Department Chair

Bradley J. Herrema

Bradley J. Herrema



More than 20 years of experience handling the most significant and complex water matters in California, Nevada and across the west. Proven litigation experience. Business-savvy approach to water supply strategy and groundwater management.

Whether developing groundwater management strategies, identifying water and agricultural investment opportunities, defending water rights or securing industrial and recreational water supplies, Brad Herrema understands how to synthesize clients’ unique business needs with market realities and key stakeholders’ concerns in mind. Brad serves as special water counsel to private corporations, private equity funds, renewable energy developers, water purveyors, resorts and golf courses, mining companies, investor-owned utilities and landowners developing innovative strategies to address water supply planning, water right permitting and adjudications, and environmental concerns. Skilled at navigating multi-party dynamics, Brad excels at developing and implementing strategies that proactively mitigate potential issues. His adjudication experience shows his comfort in front of a court. This includes counseling various clients in groundwater adjudications in Santa Maria, the Antelope Valley, Ventura River watershed and Oxnard Plain and Pleasant Valley groundwater basins. 

A trailblazer in groundwater matters, Brad serves as general counsel to the Chino Basin Watermaster, which oversees the implementation of a four-decade old groundwater right adjudication in the Inland Empire. He helps clients develop property portfolio strategies to manage land and water assets and best navigate the implementation of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).  

Brad chairs the firm’s Natural Resources Department and is a director emeritus of the Groundwater Resources Association of California.

Representative Matters

Recent Experience

  • Nevada counsel to MGM Resorts International in Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust’s $4.2 billion acquisition of Bellagio real estate from MGM and lease back to MGM. This sale has been said to be the single largest resort sale in Las Vegas’ history.

  • On behalf of California building industry association, obtained invalidation of Numeric Effluent Limits in State Water Resources Control Board NPDES Construction General Permit for stormwater discharges. The Sacramento Superior Court invalidated NELs for turbidity and pH based on the Board's failure to support the NELs with sufficient evidence establishing that the NELs could be achieved, and its failure to undertake the necessary control technology analysis under the Clean Water Act for a NPDES permit.

  • In two separate cases approved changes to Carson River water rights, pursuant to United States v. Alpine Land & Reservoir Company. Both cases included approvals to points of diversion, manner of use and place of use for decreed water rights.

  • Litigation challenging State Board issued NPDES general permit for stormwater discharges associated with construction activities as violating the federal Clean Water Act and California's Porter-Cologne Act.

  • Lead Counsel, Antelope Valley Groundwater Adjudication, Los Angeles Superior Court, Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding 4408 representing long-time water user landowners. 2002 to 2016.

  • Nevada counsel to the only operating lithium mine in the United States in proceedings before Nevada courts and the Nevada State Engineer related to water supplies for lithium mining operations.

  • Counsel to groundwater users in multiple groundwater right adjudications in Southern California.

  • Counsel for the Chino Basin Watermaster, the court-appointed entity administering and implementing a 1978 groundwater basin adjudication.
  • Counsel to the San Diego County Water Authority as to the implementation of the Quantification Settlement Agreement and its obligations pursuant to the largest ag to urban water transfer in United States history.

Insights & Publications



  • J.D., 2003, University of Michigan Law School
  • B.A., 2000, Hope College, cum laude
  • 1999, Institute for the International Education of Students, Salamanca, Spain


  • California
  • Nevada
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California


Groundwater Resources Association of California, Director

Community Involvement


Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce Water, Energy, Public Lands & Natural Resources Committee, Past Chair

Celiac Disease Foundation, Board Secretary

Groundwater Resources Association, Chair, Legislative Advocacy Committee and Director Emeritus 

Groundwater Resources Association, Executive Committee & Board Director (2010-2020)

Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, Board Trustee (2008-2015)



Best Lawyers in America, 2020-2024

Thriving in Their 40s, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2020

Hope College Miles Award in Law, 2000

Top 40 Under 40, Pacific Coast Business Times, 2008

Young Water Professionals Award, Water & Wastes Digest, 2017