Toomas Pikamäe

Partner Toomas Pikamäe manages the Law Office’s team specialising in public law and environmental law, as well as in economic offences. He is also widely experienced in matters related to data protection.

Toomas advises clients in a large number of issues concerning environmental law: from compliance issues up to environmental management systems, and has particular experience in waste handling issues.

Moreover, Toomas has accumulated extensive experience in the field of economic offences, e.g. offences concerning taxation matters, competition and other business related offences, and provides clients advice with a view to preventing such offences, as well as in proceedings connected with the same.

Toomas has extensive knowledge in the Estonian tax law, and he advises clients in a wide range of tax related issues, i.a. double taxation, corporate income tax, VAT, tax planning, transfer pricing, taxation of permanent establishments, and taxation of private individuals.

Toomas has successfully represented clients in several cases, which have been ultimately referred to the Supreme Court. Toomas’s competence in resolving disputes has been recognised by the international publication Chamber Europe. Furthermore, he is a well appreciated lecturer at seminars dealing with administrative law.

Eversheds :

Eversheds is one of the world’s largest corporate law firms. Committed locally, but connected globally, with offices based in the world’s major economic centres, with a proven track record of delivering consistently high quality legal services across jurisdictions.

The firm has developed organically over the past decade working for corporate organisations of all shapes and sizes in countries where they want to do business. Lawyers in all locations share the same values, ways of working and understanding of what clients really want. The past year has seen further international expansion for the firm. In the Middle East, the firm has become the first international player to establish offices in Iraq and is now one of the largest international players on the ground, with local lawyers based in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Doha, Dubai and Riyadh.

As a modern, progressive law firm, Eversheds sets itself apart through its people, culture and its attitude to change. Quality is a matter of personal pride to everyone and staff of the highest calibre are recruited and retained by the firm. Collaborative working and innovative thinking is encouraged and supported at all levels, meaning that clients enjoy an offering that is constantly evolving and improving to meet their changing needs. This has led to pioneering approaches to the law such as genuine project management and measurement of results that leads to cost predictability and control. In particular, the firm is noted for effectively delivering complex, multi-national legal services through one point of contact.

Relationships with clients are deep and genuine. An understanding of the sector and business culture which each client operates in, is a given. Collaboration is seen as a way of providing the most effective advice. Trust and accountability are the bedrock of all the firm’s client relationships.

Every year, Eversheds breaks new ground and is a firm that offers a clear alternative to those who want more from their lawyers.

Mary Beth Buckley

Mary Beth Buckley counsels national and international food and beverage, retail and health care companies, along with their advertising and promotion agencies, on a wide variety of advertising, marketing, social media, pricing practices and e-commerce issues. In addition to counselling, Mary Beth regularly represents clients in connection with federal and state governmental agency inquiries and investigations and also represents clients in self-regulatory proceedings.

Mary Beth’s practice also includes defending clients in complex commercial and class action litigation, including consumer fraud, warranty, products liability and mass tort litigation. She has played a key role in defending food and beverage, life sciences, retail, and other consumer products companies in high-profile litigation throughout the country.

Firm Overview:

Built on the strength of our commercial, intellectual property, and white-collar litigation practices, our Chicago office serves clients in courts throughout the United States. Our professionals include nationally prominent lawyers in those fields, as well as leading products, environmental, and mass tort trial lawyers and litigators who joined the firm in 2015. With trial experience in over half of the jurisdictions in the United States and a broad array of clients, our Chicago lawyers work closely with their counterparts in all of Steptoe’s offices.

Examples of recent matters include Steptoe successfully moving to dismiss all claims in a data breach class action filed against VTech and successfully resolving all claims against RR Donnelley in a complex patent infringement matter involving 10 patents related to web-to-print and variable-data printing products and services.

Publications including Chambers USA, Legal 500 US, The National Law Journal, and Law360 recognize the practices represented in the Chicago office for their work, and many of the lawyers are leaders in legal and professional organizations.

Norman W. Bernstein

Norman W. Bernstein has advised on a wide range of regulatory matters under U.S. environmental laws and argued numerous envionmental cases in federal appellate and district courts. He has assisted venture capital firms in establishing legal structures to minimize the risks of financing environmentally sensitive deals, advised on environmental disclosure issues and acquisition structuring, extracted a large pigment manufacturing plant from enforcement proceedings, made presentations on behalf of a client before OSHA and the National Toxicology Program regarding the alleged risks posed by silica and on the alleged carcinogenicity of rock wool and slag wool. He has filed comments with EPA on a wide range of rule makings and has negotiated successful settlements in Clean Air Act enforcement cases. He is also a Trustee at two Superfund sites; one is on EPA’s National Priority List. Mr. Bernstein was one of the lead speakers at the 4th Annual Carbon Trading Summit in New York in January 2010. For more details as to some of Mr. Bernstein’s experience and background, please see below.

