Richard M. Saines

Baker & McKenzie LLP


Richard (Rick) Saines heads the North America Climate Change and Environmental Markets Practice and serves on the steering committee for the Firm's Global Renewable Energy and Clean Technology Practice. He is widely published and globally recognized as a leading climate change lawyer, bringing over fifteen years of experience on climate change law matters advising multinational companies, financial institutions, funds and project sponsors on carbon and environmental market transactions within the international, regional and voluntary markets. Mr. Saines also advises major global corporations on climate change policy, sustainable development and global corporate greenhouse gas compliance and management. He is recognized by Chambers USA and Chambers Global as a leading climate change lawyer. He serves as Vice-Chair in the International Emissions Trading Association and served as a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council for Climate Change and was the former Co-Chair of the Renewable Energy Resources Subcommittee of the American Bar Association. In 2016, Rick was awarded Chevalier of the National Order of Merit by the President of the Republic of France for his significant contribution to the preparation of the Paris Climate Summit and the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Practice Focus

Mr. Saines routinely advises on leading carbon market transactions, both within the US and across multiple jurisdictions throughout the world, including Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Madagascar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Kenya, and China. He has considerable experience in the areas of forestry and terrestrial carbon, U.S. biofuels and renewable energy incentives and regulations, and the laws and policies concerning carbon capture and storage. He is a co-founder of Avoided Deforestation Partners.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Advised a major global transport company in connection with RIN values and renewable fuels mandates under US EPA's Final Rule on the 2012 Renewable Fuel Standards.
  • Represented a major offtaker in connection with biofuels supply and financing agreements, including in connection with the ownership and rights to the related environmental attributes.
  • Advised CA-based client in connection with the legal implications of the vacature of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard on Dormant Commerce Clause grounds.
  • Represented a leading US portfolio of carbon offsets from CCUS projects in a strategic alliance, marketing, offtake and equity investment with a major global investment bank.
  • Represented state government regarding carbon capture and storage legislation.
  • Represented various project developers and investors regarding REDD+ projects in Kenya, Madagascar, Cambodia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru.
  • Drafted and negotiated ERPAs and advised on legal aspects of CERs, ERUs and VERs in various jurisdictions for agriculture derived GHG ER aggregator.
  • Drafted and negotiated VERPAs for US emission reduction projects on behalf of various buyers.
  • Advised on the formation and capital raising for a USD100 million fund to invest in eco-products in the US.
  • Represented various multinational corporations regarding their global climate strategies.

Professional Honors

  • Leading lawyer in Climate Change, Chambers Global, 2009-2016 
  • Leading lawyer in Climate Change, Chambers USA, 2010-2016

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • International Emissions Trading Association - Board Member
  • American Council on Renewable Energy - Member
  • Illinois State Bar Association - Member
  • Emissions Marketing Association - Member
  • World Economic Forum - Climate Change Council - Member
  • Climate Markets & Investment Association – Member
  • Chicago Bar Association - Environmental Committee Former Chair
  • American Bar Association - Renewable Energy Resources Subcommittee Former Co-Chair


  • Illinois~United States (1996)


  • Chicago-Kent College of Law (IIT) (JD) (1996)
  • Miami University (Ohio) (BS) (1991)


  • English
  • Spanish


Speaker, "Crossing the Ice Field: Key Legal Topics for California Climate Initiatives," Navigating the American Carbon World, San Francisco, California, 18 April 2013

Presenter, "Forestry Update: REDD+ from International Negotiations to Regional Programs," IETA Carbon Forum North America in Washington, DC, October 2012

Presenter, “REDD+ Financing" and ”Carbon Capture and Storage Policy,” COP 17 in Durban, South Africa, December 2011


Co-author, “Taking an Interest in Carbon: Secured Financing and the Legal Nature of Carbon Credits,” a book chapter to be published by Oxford University Press, Spring 2010

Co-author, “International Market Solutions to Protect Tropical Forests,” Legal Aspects of Carbon Trading, Oxford University Press, 2010

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