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Lawrence A. Hobel

Lawrence Hobel advises domestic and international clients on policyholder coverage and complex environmental matters and litigation.

According to a recent edition of Chambers USA, sources say that Mr. Hobel is “very creative in his approach to insurance issues and looks at a complicated problem and finds two or three ways to solve it that others wouldn’t,” and that he is “well spoken, has a fantastic grasp of the case law, is a good strategic thinker and is an all-around strong coverage attorney.”

Mr. Hobel has served as lead counsel in numerous major coverage actions, and has secured in excess of $1.5 billion dollars in insurance recoveries for extraordinary losses. He has represented policyholders in litigation and negotiations on a broad range of insurance recovery claims and coverage, including first party property damage and business interruption loss, D&O and E&O disputes, privacy and data breach claims, third party toxic tort, asbestos, product liability, property damage claims, and environmental liability coverage.

Mr. Hobel also co-chairs the firm’s Environmental Practice. Clients seek his counsel and representation on a broad range of environmental issues, including waste and hazardous materials and substances, air, water, natural resources, Proposition 65 and other disclosure laws, and land use siting and permitting. He has represented clients in corporate transactions in due diligence and to resolve environmental issues, including risk and cost allocation, structuring, use of insurance. He has defended clients in governmental enforcement litigation and negotiations, provided regulatory counsel and representation on federal, state and local environmental regulations impacting both project development and ongoing operations, and litigated CERCLA, private property damage and toxic tort disputes.

Mr. Hobel has recently focused most of his pro bono practice on representation of veterans in benefits disputes.

Mr. Hobel has been an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Insurance Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a panelist at numerous programs on insurance coverage and environmental issues.

In a move designed to provide greater certainty to those purchasing, selling, or evaluating industrial or commercial properties, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed to remove any lingering effect of ASTM International’s E1527-05, a nine-year-old industry standard practice for evaluating potentially contaminated sites under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).


On March 19, 2014, the California Energy Commission, the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency, announced that it was initiating a regulatory process leading to the regulation of 15 categories of consumer appliances as to usage of electricity, natural gas, and water.  This comes in part in response to the three-year drought period in

California’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources just issued final interim regulations (effective January 1, 2014) to implement California’s new fracking statute (SB 4), with permanent rules to follow by January 2015.  For an overview of the fracking statute, see our September E-Alert.

The Division’s interim regulations are supported by a narrative description that provides the Division’s view of fracking, including the differences between hydraulic fracking, acid fracking and acid matrix stimulation, a brief summary of pre SB 4 requirements and summarizes the SB 4 interim operator requirements.  The interim regulations distinguish well stimulation (which is subject to the regulations) from mere underground injection.  These regulations overlay an existing regulatory framework in California on oil and gas wells that is not specific to fracking and which contains requirements not included in the interim regulations.
Continue Reading California Issues New Interim Fracking Regulations