Irish Legal 100


WILLIAM J. “Bill” Jackson co-chairs Kelley Drye & Warren’s national Environmental Law Practice Group and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Based in the firm’s Houston office, Jackson has one of the most sophisticated and successful environmental and natural resource damages litigation practices in the country.

For more than two decades, he has represented states, port authorities, railroads and energy sector clients in noteworthy contamination cases that are often valued into the hundreds of millions (and even billions) of dollars at stake.

Jackson is currently serving as counsel for several states, territories, and private-sector clients in both litigation and administrative actions related to contamination and natural resource damages from perfluorinated compounds.

Previously, he was lead counsel for the state of New Jersey in the Passaic River litigation, recovering over $355 million in damages and up to $400 million more in remediation costs, the largest settlement of its kind in the state’s history. He also represented the state of Louisiana and the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office in the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Regularly cited by Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, U.S. Legal 500 and Chambers USA, Jackson also maintains an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Jackson earned a BA from the University of Texas-Austin, and a JD from the University of Houston Law Center.

Jackson has enlisted a genealogist to discover his Irish roots. He can trace his lineage to Ireland on both his mother and father’s sides.

His second great-grandmother, Mary Catherine O’Donnell, was the daughter of John O’Donnell, who emigrated from Ireland in the early 19th century. On his father’s side, the Ray/Rhea family emigrated from Co. Donegal in 1742.





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