Ram Sunkara serves on the firm's Executive Committee and focuses his practice on negotiating and finalizing acquisition and disposition agreements, structuring transactions and auction processes, and managing all aspects of a deal. He chairs Sutherland's Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) and Petrochemical practices, the firm's Distributed Generation and Renewable Corporate Procurement team. Ram also co-leads Sutherland's Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) practice.
Ram represents a broad spectrum of energy sector clients in commercial and transactional matters, including:
•Domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions
•Energy trading arrangements
•Full-scale project development (greenfield and brownfield projects)
•Renewable energy projects
•Project and structured financings
•Develop-build-own-operate-maintain (DBOOM) and design-build-transfer (DBT) arrangements
He regularly represents Fortune 100 and 500 companies and smaller entities in the energy space including:
•Private equity and hedge funds
•Electric and gas utilities
•Independent power producers
•Commodity trading firms
•Diversified public companies
•Chemical and petrochemical producers
•Other energy industry participants
Ram's experience spans the entire energy spectrum. He represents clients in both conventional and unconventional upstream oil and gas matters. He has also worked on midstream projects and deals involving natural gas (including LNG and compressed natural gas (CNG)), crude oil and natural gas liquids pipelines and gathering systems, processing facilities, and gas and liquids storage assets. His downstream practice includes refining, marketing and distributing refined products and related structured commodity transactions.
Ram has extensive experience with the full array of power generation, both traditional baseload generation and renewables/energy storage technologies, including:
•Merger and Acquisition Transactions
•Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)
•Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contracts
•Operation and Maintenance (O&M) and Balance of Plant Agreements
•Purchase and Sale Agreements for Steam
•Chilled Water and other Offtake Contracts
•Purchases and sales of environmental attributes (renewable energy certificates (RECs), renewable identification numbers (RINs), etc.)
•Trading agreements involving both physical and financially settled purchases (including secured and unsecured hedges) and sales of electric power and related products
Ram has considerable experience representing gas companies and chemical and petrochemical companies with regard to EPC and project development of NGL fractionation facilities and crackers for the production of ethylene and propylene. He has also advised clients in negotiating and procuring NGL feedstock and NGL and gas storage agreements for export to foreign cracker facilities.
Recent representative matters in which Ram has advised clients include:
•Representing Magnolia LNG in several aspects of developing an LNG export terminal, including negotiating its multi-billion dollar EPC and O&M agreements, and a wide range of other project development and financing-related matters.
•Represented Vitol Inc. in connection with the U.S. Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority's LPG receiving terminal project which included navigating the utility's RFP process; preparing, negotiating and finalizing a master DBOOM agreement for the development of the LPG receiving terminals and related infrastructure, LPG pipelines and vaporizer units, and the long-term supply of LPG and on-site inventory storage facilities. In addition, Ram led the negotiations with GE International on behalf of a Vitol subsidiary regarding the fuel switching and repowering of several combustion turbines owned by the utility on both St. Croix and St. Thomas.
•Represented Energy Power Partners in the purchase of the renewable energy unit of Talen Energy Corp., which included a portfolio of 25 renewable energy projects (solar, landfill gas, wind and cogeneration plants) in four states within PJM.
•Represented The Carlyle Group in the acquisition of 75.05% of the outstanding interests of Southeast PowerGen, LLC, a 2,815-megawatt portfolio of six natural -gas-fired power plants in Georgia, from a consortium of ArcLight Capital Partners, the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC, and GE Energy Financial Services.
As the leader of Sutherland's nationally recognized Distributed Generation practice, Ram has become a “go to” lawyer for some of the largest Fortune companies in the world seeking to implement their corporate sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives. For example, he represented:
•Microsoft in its first wind energy secured hedge transaction opposite RES Americas for a utility-scale wind project in ERCOT
•Target Inc. in structuring and implementing its nationwide photovoltaic (PV) solar rooftop initiative opposite Greenskies Renewable Energy, LLC
•Solvay USA Inc. in negotiating and implementing a DBOOM for a utility scale, on-site CHP facility with DTE Energy to service its flagship U.S. chemical polymer facility in Ohio
•Dozens of other Fortune and technology companies in similar transactions
Ram has been recognized as a leading lawyer by multiple independent evaluators, including Chambers in 2014 (Energy), and was named in The Legal 500 United States in 2015 in the area of Energy - Renewable/Alternative.
Awards and Rankings
Recognized by Law360 as a “Rising Star” in the area of energy (2016)
Recognized by the National Law Journal as an “Energy and Environmental Trailblazer” (2016)
Named to the “Rainmakers” list by Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Diversity & the Bar (2015)
Recognized by The Legal 500 United States in the area of energy: renewable/alternative (2015) and energy transactions: conventional power oil and gas (2016)
Selected for inclusion in Georgia Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” (2012-2014)
Recognized by Chambers USA: Guide to Leading Business Lawyers in the area of energy (2014, 2016)
(Also at Atlanta, Georgia Office)