Alex Garel-Frantzen loves tackling complex environmental issues. He counsels companies to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws; litigates land and water issues; and conducts environmental due diligence to support corporate transactions. He represents a variety of businesses, including electric power utilities; gas transmission, storage and distribution companies; manufacturers; and commercial goods distribution companies.

Alex listens carefully to his clients’ concerns and then makes them his own, digging into the facts and untangling the web of statutes, regulations, cases, and policies. Alex then provides clear, actionable advice to help his clients achieve their goals.

  • Experience

    • Represents electric and natural gas utility in CERCLA action brought by the United States to recover costs associated with cleanup of redeveloped property.
    • Represents electric and natural gas utility in connection with Remedial Design at major Superfund site in New York City.
    • Advises electric power utility in third-party appeal of state-issued water permit.
    • Counsels companies to ensure everyday compliance with various laws, ranging from the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and RCRA to California’s Proposition 65 and local environmental and zoning ordinances.
    • Obtained dismissal of third-party challenge to Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification issued to client, an electric and natural gas distribution company, as part of its transmission line construction project.
    • Conducted environmental due diligence to assess and minimize environmental risk associated with client’s proposed acquisition of lubricant business and steel production company.
  • Credentials


    • University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 2015, magna cum laude
      University of Illinois Law Review, Managing Notes Editor
      Environmental Moot Court, editor and national team member
      CALI awards in Legal Writing & Analysis, Legal Research, and Introduction to Advocacy
    • University of Illinois, B.A., History, 2012, magna cum laude

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
      • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

          Professional Memberships

          • Chicago Bar Association, YLS Environmental Law Committee, Co-Chair
          • University of Illinois College of Law, Alumni Board, Member
        • Insights

          Blog Post

          Courts Address the Rights of Out-of-State Liquor Retailers and New Food Purveyors

          Food and beverage businesses seeking to gain a foothold in a new place should be aware of two court decisions issued earlier this summer.

          Blog Post

          Supreme Court Punts Larger Key Administrative Deference Issues Until Later

          Schiff Hardin Energy & Environmental Law Adviser

          Blog Post

          Tips and Tricks to Reduce the Environmental Footprint of Your Cleanup

          Schiff Hardin Energy & Environmental Law Adviser

          Blog Post
          Blog Post
          Blog Post
          News Release

          Schiff Hardin Represents Central Steel in Acquisition by Ryerson

          Schiff is representing Central Steel & Wire Company, a leading metal service center with a strong reputation as a valued supply chain partner.

          Other Publications

          • “CERCLA § 309 and Beyond: Statute of Limitations, Rules of Repose, and the Broad Implications of CTS Corp. v. Waldburger Outside the Context of Environmental Law,” University of Illinois Law Review Vol. 865 (2015)
          • “Methane Emissions Regulations on the Horizon for the Oil and Gas Industry,” (co-author) Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report (Aug. 2014)
          • “Gangsters and Organized Crime in Jewish Chicago,” The History Press (2013)

          Speeches & Presentations

          • “Views on Trump Administration Environmental Policy Updates,” Chicago Bar Association, Young Lawyers Sectionm, Chicago, Ill. (Feb. 21, 2018)
          • “Careers in Environmental Law for Young Lawyers,” Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, Ill. (Sep. 28, 2017)
        • Citizenship

          Pro Bono Activities

          Alex is committed to public service, with a recent focus on immigration and family law matters.


          • Represents citizen of Togo in application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service for asylum and withholding of removal from the United States.
          • Obtained renewal of client’s deferred action for childhood arrivals and authorization to work in the United States.
          • Secured mother’s co-guardianship over her adult son whose physical and mental disabilities prevented him from making needed medical decisions on his own.

        Energy and Environmental Law Adviser

        Supreme Court Punts Larger Key Administrative Deference Issues Until Later

        A key building block of U.S. government is how administrative agencies interpret their own regulations. Because this question is so fundamental to the entire regulated community, we have blogged about administrative deference generally and the Kisor case specifically. The Supreme Court affirmed the long-standing judicial tenet of administrative deference to agencies’ interpretation of their own... Continue Reading