Linda E. Benfield


Linda E. Benfield


“One of the most established and effective environmental lawyers in the state” according to Chambers USA, Linda E. Benfield has more than 38 years’ experience in all aspects of environmental law. She puts her extensive background to work for clients, counseling them on litigation and compliance issues related to air and water permitting, solid and hazardous waste handling and disposal, and PFAS and other emerging contaminants.

Honored multiple times as “Lawyer of the Year,” Linda has been recognized by her peers for her legal abilities, professionalism and integrity.

She advises clients on regulatory issues concerning the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, Superfund, mobile source, multimedia, and RCRA enforcement. She counsels clients on citizen suit litigation, settlement strategies and related cost recovery, insurance coverage, and indemnity disputes. Linda also advises clients regarding the variety of issues involved in the redevelopment, sale, or other transfer of contaminated properties.

Linda’s recent cases and administrative proceedings include representation of clients in U.S. EPA multimedia audits and related enforcement, the defense of numerous complaints by U.S. EPA or state environmental agencies alleging air emissions or “new source review” violations, and prosecution and defense of citizen suit actions and cost recovery actions in federal and state courts.

A member of the firm’s Management Committee and former chair (and current member) of the Environmental Regulation Practice, Linda is also a member of the firm’s Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations Practice and the Manufacturing Sector. She is a regular speaker on issues related to environmental enforcement, litigation, compliance, and transactions.

Awards and Recognition

  • Peer review rated as AV Preeminent®, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ system
  • The Best Lawyers in America© – Environmental Law (1995, 2010 – 2024)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© – Litigation – Environmental (2011 – 2024)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© – Natural Resources Law (2012 – 2023)
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business – Natural Resources & Environment (2010-2022)
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers® – Environmental (2005-2016, 2021, and 2023)
  • Client Service All Star Team – BTI Consulting Group (2016)
  • Best Lawyers® – Milwaukee Environmental “Lawyer of the Year” (2010, 2013 and 2015)
  • Best Lawyers® – Wisconsin Natural Resources “Lawyer of the Year” (2014)
  • Best Lawyers® – Milwaukee Natural Resources “Lawyer of the Year” (2012)
  • “Women of Influence” – The Milwaukee Business Journal (2014)
  • International Who’s Who of Environmental Lawyers (2011)
  • “Women in the Law” – Wisconsin Law Journal (2009)
  • “Top 25 Women Lawyers” – Wisconsin Super Lawyers® (2008)


  • Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society Ltd. (ALAS) – Board Member (2015 – present)
  • American College of Environmental Lawyers – Fellow
  • Wisconsin Law Foundation – Fellow

Community Involvement

  • United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County
    • Chair of the board (2020 – 2022)
    • Board member (2013 – present)
    • Campaign co-chair (2013)
  • Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, board member (2019 – present)
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, trustee (2016 – present)
  • Building Brave, board member (2016 – 2022)
  • Milwaukee Ballet – former chair of the board and board member
27 February 2024 Legal News: Environmental

EPA Seeks to Regulate Nine PFAS as Hazardous Constituents

On February 8, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published two proposed rules in the Federal Register that, if adopted, would list nine per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances as “hazardous constituents” under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and expand the agency’s ability to address these PFAS in RCRA corrective actions.
17 January 2024 Deals and Wins

Foley Represents Barnes Group in Sale of Associated Spring™ and Hänggi™ Businesses

Foley & Lardner LLP served as legal advisor to Barnes Group Inc., a global provider of highly engineered products, differentiated industrial technologies, and innovative solutions, in its entering into a definitive agreement to sell its Associated Spring™ and Hänggi™ businesses to One Equity Partners.
16 November 2023 Honors and Awards

Foley Attorneys Named 2023 Wisconsin Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Foley & Lardner LLP is pleased to announce that 18 of its attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2023 Wisconsin Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.
17 August 2023 Honors and Awards

Foley Attorneys Recognized in 2024 Best Lawyers in America

Foley & Lardner LLP proudly announced today that 236 of the firm’s attorneys across 20 U.S. offices have received recognition in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©.
01 June 2023 Press Releases

Foley Earns Top Rankings in Chambers USA 2023

Foley & Lardner LLP is pleased to announce that it has again been recognized by Chambers & Partners as one of the top law firms in the country in the 2023 edition of Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.
06 April 2023 Deals and Wins

Foley Represents nVent in Agreement to Acquire ECM Industries

Foley & Lardner LLP represented nVent Electric plc, a global leader in electrical connection and protection solutions, in its agreement to acquire ECM Investors, LLC, the parent of ECM Industries, LLC, for a purchase price of $1.1 billion, subject to customary adjustments.