Cole Benbow

Cole A. Benbow


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Litigation and Dispute Resolution
San Francisco

Cole focuses his practice on environmental litigation and investigations, including those related to government enforcement actions. Cole has extensive experience litigating environmental matters in state and federal courts, as well as in private arbitration. Cole also has experience with a prominent number of environmental laws, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Clean Water Act (CWA), and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Cole also represents clients in connection with enforcement and compliance under California’s Proposition 65, and routinely works with clients to identify and evaluate Proposition 65 liabilities and risks.

Cole is also committed to providing pro bono legal services, including representation in domestic violence, unlawful detainer, and asylum proceedings.

Representative Work

Represented global manufacturing company in 7-week arbitration to allocate investigation and remediation costs at industrial property regulated under RCRA and CERCLA

Represented federal contractor conducting Superfund site remediation in SF Bay Area

Represented engineers/design professionals in construction disputes


"Parallel Proceedings in the Aftermath of Industrial Accidents," co-author, Chemical Engineering (August 2020)

"INSIGHT: Fluoridation Case Challenges EPA Chemical Evaluation," co-author, Bloomberg Law (August 2020)

"Recent Trends in EPA-Manufacturing Enforcement Actions," co-author, Industry Today (June 2020)

"Companies Can Bank On Continued U.S. EPA Enforcement Against Unregistered Pesticide Products," co-author, Environmental Law Alert (May 2020)

"Project Approved Pursuant to SB 35 Streamlining Procedures Survives Court Challenge," co-author, Land Use Law Alert (May 2020)

"California Superior Court's Application of SB 35 to Los Altos Development Project Provides Encouragement to Housing Proponents," co-author, Land Use Law Alert (April 2020)

"EPA Makes Good on Promise to Crack Down on Sham COVID-19 Cleaners and Disinfectants," co-author, Environmental Law Alert (April 2020)

"New EPA Guidance for Site Field Work Decisions Impacted by COVID-19," co-author, Environmental Law Alert (April 2020)

"EPA Promises Crackdown on Sham COVID-19 Cleaners and Disinfectants," co-author, Environmental Law Alert (April 2020)

"California DTSC's Efforts to Address the Segregation of Pollution" co-author, Environmental Law Institute (July 2019)

See All Publications


California Lawyers Association, Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Legal Services Award (2019–2021)

Professional Affiliations

California State Bar Association

California Young Lawyers Association

Bar Association of San Francisco

San Francisco Barristers Club Litigation Section

Judicial Clerkships

Judicial Intern to the Honorable Mary B. Barglind and the Honorable Richard Celello, 41st Circuit Court Michigan (2014)

Academic Distinction

CALI Award for the Highest Grade in the Class: Evidence, Bankruptcy, ERISA (Employee Benefits)

USF Law Review, Forum Editor, (Volume 50), Junior Staff (Volume 49)


J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law (2016)

B.A., Michigan State University (2008)

Admissions And Courts


U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

San Francisco

415-995-5128 Direct Phone
415-995-3598 Fax

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