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AndrewLeja

Partner

"Time and again the old maxim proves true: 'Education is gained by those who read the fine print; experience is gained by those who don't.'"

Overview

Biography

Andrew is Barclay Damon’s former Land Use & Zoning Practice Area chair. Drawing upon almost 30 years of experience in environmental, municipal, and energy law matters, he offers a unique blend of cross-disciplinary knowledge to clients.

As counsel to publicly and privately held companies, Andrew develops strategies and provides tactical advice on permitting, site development and expansion, environmental-impact assessment, historic preservation reviews, and complicated regulatory enforcement matters. As special counsel to local governments and not-for-profit development agencies, he guides the conduct of environmental and land-use approval processes and routinely appears before state and federal agencies and courts regarding land use, health, and environmental matters.

From obtaining substation and transmission line construction approvals across New York State for a major Northeast electric utility to coordinating multijurisdictional permits for a nuclear facility’s new headquarters and spent nuclear-fuel storage pad to supervising due diligence and permitting for a 330-mile long underwater electric cable between Canada and New York City, Andrew is well versed in negotiating complex permits and agreements with governmental entities on behalf of his clients. When necessary, he uses his extensive trial and appellate experience to defend client interests in litigation.

Bar Associations

  • New York State Bar Association
  • Onondaga County Bar Association
Experience

Representative Experience

  • Leading the permitting team responsible for a major Northeast electric utility’s infrastructure expansion and upgrade program throughout New York State.
  • Accomplished the multijurisdictional permitting of major construction projects at a high-profile nuclear-power generation facility in Downstate New York, including a new 110,000 square foot office complex and a new Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) located in a sensitive Hudson River ecosystem.
  • Identified critical nuclear and electric utility infrastructure information at risk for public disclosure and negotiated its safe retrieval from municipal agencies.
  • Headed local regulatory review and the underwater permitting process for a 330-mile, 1000MW underwater/underground electric-transmission line from Canada to New York City.
  • Negotiated favorable terms of underwater crossing licenses in Lake Champlain, Hudson River, and New York City waterways for electric utility clients.
  • Led due-diligence team review on behalf of a purchaser of a 195-turbine, 320+MW wind farm installation in Upstate New York.
  • Successfully litigated dozens of Article 78 expedited special proceedings for and against municipal governments throughout New York State.

Prior Experience

  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Partner
  • Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency, Environmental Counsel
  • NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Region 7 Legal Affairs Program

Selected Community Activities

  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County, Former Board of Directors President

Selected Honors

  • The Best Lawyers in America®: Environmental Law, 2013-2019
  • Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished Peer Review Rated for High to Very High Ethical Standards and Legal Ability, 2003-2019
Knowledge

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • New York State Association of Towns Annual Meeting, “Why Indian Law is Important to Towns in New York”
  • Lorman Education Services, “Land Use and Zoning”
  • Lorman Education Services, “Public/Private Development Partnerships”
  • Lorman Education Services “New York Zoning as a Development Tool”
  • New York State Association of Towns Highway School, “Legal Issues: Drainage and Rights-of-Way”

Alerts

Events

Featured Media

Alerts

Start Delayed for Required Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Contributions

Alerts

NY Court of Appeals Expands Optional Safety Equipment Defense for Design Defect Claims

Alerts

EEO-1 Component 2 Data Update

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