TSL Law Group: A Deep Well of Expertise

Written by Susan Cushing
Photographed by Andrew Paul

In 2014, Lee Storey harnessed her decades of water law experience in national and mid-size law firms to launch a boutique law firm, TSL Law Group, focused on water, natural resources and corporate law. Uniquely complementary to the practice are two of Storey’s experienced corporate partners – her son, Jason M.H. Storey, and her daughter, Jenifer L. Phelps.

While it’s true that Jason and Phelps are impressive and highly accomplished corporate attorneys, they are just part of a robust natural resources team, including Alexandra M. Arboleda, Luke R. Erickson, and seasoned litigation attorneys, Ethan B. Minkin and E. Scott Dosek. And to be clear, Lee says that she actually tried to discourage her kids from going into law.

“I wouldn’t say I actively dissuaded them,” she says with a sly smile, “but after growing up watching how hard I work, I thought they would choose something else.”

Recognized as the go-to firm for issues involving energy, natural resources, water rights, water management, climate change and sustainability, TSL is at the forefront of these critical matters locally, nationally, and worldwide. Correspondingly, the professionals that comprise this TSL team are among the most experienced and informed regarding every facet relating to natural resources and the goal of protecting and preserving them.

We’re still a unique, entertaining and fun group. We’re very serious about our work ..., but we’re very creative, which you have to be when dealing with water issues.

Team Spirit

Luke R. Erickson, Lee H. Storey and Alexandra Arboleda

The TSL team reflects diversity and variety while sharing a common goal. A lively and convivial group, they respect the importance of maintaining a personal life, allowing them to perform at the optimum level for their clients.

“We definitely play as hard as we work,” confirms Lee. “But then, usually when we’re playing (kayaking, hiking, ranching, iconic sites and golf), we’re also discussing work. Some of our best ideas or solutions come to us when we’re relaxed and enjoying ourselves.”

Whether by blood or sweat and tears, everyone at TSL is considered family. Each attorney brings his or her unique experiences, then, through seamless collaboration, they create a strategy for their clients.

“Our practices complement each other,” Phelps says, “so we can approach any situation from various perspectives. It’s a great exercise in bringing together different solutions and thinking creatively. I feel very fortunate to be a part of such a hardworking yet fluid team.”

Erickson, who had been clerking for the Special Water Master, was drawn to TSL because of the opportunity to learn from the best. “Lee Storey and Alexandra Arboleda have extensive experience in the adjudications and as a new associate, you want to work with and learn from experienced water attorneys,” he says. “I could see that TSL Law Group focuses on problem-solving for clients with water management needs both in the adjudications and extending to groundwater and Colorado River issues.”

Shallow Water, Deep Problems

Every member of the TSL team is passionate about the work and natural environment and all it entails. They also have the agility and experience to understand and represent clients from multiple sides of every issue.

“Our clients are Fortune 500 and other corporate entities, but there’s also institutions such as universities,” says Lee. “We also represent developers and municipalities as well as electrical and irrigation districts. For instance, there is quite a range of clients who have to address water issues and are actively seeking to do the right thing.”

Phelps and Jason were both in-house counsel for major international companies.

“We know how in-house counsel serve their business clients,” says Jason. “There’s a big difference between that and outside counsel. In-house counsel comes to the table with suggestions on different approaches that might be taken along with the risks and rewards associated with each. That’s the elevated business perspective we bring to the corporate practice at TSL.”

“One of the unique factors in our success is that our expertise varies enough that we can approach these issues both from the business side and the natural resources side,” says Phelps. “Clients value this refined approach, especially with emerging markets like energy use and carbon credits.”

Jason M.H. Storey and Jenifer L. Phelps

Carrying The Torch

Jason M.H. Storey, Lee H. Storey and Jenifer L. Phelps

Every attorney at TSL is heavily involved in the community and active in organizations affiliated with water rights, treatment, and regulations. Water issues have been in the headlines for quite some time, often used as a political football, but time is running out.

Currently, up for re-election to her seat on the Central Arizona Water Conservation District board, Arboleda is also a recognized expert in all aspects of water issues. Her commitment to this area is something she shares with her colleagues.

Other areas that the firm has expanded to include are energy and renewable energy credits.

“There’s a rapidly growing market for buying and selling water and renewable energy credits,” says Lee. “Water and power often go together.”

While the firm continues to grow, Lee says some things will never change.

“We’re still a unique, entertaining and fun group,” she says. “We’re very serious about our work and strategizing with our clients, but we’re very creative, which you have to be when dealing with water issues.”

TSL Law Group PLC

Scottsdale, Arizona