Benjamin F. Wilson is the Chairman of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. He has been lead counsel in many complex environmental litigation and regulatory matters for major consumer products corporations, retailers, oil and gas companies, municipalities, and developers. He serves as the Court-Appointed Monitor for the Duke Energy coal ash spill remediation project, as Deputy Monitor for Emissions & Environmental in the Volkswagen AG emissions proceedings, and previously served as lead counsel at the largest chromium site in the United States. Mr. Wilson also offers deep experience with environmental justice representations, and is a recognized leader on diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.
Mr. Wilson represents a number of municipal government agencies on Clean Water Act enforcement, litigation, and project development matters, including: the City of New Orleans; the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans; the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority; the Metropolitan Water District of Greater Chicago; and the San Antonio Water System.
Mr. Wilson has represented financial bodies on a wide variety of environmental issues pertaining to the sale and ownership of real property, and on wetlands and Endangered Species Act litigation, as well as several complex commercial litigation matters. He also has counseled small and developing businesses throughout his career. He has also counseled on a variety of commercial contract matters and negotiated player contracts on behalf of professional athletes.
A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Mr. Wilson worked after graduating from Harvard Law School at the Atlanta, Georgia law firm of King & Spalding, focusing on litigation and tax matters. Mr. Wilson joined the Civil Division of the Department of Justice in 1979. At the Justice Department, he gained substantial trial expertise in commercial litigation matters, appearing on behalf of the government in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the United States Court of Claims and district courts throughout the United States. While at the Department, he received Special Achievement Awards in recognition of his performance in 1981 and 1982. Prior to joining Beveridge & Diamond, Mr. Wilson joined the law firm of Rose, Schmidt, Chapman, Duff and Hasley as an associate in 1983. In 1985, he became a partner in the firm, focusing on civil litigation. He joined Beveridge & Diamond in 1986.
In 2016, Mr. Wilson was elected Chair of the Environmental Law Institute (ELI). Mr. Wilson serves on the Board of Directors of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, and on the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College. He was elected in 2014 to the Board of Governors of the District of Columbia Bar Association. He serves as an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law at the Howard University School of Law and co-founded the Howard Energy and Environmental Law Society. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Maryland/DC Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.
A tireless advocate for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, the Defense Research Institute named Mr. Wilson winner of the 2017 Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity Award. Mr. Wilson received in 2016 the Charles Hamilton Houston Medallion of Merit from the Washington Bar Association and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Thurgood Marshall Legacy Award. Also in 2016, he received the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council’s Extraordinary Service Award. Savoy Magazine named him to its list of the Most Influential Black Corporate Directors (2016) and Most Influential Black Lawyers (2015). In 2014, he received the Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, the Commission’s highest honor. In 2013, Mr. Wilson received the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources' Dedication to Diversity and Justice Award. He was recognized by the National Bar Association Commercial Law Section with its coveted Outside Counsel Award for his excellent work and service on behalf of his clients, and his work promoting diversity in the profession. Mr. Wilson established the African American General Counsel and Managing Partner Networks in 2012, and founded the Diverse Partners Network in 2008.
In 2012, Mr. Wilson was among the honorees in the "Outstanding Leaders in Law" by the Daily Record's Leadership in Law Program. He was also named one of the “100 Most Influential Black Lawyers in the Nation” by On Being A Black Lawyer. In 2009, he received the Wiley Branton Award for outstanding achievement in civil rights law by the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. The Environmental Leadership Program's (ELP) Mid-Atlantic Network also honored the work of Mr. Wilson with "A Celebration of Leadership: Remembering Dr. King's Environmental Legacy with Benjamin Wilson." In 2008, ELI published a profile on Mr. Wilson in The Environmental Forum. In the profile, "The Defender," ELI notes that Ben "sees representing business and governmental clients not only as a mandate to achieve their goals but as an opportunity to benefit the environment and civil rights."
Mr. Wilson was also appointed to the National Environmental Justice Committee as one of three representatives of Corporate America in 2004. He also serves as Co-Chairman of the American Bar Association Environmental Justice Committee which received the Committee Excellence Award in 2004 for the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities. From 1990 to 2004, he served as Chairman of the Board of Elections and Ethics of the District of Columbia. He has served two terms as Co-Chairman of the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. He has served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Healthy Babies, Inc., Chairman of the Board of the Dwight A. Mosley Memorial Fund, Chairman of the Advisory Board of WAMU public radio, Member of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, and he has also served on the Boards of Funds for the Community’s Future and the Advisory Board of the National Association for Public Interest Law.
Mr. Wilson was named to the 2015-2018 editions of The Best Lawyers in America and the 2013-2017 editions of Super Lawyers, and he is AV Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.