Phil Cha serves as a team lead for the Duane Morris Energy industry group and is a member of the firm’s governing Partners Board. He litigates complex environmental, commercial and mass tort matters in state and federal courts throughout the United States. Mr. Cha has litigated dozens of high-exposure and high-profile cases regarding environmental contamination, business and contract disputes, defective products and mass/toxic torts. The majority of Mr. Cha’s cases involve amounts in the millions of dollars. Many have been class actions, multidistrict litigation or government enforcement actions involving amounts in controversy in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.
In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Cha advises clients on regulatory compliance, government investigations, management of environmental liabilities, remediation of contaminated sites, and the sale and development of contaminated properties.
Mr. Cha has received numerous accolades by clients, peers and legal publications for his legal abilities, professionalism and accomplishments. A general counsel of a public company described Mr. Cha as "hyper-responsive, very smart, and exceptionally efficient." A chief legal officer of an international petroleum company who hired him for a government investigation said, "Phil did a masterful job." An associate general counsel of a public company described Mr. Cha as "very responsive, dependable, and effective. Always a great problem solver.”
Mr. Cha is listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He was named an "MCCA Rainmaker" by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, a distinction limited to attorneys with at least a $5 million annual book of business, including over the past three years, and extraordinary commitment and service to the community. He was also recognized as a “Trailblazer” by the New Jersey Law Journal, “Best of the Bar” and a “Minority Business Leader"” by the Philadelphia Business Journal, and a “Rainmaker” and “Minority Power Broker” in back-to-back years by Law360. The New Jersey State Bar Association’s Commission on Professionalism named Mr. Cha "Professional Lawyer of the Year" for consistently demonstrating high character, legal competence and exemplary professional behavior. Mr. Cha has an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Rating and a Client Champion Gold Rating on Martindale-Hubbell.
Outside the practice of law, Mr. Cha has partnered with various non-profit organizations such as the Law School Admission Council’s DiscoverLaw Program, the American Red Cross and various pro bono citizenship clinics.
Mr. Cha is a 1999 graduate of Rutgers Law School and a 1995 graduate of Rutgers School of Environmental & Biological Sciences.
Areas of Practice
- Mass Torts and Products Liability
- Represented a chemical company in a lawsuit to recover past costs and economic damages allegedly caused by contamination in the Passaic River.
- Advising a chemical manufacturer subsidiary of a global, publicly-traded petroleum company on matters relating to the implementation of the remedial design for more than 8 miles of a river in New Jersey.
- Representing a chemical manufacturer subsidiary of a global, publicly-traded petroleum company in legacy environmental liability issues at sites in New Jersey, including negotiations for a two-site remedy at adjoining sites subject to separate federal and state clean-up orders.
- Represented a clothing manufacturer in pursuit of cleanup costs against an oil company in connection with contaminated sites in Sacramento, CA.
- Representing Occidental Chemical Corporation in defense of a lawsuit concerning historic contamination at a gasoline service station in Clifton, New Jersey, where the current owner seeks past and future remediation costs.
- Representing Sunoco, Inc. in a suit brought by the current landlord of a former gasoline station in New York City seeking remediation of contamination and damages.
- Representing a chemical manufacturer subsidiary of a global, publicly-traded petroleum company in preparing and negotiating access, remediation, indemnity, release, and reimbursement agreements regarding dozens of contaminated sites in New Jersey
- New Jersey
- Rutgers Law School, J.D., 1999
- Rutgers University, School of Environmental & Biological Sciences, B.S., 1995
- Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2016-present
Archer & Greiner, P.C. (2000-2016)
- Associate; Shareholder
- Vice-chair of Environmental Practice Group
- Chairman of Diversity & Inclusion
- New Jersey Bar Association
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Korean American Bar Association of Greater New York
Honors and Awards
- Named to the Philadelphia Business Journal's "Best of the Bar" for Business Litigation, 2021
Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2021 and 2022
- Named a "2020 MCCA Rainmaker" by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association
- Named a “Trailblazer” by the New Jersey Law Journal, 2020
- Named a "2020 Minority Business Leader" by the Philadelphia Business Journal
Named a "Top Business Attorney" in Litigation (Environmental) by SouthJersey.com, 2019
Named a “Top Attorney” in Environmental Law by SJ Magazine, 2018
- Recognized as a "Rainmaker" by Law360, 2016
- Named an "Awesome Attorney" in Environmental Law by South Jersey Magazine, 2016
- Named a "Minority Power Broker" by Law360, 2015
- SmartCEO Magazine, Industry Practice Award Finalist, 2015
Named "Professional Lawyer of the Year" by the New Jersey State Bar Association's Commission on Professionalism, 2014
- Distinguished Community Service Award - Rutgers Law APALSA, 2012
- Professional Achievement Award - APALA-NJ, 2009
- AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Client Champion Gold Rating by Martindale-Hubbell
- Board member, Law360 New Jersey Editorial Advisory Board, 2022
Selected Speaking Engagements
- "Update on New Jersey's NRD Program," Ad-Hoc Industry NRD Task Force, October 2006