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James Thornton

Council Member, CCICED Founding CEO, ClientEarth

James Thornton launched ClientEarth in 2007, sparking fundamental change in the way environmental protections are made and enforced across Europe. 

James has many years of experience as an environmental lawyer and social entrepreneur. A member of the bars of New York, California and the Supreme Court of the United States, and a solicitor of England and Wales, he moved from Wall Street law practice to found the Citizens’ Enforcement Project at NRDC in New York, where he brought 80 federal lawsuits against corporations to enforce the Clean Water Act after the Reagan Administration had stopped enforcing the law. 

He graduated from Yale, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, with departmental honours in philosophy. He is the author of an environmental legal thriller, Immediate Harm, and volume of poetry on science and environment, The Feynman Challenge.