Karen Winters leads our global Environmental, Safety & Health Practice. She has an established reputation for successfully assisting clients in the management of large-scale environmental liability and compliance issues, providing them with strategic counseling; defense of federal and state enforcement proceedings; defense of environmental tort claims including public nuisance claims; and advancement and defense of claims for cost recovery. She is experienced in complex project siting and development (including endangered species and impacts to wetlands and jurisdictional waters), and public advocacy. Her clients are primarily in the chemicals, energy and natural resources, diversified industrials, iron and steel and environmental services industries.
Prior to joining our firm, Karen worked for five and a half years in the Office of the Ohio Attorney General as an Assistant Attorney General, including Assistant Chief of the Consumer Fraud Division, member of the Environmental Enforcement Division, member of the Federal Litigation Division and member of the Chief Counsel’s staff.
Karen is a member of the American Bar Association’s Section on Environment, Energy and Resources; the Ohio State Bar Association’s Environmental Law Committee and the Columbus Bar Association’s Environmental Law Committee. She is also a member of the American Iron and Steel Institute’s Environment Committee, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce’s Energy and Environment Committee (and serves on its Executive Committee), the Ohio Manufacturers Association’s Environment Committee and the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council’s Regulatory Committee.
Karen has received a number of recognitions and distinctions. She is recognized as a Top Rated Lawyer in The American Lawyer’s “Women Lawyers in the Law.” She has been listed in Chambers USA – America’s Leading Business Lawyers in the area of environmental law each year since 2005. She has also been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America each year since 2006 and is the 2020 Lawyer of the Year for Environmental Litigation in Columbus. She has been included in Thomson Reuters’ list of Ohio Super Lawyers, the top 5% of lawyers in Ohio, each year since 2004. Karen is AV-Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is recognized as one of their Legal Leaders: Midwest. She has been consistently identified by Columbus Monthly as one of the top 25 women lawyers in Columbus and was recently featured in Columbus CEO magazine as one of the top lawyers in Central Ohio.
Karen is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Columbus Bar Foundation, whose mission is to promote the understanding of the law, the role of the legal profession and access to justice. Karen formerly served as a member of the Governing Board of Trustees of the YWCA Columbus (2012-17) whose mission is to eliminate racism and empower women.