Kenneth A. Ehrlich


Bar Admissions

State Bar of California


J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law

B.A., University of California, Davis,  magna cum laude

With a passion for the environment and the laws that protect it, Ken Ehrlich is a hands-on partner serving clients requiring litigation to enforce or protect their environmental rights.  He is equally adept providing counsel in environmental regulatory and compliance matters relating to facility operations, project development, coastal permitting, facility redevelopment and expansion, and transactions involving contaminated real estate.  Ken has served as counsel in some of California’s most high-profile environmental cases, representing project developers, investors, companies, and individuals involved in environmental litigation in state and federal courts as well as prominent project development matters.  More recently, Ken has served as lead counsel representing property owners on Malibu’s famed Broad Beach to help restore its dunes and shoreline.

In addition to regulatory matters and litigation, Ken’s work covers a myriad of transactional matters that allocate environmental risk on behalf of buyers, sellers, guarantors, fiduciaries, lenders, and others.  He maintains critical relationships with state and federal officials, regulators, and agencies, and has deep experience with California and federal environmental laws and regulations.  Trusted for his proficiency in blending legal principles, business sense, and technical details in environmental and land use matters, Ken has also drafted many laws and regulations to help shape our future.

Career Highlights

Lead counsel for $50+ million beach and dune restoration project in western Malibu

Successful resolution of environmental insurance (PLL policy) coverage litigation for insured which owns a chlorinated solvent-contaminated site

Counsel for regional service station operator in litigation alleging pervasive MTBE contamination in Orange County drinking water wells

Secured summary judgment for regional energy company in a federal class action alleging illegal retail motor fuel sales practices (reported at Law 360, July 22, 2013, In regarding Motor Fuel Temperature Sales Practices Litigation, Case No. 2:07-md-01840, U.S. District Court, Kansas)

Co-lead counsel in major limestone mine enforcement and expansion project

Counsel for multiple California coastal property owners in permitting and enforcement matters.

Local counsel and a team coordinator for proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving and truck loading terminal at Port of Long Beach

Co-lead of team which secured entitlements for Wilmington, Calif. oil firm to drill 500+ new wells and abandon unused improvements and facilities

Successfully litigated and resolved multiple CERCLA, RCRA, and common law cost recovery actions involving manufacturing facilities, smelters, landfills, aircraft and aerospace facilities, scrap metal recycling and dry-cleaning facilities

Extensive experience in permitting and entitlement process for manufacturers, mine sites and quarries, and gravel operations, and landfills

Successfully defended multiple clients in Clean Water Act citizens suit based on alleged violations of stormwater regulations

Negotiated first EPA Region 9 “Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser” Agreement for national client

Represented regional petroleum operator in MTBE administrative and litigation proceedings involving contaminated groundwater basin

Represented multiple clients in CERCLA and RCRA Steering Committees and Joint Defense Groups

Represented property developers in purchase and redevelopment of environmentally impaired parcels including numerous Superfund sites throughout California (including major ports) New York, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Massachusetts, and other areas

Prosecuted multiple environmental insurance coverage actions against numerous national insurance companies.

Successfully obtained summary judgment orders forcing insurers to defend insureds against litigation, governmental agency orders and directives.


University of California Regent Scholar, 1983-87

Comments Editor, Santa Clara Law Review, 1989-90

Los Angeles Magazine’s Southern California Super Lawyer, 2004-2017


Chair, Environmental Section of Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2000-2001

Los Angeles County Bar Association

Publications & Speaking Court Decision Freezes Stormwater Permitting; Entire Program in Limbo

Electric and Natural Gas Business: 2005 EPAct Shows More Promise Than Returns For LNG

Environmental Advisor: EPA Targets OII and Omega Superfund Small Hazardous Waste Generators For Expedited Settlement

CMAC 2010 Spring Conference: The New General Permit for Construction Storm Water Discharges

LNG Development in the Pacific Northwest: Permitting a California LNG Receiving and Vehicle Fuel Terminal

Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite: State Bar of California

Real Estate Transactions Involving Contaminated Properties; Finding Buried Treasures and Completing Transactions

Increasing Profits Through Managing Environmental Costs

Dirty Dealing: A Practical Guide for Environmentally-Impaired Property Transactions

Media Mentions

Malibu Times, April 2017, Broad Beach Sand May Not Be Same Color

Ventura County Star, February 2016: Broad Beach Project Considering Other Sand Sources to Appease Fillmore, County

Ventura County Star, November 2015: Ventura County Officials Concerned About Malibu’s Broad Beach Sand Project

Los Angeles Times, October 2015: It’s a Dune Deal

Malibu Times, October 2015: Coastal Commission OKs Broad Beach Sand Replacement

The Hollywood Reporter, May 2014: Malibu’s Broad Beach Residents Plot New $20 Million Plan to Stop Sand Erosion

Huffington Post, May 2013: Broad Beach: Malibu Homeowners Struggle With Beach-Saving Plan

The Daily Breeze, August 2011: Gambol Has Spent $700K on Lobbying and Contributions

Long Beach Press-Telegram, 2011: Conflicting Visions of Future of Port of L.A. Could End in Court Fight

The Daily Breeze, 2011: Hahn Recuses Herself as Mediator After Shipbuilder’s Contributions Come to Light

com, 2009: LCW’s Attorney Tells City Hall His Client Proposes To Close On SE LB Property Exchange

World Entertainment News Network: Malibu’s Broad Beach

Super Lawyers: Environmental Attorneys in California

The Malibu Times: Broad Beach Sandbags a Bust, Some Say

Los Angeles Times: Malibu’s vanishing Broad Beach a sign of rising sea levels, experts say

Los Angeles Business Journal: Attorneys in the Environmental Practice Groups at L.A.’s Largest Law Firms

Los Angeles Business Journal: WHO’S WHO IN L.A. LAW

Malibu Surfside News: Broad Beach Group and Coastal Commission Tackle Erosion