Helen J. Barnes



Office Address:
1230 Peachtree Street, N.E
Suite 900
Atlanta, GA 30309


Emory University School of Law
(J.D., 2013)

Emory University Rollins School of Public
(M.P.H., 2013)

University of Virginia
(B.A., with Distinction, 2007)



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


Board member, Atlanta Bar Environmental Law & Toxic Tort Section

Order of the Coif, Order of Emory Advocates, Dean’s Award in Environmental Advocacy

Helen brings experience representing environmental clients in regulatory, transactional, policy, and litigation matters at the federal, state, and local levels. She regularly assists lenders, purchasers, sellers, and other property owners with respect to environmental due diligence and remediation, as well as taking contaminated sites through Brownfield and state voluntary cleanup programs. She provides counsel on stormwater compliance, wastewater discharge permits, stream buffer issues, and other Clean Water Act related matters. She also represents clients nationwide in CERCLA/Superfund cost contribution and allocation disputes. She has represented clients in environmental permit proceedings before the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She has also assisted clients with land use and zoning disputes in the state of Georgia.

Background & Education

Helen graduated with honors from the Emory University School of Law, where she was selected to the Order of the Coif and the Order of Emory Advocates and received the Dean’s Award in Environmental Advocacy. She also received a Masters in Public Health from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and a B.A. from the University of Virginia, where she graduated with Distinction. Prior to joining KMCL, Helen was an associate at the Southern Environmental Law Center and an associate with an Atlanta law firm where she assisted health care clients with transactional, regulatory, and corporate matters.

Honors & Recognition

Order of the Coif, Order of Emory Advocates, Dean’s Award in Environmental Advocacy

Board member, Atlanta Bar Environmental Law & Toxic Tort Section

Publication & Speaking

Environmental Regulatory Hitches and Liabilities, presentation at NBI Seminar (Top Challenges in Subdivision, Annexation and Zoning), March 2019

“Consulting, Testifying, and Dual-Hat Experts in Environmental Litigation,” DRI article, January 2018

Update on Coastal Issues and Legislative Activity, presentation at Coastal Issues and Shoreline Regulations in Georgia Seminar, November 2017

FDA Regulation of Medical Antibiotics in Livestock, presentation at American Public Health Association, October 2013

Representative Experience

Represented client in negotiating a consent order in a stormwater compliance citizen suit in California.

Performed environmental due diligence on variety of commercial property acquisitions in Arizona, California, Georgia, Maine, New York, North Carolina, and Ohio, among other states.

Drafted environmental rulemaking comments on behalf of clients addressed to state and federal agencies.

Represent several clients in voluntary cleanup matters before the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

Represent multiple clients in cost allocation disputes with other Potentially Responsible Parties in federal CERCLA contribution matters.

Represent clients before state agencies regarding underground storage tank programs and wetlands/water permitting.