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Heather A. (Austin)Richardson

New York

O 212.908.3998


O 216.566.5927

Heather A. (Austin)Richardson


Focus Areas

Mergers and Acquisitions, Real Estate and Commercial Lending

  • Representation of national and international corporations and private equity and venture funds on hundreds of deals in the chemical, telecommunication, pulp and paper, aluminum, powder metal, metal components, steel, plastic, coatings, aerospace and defense, healthcare products, food, recycling, shopping center, real estate, lawn and tree care, pharmaceutical, synthetic biology, energy and automotive industries on all environmental aspects of the purchase, sale and finance of businesses and business assets.
  • Representation of numerous manufacturing clients in connection with sale and disposition of legacy facilities located throughout the United States.
  • Representation of buyers and lessees on qualifying as bona fide purchasers under CERCLA or meeting innocent landowner and contiguous property owner defenses, and obtaining liability protection for buyers of contaminated property under various state programs.
  • Lead environmental counsel for private equity fund in connection with all environmental and NEPA and SHPO corporate, real estate and lending issues regarding various transactions in the business services, media and telecommunications industries including fund formation and numerous acquisitions and dispositions.
  • Obtained closure under state numerous regulatory programs and resolving environmental issues in distressed M&A transactions, including representation of clients under various transfer acts, including the New Jersey’s Industrial Sites Recovery Act and Connecticut Property Transfer Act.
  • Representation of Debtor in Pre-Packaged Plan of Reorganization in connection with transfer of environmental liabilities and consent orders.
  • Representation of lenders in the energy and oil and gas sectors.
  • Representation of buyer in Chapter 11 proceedings in connection with environmental matters relating to a former steel manufacturing facility, including resolving open enforcement issues with Ohio EPA, obtaining a Covenant Not to Sue under the Ohio VAP program and procuring a liability transfer agreement.
  • Representation of a lending institution on environmental issues relating to the sale of more than 500 branch offices.

Brownfield Redevelopment

  • Representation of clients in achieving closure and obtaining tax credits under voluntary action and brownfield sites, including the New York Voluntary Cleanup Program, the Ohio Voluntary Action Program, the Pennsylvania Act 2 Program and Michigan Part 201 Cleanup Program.
  • Representation of real estate development company in connection with brownfield acquisitions involving retention of liability transfer company, negotiation of environmental liability transfer and escrow agreements and procurement of environmental insurance.

Compliance Counseling, Site Remediation and Enforcement Defense

  • Representation of manufacturing clients in connection with potential PFAS liability in connection with ongoing remediation projects.
  • Representation of manufacturing clients regarding permitting, compliance and voluntary disclosure issues under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Toxic Substances Control Act and analogous state programs.
  • Representation of industrial clients at Superfund sites throughout the US.
  • Representation of a construction demolition debris and solid waste landfill client on all permitting, legislative and compliance issues.
  • Representation of a clients in maritime, chemical and energy industries relating to SEC disclosure requirements.
  • Representation of a chemical company in an eminent domain action regarding residential real estate development.
  • Representation of a waste management company in a toxic tort suit regarding the land application of biosolids.
  • Representation of a recycling company in obtaining variance agency from the classification of a hazardous waste from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Representation of numerous clients regarding release reporting enforcement actions.

Environmental Justice

  • Advice and counsel to clients in connection with environmental justice due diligence issues in M&A transactions.
  • Conducted environmental justice analysis of a global chemical manufacturer’s 19 U.S. facilities using the EPA’s EJScreen tool.
  • Assist real estate developer in environmental justice issues in connection with the sale of a former manufacturing site.
  • Co-presenter, “Protecting Against PFAS Liabilities in M+A Transactions and Property Transfers,” American Conference Institute’s Summit on PFAS Regulation, Compliance and Litigation, New York, New York, May 2024
  • Panelist, “What to Do About PFAS,” Northeast Brownfield Coalition, Worcester, Massachusetts, September 2023
  • Panelist, “Managing Environmental Risk in Changing Times: A Forum for EH&S Counsel and Leaders,” Thompson Hine Webinar, May 2023
  • “Another One Bites the Dust: Why Deals Are So Hard to Close in 2023,” ICSC Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania Retail Development and Law Symposium, March 3, 2023
  • “PFAS Legal Considerations for Brownfield Transactions and Remediation Sites,” Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast annual meeting, Stamford, Connecticut, September 13, 2022
  • Panelist, “PFAS Liabilities Hidden Risks and Mitigation Strategies,” Thompson Hine and ERM webinar, 2020
  • “Managing Risk with Dry Cleaners, Auto Repair Shops and other ‘Toxic’ Tenants,” ICSC Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania Retail Development and Law Symposium
  • “Managing Contaminated Property in Commercial Real Estate Transactions” Ohio State Bar Association CLE (Multiple years)
  • “EH&S Auditing Programs: A Company’s Shield or the Government’s Sword?,” Safety Leadership Week
  • “Staying on Top of Environmental Considerations: Land Development,” National Business Institute, Cleveland, Ohio (Multiple years)
  • “Environmental Issues – Contaminated Property Transactions,” National Business Institute, Cleveland (Multiple years)
  • “Environmental Transactional Issues in a Distressed Economy,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • “Environmental Liability and Risk Issues in Lending Transactions,” Lorman Education Services
  • “The New Environmental Liability Protections,” National Business Institute
  • “Ohio Brownfield Legal Liability Issues: Unleashing Value in Brownfields,” International Council of Shopping Centers / International Economic Development Council
  • “How to Make Green When Building Green,” International Council of Shopping Centers Regional Symposium
  • “Ohio and Maryland Brownfield Legal Liability Issues,” Western Pennsylvania Engineer’s Society
  • “Environmental Issues in Commercial Real Estate: Diligence and Insurance,” Ohio State Bar Association
  • “Indemnification Panel: Doing the Deal. Bridging the Gap with Environmental Insurance,” Cleveland Bar Association
  • “Buying and Selling a Business in Ohio: Bridging the Gap with Environmental Insurance,” Ohio State Bar Association’s Environmental Law Seminar
  • Planner and moderator, “Preparing for an Environmental Catastrophe,” Columbus Bar Association CLE
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2006 to 2024 for Environmental Law, and Litigation-Environmental

Community Activities and Boards

  • Board Member, Lyme Youth Services Bureau, Old Lyme, Connecticut
  • Board Member, Phoebe Noyes Public Library, Old Lyme, Connecticut
  • Reunion Co-Chair, Allegheny College
  • Board of Education Member and Co-Chair, First Congregational Church of Old Lyme


  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law, J.D., 1993,
    cum laude
  • Allegheny College, B.A., 1990,
    cum laude

    Alden Scholar

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Connecticut
  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio