmental Law

The Best Lawyers in America


Environmental Litigation

The Best Lawyers in America


International Environment Lawyers

Who's Who Legal


Environment Super League

PLC Which Lawyer?

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