Exceeding Expectations


Rutter & Roy, LLP (formerly Watson, Stevens, Rutter & Roy, LLP) is a long-established regional law firm focused on the complex areas of energy, infrastructure and environment. Founded in 1909, our firm has extensive experience in practice areas that include environmental law, eminent domain, commercial litigation and land use and zoning, as well as commercial real estate, waste management, project planning and appeals. Our attorneys work with clients ranging from Fortune 500 to local corporations, utilizing streamlining strategies to move swiftly through red tape to save our clients time and resources.

Our Culture

Rutter & Roy is committed to fostering a collaborative culture where our attorneys form strong working relationships. We pool our wide body of knowledge and expertise to create value for clients. Together we provide a collegial environment that allows us to share perspectives, experience and skill sets across practice areas to serve all client needs.

Core Values

Integrity, Teamwork and High-Quality Service: The Cornerstones of Our Success.


As Rutter & Roy has evolved, its practice areas have remained consistent since the firm represented its first pipeline company in 1950. True to its deep roots established in Central New Jersey, the firm remains focused in the areas of energy, infrastructure and environment.

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Complex challenges.
Smart solutions.


Energy clients benefit from Rutter & Roy’s unique perspective and years of experience navigating the local, state and federal approval processes. We began representing our first energy client in 1950 and are now widely thought of by various municipalities, counties and applicable state regulatory agencies to be a go-to firm for interstate natural gas pipeline projects. We are also well equipped to handle most types of energy projects, including electrical and renewable energy.

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At Rutter & Roy, our team of environmental attorneys is well-versed on the complex regulations that impact New Jersey. With a long and impressive track record, we have established effective planning and streamlining strategies for navigating the state’s highly regulated environment to obtain the approvals, licenses and permits needed to complete projects while saving our clients time and resources.

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Building and maintaining the country’s critical infrastructure is never easy. It is particularly challenging when the properties crossed are preserved farmland or are encumbered with Green Acres restrictions, conservation easements or other environmental constraints. Rutter & Roy’s highly knowledgeable team expedites projects by identifying the various environmental and property rights issues along potential routes, and their corresponding regulatory schemes. We prepare very detailed timelines working backwards from the in-service date, determine which public processes are required by the applicable regulatory provisions, and then combine those public processes to the extent allowed by law.

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One word to describe our firm?

Conservation Restrictions

“Conservation Restriction” is a term referring to any of a number of land use restrictions applicable in the State of New Jersey. The Green Acres restriction is one type of conservation restriction, though there are numerous others. Despite this variety, these restrictions share the common feature of both significantly affecting land use in the state and requiring insightful and strategic counsel to effectively acquiring rights needed across restricted properties in connection with energy infrastructure projects. For these reasons, Rutter & Roy is the law firm of choice in New Jersey for clients grappling with conservation restriction questions.


Eminent Domain

Eminent domain and condemnation proceedings can be an essential element of obtaining the permitting and ownership rights needed for a project. Rutter & Roy’s knowledge and experience in this highly specialized field makes us the firm of choice for clients engaged in these projects in New Jersey. In numerous cases, we have represented both interstate natural gas pipeline companies and government authorities.


Evironmental Permitting

Environmental permitting is a complex, mandatory step in virtually any major construction project. This is particularly true of linear construction projects. Whether you are planning to build a pipeline, electric substation, a strip mall or a warehouse, you must begin by identifying the permits and approvals required to build the project. The attorneys of Rutter & Roy have extensive experience in this process.


Farmland Preservation

New Jersey is one of the most heavily regulated states in the nation, particularly with respect to real estate and land rights. This includes the preservation and protection of farmland, which is under the jurisdiction of the state’s Farmland Preservation Program (“FPP”). Rutter & Roy has a long history of advising its clients with linear construction projects that cross property within the FPP, helping them complete their projects on time and with a minimal amount of regulatory interference.


Federal Preemption

The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution explicitly specifies that federal law is the “supreme law of the land”. Accordingly, under the doctrine of preemption, federal law preempts state or local law, particularly when state or local laws regulate within a field also regulated by federal law or where the state or local law conflicts with federal law. The doctrine has been applied in a wide range of situations, ranging from regulation of sports betting to products liability to application of the Second Amendment.


Green Acres

Since 1961, the State of New Jersey has designated over a half million acres of land, scattered in hundreds of parcels statewide, as part of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Acres program. While this has unquestionably been a benefit for the citizens of the state, it can present significant challenges for any construction project that touches one of these spaces. Rutter & Roy’s environmental lawyers focus their Green Acres practice on counseling clients in these situations.


Highlands Water Preservation & Protection Act

New Jersey’s Highlands Water Preservation and Protection Act is an expansive regulatory framework specifically developed to protect the state’s essential natural resources. The Act applies to a region of more than 800,000 acres covering over 1,250 square miles and 88 municipalities in seven counties (Bergen, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex and Warren) in Northern New Jersey. Among other things, the Highlands Region is an essential source of drinking water for half of the residents of the state.


Litigation & Appeals

Rutter & Roy provides a unique combination of effective, aggressive and strategic advocacy and deep knowledge of New Jersey law and regulations. Whether the issue at hand involves permitting, condemnation, or any of the state’s numerous, complex and occasionally, conflicting, regulatory regimes, our firsthand knowledge of the legal underpinning of a dispute affords us a significant advantage. Few firms understand New Jersey’s statutes better, and this gives us an edge. We don’t need to be brought up to speed. We’re already there.


Project Planning

Any construction project is an enormously complex undertaking with thousands (or tens of thousands) of moving parts. This is especially true with large projects, particularly linear ones. Legal expertise is pointless if a project isn’t finished on time. The goal, after all, is to build something on schedule and on budget. This happens through careful, thorough and comprehensive planning by professionals who really know what they’re doing. We ask a LOT of questions.


Waste Management

New Jersey has some of the most complex, restrictive and unusual laws and regulations in the United States concerning waste hauling companies. Rutter & Roy’s Waste Management practice group specializes in providing both strategic counsel and representation to companies and individuals in the waste hauling industry. Few, if any, firms have both the depth of experience and the personal relationships we bring to these issues.


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