Chicago_Wicha_Jessica Mitchell_21630

Jessica Mitchell Wicha

Baker & McKenzie LLP


Jessica Wicha is a member of Baker McKenzie’s Global Environmental Practice Group and is based in Chicago. Jessica advises US and multinational companies on managing the risks and liabilities arising under federal and state environmental, health and safety laws.

Jessica is a past co-chair of Baker McKenzie’s Chicago Associates Committee and currently serves on Baker McKenzie’s Chicago BGreen Committee.

Practice Focus

Jessica’s practice focuses on the environmental aspects of complex business transactions – including mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, divestitures and joint ventures – across a wide range of industry sectors and jurisdictions. This work includes scoping and coordinating domestic and global environmental due diligence to ensure key environmental issues and risks are appropriately evaluated during the transaction, including risks related to ESG and emerging contaminants such as PFAS. Jessica advises clients on the range of environmental liability and risk allocation issues that can arise during a transaction and the tools available to manage them, including specific indemnities, voluntary cleanup programs, voluntary disclosures under state and federal auditing programs, and environmental insurance. Jessica’s transactional practice also encompasses drafting and negotiating environmental contractual terms, coordinating permit transfers, and selecting and managing environmental consultants. In addition to her transactional work, Jessica’s practice covers day-to-day environmental compliance issues, remediation matters, emergency spills and releases, and regulatory enforcement.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Manages U.S. and global environmental diligence in connection with transactions for wide range of industrial and manufacturing companies, including the specialty chemicals, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, and automotive industries.
  • Manages U.S. environmental diligence in connection with transactions involving large-scale renewable energy projects, including wind, solar, and battery energy storage systems.
  • Represents buyers and sellers in the management of site assessment and remediation obligations arising under state property transfer laws – the New Jersey Industrial Site Recovery Act ("ISRA") and Connecticut Property Transfer Act.
  • Managed global (30+ country) environmental permit transfer project in connection with the internal restructuring and carve out of an oil and gas services company and subsequent joint venture.
  • Provides regular counsel to vehicle, heavy equipment and other industrial manufacturing facilities regarding matters related to the management, transportation and disposal of hazardous waste, including legal nuances related to reuse, recycling and "take back" activities.
  • Advises Fortune 50 electronics manufacturers on the scope and applicability of extended producer responsibility or "take back" obligations under state electronic waste laws.
  • Prepared public comments on behalf of a national industry trade organization regarding several US Environmental Protection Agency proposed rulemakings on the regulation of coal combustion residuals under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
  • Prepared public comments on behalf of a multinational coal mining company regarding proposed state list of impaired waters under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act.

Professional Honors

  • Emerging Lawyer – Environmental Law, Leading Lawyers, 2017

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association

Corporate Responsibility

Jessica has served as an adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, co-teaching the College of Law's Advanced Environmental Legal Writing course. She also represents pro bono clients in a variety of environmental matters, focusing on state, federal and international water matters.


  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois~United States (2009)
  • Illinois~United States (2007)


  • University of Michigan Law School (J.D., cum laude) (2007)
  • University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment (M.S.) (2007)
  • University of Michigan (B.A., High Distinction) (2002)


  • English


Speaker, "Effective Strategies for Managing PFAS Risks," May 2023

Speaker, "Sustainable Product Trends for In-House Counsel," Baker McKenzie Annual Compliance Conference, October 2022

Speaker, "Regional Breakouts – EHS Updates from North America," Baker McKenzie International Environmental Conference, June 2022

Speaker, "State of Play on U.S. Water Policy and Regulation," Baker McKenzie International Environmental Conference, November 2021

Speaker, "Managing Global Environmental Compliance Challenges and Protecting Worker Health and Safety During COVID-19 Operational Disruptions," April 2020

Speaker, "New EHS Considerations in Corporate Deals," Baker McKenzie International Environmental Conference, June 2019