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Zackary D. Knaub brings deep New York government experience to his Environmental and Government Law & Policy practices. Prior to joining Greenberg Traurig, Zackary served as Interim Chief Counsel and First Assistant Counsel to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and before that, as Assistant Counsel to the Governor for Energy and the Environment. In these roles, Zackary advised Governor Cuomo and his administration on all legal issues related to executive actions, policies, and legislative initiatives. He coordinated the legal affairs and operations of over 100 State Executive Agencies, State Authorities, Public Benefit Corporations, and boards, and oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Office of the Governor’s Counsel. Zackary managed the development and negotiation of major legislation and gubernatorial initiatives. He supervised negotiations of all legislation in the Governor’s annual $175 Billion state budget and managed outside counsel in litigation. His public relations experience includes advising press and operations staff on crisis management strategies and public messaging of complex legal and policy initiatives.

Zackary has also defended and prosecuted environmental and commercial cases in state and federal courts, and before administrative tribunals, arbitration panels, and mediators for a wide range of businesses in areas of law including federal and state environmental laws, intellectual property, Federal Acquisitions Regulations, employment law and policy, insurance coverage, and environmental risk management.


  • Environmental litigation
  • Environmental enforcement
  • Government investigations
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Energy law
  • Clean energy
  • Procurement
  • State finance law



  • Negotiated agreement to facilitate continued operation of an upstate nuclear power plant.°
  • Served as lead counsel on repowering of major power generating plant after Superstorm Sandy.°
  • Oversaw legal formulation of New York State’s Clean Energy Standard, Zero Emissions Credits, State Energy Plan, and plans to procure up to $1.5 billion in renewable energy resources.°
  • Represented independent power producer in citizen suits challenging siting of a proposed power plant.°
  • Negotiated 2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act of 2017.°
  • Advised on rapid response to significant drinking water contamination by emerging contaminants throughout New York.°
  • Advised on all aspects of enforcement of environmental law and regulations, including water, air, mining, solid waste, pesticides, petroleum spills, wildlife, and endangered species.°
  • Advised on State Environmental Quality Review Act and permitting matters.°
  • Negotiated settlement agreements in environmental enforcement actions, claims for natural resource damages, and state and federal lawsuits.°
  • Negotiated and drafted settlement agreements in environmental, products liability, toxic tort, and insurance coverage litigation.°
  • Oversaw defense of numerous lawsuits challenging New York State laws, regulations, and actions.°
  • Represented clients in federal and state governmental investigations and audits.°
  • Represented clients in governmental investigations by the FBI and Defense Intelligence Agency.°
  • Advised Belgian corporation on effect of parent company’s potential common law liabilities for U.S. subsidiaries on criminal securities fraud litigation in Belgium.°
  • Advised pharmaceutical companies on potential risks stemming from participation in a global supply chain ethics initiative.°
  • Served as outside in-house counsel to the U.S. subsidiaries of a major British defense manufacturer.°

°The above representations were handled by Mr. Knaub prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

  • Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, 2015-2019
    • Interim Chief Counsel to the Governor, 2019
    • First Assistant Counsel to the Governor, 2018-2019
    • Assistant Counsel to the Governor for Energy and the Environment, 2015-2018
  • Regional Attorney, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 2012-2015
  • New York City Law Department (Office of Corporation Counsel), Affirmative Litigation Division, 2002-2003
    • Senior Student Legal Specialist, 2002-2003
    • Summer Honors Program Associate, 2002
  • Judicial Intern, The Honorable Alfred M. Wolin, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, 2001

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, PoliticsNY, "Power Players in Climate, Energy and Sustainability," 2023
  • Selected, City & State, "Energy & Environment Power 100," 2022-2023
  • Team Member, a Law360 "Environmental Practice Group of the Year," 2022


  • J.D., cum laude, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, 2003
    • Articles Editor, Cardozo Women’s Law Journal
  • M.A., Spanish Literature, Columbia University, 1997
    • Assistant Editor, Revista Hispanica Moderna
  • B.A., cum laude, University of Iowa, 1996
  • Staff Attorneys’ Office, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 2003-2005
  • New York
  • Spanish, Fluent
  • French, Basic
  • German, Basic