Practice/Industry Group Overview
No industry feels the impact of world events more quickly and acutely than the energy industry. Market volatility for oil, natural gas, electricity, nuclear power, renewable fuel and other energy forms is becoming the norm. Duane Morris has the knowledge, depth of experience, bench strength and both national and international reach to guide our energy clients through the complicated, intersecting grids of the industry. Our clients range from the national, state and local governments and agencies that create the policies, rules and regulations, to producers, storage providers and distributors of energy, including refineries, utilities, competitive providers, energy services companies and multistate and international operating facilities, to large users of energy, in the form of chemical, oil, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and industrial companies, to public agencies and other public and private entities. We also represent real estate and financial institutions, including owners of residential complexes, private water supply developers, agricultural interests, insurers, sanitary and utility districts, joint powers authorities, biofuel companies, institutions providing financing for the energy industry, healthcare providers, public housing authorities and industry associations.
To serve such a diverse client base within this challenging environment, Duane Morris has assembled a team of lawyers who bring transactional and litigation experience from a wide variety of legal disciplines, including regulatory, corporate, tax, intellectual property, environmental, real estate, project finance, bankruptcy and labor and employment. At the core of our Energy practice are attorneys who have spent their entire careers working within the industry, holding leadership positions with federal and local energy commissions before joining Duane Morris and focusing their efforts on understanding and anticipating energy policies and laws for our clients.
Our attorneys have represented clients before federal and state courts, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the New York State Public Service Commission, the California Public Utilities Commission and numerous other state regulatory commissions throughout the United States. We work closely with the National Association of Regulated Utility Commissioners and all of the major energy trade associations. In addition to our extensive experience in the U.S., our attorneys have sophisticated knowledge of international energy matters. We have worked with ministries of energy and resources around the world and have advised on energy issues in North America, Europe, Mexico, South America, Africa and Asia.
Duane Morris attorneys advise clients on the legal, practical and business issues surrounding electricity transmission, distribution, policy, regulation, sale and consumption.
Our experience includes representation of domestic and international producers, regulatory agencies, independent electric transmission system operators and publicly owned utility companies, conventional and alternative energy developers, demand response providers, end users and others. We routinely represent electric utilities and their operating subsidiaries in regulatory proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), state utility commissions and the Federal Court of Appeals.
Duane Morris attorneys gained their industry experience by serving as members of governmental regulatory agencies and from working within the energy industry. One of our attorneys, for example, helped establish the FERC Office of Enforcement and was its first director. Others among our attorneys have also served in various capacities at FERC. Furthermore, Duane Morris was integrally involved in the creation of the first Regional Transmission Organization approved by FERC and has served as its counsel in a multitude of issues before FERC and the appellate courts. We also assist federal and state regulators and agencies in the formation and implementation of regulations and policymaking.
Natural Gas and LNG
Duane Morris attorneys understand the challenges of producing, transporting, storing and distributing natural gas to businesses and consumers in the United States and around the world. Duane Morris provides strategic legal and business counsel to the entire spectrum of participants in the natural gas, LNG and biogas business cycle. We assist clients with exploration and production issues, gathering, processing, storage and transportation issues, project development, finance, taxation, mergers and acquisitions, and transactional and litigation services for complex natural gas, LNG and biogas projects.
The need for expanded transportation capacity presents a host of regulatory and business problems, especially logistical. Duane Morris attorneys have been actively involved in FERC, Department of Energy and Department of Transportation proceedings and state and local regulatory agency actions concerning the exportation, importation and transportation of LNG.
Duane Morris lawyers also represent developers, investors and sovereign nations with natural gas, LNG and biogas projects with varying levels of complexity in jurisdictions around the world.
Duane Morris has long served clients in addressing the many legal problems they face in the oil industry. Our attorneys draw upon a combination of legal and industry experience to represent clients in regulatory proceedings before state and federal agencies and international forums. With the resources of a global firm, our Energy Practice can help clients in a variety of corporate acquisitions, including the leasing, purchase and sale of undeveloped and producing properties, gathering and processing systems, pipelines and other significant assets as well as due diligence, bids and related financing issues. Throughout the entire business cycle, Duane Morris attorneys have extensive experience in assisting clients in matters concerning oil exploration, facility construction, distribution, refining, import/export, financing and related transactions.
