Eleni Kouimelis is a partner and chair of the firm’s environmental law department which received national rankings in environmental law and environmental litigation by U.S. News & World Report in its 2014 “Best Law Firms” issue.
Ms. Kouimelis focuses her practice on environmental issues that arise in a variety of contexts, including transactions, compliance counseling, and litigation. She provides compliance counseling to diverse industrial and manufacturing clients in all the environmental media, including designing and implementing audit and sustainability programs, strategic planning, and permitting and siting approval. In addition, Ms. Kouimelis advises clients in the remediation and redevelopment of contaminated properties under both voluntary and government-mandated cleanups. She represents clients in environmental enforcement actions brought by federal, state, and local authorities in jurisdictions throughout the United States. Ms. Kouimelis also provides environmental counseling in corporate and real estate transactions, including acquisitions, divestitures, financings, and securities offerings.
Prior to joining Winston & Strawn in 1989, Ms. Kouimelis served as assistant regional counsel with USEPA Region 5, where she brought actions to enforce the air, water, and toxic statutes in judicial and administrative forums, and provided legal counseling and policy assistance to program clients in these areas.
Ms. Kouimelis received a B.A. from the University of Illinois in 1982, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She received a J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1985, where she was a member of the Loyola Law Review.
Honors & Awards
Ms. Kouimelis is listed in Chambers USA in Environmental Law every year since 2011; was recognized by Corporate Counsel and The American Lawyer magazines as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer for Energy, Environmental, and Natural Resources; published in Chicago Magazine’s Super Lawyer Section in 2010, 2011, and 2012 as a Top Illinois Attorney in Environmental Law; named in the 2009/2010 edition of Who’s Who in North America; listed in The International Who’s Who of Environment Lawyers 2010; and recognized from 2010-2013 in Chicago’s Best Lawyers for environmental law. She has been listed in Best Lawyers in America from 2009-2013, and was recognized by Leading Lawyers Magazine in the 2012 Women’s Edition, as well as ranked among the Top 50 women attorneys. Most recently, she was featured in the 2014 issue of the Real Estate, Construction, and Environmental edition of Leading Lawyers Magazine in an article titled, “Environmental Lawyer Sees Her Practice as Driven Journey.” In addition, Ms. Kouimelis has been named an Illinois Super Lawyer since 2010.
Ms. Kouimelis is a board member of the Environmental Law Institute and serves as an officer of the Hellenic Bar Association.
Ms. Kouimelis frequently speaks and writes articles on a variety of environmental subject areas. She has presented “Understanding and Minimizing Your Company’s Nanotort Risks,” a Winston & Strawn eLunch interactive seminar, May 2011; a presentation regarding nanotechnology chemical regulation as part of the Staying Ahead of the Curve: A Strategic Approach to the New Chemical Management Rules seminar, May 2011; “Environmental Disclosure, Sustainability Reporting, and Green Claims: What Companies are Saying” as part of the Even Green Can’t Escape the Law conference sponsored by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, June 2010; “Environmental Marketing: Legal Issues of Claiming To Be Green” as part of a Winston & Strawn-sponsored Green Marketing Teleconference, March 2009; “Nanotechnology Developments,” which was presented to the National Paint & Coatings Association, March 2009; speaking at the Winston & Strawn-sponsored Sustainability 101 Workshop: Moving Toward the Sustainable Organization, April 2008; “What Should In-House Counsel Know About Toxic Torts and Global Warming?” sponsored jointly by Winston & Strawn and the Chicago Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, January 2007; “Assessing the Impact of Environmental Review and Air Permitting on Biofuels Project Risk” at the Ethanol & Biofuels Project Finance Tutorial conference in Chicago, November 2006; Environmental impact: An introduction to mold remediation and mitigation, presented to BOMA International/BOMI Institute Seminar, May 2006; Overview of SEC disclosure of environmental liabilities, presented to the Chicago Bar Association, April 2006; recently proposed NESHAPs, 2004 Illinois Environmental Law Conference, October 2004.
Ms. Kouimelis wrote the Environmental Disclosure Requirements chapter for Environmental Law in Illinois Corporate and Real Estate Transactions published in 2007 (co-author) and updated in 2011, as well as the Environmental chapter of Equipment Leasing–Leveraged Leasing published by the Practising Law Institute in 1999 (author) and 2004 (co-author), updated in 2010. Also in 2007, her article, “Environmental Disclosure Requirements: Accounts, SEC, and Sarbanes-Oxley Act Considerations Associated with Environmental Liability,” was published by the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal education. Her other publications include “An Overview of Securities and Exchange Commission Environmental Disclosure Requirements,” Environmental Liability Reporter, October 2000, and “Illinois Air Permit Program,” Clean Air Permits, March 1997.