Chris Baird, Corvid Law PLLC’s founding partner, provides strategic counsel on complex environmental issues, from cutting-edge enforcement actions to multi-party contaminated site litigations and allocations. In his litigation practice, he represents clients at some of the largest and most technically challenging contaminated sites in the country. For example, he defended Weyerhaeuser Company* in a 21-day federal bench trial involving dozens of experts and hundreds of millions of dollars that will be spent remediating the Kalamazoo River.
In his enforcement practice, Chris defends clients facing multimillion-dollar penalties under the federal Clean Air Act (CAA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and other laws. He negotiated a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve hundreds of alleged CAA violations, and represented a petroleum refinery* in a multiyear federal investigation into alleged noncompliance with a consent decree.
In addition to his litigation and enforcement matters, Chris advises clients on evaluating, monitoring and mitigating risks from threatened or historic hazardous substances releases. This practice ranges from advising on developing strategies to reduce CERCLA natural resource damages exposure to developing cost-effective remediation, restoration, and habitat enhancement projects.
Chris is also a trained mediator, helping parties resolve environmental and general commercial disputes. He has also served as an expert witness in cases involving disputes over cost recovery, contribution, and contaminated property valuation.
Chris represents clients of all sizes, from individuals to FORTUNE 100 corporations. He also maintains an active pro bono practice. He received the 2016 Pro Bono award from the Innocence Project Northwest for winning a new trial for a client who had spent over eight years in prison because of now-discredited scientific evidence.
Chris’s other accolades include:
- 2021 “Lawyer of the Year” – Litigation – Environmental (Seattle) – Best Lawyers in America
- 2020 “Lawyer of the Year” – Environmental Law (Seattle) – Best Lawyers in America
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America – Environmental Law (Seattle) (2015 – 2021)
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America – Litigation – Environmental (Seattle) (2021)
- “Washington Rising Star” – Washington Law and Politics (2012, 2016, & 2017)
- Member, Leadership Tomorrow Class of 2017
- Law360 – Rising Star (Environmental Law) (2014)
Before founding Corvid Law PLLC, Chris was a partner at the Seattle office of Perkins Coie LLP, where he had practiced since completing a clerkship with the Honorable Ronald M. Gould, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in 2007.
Chris earned his J.D. (magna cum laude, Order of the Coif) from the Duke University School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Duke Law Journal. He also holds a M.S. (Environmental Science) from Western Washington University, and an A.B. (Environmental Studies, with honors) from the University of Chicago.
Chris has served on the Board of Directors of the Rainier Valley Food Bank, the busiest food bank in Seattle, since 2014, and currently serves as Treasurer. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the RAVE Foundation, the charitable arm of Seattle Sounders FC, since 2018, currently serving as Vice Chair.
*Denotes Chris’s work at his prior firm.