William Clarke


Billy Clarke is a partner with the firm. He has over thirty years of experience representing public and private clients in Environmental Law. Billy Clarke is a native of Western North Carolina. He has strong ties to the community, the region and the state. He is well regarded by his peers, having been recognized as a member of Best Lawyers in America since 1997, a member of Business North Carolina magazine’s Legal Elite since 2005 (Hall of Fame recipient since 2012) and a North Carolina Super Lawyer since 2007.

His practice focuses on environmental permitting and compliance, transactions involving the purchase and sale of contaminated property, environmental and administrative litigation, water quality issues and the representation of local governments on environmental matters. He has extensive experience in Brownfields Redevelopment for both public and private clients.

Billy obtained his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his Juris Doctor from UNC Chapel Hill. He is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association (Past Chair of the Section of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources) and the American Bar Association (member of the Section on Natural Resources, Energy and Environment).


  • Successfully represented a number of local governments on environmental issues including the purchase and sale of properties with environmental contamination, Brownfields Redevelopment, and acquisition of easements for water and wastewater
  • Successfully represented large manufacturers and natural resources companies in obtaining and defending environmental permits
  • Successfully represented numerous private clients in negotiating the purchase and sale of properties with environmental contamination including Brownfields Redevelopment

  • Regulatory expertise includes water quality, wastewater collection and treatment, underground storage tanks and petroleum contamination, sedimentation and erosion, US Army Corps of Engineers permitting and solid waste issues
  • Successfully represented local government agencies and private clients in land condemnation matters including easements for sewer lines, electric transmission lines and highway rights of way



  • Institute for the Environment at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Directors, 2009-2010; Member, 2000-present
  • American Bar Association, Section: Natural Resources, Energy and Environment
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Section: Environment, Energy and Natural Resources, Chair, 2010, Member, 1989-1995, 1999-2002

Awards and Accolades

  • The Best Lawyers in America: Environmental Law, 1997-present; Litigation-Environmental, 2011-present; Natural Resources Law, 2007-present
  • Business North Carolina magazine’s Legal Elite: Environmental Law, 2005-2012; Environmental Law Hall of Fame, 2012-present
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers: Environmental Attorney, 2007-present

Presentations Include

  • “NPDES Permits,” NC Bar Association
  • “Environmental Liability for Lenders,” NC Bar Association
  • “Environmental Issues in Real Estate Transactions,” NC Bar Association
  • “Sedimentation and Erosion Litigation,” NC Bar Association



Roberts & Stevens Attorneys Named to 2017 Legal Elite

Five attorneys from Roberts & Stevens have been named to Business North Carolina magazine’s Legal Elite for 2017: John D. Noor for Litigation, Antitrust Law, Environmental Law and in Young Guns category Jacqueline D. Grant for Employment Law Ann-Pa … Read More >

Roberts & Stevens Named to Legal Elite

Six attorneys from Roberts & Stevens have been named to Business North Carolina magazine’s Legal Elite 2016: Gregory D. Hutchins for Business Law Jackson D. Hamilton for Tax Law and Estate Planning Jacqueline D. Grant for Employment Law Rebecca J. … Read More >

Roberts & Stevens attorneys honored as 2015 Super Lawers

ASHEVILLE – Six attorneys at Roberts & Stevens Law Firm have been honored by their peers in the North Carolina Super Lawyers 2015 edition: Vincent D. Childress, Jr. for Business/Corporate Law William (“Billy”) Clarke for Environmental Law Jacquelin … Read More >

Ann-Patton Hornthal featured in Verve magazine

Attorney Ann-Patton Hornthal is working with William Clarke and others in an effort to save the Box Creek Wilderness. Spanning 5,185 acres, Box Creek Wilderness is one of North Carolina’s premiere ecological jewels and is the state’s largest private Re … Read More >

The 2013 Roberts & Stevens Law Firm – Best Lawyers

Seventeen attorneys at the Roberts & Stevens law firm have been honored by their peers in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013: Sarah Patterson “Patsy” Brison in Administrative/Regulatory Law and Land Use & Zoning Law and Litigation Vincent D. Chi … Read More >