Professional Biography

Marie A. Cooper Senior Counsel

  • San Francisco

    D +1.415.344.7012

    F +1.415.344.7212

    San Francisco

    505 Howard Street, Suite 1000

    San Francisco, CA 94105-3204




Marie A. Cooper is senior counsel with the firm's Environment, Energy & Resources practice. She focuses her practice on land use and development, entitlement processing and land use litigation. She practices at both the trial and appellate court levels.

Marie is experienced in addressing issues arising under the Planning and Zoning laws, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), water supply bills, water rights law, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), the California Coastal Act, election laws pertaining to initiatives and referenda, and annexation-related laws.  Marie is also skilled in handling Williamson Act matters, having represented the developer in the first easement exchange project processed through the Department of Conservation. She often addresses the issues that arise when renewable energy providers seek to locate facilities on land in preserves or under Williamson Act contracts.

Marie has substantial litigation experience in challenging and defending land use entitlements, general planning and zoning enactments, development fees and dedications, annexation proceedings, and initiatives and referenda. Her land use litigation practice focuses on writ of mandate proceedings, validation actions and inverse condemnation. She is adept at navigating the peculiar procedures applicable to land use cases.

Marie has brought her knowledge of litigation processes and outcomes to bear in shepherding development projects through the approval process, representing both developers and public agencies. She has worked on environmental impact analyses for projects ranging from water supply and wastewater infrastructure to residential subdivisions to large commercial centers to institutional and educational facilities. Marie works with clients, consultants and public agencies to present a comprehensive approach to the preparation of environmental documents, focusing on rational solutions that fit the client's particular circumstances.

California Land Use and Development Report image

Legal Commentary on Planning and Development

Insights into legal issues relating to development and use of land and federal, state and local permitting and approval processes.


Professional Recognition

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2017 - 2021: Land Use and Zoning Law
  • Selected as a "Top Rated Lawyer" in Energy, Environmental, Land Use and Zoning by American Lawyer Media, 2013
  • Listed in Super Lawyers, Northern California, 2011 - 2019
  • Peer Review Rated AV Preeminent in Martindale Hubbell, 5.0 out of 5
    (AV® Preeminent ™ and BV® Distinguished™ are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.)

Professional Leadership

  • San Francisco Bar Association

Related Employment

  • Bingham McCutchen, San Francisco, CA, Of Counsel
  • Judicial Extern for The Honorable Otto Kaus, California Supreme Court




Bar and Court Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California


  • UC Berkeley School of Law, (Boalt Hall), JD, Order of the Coif, 1984