February 02, 2017

Fred Wagner, Former Federal Highway Administration Chief Counsel, Joins Venable's Environment Group in Washington as Partner

3 min

Brings 30 years of government and private practice experience in infrastructure development and environmental law; managed all legal matters involving high-profile $40 billion Federal-Aid Highway program

Washington, DC (February 2, 2017) – Venable LLP, an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm, announced today that former Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Chief Counsel Fred R. Wagner has joined the firm's Environmental Group as a partner in Washington, DC. Mr. Wagner joins from Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., where he spent his entire private practice career, most recently as a shareholder.

With 30 years of government and private practice experience, Mr. Wagner focuses his practice on major project and infrastructure development, including environmental reviews, permitting and approvals from federal and state natural resources agencies, and litigation defense of project decisions and policies. From 2011 to 2014, Mr. Wagner served as Chief Counsel of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), where he worked with Department of Transportation leadership on high-priority legislative and regulatory issues, and partnered with the Department of Justice on litigation challenging transportation projects. In this role, he managed all legal matters involving the $40 billion Federal-Aid Highway program, including environmental and natural resources issues for highway and multi-modal transportation projects. He represented FHWA on the Obama administration's Transportation Rapid Response Team, a multi-agency task force focused on project delivery and environmental review reforms.

"With the new administration promising to make infrastructure improvements a centerpiece of its policy agenda, it's crucial to understand where those objectives will intersect with environmental laws and regulations," said Douglas H. Green, head of Venable's Environmental Law practice. "Fred has been at the center of these regulatory and litigation issues for most of his career. He understands the unique challenges and hurdles clients face in getting their projects off the ground and to the finish line. Just as important, he is respected on all sides for his approach to streamlining the regulatory process and balancing the needs of his clients with positive environmental outcomes."

Commenting on his move to Venable, Mr. Wagner said, "Venable's Environmental Group has a stellar reputation for its experience in virtually every facet of environmental law, particularly when it comes to regulatory and legislative matters. With work on our nation’s infrastructure taking center stage, it was important to me that my clients benefit from everything a full-service firm like Venable has to offer. I'm excited to be joining this dynamic team and bringing my passion for project development to this practice."

At Venable, Mr. Wagner joins an industry-leading Environmental practice providing counsel in a wide range of areas, including permitting and enforcement actions. Chambers USA and U.S. News-Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" consistently recognize the group and its attorneys among the tops in the industry. The group frequently represents clients before federal and state agencies and in trial and appellate courts throughout the country.

Mr. Wagner earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1987 and his B.A. from Tufts University in 1984, where he graduated summa cum laude. He began his career as a trial attorney in the Environment Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Misdemeanor Trial Section of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.


Venable LLP is an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm headquartered in Washington, DC that serves as primary counsel to a worldwide clientele of large and mid-sized organizations, nonprofits, and high-net-worth entrepreneurs and individuals. With over 600 attorneys across the country, including California, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Virginia, and Washington, DC, the firm strategically advances its clients’ business objectives in the U.S. and around the globe. Venable advises clients on a broad range of business and regulatory law, legislative affairs, complex litigation, and the full range of intellectual property disciplines.