Shartsis Friese Adds Two Partners: Spaulding in Environmental Litigation and Leiske in Tax and Corporate Law

San Francisco, April 1, 2020 – Shartsis Friese LLP is pleased to announce that Paul P. “Skip” Spaulding, III and Kevin Leiske have joined the firm as partners.  Spaulding, who was previously with Farella Braun + Martel, has more than 30 years of experience litigating and counseling clients on environmental, natural resources and land use matters.  Leiske, formerly a partner with the Austin, Texas law firm of Armbrust & Brown PLLC, focuses his practice on taxation, corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies.

“Skip is one of the top environmental and natural resource lawyers not only in Northern California, but in the United States,” said Shartsis Friese founding partner Art Shartsis, “He is a tremendous addition to our firm and brings a whole new dimension to our real estate and litigation practice.”

Spaulding represents private companies, universities, and government institutions in environmental litigation, counseling and project permitting. He handles all types of environmental and regulatory disputes, and has been lead trial counsel in numerous environmental cases in federal courts around the country. He regularly counsels clients on natural resource matters, obtaining natural resource and land use permits for real estate, energy, and other development projects.  Spaulding also has considerable expertise in defending federal and state environmental enforcement actions, filing and defending federal citizen lawsuits, pursuing cost recovery litigation, and bringing and defending cases under CEQA, NEPA, and a wide variety of federal and state environmental laws.

“I am very excited to be joining Shartsis Friese – a firm where I have many friends and that I have known and respected for years,” said Spaulding.  “I see many synergies with the firm’s elite litigation and real estate practices and am looking forward to exploring opportunities with my new colleagues.”  In addition to his deep experience in private practice, Spaulding was formerly Vice-President, Litigation Director and a Managing Attorney of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, now named Earthjustice, from 1989-1994.   He received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and an A.B. from University of Michigan.

Kevin Leiske primarily practices in the areas of taxation, corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. He has advised a wide range of clients in all stages of their operations, such as closely held companies and partnerships, including start-ups and family businesses, multinational corporations, and both real estate and securities investment funds.  He is experienced in corporate and partnership taxation issues stemming from a multitude of transactions, along with generally advising on the formation, capitalization, day-to-day operation, liquidation, and sale of such entities.

“Kevin is a savvy tax and corporate lawyer who brings deep experience in tax and business matters,” said Art Shartsis.  “With the addition of Kevin, and the arrival last year of Dashiell Shapiro who became a partner in January, we have significantly strengthened the firm’s tax practice and deepened the expertise we can offer to clients across a wide range of industries.”

“I’m pleased to be coming back to the San Francisco Bay Area to join such a dynamic firm with elite practices in real estate, investment funds, corporate and tax,” said Leiske.  “I see a great opportunity to contribute my expertise to the various practice teams and build my practice at Shartsis Friese.”  Leiske, whose prior experience included working in the London office of a large accounting firm, focusing on US international and domestic tax advisory work, received a B.S. in Engineering from Johns Hopkins, a J.D. from University of Wisconsin School of Law, and an L.L.M. from New York University.

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About Shartsis Friese
Founded in San Francisco in 1975, Shartsis Friese LLP has more than 65 lawyers.  The firm has extensive trial and business litigation experience, including securities enforcement defense, and a complex transactional practice focused on investment advisers, hedge funds, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, securities, tax, venture capital, intellectual property, family wealth planning, and real estate.  For more information visit