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
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


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, Environmental Law Section Council
  • American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, Programs Vice Chair of Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee

Community/Civic Activities

  • Planning & Zoning Commission, Village of Buffalo Grove, Illinois

Honors & Awards

Honors & Awards

  • Illinois Leading Lawyers, 2020-2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Law, 2022

News & Insights

Seminars & Speaking Engagements

  • "Environmental Justice: Where Are We and Where Are We Going?" webinar
    August Mack Environmental, September 15, 2021
  • Panelist, "Latest Developments in Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser"
    Air and Waste Management Association Lake Michigan States Section's 2021 Virtual Conference, April 27, 2021
  • "Environmental Justice in Superfund and Brownfields Redevelopment" webinar
    American Bar Association, March 16, 2021
  • "How to Stay In Compliance and Out of Trouble"
    Chemical Industry Council of Illinois Environmental Enforcement Seminar, Countryside, Illinois, January 24, 2020
  • "Risk Management for 'Bona Fide Prospective Purchasers'"
    Understanding the Environmental and Legal Implications of Buying Environmentally Impacted Property
    Chicago, IL, December 3, 2019
  • 2019 Air Quality Management Conference, Oak Brook Terrace, IL, November 5, 2019
  • Midwest GeoSciences Group Webinar, October 23, 2019
  • Moderator, "Creative Deals: How to Get Buyers Excited About the Redevelopment of Contaminated Properties"
    ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Fall Conference, Boston, MA, September 12, 2019
  • "The ABCs of Corporate Due Diligence Regarding Environmental Conditions"
    American Bar Association Webinar, May 17, 2019
  • "Environmental Due Diligence: Making Sure Your Client is 'Innocent' or 'Bona Fide'"
    Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference, Kansas City, MO, April 23, 2019
  • "The ABCs of Real Estate and Corporate Due Diligence Regarding Environmental Conditions"
    American Bar Association Webinar, January 24, 2019
  • "The Importance of Public participation in the Settlement of Environmental Enforcement Cases with Consent Orders"
    ISBA Environmental Law Conference, Chicago, Illinois, May 4, 2018
  • "Due Diligence and CERCLA Liability"
    Developing Solar on Brownfields & Landfills, Chicago, Illinois, June 12, 2017
  • 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


Articles & Books


This website uses cookies to improve functionality and performance. If you choose to continue browsing this website, you consent to the use of cookies. Read our Privacy Policy here for details.