Charles M. Denton is a partner in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP and is chair of the firm’s national Environmental Law Department, which was recently recognized as Tier 1 for National Environmental Law and Environmental Litigation in the annual “Best Law Firms” ranking by U.S. News and Best Lawyers. He focuses his practice on environmental agency enforcement defense, toxic torts and class action litigation, “Brownfields” redevelopment, environmental compliance counseling, pollution insurance coverage and alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
Mr. Denton represents a broad range of industrial, municipal, institutional, educational and individual clients in judicial and administrative environmental proceedings at federal, state and local levels, as well as policyholders for environmental coverage claims and litigation. Mr. Denton also assists clients with environmental considerations in commercial transactions, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, as well as ISO 14000 environmental management systems. This includes lender liability issues and environmental audits to assess potential facility contamination and regulatory compliance for the acquisition and financing of real estate, as well as waste management and remedial actions, environmental permits enforcement, and defense of citizens suits.
Mr. Denton is the author and co-author of several publications highlighting environmental law topics, and gives frequent presentations for the American Bar Association, Michigan Bar Association and Michigan Chamber of Commerce, among others. He also serves on the boards of Michigan Chemistry Council and NSF-International Strategic Registrations, as well as serving as counsel to the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) Environment, Health & Safety Council.
Mr. Denton is listed in Who’s Who in American Law (1992-present), Michigan Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America® (1995-present). Best Lawyers also named Mr. Denton as “Lawyer of the Year” in the Environmental Law section for Grand Rapids (2013 & 2014). He serves on the ABA Section of Litigation governing Council (2012-present), and has co-chaired the ABA’s Environmental Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committees. He serves on the CPR Environmental Panel of Distinguished Neutrals, is a Federal Court Arbitrator/Mediator/Neutral Evaluator and Michigan Court Facilitative Mediator. Mr. Denton is a former Detroit Bar Association Chairperson of the Year (1995-1996), Chairperson of the State Bar of Michigan Environmental Law Section (2010-2011), and past chair of the Legal/Liability Committee of A&WMA International. He is also a member of the Wisconsin Bar Environmental Law Section Board (2015-present).
Mr. Denton is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th, 7th and 11th Circuits, as well as the D.C. Circuit; and the U.S. District Courts for the Western and Eastern Districts of Michigan, Northern District of Indiana and Eastern District of Wisconsin. He is admitted to practice in all Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin state courts. Mr. Denton received his A.B. summa cum laude in 1978 from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and his J.D. in 1981 from the University of Michigan Law School.