Attorney Peter D Van Oot is leaving the law firm where he has practiced for more than 30 years to join a new venture with Dr Robert Simpson, the former chief executive officer of the Brattleboro Retreat. The new business, called The Difference Leadership Group, counsels for-profit and non-profit leaders in governance and leadership. DRM environmental law attorney Trey Martin will work with Van Oot’s environmental law clients going forward.
“After a lifetime of civic commitment on a volunteer basis, Pete now looks forward to changing his avocation of board service into his primary vocation” said Paul H Ode, Jr, DRM’s managing partner over the past nine years. “Pete has left an enduring mark on the firm and on the practice of environmental law in Vermont and New Hampshire. While we will miss his vision, leadership, professionalism, depth of knowledge, and energy we are excited for him in his new venture.”
Although best known for his work in environmental law, Van Oot has had a long-standing second practice area in institutional governance, where he has counseled many organizations in the legal and practical requirements of conducting their business.
Van Oot has been instrumental in the formation and implementation of numerous environmental and land use statutes, including Act 250, the Municipal and Regional Planning and Development Act, Vermont’s storm water laws, federal and state Superfund legislation and Vermont’s brownfields program for environmental remediation.
In his legal practice, Van Oot has been consistently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America©, has been recognized in Best Lawyers in America as a “Lawyer of the Year”, and is rated AV Preeminent, the highest peer rating standard, by Martindale-Hubbell in his areas of practice. He was one of the founding regents of the American College of Environmental Attorneys, where he chaired the Region I Membership Committee for many years.
Van Oot has also served in leadership positions on numerous local, regional and state-wide boards and commissions, including environmental, business and economic development groups and three federal judicial nominating commissions. He was named Volunteer of the Year 2011 in the eleven northeast states by the Northeast Vermont Development Association and continues to serve on the boards of The Nature Conservancy – Vermont Chapter and the Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation.
Van Oot led the opening of DRM’s Brattleboro Office in 1992 and helped grow the Brattleboro office through years of building contacts in the southern Vermont business community. He moved to Lebanon in 2012 to help grow the firm’s New Hampshire footprint. At DRM he served for ten years as chair of the Regulated Entities Group, an eclectic collection of legal specialties serving organizations who are regulated in some way by the state or federal government.
A graduate of Deerfield Academy and Williams College, he earned the law degree at the Georgetown University Law Center. He grew up in Westminster, Vt.