PartnerBrown & Winters - Environmental Law
Ms. Botha is a partner at Brown & Winters and focuses her practice on environmental law and environmental insurance law. Her environmental law practice includes environmental litigation and response to regulatory claims. Her environmental insurance law practice includes insurance archaeology, insurance recovery, and coverage litigation. With her firm, she has represented public entities for approximately 17 years, and her clients include several California ports and cities.
Ms. Botha’s environmental law practice includes environmental cost recovery litigation against responsible parties under state and federal law involving components such as contaminated sediment from WWII-era shipyards, boatyards, marinas, landfills, and municipal storm drains. Her scientific background in marine sciences benefits her practice. With her team, she is vital in working with environmental consultants and experts in areas including environmental forensics for source determination of hazardous chemicals, best management practices, sediment and contaminant fate and transport, and geomorphology.
In her environmental insurance practice, she successfully procures historical insurance through insurance archaeology for her clients. She obtains coverage under those or other historical policies for legal and administrative claims arising from legacy pollution. She also obtains coverage for other long-tail liabilities, including flooding and sedimentation under public entities’ historical policies. Her experience is extensive in coverage litigation in southern and northern California. She has been instrumental in settling many claims with insurers arising from multi-million-dollar liabilities on behalf of her clients. Her comprehensive expertise in these areas contributed to securing substantial insurance proceeds for the investigation and remediation of pollution at one of the United States’ largest ports. She participated in obtaining favorable trial and other court rulings involving coverage. Such rulings include coverage for regulatory claims where no suit is filed – a big win for policyholders. Others include Identifying a sudden and accidental event at port areas that satisfied the qualified pollution exclusion and where a regulatory agency’s informal communications could be equivalent to an official administrative order.
Ms. Botha is admitted to practice in California and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, and Southern and Northern District Courts of California.
She is a 1999 graduate of California Western School of Law and obtained a B.Sc. undergraduate and B.Sc. Honors postgraduate degree from the University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in Biochemistry and Marine Biology. She is fluent in both Afrikaans and English.