Molly K. Brennan

Special Counsel New York City

Molly has significant expertise in handling complex environmental, land use, wetland, regulatory, compliance, legislative and procurement matters.

In her past roles in private practice and in government, she has advised on all aspects of development projects, first in San Francisco and then in New York City. Her counsel has included site assessment and site control, environmental analyses, entitlement approvals, contract negotiations, and purchase, sale, lease and license agreements. As the head of the Environmental Law Division at NYC’s Department of Sanitation, she played a key role in implementing environmental initiatives by the City to meet its sustainability and renewable energy goals.

Additionally, Molly has significant experience in NYS wetland regulations, NYS’s Part 360 solid waste regulations, landfill closure and post-closure controls, Article 78 challenges, Extended Producer Responsibility proposals, and circular economy initiatives. She has helped clients navigate complex land use frameworks, including NYC’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process, NYC’s Landmarks Law, and NYC’s Board of Standards & Appeals; and City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR)/State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processes.

Molly was part of the executive team that established the strategic operations, procurement and vendor management for GetFood NYC, an emergency food distribution program established at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. At its peak, the program delivered over one million meals a day directly to recipients when food pantries and meal provision centers closed during quarantine. In total, the GetFood Program managed contracts with over 70 separate vendors, delivering over 137 million meals for a total contract value of over $733 million. From this, Molly developed significant expertise in procurement law and compliance, and partnered with the NYC mayor’s office and multiple NYC agencies, including the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Department for the Aging (DFTA), New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), Human Resources Administration (HRA), and Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).


Education & Admissions

  • State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, J.D.
  • Boston University, B.A
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • California
  • District of Columbia

Activities & Professional Associations

Present Activities

  • Board of Directors, New York State Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)

Past Activities

  • Created CityLand, NYC’s integral land use publication, along with Ross Sandler, former special advisor and DOT Commissioner for Mayor Koch

Professional Associations

  • Urban Land Institute