Morgantown, WV
7000 Hampton Center
Morgantown, WV 26505
T: (304) 347-1726
F: (304) 347-2196

J.D., West Virginia University College of Law (1976)

M.P.A., West Virginia University (1976)

B.A., West Virginia University (1972)

  • Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Photo of Leonard  Knee

Leonard Knee

Of Counsel

Leonard Knee has focused his practice in environmental law since 1978. His experience encompasses all facets of environmental law and litigation. 

Leonard’s extensive litigation experience includes mines and quarries, landfills and industrial facilities, toxic torts, as well as water pollution issues, in particular, groundwater hydrology.  Technically complex, these matters require an extensive understanding of geology, hydrology and chemistry, which he possesses. His litigation experience includes criminal defense and environmental cases.

Leonard has extensive experience in developing new power plants, wind projects and other large industrial facilities. These projects are complex undertakings. Such projects live and die at the intersection of law, science and politics. These projects can be very controversial. Leonard has assembled and led the teams pursuing such projects. Successfully navigating the regulatory and political maze for these projects requires experience and organizational skill.

He has substantial experience with the legislature in developing and lobbying environmental laws and regulations. He regularly counsels clients about environmental issues associated with transactions, including due diligence considerations and allocation of environmental liabilities. He has also advised clients about environmental compliance and conducted environmental audits. He has shepherded client projects through the environmental permitting process and assisted them in developing successful strategies to deal with controversial environmental issues.

Professional Highlights

  • Group Leader, Bowles Rice Environmental Practice Group
  • Appointed by the Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to the Carbon Capture and Sequestration Working Group to advise the West Virginia DEP and the West Virginia Legislature about carbon capture issues

  • Past Chairman, West Virginia State Bar Environmental Committee

  • Former Member, West Virginia Energy Task Force, by appointment of the Governor

  • Former Member, Brownfields Task Force

  • Former Deputy Attorney General for the Environmental Task Force

  • Represents clients in a variety of forums including: the Surface Mine Board, the Environmental Quality Board, the Air Quality Board and the PSC

  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America ® (Energy Law; Environmental Law; and Litigation - Environmental)
  • –Named Best Lawyers’ 2016 Environmental Law Lawyer of the Year in the southern West Virginia region
  • –Named Best Lawyers’ 2015 Energy Law Lawyer of the Year in the southern West Virginia region

  • Recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers (Natural Resources Law - Environment)

  • American Bar Association
  • West Virginia Bar Association
  • Independent Oil and Gas Association
  • West Virginia Coal Alliance