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George Gigounas

George Gigounas

Partner

Co-Chair, Environmental practice group

George resolves environmental and product-related issues for industrial, manufacturing and product-based businesses.
About

George Gigounas focuses his practice on resolving environmental and product-related litigation, enforcement and compliance issues for clients with industrial, manufacturing, and product-based businesses.

He builds on a strong background in environmental science, a familiarity with the technical, chemical and mechanical processes involved in industrial operations, and an understanding of the geophysical and toxicity issues arising with hazardous wastes, toxic exposures and environmental remediations. 

George draws his litigation skills from a background involving advocacy for industrial entities, manufacturers, oil businesses, and insurance, consumer and pharmaceutical product firms. He has defended numerous government enforcement actions and complex civil lawsuits under federal CERCLA and RCRA laws and related state laws.

He advises on compliance with product safety laws and regulations, particularly regarding California laws, including long experience in Proposition 65 litigation.  He also helps clients ascertain and monitor their regulatory compliance, develop testing programs, implement required certifications and handle enforcement actions or litigation under federal and state laws.

Bar admissionsCalifornia
CourtsUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitUnited States District Court for the Northern District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Southern District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Central District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of California

Recent Significant Representations

Environmental Law and Toxic Exposures
  • Represents major ship repair and maintenance company in multiple CERCLA cleanup and cost-recovery litigations related to soil, groundwater and sediment contamination at multiple industrial port facilities; interfacing with municipal parties and government regulators
  • Represented global chemical manufacturer in product litigation, regulatory compliance assessment and program enhancements
  • Represented major oil company in multiple CERCLA cleanup and cost-recovery litigation and RCRA cleanup actions, including regulatory interface and long-term remediation processes related to soil and groundwater contamination
  • Represented numerous manufacturers in regulatory enforcement defense and compliance litigation, from a wide variety of industries, including glass and packaging, aftermarket auto parts, chemical manufacturing, insecticides, electronics, over-the-counter consumer healthcare products, clothing, food products and others
  • Assisted major oil company in conducting internal investigation regarding regulatory compliance surrounding pipeline operation. Guided interactions with multiple California air quality monitoring districts
  • Regularly assists construction, heavy industry and commercial development companies in conducting environmental due diligence, assessing regulatory compliance and liability risk in connection with multi-million dollar purchase transactions
  • Represented global bottle manufacturer in successful product safety investigation and defense
  • Represented a children's product manufacturer in a high-profile recall in both the US and Canada of millions of units of a product in a short time frame
Business Litigation
  • Represented former CFO of a multi-billion dollar public company in multiple high-profile securities-related litigations, including derivative claims, class actions and SEC civil litigation
  • Represented global real estate investment enterprise in multi-jurisdictional litigation over real estate portfolio values, and fraud and misconduct of prior portfolio owner
  • Represented global chemical manufacturing company in litigation with former owners over performance benchmarks and earn-outs, and regulatory compliance matters
  • Represented major US bank in multiple litigations regarding value and performance of pension investments and securities lending in the wake of the recent global financial crisis
  • Represented publicly traded technology companies in SEC and DOJ investigations and multiple litigations arising from alleged stock option back-dating, and conducted internal corporate investigations regarding options practices at several publicly traded companies
  • Represented a real estate investment limited partnership in multiple plaintiff arbitration alleging securities fraud
Education
  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley, School of Law 2000
  • B.A., University of Virginia 1997
    with high honors

Awards

  • The Legal 500 United States
    • Recommended, Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Defense - Toxic Tort (2021-2022) 
    • Recommended, Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action: Consumer Products (including Tobacco) (2019) 

Bylines

  • "Think You're Proposition 65 Compliant? Not for Long…," CPGmatters, May 1, 2017
  • "Environmental Considerations for a Prospective Port Tenant," Area Development, April 17, 2017
  • "Despite Progress, Big Obstacles Still Loom For Paris Deal," Law360, October 7, 2016
  • "WARNING: OEHHA amends California Proposition 65 requirements for 'clear and reasonable warnings,'" Next Steps, September 14, 2016
  • "Are Prop 65 Warning Label Changes 'Clear And Reasonable'?," Law360, January 2016
  • "The UNFCCC Paris agreement: impressions from the negotiating table for the energy sector – and 10 key points about what comes next," December 18, 2015
  • "Changes to California Prop. 65 warning requirements may create new pitfalls for consumer businesses – key points and timeline," December 16, 2015
  • "When Crowd Funding Outpaces Compliance Funding,'' Think Globally, May 2015
  • "California's Green Chemistry Initiative: 'Work Plan' basics and the 7 product categories – 3 action steps," October 2, 2014
  • "California court certifies unlikely class – will it redefine the class action landscape?," Class Action Alert (US), April 24, 2014
  • "'Company Doe' wins challenge but loses anonymity - ruling makes it tougher for companies to confront erroneous online claims," Product Liability Alert (US), April 22, 2014
  • "Guan V. Bi Limits Jurisdiction In Cross-Border Litigation," Law360, April 1, 2014
  • "The Puzzle and Promise of Bitcoin," American Bar Association, March 20, 2014
  • "Warning – California proposes major changes for Proposition 65 warnings: take part in the process," Product Liability Alert (US), March 19, 2014
  • "California Green Chemistry Initiative's coming Priority Products list and the DTSC Strategic Plan: what do they mean for you?," Product Liability Alert (US), February 25, 2014
  • "California's Governor Brown earmarks funds for Prop 65 regulations but the threat of unnecessary litigation remains," Product Liability Alert (US), February 20, 2014

Seminars

  • Presentation to the Delegation of Entrepreneurs and Industrial Investors from the Sichuan Province of China on Entering the U.S. Market, Product Liability & Environmental Litigation and Global Compliance & Investigations. DLA Piper’s Palo Alto office, December 19, 2019
  • Panelist, "OEHHA's New Warning Regulations and Internet Platforms: Who Has the Responsibility to Warn?," 2017 Prop 65 Conference, September 25, 2017

Media Mentions

Memberships And Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of California
  • San Francisco Bar Association

Connect

Phone

+1 415 615 6005
(Work, San Francisco)
+1 415 615 6005
(Work, San Diego - Downtown)