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  • Clients state: “He knows the practicalities of what we are facing and will give advice to get everything done efficiently.” - Chambers USA


  • J.D., New York University School of Law, 1989
  • B.Ch. E., Villanova University, 1984

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey

Memberships & Affiliations

American Bar Association

Pennsylvania Bar Association

Philadelphia Bar Association

Tau Beta Pi (National Engineering Honor Society)

The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Hearing Committee Member

John J. McAleese

  • T: 215.979.3892
    F: 215.599.7333

When complex environmental regulatory and litigation issues surface, clients rely on John J. McAleese to help them resolve those matters. A partner in the Environment & Energy Practice Group and Managing Partner of the Philadelphia office, John has helped corporations in such industries as energy, chemicals, manufacturing, and real estate development address their environmental compliance and litigation needs for more than 25 years. Drawing on his prior experience as a chemical engineer, John is able to quickly assess risks and liabilities and offer his clients reasoned guidance based on their business objectives. John has specifically helped clients by:

  • Representing them in civil and administrative environmental litigation such as cost recovery actions under CERCLA (Superfund) and analogous state statutes, enforcement actions by federal and state environmental agencies, permit appeals and environmental contamination toxic tort cases
  • Advising clients on environmental issues that arise in real estate transactions including conducting environmental due diligence, negotiating environmental provisions within financing agreements and other transaction documents, and providing guidance on property transfer permitting and authorization requirements
  • Counseling clients on compliance with federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations
  • Negotiating on their behalf with environmental regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Counseling clients on issues regarding insurance coverage for environmental risks

 Awards & Accolades

  • Recognized in Chambers USA from 2009-2019. According to Chambers, he is praised by his clients for his technical background. One commentator notes: “He is very intelligent, articulate and calm.” He is praised for his “strategic view of matters” and his ability to “assert a client's position in a reasoned and compelling fashion”
  • Listed in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers for 2008-2018
  • Included in the 2003-2020 editions of The Best Lawyers in America

No aspect of these advertisements have been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. See Awards Methodology.

Representative Matters

Defense of Class and Mass Actions
Represented clients in defense of class and mass actions for property damage and medical monitoring associated with alleged groundwater contamination.  Negotiated favorable settlements in class action and mass tort actions.
International Specialty Chemical Manufacturer
Represented an international specialty chemical manufacturer in an enforcement action brought by the State of New Hampshire alleging various violations of the State’s hazardous waste management laws and regulations.  After a three-day trial, the court completely dismissed the State’s claims.
International Manufacturer
Representing international manufacturer in connection with a New Jersey National Priorities List Superfund Site involving contaminated groundwater.
International Aerospace Company
Represented international aerospace company in contractual indemnification claim against brownfield developer.  Negotiated settlement whereby client obtained funds to complete remediation of contaminated property.
International Tool Manufacturer
Advised a leading international tool manufacturer on environmental issues associated with acquisition of a drill bit manufacturing company.
Boxboard Manufacturer
Represented a leading boxboard manufacturer in a lawsuit brought by a Philadelphia-area township seeking an injunction against the client to cease and desist from making excessive noise and releasing soot from client’s boxboard manufacturing facility.  The township alleged that the client emitted noises above the township’s standards and that two separate and distinct sooting events by the client required an injunction.  Negotiated a favorable settlement with the township.
Petroleum Refiner and Marketer
Counseled a leading petroleum refiner and marketer in acquisition of a petroleum refinery in the State of New Jersey.
Chemical Manufacturer
Represented a chemical manufacturer in action seeking reimbursement of costs allegedly incurred and to be incurred by plaintiff in connection with the Commodore Semiconductor Group Superfund Site in Norristown, Pennsylvania.  Obtained a favorable settlement for the client three days before trial.
Defense of Action Under Federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act
Represented a client in lawsuit filed in the federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania seeking reimbursement pursuant to the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of cleanup and other costs it allegedly incurred and would incur at a foundry formerly owned and operated by the client.  Negotiated a favorable settlement before trial.
Energy Company
Advised a leading energy company on environmental issues associated with acquisition of a nuclear power generating facility in New Jersey.
Food Service Company
Advised a leading food service company on environmental issues associated with divestiture of an industrial cleaning products business.
Industrial Site Remediation Act Defense
Represented a third-party defendant in the defense of a lawsuit filed in the federal District Court for the District of New Jersey pursuant to the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act seeking the costs plaintiff incurred in remediating groundwater contamination as part of its obligations under the New Jersey Environmental Cleanup Responsibility Act (now called the Industrial Site Remediation Act).  Obtained voluntary dismissal for client during mediation.
International Entertainment Company
Represented a leading international entertainment company in an action brought by the United States Environmental Protection Agency seeking cost recovery in connection with the Palmerton Zinc Pile Superfund Site in Palmerton, Pennsylvania.  Negotiated a settlement of the matter prior to trial.
International Fast Food Company
Represented an international fast food company in an air permit appeal brought by neighbors to a property owned by the client in West Philadelphia.  After the appeal was sustained by both the Philadelphia Board of License and Inspection Review and the Court of Common Pleas, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court reversed the Court of Common Pleas and upheld the permit issuance, thereby allowing client to proceed with the remediation of its property.
International Specialty Chemical Manufacturer
Represented an international specialty chemical manufacturer in the acquisition of a chromium ore processing plant in North Carolina.
International Specialty Chemical Manufacturer
Representing an international specialty chemical manufacturer in defense of an enforcement action brought against it by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Appeal
Represented a manufacturing client in an appeal of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (now the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection) for discharges of acid mine drainage from the client’s storm drains to Elk Creek.  The acid mine drainage was coming onto the client’s property from upgradient, abandoned mines.  After one day of trial, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources withdrew the permit.
Private Equity Fund
Represented a private equity fund in the acquisition of a leading transporter of chemical products.
Real Estate Investment Trust
Counsels a publicly traded real estate investment trust on environmental issues associated with nationwide acquisition of properties.
Specialty Chemical Manufacturer
Represented a leading specialty chemical manufacturer in an action brought by an insurance company seeking reimbursement of costs expended in cleaning up lead powder that had been scattered throughout a Virginia neighborhood when a tractor-trailer carrying the lead powder owned by the client overturned.  Negotiated a favorable settlement through mediation.





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