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Energy

LeClairRyan’s Energy Industry team comprises a deep bench of veteran attorneys who provide comprehensive regulatory, litigation, transactional, corporate, and policy advocacy legal services to energy-related businesses of all types and sizes – from emerging energy technology start-ups to SEC-registered energy companies and everything in between.

We provide legal counsel and representation to clients involved in all facets of the energy industry, including:

  • Utility companies
  • Alternative energy companies
  • Power generators
  • Commercial and industrial users of electricity
  • Emerging energy technology companies
  • Venture capitalists
  • Green technology companies
  • Universities developing biofuel technology
  • Utility regulators
  • Electric cooperatives
  • Trade associations

Multidisciplinary Approach

With our depth of knowledge and experience in energy law and policy, our interdisciplinary team of attorneys is positioned to handle the full spectrum of legal issues facing today’s energy companies. We serve as our clients’ trusted legal advisor, helping them achieve their business objectives while managing and minimizing their legal risks, difficulties and expenses. To this end, we take every step necessary to ensure we understand our energy clients’ unique business processes.

We regularly represent energy companies in regulatory and rulemaking proceedings before state and federal agencies as well as in litigation matters in courts across the country. Our distinctive strengths include legal services supporting:

  • Project development and management
  • Construction
  • Operation
  • Production
  • Transmission
  • Distribution
  • Interconnection
  • Energy transactions
  • Asset acquisition
  • Financing transactions
  • Bankruptcy proceedings
  • Co-ownership
  • Joint development
  • Venture capital
  • Facility certification and licensing
  • State and federal utility regulation
  • Real estate
  • Land use
  • Taxation
  • Insurance coverage, liability and tort defense litigation
  • Green development
  • Clean technologies
  • Environmental law
  • Employment matters
  • Intellectual property
  • Government affairs and lobbying
  • Regulatory and commercial litigation
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance
  • Dodd-Frank Act whistleblower provisions

Industry Insights

Decades of experience working with our energy industry clients to achieve their business objectives enable us to provide clients with the perspective of an industry insider.

One team member currently serves as general counsel to two companies in the alternative energy field, a France-based biofuel/biochemical company building a pilot plant in the United States and a fuel emulsion company whose technology reduces NOX, CO2 and particulate emissions. Another team member has served as general counsel to a power supply cooperative for more than 20 years. Our team also includes a former assistant general manager of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in Washington, D.C. The unique industry insights gained by these experiences enable our attorneys to provide clients with strategic business solutions to an array of energy-related issues.

Our involvement and success in the energy industry goes beyond the courtroom and boardroom. Members of our team are also active participants in numerous energy industry trade groups, allowing them the opportunity to stay abreast of current legal trends specific to the energy industry. Industry associations and committees in which our attorneys are involved include:

  • American Bar Association Section of Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law
  • Energy Bar Association
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Environment and Energy Committee
  • Electric Cooperative Bar Association
  • Energy and Mineral Law Foundation
  • National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
  • Center for Energy and Economic Development
  • Electric Power Research Institute
  • Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utility Commissioners
  • New Jersey Utilities Association

Moreover, members of our team have been recognized by Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers and Legal Elite in energy, natural resource, utility, and administrative/regulatory law, among other practice areas.

Energy Industry Representative Matters

  • Represented large, regional propane company in connection with its acquisition of the assets of a Pennsylvania-based propane company and its two subsidiaries
  • Regularly represent large purchasers of electricity and natural gas in transactional matters, including negotiation of EEI and NAESB master agreements and related special provisions
  • Provide strategic governmental relations services such as lobbying, legislative analysis and drafting, negotiating with other interests, and assisting with the development and implementation of legislative campaigns on behalf of energy industry clients
  • Represented local propane company in connection with its acquisition of the assets of a regional propane company
  • Represented cogeneration and small power production companies in regulatory hearings and contract negotiations

Utility companies

  • Represented utility in connection with $150 million sale of electric generating facility assets in Central America
  • Regularly represent utilities in the purchase alternative power
  • Regularly represent utilities in proceedings before state utility regulation commissions
  • Regularly represent utilities in matters related to bankruptcy, contracts, immigration, and real estate
  • Represented electric utility in obtaining state Certification of Public Necessity and Convenience for three separate combustion turbine facilities

Renewable and alternative energy

  • Represented companies and universities in developing strategic partnerships for the development of technology associated with biofuels
  • Represented a client specializing in algae biofuels and the conversion of waste plastics to diesel fuels
  • Provided counsel regarding renewable energy production tax credits related to wind, biomass, and hydro production
  • Represented a corporation in international matters relating to the construction of organics to methane gas conversion plants
  • Provided counsel on tax credit allocations of renewable energy projects, including both tax equity and bank loan projects
  • Defended contractors and designers in construction litigation relating to alternative energy facilities
  • Represented large utility seeking alternative energy sources in the United States

Coal, oil and gas

  • Represented coal company and its affiliates in complex litigation involving allegations of breach of contract, coalbed methane gas leases, and mineral rights
  • Represented oil and gas companies in partnership agreement negotiations and contract drafting
  • Represented gas drilling companies in matters involving environmental compliance and torts relating to drilling, including water contamination, fugitive methane gas, and explosions
  • Represented gas and coal-fired facilities in power supply acquisition agreements
  • Represented South American oil-fired facility in power supply acquisition agreements
  • Represented petroleum company in connection with $65 million purchase of petroleum, propane and transportation assets of U.S. seller
  • Served as co-counsel in litigation pertaining to ownership of coalbed methane reservoir
  • Represented independent geologists in suit against large operator for overriding royalty interests pursuant to agreement
  • Represented large oil company in case against service station lessee involving interpretation of lease
  • Defended oil field service provider in down hole failure claim for business loss damages
  • Defended purchaser of oil field service company in claim concerning details of purchase

Venture capital

  • Represented start-up fuel emulsion company introducing retrofit technology that reduces fuel oil consumption while reducing emissions
  • Represented Canadian company commercializing a nutrient recovery process that recovers phosphorous and ammonia from sludge dewatering centrate
  • Represented French protein engineering company that uses its patented technology to improve enzymes critical to major industrial processes

Cooperatives

  • Led defense of cooperative’s wholesale power contract against complaint filed with FERC by member cooperative
  • Represented wholesale power supply cooperative in contract negotiations related to acquisition of interest in regional nuclear facility
  • Represented electric cooperatives in negotiation of pole attachment agreements with telephone and cable television companies
  • Obtained federal regulatory approval from FERC for amendments to wholesale power contract and formula rate between wholesale power supply cooperative and member distribution cooperatives
  • Represented electric cooperative in multimillion-dollar acquisition of another utility’s service territory and associated ratemaking and financing issues
  • Represented wholesale power supply cooperative in contract negotiations pertaining to the construction of regional coal-fired power station as well as gas-fired power plants
  • Regularly obtain state regulatory approval for cooperative rate increases

Financing / Bankruptcy

  • Represented secured creditor in pipeline bankruptcy case involving take-or-pay contracts
  • Represented Committee of Unsecured Creditors in bankruptcy case of an energy trader selling gas contracts to school systems and various other customers
  • Provide counsel concerning creditors’ rights with regard to oil, gas and mineral rights and the taxation of such rights
  • Represented secured lender in litigation concerning fractional interests in oil wells
  • Represented lenders, developers and equipment vendors in structuring alternative energy project financings
  • Represented government entities and development authorities in structuring tax exempt bond financings for converted organics facilities, multitrade energy plants, and various cogeneration facilities