At home and abroad, the demand for power is on the rise. Companies involved in this industry face issues at every turn and require guidance to meet short and long-term goals and objectives.
Whether the plant is a traditional coal, oil or natural gas-fired power plant or a modern nuclear or renewable energy source, you need lawyers who have experience covering the full-spectrum of power industry issues.
If your company is an owner, developer, operator, marketer, or construction contractor, understanding the legal aspects of this industry is paramount to your business' success. Our power, energy and finance lawyers have represented industry players, lenders and investors in the development of their projects. Additionally, we bring a formidable construction, environmental and litigation team to assist our power industry clients with such issues as construction and procurement contracts, regulatory guidance, permitting, tax, joint venture structuring and any associated disputes arising in both state and federal court.
Development and Finance: You receive the advantage of lawyers who know your industry.
With the demand for power growing at a fast pace, the development of power and utility projects requires lawyers who know your business. Our lawyers have counseled clients on various power industry projects development and finance matters both domestically and internationally and have addressed the negotiation of power purchase contracts, environmental issues facing development of new facilities and power, sales agreements, mergers & acquisitions, construction start-up, and modification of generation plants.
Whether you are a corporate entity, borrower, lender, lessor or lessee, our banking and finance lawyers bring the knowledge and experience for power projects both small and large. Our energy and power lawyers have handled a variety of financing options, loans secured by a facility's projected revenue or output contracts to name a few. In line with our team approach, our finance group works closely with our firm's experienced corporate counsel to structure transactions through synthetic leases, and use of the more traditional bank and bond financing transactions. Our experience includes representing issuers as well as underwriters of securities offerings through Rule 144A or other types of transactions registered with the SEC.
A few examples of our power project development and financing representation include:
- A purchase of a 150 MW portfolio of power projects across the U.S.
- An Australian listed fund in the stock purchase of companies owning six landfill, gas-fueled plants in the greater Houston area.
- A purchaser of an 80 MW combined-cycle power plant in Texas.
- A lender in the sale of a 30 MW landfill gas and natural gas-fueled plant in Illinois.
- A landfill gas to electricity developer in all aspects of development, construction and operation of joint agreements related to the ownership and operation of nuclear and coal-fired power plants agreements, EPC contracts, interconnection agreements and O&M agreements.
- A renewable electricity provider in connection with project financing for a suite of five electric generation facilities.
- A non-regulated subsidiary of a major utility in connection with the development of a landfill gas pipeline project.
- An energy capital investment firm in the financing of a series of distributed generation power projects at several institutional and industrial sites located in the northeastern U.S.
- A developer of a 250 MW petcoke-fueled generation facility.
- Industrial clients in agreements for new cogeneration units.
- Represent developers and land owners in wind energy projects.
Renewable Energy: We help companies today that are finding solutions for tomorrow
Alternatives to fossil fuel-based energy production are becoming a part of the mainstream power industry. Our lawyers have been at the forefront of this sector assisting owners, developers, producers, financing entities and suppliers with the myriad of issues faced in enhancing their business.
Because there has been a renewed emphasis in this area of the energy and power industry, our clients are faced with new hurdles on a daily basis. We possess the experience to handle the development, financing and marketing of renewable energy and have experience providing counsel on such issues as project finance documentation, tax credits, construction, operation and maintenance, supply contracts, power purchase agreements and related utility agreements that help our clients achieve their goals. Our experience includes representation of developers in the biomass, wind, landfill, gas and coal-bed methane sectors.
From a permitting and regulatory perspective, renewable energy clients face an ever-changing landscape that can affect their operations at both a state and federal level. Our environmental and tax lawyers take a proactive approach to keep our clients informed of these newly enacted regulations and legislation, as well as the status of applicable tax credits and other financial incentives.
For those industry players entering the renewable energy market, we provide full-service support, as development and financing are only half the battle. Clients face issues including employment, corporate structure, governance, joint venture and the protection of technology and intellectual property rights. Our goal is to partner with you and prepare for such issues in advance. To do this, our formidable team draws upon the experience of lawyers in our firm to provide valuable advice on pertinent issues and it helps you prepare appropriately to protect your business.
Environmental issues: Managing your liabilities before they arise and reducing your risks
The development and operation of either traditional fossil fuel-based or renewable energy power facilities also entails a multitude of environmental considerations. Your legal counsel should be properly positioned and experienced to identify and manage potential environmental liabilities before they arise to reduce their impact on your business. Our environmental lawyers provide practical, business-focused guidance in site acquisition, preparing applications, participating in contested administrative permit or enforcement proceedings, assist in establishing and maintaining regulatory compliance, and managing environmental issues affecting transactions on a regular basis.
