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Robert Whetzel is the chair of the firm’s Litigation Department.


With a practice encompassing a broad range of business and commercial matters, Bob has over 35 years of experience handling complex commercial, intellectual property, and environmental disputes.  He represents clients in litigation, arbitration, and regulatory matters across a wide variety of industries—including petrochemical, energy, technology, electronics, pharmaceuticals, finance, transportation, and manufacturing. Bob’s diverse clients include businesses, academic institutions, manufacturers, energy companies, utilities, developers, lenders, industrial facilities, municipalities, and governmental organizations.


Bob appears regularly in federal and state courts in Delaware and other jurisdictions, and also has amassed significant experience in alternative dispute resolution. In addition to his commercial litigation practice, Bob advises clients on transactional and contractual matters.  He has particular expertise in intellectual property and environmental issues.


Regularly handling complex issues arising under federal and state environmental laws, Bob represents clients on the full spectrum of environmental matters, including site acquisition and development, site remediation, and air, water, solid, and hazardous waste. His environmental practice encompasses permitting, compliance counseling, enforcement, and litigation, and he also advises on environmental issues in real estate and business transactions.


Recent engagements include:

  • Compliance counseling for major chemical manufacturers
  • Defense of EPA multimedia enforcement actions
  • Appeals of TMDL regulations and water quality standards
  • Appeals of Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act regulations
  • Numerous permit appeals and enforcement actions
  • Providing advice on issues relating to climate change and sea level rise


Bob has extensive experience with federal and state environmental agencies, particularly in enforcement, permitting and transactional matters. Representing both new and existing businesses in permitting matters, he handles permitting issues for manufacturers, recycling companies, energy companies, and utilities.  He also counsels clients in connection with Delaware’s newly adopted Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act.


Active in legislative affairs in Delaware, Bob has testified and commented on numerous environmental proposals. He is a registered lobbyist in the State of Delaware, and frequently testifies on environmental legislation on behalf of business organizations. He regularly appears before state and federal courts, administrative agencies, and other regulatory bodies.


Bob has served on numerous regulatory advisory committees, including

  • Coastal Zone Act Conversion Permit Regulatory Advisory Committee
  • Brownfields Advisory Committee
  • Chronic Violators Regulatory Development Committee
  • Hazardous Substance Cleanup Act Advisory Group
  • Title V Fee Advisory Committee


A frequent speaker at conferences and seminars on environmental issues, Bob was recently a panelist at a program entitled “The Delaware Coastal Zone Act Conversion Permit Act.”



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Robert Whetzel - America's Top 50 Lawyer - Environmental Law - Delaware

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