Andrew Perel joined the New York office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP as a partner in the firm’s environmental practice group of its Regulatory & Industry Affairs Department. He is a member of the New York office’s management committee and a member of the firm’s executive committee.
Perel also represents financial institutions in structured finance transactions (asset backed securitization and commercial mortgage-backed securitization transactions), and real estate sales, acquisitions and development matters. “This firm provides an outstanding platform from which to continue to grow my practice,” he said. “I am looking forward to enhancing and expanding Steptoe’s presence in New York.”
A recognized leader in environmental law, Perel primarily counsels clients on environmental compliance and due diligence and litigates complex environmental matters including environmental insurance disputes. Part of his job is to ensure that in all types of structured finance deals, his clients can deal effectively with the environmental conditions of the underlying assets. “Our group’s practice is not limited to litigation, transactional, compliance, or regulatory work,” he explained. “We do all of them. On any given day, if a client has a need, we can handle it, which keeps the practice interesting and challenging.”
Prior to joining Steptoe, Perel chaired the environmental practice group at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP. He joined Cadwalader in 2001 from the former Roseman & Colin, where he was also a partner and the co-chair of its real estate department. He began his legal career as an associate with Adams Duque & Hazeltine and Riker, Danzig, Sherer, Hyland & Perretti.
He graduated from Brandeis University, where he was a pre-med student with plans to become a doctor. But he also minored in legal studies and found he was more comfortable in a law office rather than the operating room. As a summer associate, he was given an environmental matter to work on, and “it all clicked,” he said. “I understood the organic chemistry underlying the case. I’d found what I was supposed to do.”
At Brooklyn Law School, Perel participated in the Moot Court Honor Society and was a member of Phi Delta Phi. In law school, he was inspired by Professor Richard Allen, whose understanding of the practice of law “helped catapult me to the next level of my career,” he said.