Photo of M. Elizabeth  McDaniel

M. Elizabeth McDaniel

Of Counsel
San Francisco
F: 415.434.3947


  • J.D., University of California, Hastings, 1984
  • B.A., Vanderbilt University, 1966
  • Law Clerk at the San Francisco Superior Court, Law and Motion Department
  • Law Clerk to Justice Malcolm M. Lucas, California Supreme Court
Thought Leadership


M. Elizabeth McDaniel is Of Counsel in the Real Estate, Land Use, and Environmental practice group in the firm's San Francisco office.  She is the former Co-Office Managing Partner of the San Francisco office.

Areas of Practice

Ms. McDaniel has practiced environmental law for over twenty-five years, with an emphasis on environmental issues in real estate transactions, permitting, hazardous materials management, claims involving CERCLA and RCRA and state environmental law, and California's Proposition 65. Ms. McDaniel holds a certificate in hazardous materials management from U.C. Berkeley, and she counsels clients on a wide variety of environmental compliance issues, including water quality matters and hazardous materials handling. She has worked on numerous transactions in all parts of the United States involving contaminated property, and she has worked with developers on projects on contaminated property. She is the Environmental Team Leader for Sheppard Mullin's Climate Change Team.


  • Top Rated Lawyer for Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources, American Lawyer Magazines, 2013
  • Which Lawyer?, Practical Law Company, 2012
  • Leading Environmental Practices Lawyer, The Recorder, 2012
  • Northern California Super Lawyer, San Francisco Magazine, 2005-2015
  • 100 Most Influential Women in Business in the San Francisco Bay Area, 2004, 2005


Representative Matters

Performed environmental due diligence on numerous properties and facilities for an investment client's sale-lease-back projects around the country.

Performed environmental due diligence on a large former Navy base for a developer.

Lead counsel in one month jury trial for NEC in Santa Clara County environmental action regarding real property cleanup.

Represented over forty construction companies in a Proposition 65 matter regarding asphalt.

Represented numerous manufacturers and retailers in Proposition 65 matters regarding products containing toluene, lead, cadmium, or other chemicals.

Represented manufacturers and premises owners in numerous asbestos actions, and advised clients with asbestos issues.

Represented manufacturer in two Superfund matters in Oregon.

Represented large financial institution in two multi-party CERCLA actions in the Northern District of California.

Assisted numerous developers of Brownfields in analyzing environmental issues and risks, negotiating with environmental agencies, obtaining environmental insurance, and drafting transfer documents.

Thought Leadership


Media Mentions

Speaking Engagements

  • Retaining & Developing Women Lawyers, American Conference Institute, December 4, 2007


  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Bar Association of San Francisco, 2005 - 2008
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Barristers Club of San Francisco, 1988-1989
  • Former Chair, State Bar Committee on Rules and Procedures of Court, 1989-1990
  • Former Member, Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Local Court Rules, 1990-1992