Ken Rivlin


Ken is Global Co-Head of Environmental & Sanctions and a member of the Board. He founded the U.S. Environmental Law Group and co-heads the International Trade Group.

Ken and his team advise corporates, financial institutions, funds, governments, and NGOs on a wide range of regulatory and risk issues in transactions, stand-alone compliance matters, and disputes, including: sustainability & ESG, climate risk, emissions trading & decarbonization, corporate reporting & disclosure, governance and risk management, the Equator Principles and similar voluntary standards, supply chain sustainability, toxic tort risk, and human rights. Ken and his team also advise on U.S. and international economic sanctions, foreign direct investment rules (CFIUS), anti-corruption and anti-bribery compliance, and similar matters.Ken writes and speaks frequently on environmental and regulatory matters, and is a Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia University School of Law, where he co-teaches a seminar called “Environmental and ESG Concerns in Business Transactions and Corporate Decision-making.”

He is the former Chair of the Advisory Council for the Institute at Brown (University) for Environment and Society, Member (and former President) of the Board of Trustees for the Human Needs Food Pantry, Former Chair of the New York City Bar Committee on International Environmental Law, , a member of the Leadership Council for the Environmental Law Institute, and has served on numerous additional boards. He also is a core member of the International Environmental Lawyers Network, and a member of the Environmental Law Advisory Committee at Columbia Law School.

Ken is widely recognized as a leading international lawyer by the principal legal ratings publications, including Chambers & Partners (Ranked Band 1), The Legal 500 (Ranked as “Hall of Fame”) and Who’s Who Legal (“Recommended”).

Published Work

  • 'The REACH of Europe's Regulatory System:  New Era Begins for Registration and Assessment of Chemicals', New York Law Journal, P. 9, July 14, 2008,  by Kenneth Rivlin, Felise Cooper, Matthew Townsend and Rebecca Lawson
  • 'WEEE and RoHS Directives: New Requirements Impacting the Global Supply Chain of the High-Tech Industry,' American Competitiveness Institute, August 2005, with Jean-Philippe Brisson and David Wharwood
  • 'Preparing for the WEEE Directive,' Circuits Assembly, April 2005, with Jean-Philippe Brisson and David Wharwood
  • 'Proposed Rule Changes to Federal Civil Procedure May Introduce New Challenges in Environmental Class Action Litigation,' Harvard Environmental Law Review, Volume 27, Number 2, (July) 2003, with Jamaica Potts

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, Perception vs Reality, ACI Advanced Forum on Economic Sanctions Enforcement & Compliance, April 2016
  • Moderator, deep dive session: the sanctions intensive, A.C.E.S. Compliance Summit, April 2016
  • Moderator, Policy Update: A Conversation with OFAC, BIS and the State Department, 3rd U.S.-Cuba Corporate Counsel Summit held in New York, March 2016
  • Speaker, Doing business in Iran post-sanctions, March 2016 Moderator, The Debate Between Environmental Sustainability and Economic Solvency: A lecture by Dr. Janez Poto?nik, European Commissioner for the Environment, Columbia Law School, September 2014

Leadership Positions And Professional Affiliations

  • Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law, Cardozo Law School, 2003
  • Member, New York Bar Association
  • Member, New Jersey Bar Association
  • Member, Environmental Bankers Association
He has a talent for taking complicated matters and boiling them down to the critical points. He ensures you get the best legal advice, allowing you to make the best decisions for your business.
Chambers USA 2021, Environmental: Mainly Transactional


  • Ken is widely recognized as a leading international lawyer by the principal legal ratings publications, including Chambers & Partners (Ranked Band 1), The Legal 500 (Ranked as “Hall of Fame”) and Who’s Who Legal (“Recommended”)



Registered Foreign Lawyer, England and Wales, 2024

Admitted: Bar of the State of New York, 1997

Admitted: Bar of the State of New Jersey, 1995


J.D., cum laude, Boston University, 1994

B.A., Brown University, 1987

A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.