Photo of Matthew E. Cohn

Matthew E. Cohn


“Blending my experience in science and the law, I work with businesses, scientists, engineers and others to address environmental challenges. This area of the law is increasingly relevant to every industry.”



  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois


J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law, with honors, 2000

M.S., Indiana University, Geology, 1995

B.S., Bucknell University, Geology, with honors, 1993 


Matthew Cohn’s practice focuses on all aspects of environmental law, pairing his legal experience with a professional background in environmental science. His work includes litigation, environmental due diligence and counseling on regulatory compliance.

Issues Matt frequently litigates include CERCLA cost recovery and contribution cases, RCRA citizen suits, toxic tort cases, permitting and insurance coverage disputes, and enforcement actions for violations of air, water and waste laws. He also counsels businesses on Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act regulations and has managed due diligence projects including site assessments under the EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiries Rule and the investigation and remediation of contaminated properties.

Before becoming an attorney, Matt spent several years as a hydrogeologist for a global environmental engineering and consulting firm. That experience included planning and implementing environmental investigations, assessing risks and identifying cost-effective remedies.

Matt regularly writes and speaks on environmental law topics including fracking and vapor intrusion. He also plans and contributes to continuing legal education programs sponsored by the Illinois State Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section Council.

Professional Affiliations

  • Illinois State Bar Association, ex-officio of the ISBA’s Environmental Law Section Council
  • American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, Vice Chair of Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee, Vice Chair of Special Committee on State Bar Cooperation

Community/Civic Activities

  • Planning & Zoning Commission, Village of Buffalo Grove, Illinois
  • Stevenson Community Orchestra

News & Insights

Seminars & Speaking Engagements

  • Midwest Geosciences Group webinar, March 21, 2016
  • "Traditional v. Renewable Resources"
    Valparaiso University Law School Symposium, November 2015
  • "Legal Issues for Illinois Civil Engineers and Surveyors, State and Federal Environmental Contamination Law"
    Foxmoor Continuing Legal Education, August 2015
  • "Land Use Hot Topics, Fracking"
    Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, May 2015
  • "Fracking Begins in Illinois - What Attorneys Need to Know"
    Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, January 2015
  • "What a Real Estate Lawyer Needs to Know About Environmental Issues"
    American Bar Association webinar, January 2015
  • "Hydraulic Fracturing in Illinois, Key Principles of Administrative Law for Environmental Law Practitioners"
    Annual Environmental Law Conference, March 2014
  • "Fracking in Illinois: Facts and Myths Explained"
    Illinois State Bar Association’s CLE Conference, September 2013
  • "Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development in Illinois, Illinois Pollution Control Board Contested Case Decisions, and Ethical Issues for Environmental Lawyers"
    Annual Illinois Environmental Law Conference, 2013
  • "Clean Air Act Developments and Illinois Pollution Control Board Contested Case Decisions"
    Illinois State Bar Association Environmental Law Conference, 2012
  • "Wildlife, Renewable Energy and Climate Change" opening remarks
    Illinois State Bar Association, 2012
  • “Global Warming and Insurance Claims” panel discussion
    Illinois State Bar Association Environmental Law Conference, 2011
  • “Clean Air Act Developments” panel discussion
    Illinois State Bar Association Environmental Law Conference, 2010