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  • J.D., 1990
    University of Pennsylvania Law School
  • B.A., 1987
    Duke University
    (magna cum laude)

Zoli, Elise N

Elise Zoli chairs the firm’s Energy Practice, is a leader in its Cleantech and Climate Change initiatives, and focuses on the clean energy, Cleantech and innovative nuclear sectors.


Ms. Zoli specializes in developing the strategic direction, including venture capital investment, private equity, project finance and alternative funding, for Cleantech companies and projects. Her work includes substantial depth in energy storage (batteries and beyond), ground source and geothermal, innovative nuclear, biofuels, clean water and water treatment, industrial processes, carbon conversion, wind and solar, automotive, ocean wave technologies and wireless electricity, as well as carbon markets. Recent examples of her work include efforts on behalf of recognized leaders in the innovative nuclear, carbon conversion, advanced biofuels and electroplating space, with funding of these initiatives under various Department of Energy programs. Ms. Zoli works on behalf of the Cleantech sector primarily from the Boston and Silicon Valley offices. She is also a lecturer on Cleantech and Climate Change at MIT’s Sloan School, and regularly speaks on Cleantech issues nationwide.

In addition, Ms. Zoli has broad experience in the transfer, permitting and development of energy projects, particularly electric-generating, biofuel and energy storage facilities. Recent examples of her work include strategic development and acquisition advice, compliance counseling and litigation services on behalf of nuclear-powered, fossil-fuel and wind-turbine electric-generating stations, as well as strategic counseling for a leading “Green tag” provider. In conjunction with her transactional work, Ms. Zoli also has pioneered the use of insurance coverage. Her work includes implementation of the nationally recognized Commonwealth-subsidized environmental-insurance program developed in conjunction with the Massachusetts Brownfields legislation.

Ms. Zoli has considerable experience in environmental and energy-related litigation under the major federal environmental acts. Recent examples of her work include the strategic defense of power-production and infrastructure facilities facing scrutiny under the National Environmental Policy Act and comparable state law. Recent successes (in 2009) include Entergy v. Riverkeeper, in which the U. S. Supreme Court approved the use of cost-benefit analysis in the development of federal water-use regulations, and Entergy v. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, in which the Massachusetts judiciary rejected the Massachusetts DEP’s regulatory overreach with respect to water use.


Ms. Zoli is a lecturer on Cleantech and Climate Change at MIT’s Sloan School, regularly speaks on Cleantech issues nationwide and is an advisor to ecoIDEA.


Ms. Zoli is admitted to practice in New York and Massachusetts.


Ms. Zoli has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and Law Dragon, and is recognized as a Massachusetts “Super Lawyer.” She also has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers for her work in the area of environmental law.