Since 1989 Matt has worked closely with businesses to find innovative solutions to the environmental law issues they face. He provides strategic counsel in regulatory, legislative, and judicial proceedings involving a broad array of environmental and land use issues, including those relating to energy project development, transfer and development of contaminated property, water use, energy, and Native American regulatory claims.

Matt is adept at stakeholder negotiations, including with state and federal regulators, that are a necessary part of large development permitting matters, including especially energy and commercial development projects. Matt appears before and works with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and state and federal environmental, fish and wildlife, and conservation agencies.

Prior to becoming leader of Pierce Atwood's Environmental and Land Use Practice Group, Matt formed and was the leader of Pierce Atwood’s Hydropower Team, and Matt continues to focus much of his practice in that area.


Honors & Distinctions










  • 2017 The Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year" in Litigation - Environmental in Portland, Maine
  • 2016 The Best Lawyers in America® “Lawyer of the Year” in Land Use and Zoning Law in Portland, Maine
  • 2015 The Best Lawyers in America® “Lawyer of the Year” in Environmental Law in Portland, Maine
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2009
  • Chambers USA Band 1 attorney for Environmental Law
  • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized in Super Lawyers for Environmental Law
  • 2008: Bowdoin College Volunteer of the Year Award for service on Bowdoin Alumni Schools and Interviewing Committee
  • 1994: Received Maine Bar Foundation Special Recognition Award for outstanding volunteer service


Client Testimonials




  • “Pierce Atwood’s Matt Manahan was our lead attorney for matters pertaining to the relicensing of a hydro electric dam owned and operated by a local PUD. He and his staff provided information and recommendations that proved beneficial in our dealings with the PUD, government agencies, and the local tribe of Indians.” – Paul Machtolf, former Manager of the Ponderay Newsprint Company’s paper mill in Usk, Washington.
  • “As an attorney for FPL Group, I retained Pierce Atwood to handle permitting and other environmental matters in Maine. Matt Manahan and his firm are superb environmental lawyers and are extremely knowledgeable concerning substantive and procedural environmental requirements. I recommend Matt highly.” – Harris Rosen, former in-house counsel for FPL Energy in Juno Beach, Florida.
Professional Activities

Member, Maine State Bar Association

Member and former Chair, Maine State Bar Association Natural Resources and Environmental Law Section

Member, New Hampshire Bar Association; Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section


Day, Avery T.; Doyle, Thomas R.; Manahan, Matthew D. About face: How a mine moved toward opening in Maine, Mining Engineering (2012).


Manahan, Matthew and Rayback, Brian. Developments in Maine Environmental Law 2011, MSBA Legal Year In Review 2011.


Manahan, Matthew. Water Rights and Hydropower. Environmental Law in Maine seminar, 2011.


Manahan, Matthew and Rayback, Brian. Developments in Maine Environmental Law 2010, MSBA Legal Year In Review 2010.


Manahan, Matthew. Local Land Use Regulation. Environmental Law in Maine seminar, 2010.


Manahan, Matthew and Verville, Sarah. Water Quality Certification and Relicensing: Sharing Legal Strategies. Hydro Review Magazine, April 2006.


Manahan, Matthew and Verville, Sarah. FERC and Dam Decommissioning. Natural Resources and Environment Journal, Winter 2005.


Manahan, Matthew. When Do Permitted Rights ‘Vest' in Maine?. New England's Environment, August/September 2004.

Civic Activities

Treasurer, Senator Susan Collins' Dirgo Leadership PAC, 2015-present

Member, Governor LePage’s Hydropower Development Advisory Group, 2013-2014

Member, Town of Cumberland, Maine Board of Adjustment and Appeals, 1999-present

Member, Bowdoin Alumni Schools and Interviewing Committee

Member, Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network

Campaign Counsel, Steve Abbott for Governor, 2010

Campaign Counsel, Maine Senator Susan M. Collins, 1994, 1996, 2002, 2008

Member, City of Portland, Maine Board of Appeals, 1991-1998; Chair, 1995-1998

Member, City of Portland, Maine Task Force on Regulation, 1997-1998

Member, Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission, 1994-1996

Member, Maine Critical Areas Advisory Board, 1991-1992