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Kenneth Rivlin


New York

Photo of Kenneth Rivlin
Kenneth Rivlin


New York

Ken, a long-time partner in A&O’s New York office, founded the Firm’s U.S. Environmental Law Group, heads the Firm’s International Environmental Law Group, founded the Firm’s sanctions practice, and co-heads the Firm’s International Trade and Regulatory Law Group.

He is also an Independent Partner Director serving on the Firm’s board.

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 a member (and 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, Advisory Trustee for Pure Earth, 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 leading legal publications, including Chambers & Partners (Ranked Band 1), The Legal 500 (Ranked as a “Leading Lawyer”) and Who’s Who Legal (“Recommended”).

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Financing the gap: eight thoughts on accelerating the Net Zero transition

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U.S. sanctions create risks and challenges for Paraguay's business community

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Publications: 24 February 2023

On the one-year anniversary of Ukraine invasion, Biden Administration imposes additional sanctions and export controls targeting Russia

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Supreme Court to rule on Foreign Sovereign Immunity in criminal law context

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New York

1221 Avenue of the Americas
New York
NY 10020

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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

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
  • 'Not So Fast: The Sealed Air Asbestos Settlement and Methods of Risk Management in the Acquisition of Companies with Asbestos Liabilities,' 11 NYU Environmental Law Journal, July 2003, with Jamaica Potts
  • 'Rising Environmental Stakes in Europe—The New Environmental Laws Applicable to Electrical and Electronic Equipment and What They Mean for High-Tech Companies,' AeA and Allen & Overy, April 2003
  • 'The Precautionary Principle Under U.S. Law,' 11 Environmental Liability 1, February 2003, with Jean-Philippe Brisson
  • '2002 Annual Report, Environmental, Energy & Resources Law: 2002 Year in Review 227,' 2003 (summary of recent developments in parent corporation liability), with Valerie Vena and the American Bar Association Environmental Transactions, Audits and Brownfields Committee
  • 'Atlantic Coast May End State Waste Flow Scheme,' New Jersey Law Journal, March 13, 1995