John Ugai represents clients in a broad range of environmental litigation, permitting, compliance, and administrative enforcement matters.

John helps clients navigate the complexities of federal and state environmental laws, including the California Environmental Quality Act, National Environmental Policy Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Clean Water Act, and Porter-Cologne Water Quality Act. In particular, he has experience representing large and small businesses in matters involving liability for cleanup and site remediation and federal citizen suits under the Clean Water Act. In addition to representing clients in state and federal court, John advises clients on environmental compliance and renewable energy project development issues.

John also maintains an active pro bono practice, which includes representing clients in efforts to protect environmental resources and lands.

Before joining Farella, John served as a law clerk to the Honorable Susan van Keulen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. He was also a criminal justice reform law clerk and Ford Fellowship recipient with Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus.  At Stanford Law School, he spent two years helping to represent local environmental groups before state courts as well as state and federal agencies in Stanford’s Environmental Law Clinic.


  • Northern California Rising Stars by Super Lawyers, Environmental Litigation (2023)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member, Emerging Leaders Initiative, Environmental Law Institute (2022)