Practice Areas


  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, J.D.

  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Gamma Mu and Summa Cum Laude

State Bar Admissions

  • California

Terry D. Avchen

Partner and Chair of the Environmental & Energy Department
t:  310.282.6259
f:  310.556.2920
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Glaser Weil Founding Partner Terry D. Avchen has over three decades of experience in almost every aspect of environmental and energy law. Head of the Firm’s Environmental and Energy Department, he has represented companies across the environmental and alternative energy spectrum.

Under Mr. Avchen’s leadership, the Firm’s Environmental and Energy Department was recognized as “Tier 1” in the categories of Energy Law, Environmental Law and Natural Resources Law within the Los Angeles market by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms 2011-2012.”

The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory has awarded Mr. Avchen an “AV Preeminent” rating, and he has been recognized on the list of Southern California Super Lawyers since 2004. He is a 2013 “Top Rated Lawyer” in Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources, according to ALM, and he has recently been asked to join the Corporate Counsel Summit composed of the most successful legal and general counsel in the practice area. Mr. Avchen lectures on a variety of environmental topics, including alternative energy, complex real estate transactions, environmental insurance, Proposition 65 and environmental law from a business perspective.

Mr. Avchen is skilled at designing and implementing legislative solutions to meet client needs. Of course, he has broad experience with CEQA and NEPA. He provides clients with a full range of land use, subdivision and entitlement services. His team works with all government agencies to facilitate contracts. Finally, Mr. Avchen is well-known for litigating ground-breaking Superfund, cost recovery and environmental matters in virtually every context.

Tired of seeing potentially viable projects "dead on arrival" because of lack of funding, Mr. Avchen, co-founded Environmental Research Advocates with his wife Denise. Environmental Research Advocates is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to funding scientific research in environmental and alternative energy.

Environmental Research Advocates makes two monetary awards annually. Its board is comprised of top scientists and policy makers from around the world. The project has received wide acceptance at the United Nations, as well as at the Department of Energy, and provides a platform to fund some of today's most innovative ideas. Learn more about Environmental Research Advocates by clicking here. Mr. Avchen also serves on the Board of Advisors of Business Technology Center, a ‘green’ incubator funded by, among others, the County of Los Angeles. 

Mr. Avchen received his bachelor’s degree and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his law degree from the UCLA School Law School, where he was a member of both the UCLA Law Review and Moot Court.

  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, J.D.

  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Gamma Mu and Summa Cum Laude

  • California

  • Environmental & Energy

  • Lead counsel in claim against the Department of Defense in a CERLA cost recovery action leading to judgment of $40 million.

  • Lead counsel on all environmental issues from cradle to grave of Project CityCenter in Las Vegas — the largest privately funded construction project in the world.

  • Advising Banks and developers on contaminated properties.

  • Lead environmental counsel in lease of approximately 200 service stations.

  • Created, funded and developed Environmental Research Advocates, a nonprofit that funds scientific projects in the areas of environmental and alternative energy.

  • Lead counsel in drafting insurance policies designed to protect stakeholders under AB 32.

  • Lead Counsel for key party in San Gabriel Valley Superfund Site, which resulted in one of the largest Superfund settlements.

  • Lead Counsel in creating a product to guarantee LEED Certification to lenders, buyers and others.

  • Lead counsel in major Proposition 65 matter for cable company distributors.

  • Alternative Energy

  • Advising developers and negotiating on their behalf.

  • Representing Forbes 100 clients in drafting standards to insure trading in the Carbon Credit Market.

  • Representing various alternative energy technology companies.

  • Oil and Gas Disputes

  • Advising oil and gas companies on compliance issues.

  • Represented publicly traded oil and gas companies in a variety of environmental clean-up disputes.

  • Representing a public utility in recovering a multi-million dollar settlement based on underpayment of royalties.

  • Representing refinery in cleanup which involved EPA and criminal allegations by the United States.

  • Cost Recovery Litigation

  • Representing a major utility in cost recovery litigation against numerous oil companies and industrial companies.

  • Numerous Superfund representations

  • Toxic Tort Litigation

  • Representing a major industrial defendant in the coordinated groundwater cases pending in Los Angeles County. Lead counsel in numerous toxic tort cases throughout the years.

  • Complex Environmental Settlement

  • Representing a Forbes 100 company in a settlement involving an environmentally impacted property valued in excess of $200 million.

  • Representing one of the major potentially responsible parties in negotiating and reaching an agreement with the EPA and local water purveyors in one of the largest and most innovative clean-up efforts of its kind.

  • Represented a large company in the negotiation of a settlement with both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Regional Water Quality Control Board in one of the largest Superfund sites in the country.

  • Representing a company in its decommissioning and clean up of a refinery.

  • Environmental Research Advocates, founded and developed

  • Business Technology Center, Board of Advisors

  • New Roads School, Board of Trustees

  • Corporate Counsel Summit

  • Ongoing with