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Kelly Johnson


505 9th St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20004

Kelly leverages her experience and knowledge of the executive, legislative, and judicial systems to deliver clients strategic solutions to the complex challenges they face.

Kelly’s practice, at the intersection of law and public policy, includes providing environmental and natural resources compliance advice and helping clients subject to federal enforcement investigations or proceedings.  She focuses on environmental, energy, and natural resource matters, including climate change issues, for a diverse range of corporate entities including mining, oil and gas and renewable energy companies.

After starting her career at Holland & Hart, Kelly served as Senior Counsel to the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee.  She later was the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Acting Assistant Attorney General in the Environment & Natural Resources Division at the U.S. Department of Justice representing the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other federal agencies in litigation involving their environmental and conservation decisions. Kelly draws on the expertise and relationships established through her public service on Capitol Hill and the Department of Justice to develop and execute strategies that promote or protect clients’ interests before federal decision makers in Washington, D.C. 

Kelly is an elected member of the firm's five-partner Management Committee which oversees the firm's management and strategic direction and the Administrative Partner of the Washington DC office. From 2012 to 2017, Kelly served as the Environment and Natural Resources Practice Group Leader.


Kelly has experience in many areas of environmental and natural resources law, including:

  • Federal legislative and regulatory affairs
  • Federal election and campaign finance law
  • Federal and state statutory and regulatory programs to address climate change and limit greenhouse gas emissions from the industrial sector
  • Defending Clean Air Act and Resource Conservation Recovery Act investigations and enforcement proceedings
  • Federal litigation involving environmental and land management statutes
  • Environmental compliance and permitting
  • American Indian Law

Client Results

  • Represent mining companies in state and federal efforts to adopt and implement greenhouse gas cap-and-trade programs.

  • Represent an oil and gas company in environmental litigation involving the Department of the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration regarding offshore development.

  • Represent an offshore wind project developer before the Department of the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

  • Routine compliance counseling on federal election law requirements and defense of Federal Election Commission enforcement inquiries.
  • Work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs on mineral and business lease assignments.
  • Represented industrial mineral, coal, and precious metals mining companies on regulatory matters before the Department of the Interior and Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Negotiated a first of its kind Clean Air Act settlement for an oil and gas producer.

  • Successfully resolved a Resource Conservation & Recovery Act enforcement action against a mining company.
  • Led the donation of mineral lands to the National Park Service.

  • Represented a hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal company in a Clean Air Act enforcement action.

  • Developed and implemented a successful legislative strategy to secure Congressional authorization of a three-party land exchange resolving a long-standing tribal land claim.

  • Successfully convinced the Bureau of Land Management that the agency had the legal authority to allow the on-site use of mine waste methane.



Speaking Engagements


Bar Admissions


  • Washington DC Super Lawyer®, Energy & Natural Resources

Professional and Civic Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources
  • Indiana University, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Distinguished Alumni Counsel, 2013-2019
  • District of Columbia Bar, Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Section Steering Committee, Co-Chair, 2008-2010

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