Our practice is both national and international in scope. Duane Morris energy attorneys have assisted clients in the drafting and negotiation of study, bidding and operating groups, and other forms of association for the conduct of domestic and international oil and gas operations. Our energy attorneys also represent clients before foreign governmental entities with the bidding, negotiation and performance of exploration and production contracts.
Duane Morris lawyers' experience ranges from the boardroom to the control room, from the nuclear island to the turbine floor. Our lawyers advise clients on the legal and business issues regarding the siting, financing, construction and operation of electric generation facilities, the regulation of distribution, sale and consumption, and issues concerning nuclear waste. Our experience includes work for producers, regulatory agencies, independent system operators and publicly owned utility companies. We represent electric utilities and their operating subsidiaries in regulatory proceedings before FERC, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Courts of Appeal.
Our firm has a strong technological foundation, boasting attorneys with engineering degrees, including experienced nuclear engineers, and others who have worked directly in nuclear plants in a variety of technical, supervisory and managerial roles.
Renewable Energy & Sustainability
Worldwide demand for energy continues to increase dramatically, even as traditional sources of energy are diminishing. Concurrently, global, national and state-level concerns with climate change have raised the level of interest in reducing carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels. To meet these emerging challenges, governments, businesses and consumers are joining the movement to develop energy from renewable sources and to conserve energy where possible. Technological advances, legislative requirements, incentives and consumer demand have made renewable energy development possible, but innovative legal thinking is needed to make sustainable or renewable energy a reality.
Duane Morris attorneys are deeply involved in and committed to the renewable energy and conservation markets. From emerging businesses with innovative energy solutions to traditional energy companies seeking to develop new "green" and renewable energy sources, and from national and international government agencies to entrepreneurial individuals, Duane Morris serves a diverse constituency in the global energy economy.
Representation of hydropower owners involves the intersection of multiple disciplines, including energy, water, environmental, financial, political and, at times, litigation. Duane Morris lawyers have worked with and represented hydropower owners for more than 25 years. Our attorneys regularly practice before FERC and are very knowledgeable regarding how the commission functions. This experience, coupled with our years of dealing with water system, fishery regulations and stakeholder processes, positions our attorneys to comprehensively represent parties in hydropower proceedings.
Energy Facility Construction
The financing, planning and construction of any major infrastructure project is always highly scrutinized, multistaged and multifaceted. When a project's aim is to create a new facility to generate power, the scrutiny, complexity and potential for challenges increase exponentially.
Whether in the early planning stages of a new energy plant or overseeing the construction of a facility that is beginning to take shape, having informed, savvy and experienced legal counsel is vital. Distributed and on-site cogeneration installations are also subject to a host of requirements that are best handled with the assistance of highly experienced counsel.
Duane Morris lawyers understand that undertaking projects large or small requires big-picture thinking partnered with dexterous handling and execution of finely drawn details. In working with clients regarding issues involving nuclear power, oil, gas, coal, biomass, wind, solar or water, our lawyers bring skills from a broad range of disciplines to advise our clients throughout the many stages of energy facility construction projects.
International Power Projects
With offices in London, Singapore and Vietnam and multilingual staff, Duane Morris is strategically positioned to provide sophisticated, "on-the-spot" assistance to foreign energy regulators, international project developers, government-owned and private utilities and energy markets operators. We have worked on many significant international energy matters, including projects sponsored by the World Bank and other multilateral organizations. Duane Morris attorneys have advised national energy regulators and government-owned utilities in many countries, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and the former Soviet Union, on matters ranging from electricity markets reform to power purchase contract renegotiation. Our lawyers also have considerable experience in energy project finance and have represented a number of major international power developers in a variety of complex transactions throughout the world. The firm's energy practice is well integrated throughout multiple offices allowing for a balanced mix of skills and experience often demanded by large-scale international projects.