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

John assists clean energy and technology companies in litigation and regulatory matters. He recently helped win a two-week trial on behalf of a smart meter technology company that was sued for more than a billion dollars by a licensor. As a 2022 Clean Energy Leadership Institute Fellow and secondee at a long-duration clean energy storage company, John has cultivated industry expertise that he leverages to obtain efficient results for his clients. 

In addition to representing clients in state and federal court, John advises clients on environmental compliance, air emissions regulations, and renewable energy project development issues. He leads the Energy and Infrastructure Industry Group’s offshore wind initiative, maintaining a pulse on the offshore wind industry and other renewable energy project development issues.

John also helps clients navigate the complexities of federal and state environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, CEQA, NEPA, Porter-Cologne Water Quality Act, and CERCLA. 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. John maintains an active pro bono practice, which includes representing clients in efforts to protect environmental resources and lands.

He was a member of the 2022 cohort of the Environmental Law Institute's Emerging Leaders Initiative. He is recognized among Northern California Rising Stars by Super Lawyers for Environmental Litigation (2023).

John served as a law clerk to the Honorable Susan van Keulen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. 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

  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Pathfinder (Class of 2024)
  • Member, Emerging Leaders Initiative Cohort, Environmental Law Institute (2022)
  • Fellow, Clean Energy Leadership Institute (2022)