Rick Burgess joined the firm in 1994. He is a Martindale-Hubbell AV rated attorney who practices exclusively in the area of environmental law for a broad range of clients, including developers, agricultural interests, public and private companies and financial institutions.

Rick has extensive experience in providing legal support on environmental issues in mergers and acquisitions, real estate and business transactions, including pre-acquisition due diligence and post-acquisition compliance. Rick negotiates and drafts environmental provisions in purchase, lease, development and financing agreements, including environmental representations, warranties, releases and indemnifications. He is also involved in the array of environmental regulatory matters, such as economic assessment and valuation of environmental policy, as well as enforcement, permitting and litigation in the areas of water pollution, solid and hazardous waste regulations, natural resource damages and groundwater contamination.

In addition, Rick represents clients in federal and state courts and before administrative law judges on a wide array of environmental permitting, compliance and regulatory claims issues.

  • Chambers USA, Member of Gunster’s environmental law practice ranked “Band 1”, 2017-21
  • The Best Lawyers in America®
    • Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Fort Lauderdale, 2018, 2021, 2024
    • Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Miami, 2014
    • Environmental Litigation, 2006-24
  • South Florida Business Journal, “Heavy Hitters” in Commercial Real Estate, 2011
  • Daily Business Review, “Top Dealmakers of the Year”, 2011
  • Chambers & Partners, “Leaders in Their Field,” Environment, 2009-23
  • Chambers USA, Environmental Law, 2004
  • Florida Trend, “Legal Elite,” 2009, 2013
  • AV Rated as independently determined by Martindale-Hubbell
  • The US Legal 500, Real Estate and Construction, Land Use & Zoning
  • “Florida Brownfields: A Comprehensive Technical, Regulatory, and Legal Update (Parts 1 & 2),” 36th annual Environmental Permitting Summer School, Florida Chamber Foundation, July 2022
  • “Florida Brownfields: A Comprehensive Technical, Regulatory, and Legal Update,” 33rd annual Environmental Permitting Summer School, Florida Chamber Foundation, July 2019
  • “Environmental Due Diligence in Connection with the Acquisition and Re-Development of Property,” 32nd Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School, July 2018
  • “Florida brownfields: A comprehensive technical, regulatory, and legal update,” Florida Environmental Network’s Environmental Permitting Summer School, July 2017
  • “Waste Management and Site Remediation: Landfills, Golf Courses and Gas Stations, Oh Buy! The Hotest Plays in Florida Brownfield and the Most Effective Technical, Regulatory, Legal and Environmental Justice Strategies for Redevelopment Success,” 30th annual Environmental Permitting School, Florida Chamber Foundation, July 2016
  • “Risk Management for Environmental Consultants,” Bloomberg BNA Daily Environmental Report, June 2015
  • “Hazardous Waste and Superfund, the Latest Directions at EPA,” ABA Satellite Seminar, local program chairperson, April 1989
  • “Federal Regulation of Biohazardous Material,” Federal Bar Association Presents Emerging Areas of Federal Practice, May 1989
  • “Advanced Real Estate Law in Florida, Permitting Process and Environmental Liabilities,” 1994
  • “Working with Consultants and Understanding the Phase I Report: Risk, Cost and Liability in Environmental Due Diligence and Compliance,” June 1998
  • “Opportunity and Challenges in the Empowerment Zone: Removing Environmental Barriers to Urban Redevelopment in Miami-Dade County,” April 1999
  • “Brownfields Redevelopment & Urban Sustainability,” March 2000
  • “CERCLA Rights and Remedies,” Florida Chamber of Commerce Environmental Permitting, 1991
  • “Permitting Process and Environmental Liability,” National Business Institute, Inc., 1994
  • “Environmental Liabilities and the Permitting Process,” National Business Institute, Inc., 2000
  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association, Broward County Chapter, President, 1989-90
  • Museum of Discovery and Science
    • Board of Trustees, 2013-present
    • Secretary, 2018-present
  • Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Advisory Committee, 2017-present
  • Riverwalk 100, Founding Member

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