Mark Farley, head of Katten’s Environmental and Workplace Safety practice and crisis response counsel to some of the largest global energy companies and chemical manufacturers, has served in lead attorney roles for some of the most significant US industrial accidents in the last 20 years.
His practice is focused on developing a new standard for how companies in the energy/environmental sector respond in the often deadly, usually government-investigated aftermath of workplace disaster.
Mark has helped clients respond to investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and state regulatory agencies.
He was one of the lead partners supporting the work of the BP US Refineries Independent Safety Review Panel, which investigated the corporate safety culture and oversight at BP’s North American refineries on behalf of an independent panel of experts chaired by former US Secretary of State James A. Baker III.
When confronting government investigations, Mark recognizes that defending a client’s legal interests is just one part of the equation. Safeguarding an organization’s long-term reputation, demonstrating cooperation and promptly regaining site control are equally important.
He employs a multifaceted approach to incident response, using a team of lawyers, evidence custodians, technical experts, communications consultants and others. He also works to create efficiencies during on-site evidence collection in an effort to reduce idled operations that can cost clients millions.
Additionally, Mark understands preparedness and proactive risk management activities are essential in time of a crisis. As such, Mark leads Katten’s Safety Advisory Group, designed for in-house safety professionals who work on health and safety, process safety, and risk management matters.
Frequently, Mark counsels companies on EHS culture and the management of workplace safety, and partners with clients to anticipate and plan for how to promptly provide the resources for an effective response within the first 48 to 96 hours after an event.
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