Practice Areas & Industries: Greenberg Traurig, LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Public utilities have evolved rapidly. Previously, they were single-purpose regulated entities with a mission of delivering bundled local service on a cost-based rate of return basis. But today’s utilities are diverse and dynamic organizations, relying on unregulated businesses for a significant portion of their revenue growth. They are managed by entrepreneurs balancing the demands for higher risk returns with the need for stability and reliability inherent in their traditional utility base, and facing unparalleled environmental business challenges.

Greenberg Traurig’s Public Utility Practice covers the quickly changing terrain of the regulated and unregulated utility industry, both domestic and international, forging multidisciplinary teams from across the firm’s many practice areas. We advise public utilities and their unregulated affiliates, private equity investors and hedge funds, investment banks and financial institutions, customers of utilities, providers of goods and services to utilities, those who wish to become (or avoid becoming) public utilities, and others who affect or are affected by the activities of public utilities. Our attorneys guide clients through this complex and changing arena to help them meet their business objectives.

Industry Coverage

  • Traditional regulated public utilities in all sectors, including:
    • Natural gas supply, transportation and distribution
    • Telecommunications, including hard-wire, wireless, Internet, satellite and cable
    • Transportation, including toll roads, railroads, ports and airports
    • Electricity generation, transmission and distribution
    • Water supply, treatment, transportation, disposal and reuse
    • Waste collection, disposal and incineration
    • Chilled water, steam and distributed heating
  • Unregulated utility affiliates in regulated or unregulated businesses, including:
    • Utility holding companies
    • Cross-border conglomerates
    • Independent power producers
    • Telecommunications service providers
    • Operations and management companies
  • “Self-regulating” utilities, including:
    • Municipal utilities
    • Public power authorities
    • Cooperatives
    • Infrastructure development districts
    • Rail, port and airport transit authorities
  • Major customers of public utilities, such as industrial customers, governmental entities and planned community developers
  • Major vendors of services, equipment and other goods to utilities

Areas of Focus

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Finance, including corporate, project, public debt/bond and capital markets/securitization
  • Public/private partnerships (P3s)
  • Antitrust and trade regulation
  • Operations and management consulting
  • FERC, FCC, FTC and state regulatory commissions
  • Environmental sustainability, facility siting, environmental permitting and brownfields
  • Procurement and public bidding
  • Bankruptcy, reorganization and dispute resolution
  • Federal/state taxes and ERISA
  • Intellectual property
  • Government affairs (federal and state)

Representative Client Services

  • Corporate structuring and governance, including compliance with federal and state laws regarding interlocking directors, cross-subsidization and the like
  • Acquisition and sale of utility assets, mergers among utilities, mergers between utilities and non-utilities, private equity/hedge fund buy-outs, and distressed asset acquisition
  • Public/private partnerships (P3s) and public infrastructure concessions
  • Avoidance of public utility status in connection with the providing of utility-type services
  • Municipalization and privatization of utilities; creation of public utilities, municipal utilities and special utility districts
  • Project development, including strategic planning, site acquisition, environmental permitting, land use, design and construction contracting and equipment supply
  • Securitizations, tax-free bond financing, IDBs, private placements, and equity and debt offerings
  • Federal and state regulation, including authority to construct and serve, siting, rate structure and cost recovery, market power issues, service plans and tariffs, compliance proceedings and special investigations
  • Tax planning, structuring and disputes, including IRS private activity issues and bond tax opinions and ERISA issues
  • Drafting and negotiation of service arrangements; supply, access and capacity acquisition and sale arrangements (e.g., power purchase, transmission, bulk water and master cable agreements); and bidding programs and procurement response
  • Operation and maintenance assistance, including long-term major maintenance and turnaround agreements and fuel supply agreements
  • Governmental relations, including legislative, administrative and regulatory representation
  • Dispute and complaint resolution at the regulatory agencies, in the courts, before alternative dispute resolution tribunals and with governmental entities (including foreign governments and Native American nations)


Services Available