Superfund and Environmental Litigation 

Mr. Bernstein has played a lead role in Superfund matters since the inception of the program in the early 1980s. In 1983, he led the Enviro-Chem site removal action settlement with EPA–the first large multiparty Superfund settlement with the Agency after the scandals that forced the Administrator from office. In 1984 and 1985, he led the first small generator cash-out anywhere in the country at the Chem-Dyne and Conservation Chemical sites. In 1986-88 he led the defense of the New York landfills litigation and achieved a favorable settlement for his client and several other defendants – the first major landfills settlement in the country. He argued United States v. Alcan Aluminum Corp., 964 F.2d 252 (3d Cir. 1992), the first case ever lost by the U.S. Department of Justice at the federal appellate level on the issue of Superfund joint and several liability. Later that year he also filed the main industry amicus brief in the Second Circuit on Superfund divisibility. During the 1990s, among other things, he successfully represented a coalition of companies in their cost recovery action against more than twenty major utilities that had received a free ride from EPA at a large West Virginia PCB site. Within eleven months after Mr. Bernstein filed suit against the utilities, all but one had settled and the remaining defendant settled on the eve of trial. Mr. Bernstein is currently a Trustee at the Enviro-Chem site Superfund site and at the Third Site, both in Zionsville, Indiana, and the Duane Marine site in Perth Amboy, N.J. The Enviro-Chem site is on EPA’s National Priority list.

With respect to toxic tort defense, Mr. Bernstein obtained summary judgment for a primary third-party defendant in a major lead inhalation case and obtained a dismissal of a second toxic tort (environmental exposure) case. On the appellate level, Mr. Bernstein has briefed and argued cases in the United States Courts of Appeal for the First Circuit (Boston), Second Circuit (New York), Third Circuit (Philadelphia), Seventh Circuit (Chicago), Eleventh Circuit (Atlanta), and the D.C. Circuit (Washington, D.C.).

Clean Air, Clean Water, Hazardous Waste and Fiber Cases 

Mr. Bernstein argued the electroplating pretreatment cases under the Clean Water Act in the Third Circuit, successfully defended a company from a threatened Clean Water Act citizens’ suit based on a claim asserted by a national environmental organization, and also settled on favorable terms other claims for significant discharges allegedly prohibited under the Clean Water Act. He filed extensive comments on EPA’s proposed Metal Parts and Machinery (MP&M) effluent guidelines challenging their applicability to companies already regulated under the Metal Finishing Guidelines. Additional comments were also filed with EPA on similar aspects of the pre-treatment program under the Clean Water Act.

With respect to the Clean Air Act, Mr. Bernstein has negotiated Consent Decrees on favorable terms related to emissions from coal fired boilers and major steel making facilities. He participated in negotiations and filed comments with EPA related to the proposed Compliance Assurance Monitoring (CAM) rule under the Clean Air Act. One of the nation’s largest independent steel manufacturers incorporated (in its comments to EPA) a critical analysis prepared by Mr. Bernstein of the epidemiological data used by EPA in its proposed particulate matter 2.5 micron standard (the PM2.5 rulemaking). Mr. Bernstein has also participated in a wide range of other rulemakings under RCRA, the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act.

Mr. Bernstein has briefed and made extensive administrative presentations to OSHA and the National Toxicology Program critically analyzing epidemiological and other test data related to the permissible exposure levels for silica and the alleged carcinogenicity of rock and slag wool and their dissimilarity to asbestos. He developed the administrative record challenging whether cutting wallboard posed a carcinogen risk and then used the record to successfully litigate against OSHA ending its proposal to mandate carcinogen warning labels on wallboard, joint compound and other silica containing construction products.

Counseling and Brownfield Development

Mr. Bernstein has provided counseling on a range of business activities involving potential environmental risks. Including with respect to Brownfield redevelopment. For example, he developed structural mechanisms that venture capital firms can use to control investors’ environmental risks – thereby facilitating investment in environmentally sensitive businesses. He has also provided counseling on the structuring of business acquisitions so as to control the environmental risks assumed. He has helped a major manufacturer establish the company’s internal management and compliance systems to minimize risks under governmental enforcement policies and to facilitate migration toward IS0 14000 compliance. More recently, Mr. Bernstein successfully extracted a large pigment manufacturing plant on Staten Island from NYDEC enforcement proceedings and obtained NYDEC approval for the site to be redeveloped under New York’s Voluntary Cleanup Plan.

