Professionals / Benjamin F. Wilson
Benjamin F. Wilson
1350 I Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20005-3311
Bar Admissions & Memberships
Benjamin F. Wilson is the Managing Principal of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. He has been a past member of the Firm’s Management Committee and past Chairman of the Litigation Practice Group. His present litigation practice encompasses a wide range of activities in both state and federal courts, including commercial litigation matters, and environmental litigation matters.
He has been lead counsel in several complex environmental litigation matters for major corporations and developers, having served as lead counsel at the largest chromium site in the United States. Mr. Wilson is highly sought after by his clients, due in large part to the remarkable success he has enjoyed in a wide range of environmental litigation and regulatory matters on behalf of a major retailer, oil companies and communications companies.
Mr. Wilson also has represented a number of cities and local government agencies on Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act enforcement and wetlands development matters including: the City of New Orleans; the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans; the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority; the Metropolitan Water District of Greater Chicago; the San Antonio Water System; and the City of New Haven, Connecticut, among others.
A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Mr. Wilson graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1973 with an A.B. degree in history. While at Dartmouth, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and named both a Rufus Choate Scholar and a Senior Fellow. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1976.
Mr. Wilson is experienced in dealing with cases involving the impact of the filling of wetlands and the obligations to comply with federal and state environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. Specifically, he has become involved in both regulatory and litigation issues arising out of the filling of wetlands as part of the expansion of airports and stadium projects. Mr. Wilson has served as lead environmental counsel to the District of Columbia Sports and Entertainment Commission on the project to build the new Verizon Center for the Washington Wizards professional basketball team and Washington Capitals professional hockey team and the proposed football stadium for the Washington Redskins. He has also served as lead counsel in numerous “Superfund” cases and on environmental audits and assessments pertaining to the sale of corporations and their assets.
Mr. Wilson has represented financial bodies on a wide variety of environmental issues pertaining to the sale and ownership of real property, and on wetlands and Endangered Species Act litigation, as well as several complex commercial litigation matters.
After several years in private practice with the Atlanta, Georgia law firm of King & Spalding, focusing on litigation and tax matters, Mr. Wilson joined the Civil Division of the Department of Justice in 1979. At the Justice Department, he gained substantial trial expertise in commercial litigation matters, appearing on behalf of the government in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the United States Court of Claims and district courts throughout the United States. While at the Department, he received Special Achievement Awards in recognition of his performance in 1981 and 1982. Prior to joining Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., Mr. Wilson joined the law firm of Rose, Schmidt, Chapman, Duff and Hasley as an associate in 1983. In 1985, he became a partner in the firm, focusing on civil litigation.
Mr. Wilson has counseled small and developing businesses throughout his career. He has also counseled on a variety of commercial contract matters and negotiated player contracts on behalf of professional athletes.
A member of the Georgia and District of Columbia Bars, Mr. Wilson is active in the American Bar Association, National Bar Association, where he has served for 15 years on the Environmental, Energy and Public Utilities Section (including serving as Chairman), and Washington Bar Association.
Mr. Wilson serves as an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law at the Howard University School of Law. In 2010, he was named to the Board of Directors of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. Mr. Wilson was also elected to the Board of Directors of the Environmental Law Institute. In 2012, Mr. Wilson was elected to serve on the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College. He was recognized by the National Bar Association Commercial Law Section when he received its coveted Outside Counsel Award for his excellent work and service on behalf of his clients, and his work promoting diversity in the profession. In 2011, Mr. Wilson was featured in an article entitled "Powering Up: A Look at the First Generation of Minority Managing Partners" in Diversity & The Bar magazine, in which he provides his insight on achieving balance between managing and practicing, and the future of diversity in the profession. In 2010, Mr. Wilson was feted for his work organizing the Diverse Partners Network in Washington, D.C., by Diversity & The Bar in an article entitled “DC Diverse Partners Network.” He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Maryland/DC Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.
In 2013, Mr. Wilson received the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources' Dedication to Diversity and Justice Award. In 2012, Mr. Wilson was among the honorees in the "Outstanding Leaders in Law" by the Daily Record's Leadership in Law Program. He was also named one of the “100 Most Influential Black Lawyers in the Nation” by On Being A Black Lawyer. In 2009, he received the Wiley Branton Award for outstanding achievement in civil rights law by the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Development (WLC). The Environmental Leadership Program's (ELP) Mid-Atlantic Network also honored the work of Mr. Wilson with "A Celebration of Leadership: Remembering Dr. King's Environmental Legacy with Benjamin Wilson." In 2008, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) published a profile on Mr. Wilson in The Environmental Forum. In the profile, "The Defender," ELI notes that Ben "sees representing business and governmental clients not only as a mandate to achieve their goals but as an opportunity to benefit the environment and civil rights."
Mr. Wilson was also appointed to the National Environmental Justice Committee as one of three representatives of Corporate America in 2004. He also serves as Co-Chairman of the American Bar Association Environmental Justice Committee which received the Committee Excellence Award in 2004 for the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities. Mr. Wilson has also served as both a member (2003) and Chairman (2004) of the Policyowners’ Examining Committee for Northwestern Mutual. From 1990 to 2004, he served as Chairman of the Board of Elections and Ethics of the District of Columbia. He has served two terms as Co-Chairman of the Washington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. He has served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Healthy Babies, Inc., Chairman of the Board of the Dwight A. Mosley Memorial Fund, Chairman of the Advisory Board of WAMU public radio, Member of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, and he has also served on the Boards of Funds for the Community’s Future and the Advisory Board of the National Association for Public Interest Law.
Mr. Wilson was named to the 2013 edition of Best Lawyers, has been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers Edition 2014, and is AV Peer Review Rated.