Nicholas M. Ward-Willis


Areas of Practice

Professional Experience

Nicholas Ward-Willis represents businesses, developers, individuals, property managers and public bodies in a variety of land use, real estate and environmental issues, ranging from commercial and real estate transactions to state and federal environmental litigation. He has extensive experience in negotiating orders on consent with state and federal agencies in a variety of matters, including hazardous waste sites and oil spill sites. In the course of representation of his clients, Mr. Ward-Willis interacts with consultants on oil spills, Brownfields, environmental due diligence, mold and hazardous waste remediations. He represents private clients before various land use boards and assists the firm’s public and private sector clients in complying with the State Environmental Quality Review Act, the New York City Watershed Regulations and other environmental laws. He served as land use counsel and co-counsel on landmark RLUIPA litigation Fortress Bible v. Town of Greenburgh, 734 F. Supp.2d 409 (S.D.N.Y. 2010) and 694 F.3d 208 (2012).

In addition to processing land use applications on behalf of clients, Mr. Ward-Willis has prosecuted and argued Article 78 cases before trial and appellate courts. He counsels property managers, cooperatives, condominiums, homeowners’ associations and municipalities. Mr. Ward-Willis manages the firm’s role as City Attorney for the City of Beacon, Dutchess County and Village Attorney for the Village of Scarsdale, as well as serving as special counsel to various municipalities.

Mr. Ward-Willis joined Keane & Beane following his graduation from law school.


  • State and Federal Courts of New York
  • State and Federal Courts of Connecticut

Professional Associations

  • New York State Bar Association (Past Chair, Environmental & Energy Law Section (2020/2021); Past Co-Chair, Real Property Law Section Committee on Green Real Estate)
  • White Plains Bar Association (Past President 2016/2017)
  • Westchester County Bar Association, Co-Chair Environmental Law Section (2021-Present)
  • Dutchess County Bar Association
  • The Ninth Judicial District Committee to Promote Gender Fairness in the Courts, Member (2018-Present)

Professional Activities/Publications

Mr. Ward-Willis is a frequent lecturer on land use and environmental issues, including SEQRA, RLUIPA, toxic torts, Brownfields and environmental issues for residential real estate attorneys. These seminars have included “The Greening of America’s Favorite Pastime – A Discussion of Green Building Techniques Applied to the New York Mets’ Construction of Citi Field”; “Federal Stormwater Regulations Under the Clean Water Act” and “Encouraging Sustainable Development Through SEQRA and Land Use Regulations.” He also frequently lectures on the laws and regulations of oil storage tanks.

Community Service

Mr. Ward-Willis has coached a variety of youth sports, including baseball, soccer and softball in the Town of Somers.


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Property Lawyer | Nicholas Ward-Willis | Keane & Beane P.C.