Practice Areas & Industries: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Sutherland draws on energy regulatory, compliance and enforcement attorneys to reconcile commercial and regulatory interests and meet business goals.

Sutherland offers energy industry clients the regulatory and compliance services they need to solve critical business challenges. Sutherland's energy regulatory lawyers often appear before federal and state regulators; our energy transactional attorneys understand the unique characteristics of energy industry transactions; our corporate attorneys frequently counsel energy trading companies on structured deals, mergers and acquisitions and a variety of related transactions; and our litigation attorneys provide strategic insight from the very beginning as well as aggressive advocacy when needed.

The result is a team that quickly and effectively reconciles the commercial and regulatory aspects of energy transactions with the relevant compliance and enforcement issues. For our clients, this means minimal business complications in their dealings with FERC, CFTC, EPA, DOT, SEC, FTC, BOEMRE and state regulators. We regularly aid in a range of matters, from record keeping and reporting to developing comprehensive risk management programs.

The Dodd-Frank Act represents the greatest change in the field of compliance and regulation and it affects every part of the energy industry. We spare no effort in helping our clients through this new regulatory landscape. Dodd-Frank’s rules and enforcement mechanisms are still evolving. We offer detailed monitoring and daily notices of developments at the CFTC, customized analysis for individual clients, and we host working sub-groups specific to various areas of the Act.

Why Sutherland
Industry experience. For decades Sutherland has managed the affairs of energy industry clients. Because we know the business, we understand what the client needs are, what the commercial interests involved require and what the regulatory environment is like. This enables us to provide practical, effective advice that minimizes any regulatory negative impact.

Regulatory familiarity. Our ability to design and implement sound regulatory, legislative and executive branch representation creates real results.

Dodd-Frank representation. As counsel to a large, cross-sector group of major commercial energy firms, Sutherland is positioned at the forefront of industry advocacy, giving us a significant voice in the development of future regulations and reform of existing rules. Connected as we are to both the major commercial interests and the regulators, Sutherland offers clients advice not only on where the law stands today but we can also suggest where it may well be going tomorrow.

Multidisciplinary practice. Sutherland's energy clients rely on the skills of lawyers across our firm—not only those in energy, but also those engaged in maritime law, taxation and litigation, among other practice areas.

Nuts and Bolts
We regularly represent clients before federal regulatory bodies including:

  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Federal Trade Commission(FTC)
  • Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE—formerly  known as Minerals Management Service [MMS])
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

We also represent clients before public utilities commissions for many states including:

  • Texas
  • California
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • New Jersey

We represent clients on the following commodities:

  • Crude and refined oil products
  • Natural gas
  • Natural gas liquids
  • Liquefied natural gas
  • Electric power
  • Renewable energy
  • Biofuels
  • Emissions allowances

Take Action
Sutherland's multidisciplinary approach to energy regulation and compliance offers clients a one-stop-shop that saves time and money. Relying on decades of federal and state regulatory experience and our position at the forefront of developing energy regulation, we offer a level of service that protects our clients from avoidable complications.

Selected Experience
Sutherland represents a leading voice of the energy sector.
Sutherland advocates before the CFTC for a group of major commercial energy firms regarding the implementation of, and compliance with, Dodd-Frank. Members are all primarily in the business of delivering physical energy commodities to others. Our strategic work includes developing strategies for industry standard practices, transactional issues and potential enforcement issues.

Sutherland provides ongoing natural gas regulatory advice to Oglethorpe Power Corporation.
We counsel Oglethorpe on complex natural gas transactions. This representation includes advice on FERC regulations and policies covering the acquisition of new interstate pipeline capacity and covering construction of a new pipeline bypass connection, as well as negotiating an asset management arrangement.

Sutherland provides counsel on pipeline capacity issues.
Sutherland advised its client on the proposed development of a liquefaction and export facility at Sabine Pass.