Ashley L. Thompson

Ashley is an environmental lawyer with a comprehensive practice spanning litigation, regulatory, and transactional matters. Her litigation experience includes complex matters under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and its state counterparts.
AFS Ashley Thompson

She is well-versed at defending companies against citizen suits brought under federal environmental statutes, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act. Ashley also has experience defending clients against Clean Air Act New Source Recovery enforcement actions. Additionally, she conducts environmental due diligence related to the sale of property and provides clients with environmental compliance counseling.

Ashley is skilled at distilling highly technical and regulatory concepts for her audience, whether that be a client, court, or the public. In her area of practice, the resolution to a problem can frequently be found in the details. As a results-focused litigator, Ashley takes pride in knowing she has examined all the details in order to confidently assess and advise a client on the next steps.

Client Work

  • Serves on the team representing National Grid at the Gowanus Canal Superfund Site in New York City. National Grid is one of 28 parties that has been tasked with performing the Remedial Design in this complex urban environment.
  • Collaborates as part of the team representing National Grid at the Newtown Creek Superfund Site in New York City. National Grid is one of five parties performing a Remedial Investigation along the heavily industrialized waterway that separates the city’s boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
  • Defends parties against citizen suits brought by private parties and non-governmental organizations alleging that their activities have violated federal or state law.
  • Represents parties involved in building, maintaining, and operating pipeline infrastructure across the U.S. in federal and state litigation.
  • Helps developers understand the environmental issues present at properties, and works with owners and planners to design contractual and remedial plans to mitigate environmental risks.

Professional Activities

  • Ashley is committed to maintaining an active pro bono practice. She is especially committed to using her Spanish language skills to assist immigrants in the process of obtaining legal status in the U.S.
  • She has worked with numerous organizations to provide pro bono legal services, including the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation, the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, the National Immigrant Justice Center, and Justice for Our Neighbors of West Michigan.
  • Before joining ArentFox Schiff, Ashley worked as a Public Interest Law Initiative Fellow in the Children's Law Project at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago.

Boards, Memberships & Certifications

  • Ashley is formerly a member of the Board of Directors for Impact 100 Traverse City, a transformational granting organization comprising regional women.
  • She is also a member of her local Board of Zoning Appeals, which hears issues related to the administration and enforcement of area zoning code.
  • Ashley formerly served as chair of the Young Lawyers Section Environmental Law Committee for the Chicago Bar Association.
  • Prior to law school, she worked in Panama as an Environmental Health Extensionist with the U.S. Peace Corps where she collaborated with community leaders and public health officials to develop, build, and sustain community health and sanitation programs.
  • American Bar Association

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

  • Emerging Lawyer, Law Bulletin Publishing Company's Leading Lawyers (2016-2020)
  • "Fourth Circuit Decides Key CERCLA Allocation and Liability Case," (co-author) Schiff Hardin LLP Environmental Update (Apr. 15, 2013)
  • "Revised USEPA Guidance on Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Protection for Tenants," Schiff Hardin LLP Environmental Update (Mar. 7, 2013)
  • "Defending a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Citizen Suit," Ash at Work (2011)
  • "Efforts to Prevent the Misclassification of Independent Contractors Continue," (co-author) Schiff Hardin Labor and Employment Update (May 3, 2010)
  • "OSHA Issues Draft Directive on Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP)," Schiff Hardin Labor and Employment Update (Apr. 28, 2010)
  • "OSHA Reporting: Are you in Compliance?" (co-author) Schiff Hardin Labor and Employment Update (Feb. 11, 2010)
  • "An Unintended Consequence of Tort Reform in Michigan: An Argument for Reinstating Retailer Product Liability," 42 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 961 (2009)
  • “Trends & Upcoming Issues in Environmental Law,” (co-presenter) Agricultural Law Section of the Michigan Bar Association (Sep. 22, 2016)
  • “The Future of Environmental Law” (co-moderator) Environmental Law Committee of the Young Lawyers Section, Chicago Bar Association (Feb. 25, 2014)
  • “Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs: Challenges and Successes of an Innovative Program,” Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section, Environmental Law Committee (Dec. 19, 2013)
  • "Panel on Careers in Environmental Law," (moderator) Environmental Law Committee of the Young Lawyers Section, Chicago Bar Association (Feb. 26, 2013)
  • "Case Study: The RCRA Citizen Suit ‘(a)(1)(B)’ Claim," Environmental Law Committee of the Young Lawyers Section, Chicago Bar Association (Jan. 26, 2012)
  • "Mandatory Reporting and the Role of Psychologists in Child Protection Proceedings," University of Michigan (Apr. 2008)