Some of the key compliance areas on which we focus for the energy and power industry include air, wastewater discharge and wetlands permitting, agency relations and administrative proceedings, solid and hazardous waste management, remediation projects, environmental insurance, and environmental litigation.
As this pertains to the power industry, some specific examples of our experience include:
- Siting and licensing of a nuclear power plant including NRC permits and NEPA compliance and associated hearings.
- Siting and licensing of transmission lines including hearings on the effects of electric and magnetic fields from high voltage transmission lines.
- Air permits related to coal-fired power plants.
- Discharge permits, including CWA Section 316 (a) and (b) for nuclear and coal-fired power plants.
- FERC licensing of small hydro plants.
- Remediation related to gas holders and historical coal gasification units.
- Environmental permitting for a cogeneration plant.
- Representation of a public utility authority on transmission line environmental issues related to a joint development agreement with a major power company.
- Ash disposal contracts.
- Representation of a major construction company relating to air permit hearings and other controversies.
Power Industry Litigation: You need a formidable team that understands the issues
Litigation is a major step for any company and can be the biggest threat you face – or the best way to defend your vital interests. As demands for power grow so do the issues that can, and do lead to the potential for lawsuits. Lawyers who have an understanding of your company and industry make it easier to achieve what you want whether it is a settlement or a trial. Our litigators provide a frank assessment of what you face, along with a plan for achieving the results you seek. While we employ the most sophisticated trial management and presentation techniques available, nothing is a substitute for hard work and commitment to resolve disputes successfully.
Most power industry construction projects involve a multitude of players from developers and owners to building suppliers and subcontractors. While everyone involved wants to avoid litigation, it does happen. Many firms have teams of litigators at their disposal but dealing with construction litigation issues takes counselors who know the nuances of construction and can bring their knowledge to the forefront.
With decades of work in the industry, we have represented the interests of power industry clients as plaintiffs and defendants in both state and federal courts and before various regulatory commissions. We represent contractors, sureties, design professionals, construction managers and owners in resolving complex construction issues. Our lawyers have extensive federal, state and administrative litigation and arbitration experience and resources to meet the needs of large national and multi-national corporations as well as those mid-sized companies and individuals, from pre-litigation negotiation through appeal.
When the potential for a dispute arises, our lawyers work with your senior management, project managers and estimators to analyze the issues involved, assess the paper trail from the pre-construction to completion phase, and map out legal alternatives and projected costs. Whether through litigation, mediation, arbitration or other alternative dispute resolution techniques, we pursue legal solutions that meet your business objectives.
Specific examples of our more recent client representation in the area of power and energy litigation include:
- Successfully represented a power generator and transmission and distribution utility in two antitrust suits brought by retail electricity providers.
- Local counsel for a national power contractor regarding EPC contracts for a coal-fired generation facility.
- Representing client in an action concerning the alleged breach of an agreement to sell excess power and a dispute over power transmission costs. Case settled favorably in less than five months.
- Representing retail electric provider in various bankruptcy matters including first bankruptcy of a retail electric provider after deregulation of electricity market in Texas.
- Representing renewable power developer in dispute with utility over ownership of renewable energy credits.
- Represented an energy company in a lawsuit with a drilling company relating to equipment failure.
- Represented a pipeline construction company in a lawsuit with the owner and subcontractor over contractual risk allocation of damage to trend and equipment from flash floods.
- Represented a pipeline company in a dispute over costs relating to unidentified lines in a Texas bay.
Power Industry Construction: Helping clients get the job done
If you are an owner or developer, you want to make sure your interests are protected before you make a major investment on a new power project or the expansion of an existing one. The future of your venture depends on successfully planning the project and resolving any disputes that arise. You need to determine your budget, solidify your schedule, and manage your risks.
Our construction lawyers are equipped with a broad understanding of the construction process and experience on all sides of the table. Included in our depth of experience are lawyers who serve in top leadership roles with various local and state construction law organizations. We have handled complex private and public development projects. Through these opportunities, we have represented the interests of not only major industry players, but also prime contractors, construction managers, subcontractors, architects and engineers, sureties, vendors and suppliers.
We emphasize careful negotiation and drafting of design agreements, construction contracts, construction management agreements, EPC contracts and loan documentation right from the start. Whenever necessary, we can draw upon the skills of our tax, finance, real estate, and environmental colleagues who are essential to see a project to successful completion.
Once the project is under way, we work with you to analyze and modify all project documents, including change orders, lien releases and key correspondence in order to protect you.
Examples of our experience in the power industry include:
- Local counsel for large international contractor in construction of coal-fired plants in Texas.
- Negotiated on behalf of a contract Master Service Agreement (MSA) with an energy company in a multi-state area.
- Reviewed and revised contracts and provide advice to an EPC contractor for new generation projects.