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Ghilain Trudell


Ghilain Trudell


Katie’s practice focuses on environmental review and permitting, environmental litigation, renewable energy development, and regulatory compliance counseling. She guides public entities and private clients through environmental review and permitting processes for waterfront developments and other complex projects. She works to minimize litigation risk and defends against challenges that arise under federal and state laws, including under the National Environmental Policy Act and the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act. Katie’s renewable energy work is focused on offshore wind; she advised NYSERDA on the development of the New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan and on several other offshore wind initiatives, and she is representing Equinor Wind US in the permitting and development of its Empire Wind 1 and Empire Wind 2 projects. She also advises on the permitting and development of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal as a staging facility and operations and maintenance base for the offshore wind industry.

Katie maintains an active pro bono practice focused on the international natural resources trade, biodiversity, and resiliency. In addition to representing environmental organizations that address these issues, Katie submitted statements for the record in two congressional hearings regarding the Lacey Act, the United States’ oldest wildlife conservation law. She also helped develop and present training workshops in Africa to improve the implementation and enforcement of wildlife trafficking and poaching laws.

Prior to joining SPR in 2015, Katie worked in the environmental and general litigation groups of an international law firm, where her practice focused on environmental litigation, regulatory compliance, and complex product liability litigation. During law school, Katie participated in the Natural Resources Defense Council clinical program, was a Notes Editor of the New York University Environmental Law Journal, and was Co-Chair of the Environmental Law Society. Katie earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Vassar College, graduating with general and departmental honors.

New York Metro Super Lawyers, Environmental Law, Rising Star

“Climate Change and the Biden Energy Agenda,” Presenter

For: Practicing Law Institute, Environmental Regulation in Practice 2021: New Challenges and Priorities (with Stacey Bosshardt and Rick R. Rothman)

September 17, 2021

“U.S. Offshore Wind Permitting and Development: The Answer is Blowin’ in the Wind,” Co-Presenter

For: Quimbee

August 2021

“Federal Permitting Challenges Facing the Development of Offshore Wind”

For: US, Business Network for Offshore Wind International Partnering Forum (with Kim Fitzgibbons, Justin Krebs, Michelle Morin, Amanda Evans, and Ravi Laljani)

July 23, 2020

“What Your Phase I Won’t Tell You About Developing a Waterfront Site in New York City,” Co-Author

For: Environmental Law in New York Vol. 31, No. 79; Co-Author(s): Michael Bogin, Katherine Ghilain Trudell


“Environmental Law: Developments in the Law of SEQRA,” Co-Author

For: 68 Syracuse Law Review 837; Co-Author(s): Mark A. Chertok, Katherine Ghilain Trudell


“Environmental Law: Developments in the Law of SEQRA,” Co-Author

For: 67 Syracuse Law Review 897; Co-Author(s): Mark A. Chertok, Katherine Ghilain Trudell, Victoria S. Treanor


“Environmental Law: Developments in the Law of SEQRA”, Co-Author

For: 66 Syracuse Law Review 905; Co-Author(s): Mark A. Chertok, Katherine Ghilain Trudell, Victoria S. Treanor


“Recent Pa. Fracking Charges May Set a New Trend,” Co-Author

For: Environmental Law 360, Energy Law 360 and Pennsylvania Law 360; Co-Author(s): Jeremy Peterson

October 15, 2013

“The 2008 Lacey Act Amendments and the Fight Against Illegal Logging,” Co-Author

For: Bloomberg BNA’s International Trade Reporter; Co-Author(s): Marcus A. Asner

July 11, 2013

“TSCA, FIFRA, and Perhaps EPCRA Likely to Play Featured Roles in the Piecemeal Development of Federal Fracking Regulation, 14 Chemical Regulation, and Right-to-Know,” Co-Author

For: Committee Newsletter, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, American Bar Association; Co-Author(s): Shailesh R. Sahay

Feb. 2013

“The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Overseas Environmental Crimes: Analyzing the Intersection of Two Risk Areas,” Co-Presenter

For: Bloomberg BNA, with Marcus A. Asner and Samuel M. Witten

October 23, 2012

“With Gibson Settlement, ‘Due Care’ is Slightly More Clear,” Co-Author

For: Hardwood Floors; Co-Author(s): Marcus A. Asner and Samuel M. Witten

Oct./Nov. 2012

“Gibson Guitar, Forfeiture, and the Lacey Act Strike a Dissonant Chord,” Co-Author

For: Bloomberg BNA Daily Environmental Report, Daily Report for Executives, White Collar Crime, Report, and International Environment Reporter; Co-Author(s): Marcus A. Asner, Maxwell C. Preston

September 4, 2012

“Improving Community Character Analysis in the SEQRA Environmental Impact Review Process: A Cultural Landscape Approach to Defining the Elusive “Community Character”

For: 17 New York University Environmental Law Journal 1194


Equinor Becomes Leading U.S. Offshore Wind Developer with 2,500 Megawatt Award from New York State

In his January 13, 2021 State of the State address, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York will contract with Equinor Wind US LLC (Equinor) for 2,490 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind energy, the largest combined procurement of offshore wind energy ...

Meet Katie Ghilain, Who Was Recently Promoted From Associate to Principal at SPR

Katie has always had a passion for the environment. Throughout her studies at Vassar College and NYU Law, she focused on how her varied areas of interest -- law, public policy, scientific inquiry and economics -- all intersect in the search for ...

Appellate Division Affirms Dismissal of Challenge to the American Museum of Natural History’s Gilder Center Project

In a decision dated April 18, 2019, the Appellate Division, First Department unanimously and emphatically affirmed a lower court ruling dismissing the lawsuit challenging the legality of the American Museum of Natural History’s Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. The Gilder ...

SPR Solidifies Its Position at the Forefront of Efforts to Bring Offshore Wind Energy to New York State

In February 2019, SPR closed a deal in which port developer Atlantic Offshore Terminals LLC acquired the future epicenter of offshore wind development in New York State. The offshore wind energy industry is emerging rapidly in the northeastern United States, and a critical component of its success is the establishment of ...

NY Supreme Court Dismisses ULURP/SEQR Challenge to American Museum of Natural History’s Gilder Center Project

In a decision dated December 10, 2018, Hon. Lynn Kotler of the New York Supreme Court, New York County, dismissed in its entirety litigation challenging the legality of the American Museum of Natural ...

New York Moves Closer to Offshore Wind Energy Procurement

On July 12, 2018, the New York State Public Service Commission (“PSC”) issued an Order directing the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”) to begin soliciting bids for approximately 800 MW of offshore wind capacity in the fourth quarter of 2018, taking the State closer to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s ...

New York University School of Law, J.D., 2009

Vassar College, B.A., 2006, General and departmental honors

New York, 2009

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

American Bar Association, Member

Bar Association of the City of New York, Member

New York City Environmental Law and Leadership Institute, Graduate