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Hinshaw's Climate Change Group is a multidisciplinary team providing planning and transactional resources for the real estate development, insurance and lending industries. The team also leverages its experience in these industries to counsel local governments.

Climate change and, more particularly, rising sea levels are especially urgent issues along American coastlines. In the next twenty-five years, absent radical remediation and technical breakthroughs, the sea level along the coasts is anticipated to rise by up to three feet (0.91 meter), inundating major portions of the cities of New York, Miami and coastal areas worldwide. Rising sea levels will result in major changes not only to developments and infrastructure (privately owned structures, roads, utilities, etc.) but also to federal, state and local laws and regulations which affect developments and infrastructure and their owners and investors. Also affected will be the insurers that will be dealing with claims and trying to create the next generation of underwriting guidelines and policy coverage. Other relevant and highly probable multi-hazard risks with climate change include greater occurrences of tropical storms and hurricanes, flash flooding, droughts, land subsidence, forest fires and heat waves. 

Coastal areas are not the only affected part of the country. Agricultural regions may expect their businesses to be affected as rainfall patterns change. 

As these wide ranging risks manifest themselves and impact nearly every facet of our economic and legal systems, our clients will be challenged to accommodate a great variety of unknowns. Our Climate Change Group is proactively monitoring trends, public policy, and the environment to assist our clients by: 

  • Keeping them updated about what promises to be a constantly shifting environment of tax regulations concerning the ownership of property and the operation of businesses.
  • Construing and planning for the ambiguities which inevitably will arise as federal, state and local regulatory agencies begin to enforce existing and new laws and regulations in the context of climate change impacts, including conflicts among those federal, state and local laws.
  • Formulating internal risk management policies, disclosure policies and business plans to deal with the effects climate change on markets, shareholders and consumers.

In early 2017, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP sponsored a two day community resilience conference organized by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at the University of Miami's Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida. Miami Partner Ron Kammer spoke as a featured panelist, discussing strategies being adopted by the insurance industry to respond to extreme weather events. On the evening prior to the conference, Hinshaw hosted 100 distinguished guests at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida. View a brief video clip of the event along with recorded speeches or read the transcript.