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Robert M. Steele

T: 615.726.5741
F: 615.744.5741

Robert Steele has engaged in a broad federal and state environmental, energy, and resources law practice, with emphasis in the areas of Superfund, RCRA, UST, brownfield and other types of site remediation.

Professional Biography


Mr. Steele assists clients with matters involving environmental liability counseling and documentation in connection with business acquisitions, financial transactions, and real estate transfers; and environmental permitting, compliance, auditing and enforcement for many types of large and small facilities. His experience includes leading Steering Committees of joint defense PRP groups at multi-party Superfund sites, and handling licensing and regulatory work for a $100 million water resources project and for a $500 million electric generating project.

Professional Honors & Activities
  • Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers as a leading environment attorney in Tennessee since 2010 
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2003; Environmental Law
  • Named The Best Lawyers in America® 2020 Nashville Environmental Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers since 2006
  • Named "Best of the Bar," Nashville Business Journal, 2011 and 2012
  • Trustee – Elliot E. Cheatham Scholarship Fund at Vanderbilt University School of Law
  • Member – American (Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Law and its Committees on Water Resources, Water Quality and Wetlands, Site Remediation, Environmental Transactions and Brownfields, and Section of Business Law), Tennessee (Environmental Law Section), Nashville (Environmental Law Committee), and Florida (Environmental and Land Use Law Section) Bar Associations
  • Member – ASTM (Committee E-50)
  • Member – Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Environment and Energy Committee)
  • Frequent speaker in his fields of practice
  • "A Brief Overview of Water Supply Rights, Regulation, and Trends," Air & Waste Management Association, Southern Section Annual Conference Proceedings (2013)
  • "Understanding Tennessee Surface Water and Groundwater Rights and Regulations," Tennessee Bar Association, Environmental Law Section Newsletter (2012)
  • "Understanding Tennessee Surface Water and Groundwater Rights and Regulations," Tennessee Water Laws and Regulations, HalfMoon LLC (2011)
  • Numerous earlier publications in various environmental areas of practice. (1992 - present)
Speaking Engagements
Press Releases


  • Vanderbilt University School of Law, J.D., 1981
    • Order of the Coif
    • Articles Editor, Vanderbilt Law Review
  • Furman University, B.A., 1978, summa cum laude
    • Phi Beta Kappa


  • Tennessee, 1994
  • Rhode Island, 1988
  • Florida, 1981

Robert Steele is acknowledged for his expertise in environmental regulatory work, particularly in relation to water and land developments. Sources report: 'He is a very knowledgeable lawyer who is good at evaluating environmental regulations and permits.' 

Market sources praise Robert Steele for his skills in both advisory and litigation work. His recent experience includes advising on environmental issues relating to real estate developments, including water supply and site remediation matters.

Robert Steele is very strategic, practical and realistic in terms of making clients aware of potential pitfalls.

From Chambers USA 2015

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