Three McLane Middleton Attorneys Named 2021 ‘Lawyer of the Year’ by Best Lawyers in America

The law firm of McLane Middleton congratulates attorneys Linda S. Johnson (Education Law), Barry Needleman (Energy Law), and Gregory H. Smith (Environmental Law) for being named a 2021 Lawyer of the Year in their respective field by The Best Lawyers in America©.

Best Lawyers is a respected peer review publication within the legal profession.  Recognition in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. For more than three decades, its publications have earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the public, as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere.

Linda Johnson is Co-Chair of McLane Middleton’s Education Law Group, a member of the firm’s Management Committee and Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.  In addition to employment law services to an array of clients, she focuses her practice on understanding and serving the needs of K-12 independent schools. She serves as outside legal counsel and a consultant to many of the country’s top independent day and boarding schools. She also provides counseling services, policy development and review, and trainings to public schools especially in the area of safe schools and employment law.  She works closely with heads of schools, deans, financial officers, trustees, and others.  She advises her clients on all aspects of school operations including employment law, student discipline, contracts, fiduciary and tort law, leadership development, investigations, compliance audits,  risk management, crisis response and student safety.  She trains her clients on how to operate safely, how to recognize and address signs of inappropriate behavior, and how to respond to allegations of misconduct.  Linda is nationally recognized as an authority on student and campus safety issues, boundary awareness, risk avoidance, crisis response, employment law and independent school law issues.  Linda can be reached in the firm’s Manchester office at (603) 628-1267 or

Barry Needleman is McLane Middleton’s Managing Director and has more than 25 years of experience handling environmental and energy matters for regional and national clients.  He does a substantial amount of energy facility siting work, primarily before the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee, on numerous types of projects ranging from fossil and renewable generation, to electric and gas transmission.  He has experience litigating a variety of environmental cases in state and federal courts such as insurance and third-party cost recovery claims at former manufactured gas plants and the defense of State-wide MTBE contamination claims.  He also litigates administrative matters before state appellate councils regarding permit appeals under various environmental programs.  He regularly represents clients in environmental matters involving permitting, compliance counseling, and defense of administrative and judicial enforcement actions.  Barry chairs McLane Middleton’s Energy Practice Group.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers.  Barry can be reached in the firm’s Manchester and Concord offices at (603) 230-4407 or

Greg Smith is Chair of McLane Middleton’s Administrative Law Department and is the Founder and Chair of its Environmental Practice.. He has over 40 years’ experience in environmental and regulatory law and litigation involving State, federal and local governments. He regularly represents clients in environmental matters involving permitting, compliance counseling, and defense of administrative and judicial enforcement actions.  He was the New Hampshire Attorney General following service as a homicide prosecutor in that office. He has led the firm’s environmental, regulatory and government relations practice since leaving the position of Attorney General.  Greg is the editor and author of the NH Environmental Handbook, and is a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, since 2008.  He can be reached in the firm’s Concord office at (603) 226-0400 or