Greg Wilkinson is a partner in the law firm of Best Best & Krieger LLP and a member of the firm’s Environmental Law and Natural Resources practice group. His practice emphasizes water rights, water quality, endangered species and environmental impact reporting issues.
Mr. Wilkinson successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court for the petitioners in Bennett v. Spear, 520 U.S. 154 (1997), a case arising under the citizen suit provision of the Endangered Species Act. He also serves as counsel to the State Water Contractors in litigation and administrative proceedings relating to the San Francisco Bay-Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta Estuary. In 2006, he argued the landmark Bay-Delta water litigation that resulted in the decision in theState Water Resources Control Board Cases, 136 Cal.App.4th 1723. Mr. Wilkinson also serves as litigation counsel to the Friant Water Users Authority in matters relating to the Federal Central Valley Project (CVP). In that capacity, in 2003 he successfully argued Westlands Water District. v. United States, 337 F.3d 1092, which sets the priorities for water deliveries among federal CVP contractors. Mr. Wilkinson also acts as counsel for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California in environmental litigation relating to the Lower Colorado River.
In 2011, Mr. Wilkinson was recognized by The Daily Journal as one of California’s top 100 attorneys, largely for his successful arguments before U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger in Fresno that the federal government must fairly and honestly address the water needs of humans before reducing deliveries from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. He has been voted by his peers as one of “The Best Lawyers in America”® for energy, environmental, natural resources and water law every year since 2006. In addition, Best Lawyers named him a “Lawyer of the Year” for 2012 in the environmental litigation category for inland Southern California. Mr. Wilkinson has been listed as a “Southern California Super Lawyer”® for environmental law every year since 2009.
Before joining Best Best & Krieger in 1986, Mr. Wilkinson served for nine years as a deputy attorney general for the State of California specializing in water law matters and for four years as the chief of land and water resources law for the Development Law Service of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, Italy. In 2000 and 2001, he led a team of United Nations and World Bank experts in rewriting the water law of Namibia to eliminate apartheid era rules regarding water allocation.