Utility and Energy Law

Practice Groups

Utility and Energy Law

For almost 70 years, we have conducted an active utility law practice. We represent both utilities and businesses dealing with utilities in the areas of electric, gas, telecommunications, water and sewer services.

Our work with utilities includes the issuance of tax exempt and taxable bonds and other securities, project facility financing, and governmental financing; negotiation for the acquisition of utility plants and facilities, negotiation of water contracts, natural gas, pipeline and coal contracts, electric sales contracts, construction contracts, and right-of-way acquisition; propounding or opposing legislation affecting utilities; and defense of utilities in various kinds of litigation from contract disputes to antitrust and environmental claims.

Our work with electric utilities has included registered and privately placed debt offerings, working capital, construction and long-term debt financings with commercial lenders, Co-Bank, the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation and governmental lenders including the Rural Utilities Service and the Federal Financing Bank; first mortgage bond indentures; wholesale power supply arrangements including nuclear power purchase agreements; purchased power agreements; rate design; co-ownership and joint use arrangements for generation assets; acquisitions; tax planning and controversy; general corporate advice and litigation of contract disputes, territorial disputes, anti-trust issues, condemnations and other litigation matters; negotiation of renewable energy purchase and sale agreements from generation sources such as wind and biomass; coal and natural gas purchase and storage contracts; barge and rail freight contracts to transport coal; negotiation and drafting of engineering, procurement and construction contracts in forms such as fixed costs, cost plus, open book and other structures; work on transmission and distribution lines including siting, government approvals, right-of-way procurement and construction contracts.

Our work with natural gas utilities has included issuance of taxable and tax exempt bonds through first mortgage and other bond indenture structures; negotiation of a broad range of physical natural gas transaction documents such as North American Energy Standards Board contracts; precedent agreements for capacity on new pipelines; firm and interruptible capacity agreements on existing pipelines; firm and interruptible natural gas storage contracts; natural gas hedging arrangements including International Swaps and Derivative Association contracts; and contracts with NYMEX member-dealers.

Our work for water and sewer utilities has included tax exempt and taxable bond issues under first mortgage indentures and other bond indenture structures; system management agreements; wholesale water purchase and sale agreements; and general corporate advice for both municipal and non-municipal water and sewer systems.

We have also worked with telecommunication companies on matters such as pole rental agreements, development of new technologies such as broadband over power lines and internet access, fiber-optic line placements and permitting, wireless tower installations, and tax issues.

We have also represented our utility clients before various governmental bodies and have been internally involved in drafting and reviewing legislation of interest to our clients.