FHWA chief counsel returns to law firm

Fred Wagner, former FHWA chief counsel, has rejoined Beveridge & Diamond where he will head the natural resources and project development practice group.

Fred Wagner, who since 2010 served as chief counsel of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has returned to law firm Beveridge & Diamond, which he originally joined in 1991, the Washington DC-based firm said in a statement.

Wagner, who has rejoined as a principal in the firm’s Washington DC office, will lead the firm’s Natural Resources and Project Development Practice Group. His practice will focus on major project and infrastructure development, including environmental reviews, permitting and approvals from a wide range of federal and state natural resources agencies, and litigation defense of project decisions and policies.

“It’s great to come back home to B&D,” Wagner said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to have served at FHWA and I look forward to applying what I learned as a leader at DOT [Department of Transportation] on behalf of clients committed to rebuilding America’s infrastructure.”

As chief counsel of the US Department of Transportation’s FHWA, Wagner managed all legal matters concerning the $40 billion Federal Aid Highway programme, including environmental and natural resources issues for highway and multi-modal transportation projects across the US, according to the statement.

He helped implement the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), the most recent surface transportation re-authorisation bill, and helped draft and review new proposals for transportation re-authorisation in light of MAP-21’s upcoming expiration date of September 30.

Wagner also defended major projects in federal court, such as the Ohio River Bridges project in Kentucky and Indiana, the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York, and the Birmingham Northern Beltline in Alabama, among others.

Beveridge & Diamond is a mid-size law firm employing 100 lawyers who focus on environmental, sustainability, and natural resources in the context of business strategy, regulatory compliance, transactions, project development and permitting, litigation, and dispute resolution.