Biography Photo of Sharon R Newlon

Sharon R. Newlon

Member and Environmental, Energy & Sustainability Practice Group Co-Chair

Sharon R. Newlon, a Member in Dickinson Wright’s Detroit office, focuses her practice on environmental law. She has counseled several companies on matters such as permit reviews, environmental regulatory compliance, and litigation. Sharon has been assistant counsel in two of the most significant emergency response incidents in Michigan: a large gasoline spill/fire from a tanker vessel and a major fire at a chemical plant. Sharon has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America since 2010 for her outstanding practice in energy and environmental law. 

Education & Credentials


University of Detroit

B.S., 1985
  • magna cum laude

Notre Dame Law School

J.D., 1988
  • magna cum laude
  • Kiley Fellow
  • Articles Editor, Notre Dame Law Review

Bar Admission

  • Michigan1988


  • Diversity & Flexibility Alliance 
    • Flex Success® Award, 2020
  • Michigan Super Lawyers®
    • Environmental Law, 2007, 2009-2023
  • Best Lawyers in America®
    • Energy Law, Environmental Law, Environmental Litigation, 2010-2024
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Litigation - Environmental, 2022
  • DBusiness Magazine
    • "Top Lawyers," Energy Law
    • "Top Lawyers," Environmental Law, 2023

Representative Clients

  • Arkema, Inc.
  • E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company
  • Ford Motor Company
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank
  • Liberty Property Trust
  • Magna International Inc.
  • MGM Grand Detroit LLC
  • Minergy Corporation
  • Wind Point Partners

Prominent Assignments

Lead counsel for Minergy Detroit LLC in all aspects of significant Brownfield development and wastewater solids recycling project (including property purchase, permitting, contracts, tax incentives, and negotiation of covenant not to sue agreement with state and memorandum of understanding with U.S. EPA).

Addressed specialized environmental issues in pipeline easement negotiations for Enbridge Energy Limited Partnership.

Conducted environmental permit reviews for multiple wind farm projects. 

Group counsel for 110 member PRP group in multi-million dollar Superfund cleanup near Mississippi River in Illinois.

Environmental counsel for Magna International in numerous acquisitions and divestitures of manufacturing, warehousing and office properties.

National audit counsel for Arkema, Inc. and Michigan Counsel in environmental remediation, discharge permitting, hazardous waste compliance, air permitting and compliance, auditing and emergency response matters.

Lead outside counsel for MGM Grand Detroit on environmental issues associated with numerous property acquisitions.

Lead outside counsel for Chrysler Group LLC on nationwide environmental auditing program, including audit privilege counseling.

Counsel for Jervis B. Webb Company on environmental compliance issues nationwide.

Lead environmental counsel for JPMorgan Chase Bank on numerous industrial and commercial financings.

Obtained relief from state consent decree for JPMorgan Chase Bank in significant environmental cleanup litigation matter.

National environmental counsel on real estate acquisitions and investments for companies with nationwide investment portfolios, including Intermedia Outdoors and Wind Point Partners.

Counsel for the City of Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority on environmental aspects of acquisitions and operations.

Environmental counsel for local redevelopment authorities, including Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Ingham County Land Bank, and City of Holland Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.

Counsel for the City of Southfield and Buchanan Township in wetlands permitting matters for municipal projects.

Assistant counsel in two of the largest emergency response incidents in Michigan: a major gasoline spill/fire from a tanker vessel and a major fire at a chemical plant.

Assistant counsel for Ford Motor Company in significant multi-party PCB remediation project, including allocation process and related private and government cost recovery actions.

Professional Involvement

  • Michigan State Bar, Environmental Law Section, Council (1999-2005), Co-Chair Ethics Committee (2000-2003), Program Committee
  • Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
  • East Michigan Chapter, Air and Waste Management Association(AWMA)
  • ASTM International

Community Involvement

  • Alumni Board, College of Engineering & Science, University of Detroit Mercy
  • St. Robert Bellarmine Church, Cantor and Choir Member
  • Lecturer, Explorathon (1997-present)


Research assistant in academic and industrial chemistry labs


  • Author, "Michigan Court of Appeals Strikes State PFAS Drinking Water Standards," Dickinson Wright Legal Edge blog, August 2023
  • Co-Presenter, "What to Do When an EPA Inspector Calls … Practical Suggestions to Follow Before, During and After an Environmental Inspection," 32nd Annual Sustainability & Environmental Health & Safety Symposium, Manufacturers' Education Council, March 2023
  • Author, "U.S. EPA Adopts ASTM 2021 Phase I Standard For Parties Seeking New Owner/Operator Liability Defenses Under CERCLA," Dickinson Wright Environmental and Energy Blog, December 2022
  • Speaker, "Turning Audit Findings into Silver Linings… Implementing a Successful EHS Internal Auditing Program,” Manufacturer's Education Council symposium, March 2021  
  • Environmental Law Deal Strategies: Leading Lawyers on Identifying Environmental Liabilities, Structuring Transactions, and Developing a Negotiation Strategy (chapter author)(Aspatore Books 2008)
  • Funding, Siting & Permitting Renewable Energy Projects in Brownfields, National Brownfields Conference, May 2008
  • MDEQ Response to Part 201 Workgroup Recommendations, East Michigan Chapter AWMA News & Notes, Fall 2007
  • All Appropriate Inquiry and Potential Effect of "Cuno" on Brownfield Credits, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, February 21, 2005
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