Leigh counsels clients on environmental and land use matters, including licensing and permitting, compliance counseling, and advising on the environmental aspects of business, lending and real estate development transactions. Leigh represents parties involved in federal and state hazardous waste sites, handling legal proceedings, private cost recovery actions and dealings with governmental agencies. She also represents parties in state and local administrative enforcement proceedings involving wetlands, tidelands, and Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act reviews.

She regularly represents lenders in evaluating, managing and resolving environmental issues, including preparing environmental opinions related to loans and bond issuances. She also has extensive experience addressing environmental issues involved in the purchase and sale of land and businesses, including confirming and securing liability protections and economic incentives for Brownfields redevelopment.

Leigh provides environmental compliance counseling to businesses and works with site owners and developers in addressing the management of environmental issues and permitting for development work.

A frequent author and lecturer on environmental-related topics, she has been an Instructor/Guest Lecturer at MIT’s Center for Real Estate. She also serves as a Commissioner on the Newton Conservation Commission in the City of Newton, Massachusetts. Governor Charlie Baker recently appointed Leigh as a Justice of the Peace for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Chambers commentators have described Leigh Gilligan as “very helpful and responsive” with a solid and broad-ranging environment and land use practice. 

Representative Client Work

Major state public authority - Air rights lease
  • Represented a major state public authority in review and management of environmental issues in connection with negotiating a long-term air rights lease governing the development of Phase II of Fenway Center, an estimated $1 billion mixed-use development over the Massachusetts Turnpike in the Fenway section of Boston that has been in the works for more than 10 years. The transformative air rights project required negotiations of highly complex arrangements and is one of the largest air rights projects since Copley Place was built in the 1980s. Phase II includes a 90,000-square-foot air-rights deck to be built over the Turnpike and a nearly one million-square-foot tower that will house life-science tenants built atop the deck. We also handled negotiations related to Fenway Center's Phase I, which includes a 312-unit apartment building built adjacent to a commuter rail station.
Foundry - Superfund settlement
  • Obtained a favorable settlement of an alleged liability of our foundry client at a multiparty Superfund site.
Consortium of major Massachusetts colleges and universities - Data center project
  • Assisted a consortium of major colleges and universities in Massachusetts to locate, develop, and operate a state-of-the-art high performance data center in western Massachusetts.
Major Massachusetts transit authority - Environmental compliance and land use
  • Represented a major Massachusetts transit authority concerning environmental compliance and land use matters. Significant examples have included (i) negotiating with environmental regulatory agencies regarding alleged violations, including resolutions via negotiated consent agreements; (ii) coordinating with real estate attorneys to represent the transit authority in a major air-rights/terra firma development project located in a highly desirable area of Boston; and (iii) representing the client in environmental matters alleged by abutters to client-owned properties throughout Massachusetts.
National real estate investment corporation - Environmental matters
  • Advised a national real estate investment corporation regarding environmental issues in potential acquisitions and investment opportunities; assisted in evaluating and managing associated risks and negotiating documentation.
Urban educational institution - Environmental matters
  • Represented a major urban educational institution concerning multiple environmental matters, including addressing site remediation and permitting and providing environmental-related development and transactional support.
Pro bono clients
  • Women's Foundation of Boston
  • The National Diaper Bank Network

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit


  • J.D., George Washington University Law School
  • B.A., University of Vermont

Community Engagement

  • American Bar Association, Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law Section
  • Boston Bar Association, Environmental Law Section
  • Newton (MA) Conservation Commission, Commissioner
  • Centre Street Food Pantry, Board of Directors, Newton, MA

Awards & Honors

  • Chambers USA, Recognized Practitioner in Environment (Massachusetts) 2010-2022
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2004-2019



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