RHETT A. BILLINGSLEY
Rhett Billingsley is a director in our natural resources, energy and environmental law practice group, where he specializes in the areas of water and environmental law. He has 15 years of experience helping municipal, residential development, agricultural, industrial, energy and mining clients to develop practical solutions to water resource and environmental permitting issues. Rhett has successfully represented clients in both the public and private sector, including serving as outside counsel to Fortune 500 companies and working as in-house counsel with the Central Arizona Project.
Rhett has extensive experience in all areas of water law, including Arizona’s assured and adequate water supply programs, due diligence investigations and acquisition of surface water and groundwater rights (including Colorado River and Central Arizona Project entitlements), well sharing agreements, negotiation of development agreements with municipalities, water conservation and drought planning, underground water storage and recovery permitting, federal and Indian reserved water rights, subflow issues, representing clients in the Gila River General Stream Adjudication and other complex water litigation, and drafting and lobbying water resources legislation.
Rhett also helps clients with permitting and compliance issues under numerous state and federal environmental programs, including the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). He also represents clients on environmental due diligence investigations (Phase I and II environmental site assessments) and regulation of underground storage tanks.
Married with two kids, Rhett loves spending time with his family, backpacking in the Arizona wilderness, and playing guitar and writing original indie rock music.
- J.D., summa cum laude, Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
- B.S., summa cum laude, Biology, Arizona State University
- Order of the Coif
Areas Of Practice
We are the forward-thinking natural resources, energy and environmental law team that innovates to ensure industry and businesses successfully navigate the ever-changing regulatory climate.
- Indian Law
- Water Law
Awards and Honors
- Best Lawyers in America®, Mining Law, 2023 and 2024
- Best Lawyers in America®, Environmental Law, Water Law, 2013-2024
- Chambers USA, Leading Lawyers for Business, 2021-2023
- Southwest Rising Stars®, Energy and Natural Resources, 2012-2016
- AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated (the highest rating available), by Martindale-Hubbell
Articles and Presentations
- Featuring, “Top 10 Arizona Water Rights Lawyers Influencing Environmental Law in 2023,” Business Today, July 14, 2023
- Author, “Clarification Sought from Arizona Supreme Court on Applicability of Forfeiture Laws to Pre-1919 Water Rights,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Water Law Newsletter, Vol. LII, No. 2, 2019
- Speaker, “Water is for Fighting (and Creative Compromises): International and Interstate Water Issues in North America,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, May 2018
- Speaker, “Arizona Water Rights, Sales, and Transfers,” Lorman Webinar, April 2016
Professional and community activities
- Arizona Reporter, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Water Law Newsletter, 2018-Present
- Programs Co-Chair, State Bar of Arizona, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section, Member, 2005-Present; Executive Council, 2011-2016
- Board of Directors, Men’s Arts Council of the Phoenix Art Museum, 2010-2015
- Member, American Bar Association, Mining Committee, Co-Chair, 2009-2010; Chair, 2010-2012, Water Resources Committee, Vice Chair, 2012-2013
- U.S. District Court, District of Arizona