Professional Affiliations and Education

Mr. Bernstein is a past Chairman of the Committee on Litigation Management and Economics of the American Bar Association (Litigation Section) and is the author of numerous articles and presentations on Superfund, including Superfund Reform Needs Drastic Simplification which is published in the January 1995 issue of The Environmental Law Reporter. He has taught torts at Wayne State University Law School and has been a guest lecturer on hazardous waste matters at Yale Law School and the University of Michigan School of Public Health. He is a member of the bars of New York and Michigan and of the bars of the United States Courts of Appeal for the First Circuit (Boston), Second Circuit (New York), Third Circuit (Philadelphia), Seventh Circuit (Chicago), Eleventh Circuit (Atlanta), and the D.C. Circuit (Washington, D.C.). He is also a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Mr. Bernstein is a cum laude graduate of the Columbia University School of Law (1964) where he was a member of the Board of Editors of the Columbia Law Review. Between college and law school, he served as an Ensign and Lieutenant j.g. aboard the destroyer USS Ault (DD 698). 

Areas of Practice

  • Administrative Law
  • Contracts
  • Environmental Law
  • Government Agencies & Programs
  • Litigation & Appeals
  • Natural Resources Law
  • Toxic Torts

Bar Admissions 

  • New York, 1964
  • Michigan, 1983
  • U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit, 1971
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1966
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1983
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1989
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1997

Education 

  • Columbia Law School, New York, New York

-J.D.

  • Columbia Law School, New York, New York

-LL.B.  cum laude – 196

-Law Review: Columbia Law Review, Member, Board of Editors, 1963 – 1964

  • Columbia College, New York, New York

-B.A. – 1959

-Major: History/Government

Published Works 

  • “The Enviro-Chem Settlement; Superfund Problem Solving”, Environmental Law Reporter, December, 1983
  • “To Clean Up Landfills, The Leader Should Be Municipalities Using Economic Incentives to Settle”, Environmental Law Reporter, January, 1989
  • “Superfund Reform Needs Drastic Simplification”, Environmental Law Reporter, January, 1995

Representative Cases 

  • In re the Revenue Properties Litigation Cases, 451 F.2d 310 (1st Circuit 1971)
  • Natural Resources Defense Council v. U.S.E.P.A., 683 F.2d 752 (3rd Circuit 1982)
  • National Association of Metal Finishers v. E.P.A., 719 F.2d 624 (3rd Circuit 1983)
  • General Motors Corp. v. U.S.E.P.A., 738 F.2d 97 (3rd Circuit 1984)
  • City of New York v. Exxon Corp., 633 F.Supp. 609 (S.D.N.Y. 1986)
  • State of N.J. Dept. of Environmental Protection v. Gloucester Environmental Management Services, Inc., 719 F.Supp. 325 (D.N.J. 1989)
  • U.S. v. Kramer, 757 F.Supp. 397 (D.N.J. 1991)
  • United States v. Alcan Aluminum Corp., et al 964 F.2d 252 (3rd Circuit 1992)
  • American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations v. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 965 F.2d 962 (11th Circuit 1992)
  • U.S. v. Alcan Aluminum Corp., 990 F.2d 711 (2nd Circuit 1993)
  • DMJ Associates, LLC v. Capasso, 228 F.Supp.2d 223 (E.D.N.Y. 2002)
  • Honeywell International, Inc. v. E.P.A., 372 F.3d 441 (D.C. Cir. 2004)
  • Bernstein v. Bankert, , 702 F. 3d 964 (7th Circuit 2012)
  • Bernstein v. Bankert, 733 F.3d 190 (7th Circuit 2013)

Classes/Seminars 

  • Adjunct Professor, Wayne State University Law School, Torts, 1987
  • Guest Lecturer on Hazardous Waste Site Matters, Yale Law School, 1985
  • Guest Lecturer on Hazardous Waste Site Matters, University of Michigan School of Public Health, 1986
  • Faculty Member, The Practicing Law Institute’s 1988 Conference on Hazardous Waste Litigation

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of Michigan, Member
  • New York State Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Columbia Club of Michigan, President, 1980 – 1983
  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Past Chairman, Committee on Litigation Management and Economic

Past Employment Positions

  • New York Landfills Litigation Settlement Group, Coordinator, 1987 – 1988
  • Ford Motor Company, Associate Counsel, 1979 – 1988