Practice Areas & Industries: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Sutherland's deep background in energy and government policy helps clients protect, expand and promote their business interests.

Sutherland lawyers know how Washington works and understand the particular ways government policy—whether in Congress or at the agencies—affects our energy clients’ business. Understanding the fundamentals of the energy industry, we help regulators and lawmakers recognize the impact their actions will have, and assist our clients in navigating the often inevitable regulatory and legislative processes. Our clients, whether producers, marketers, energy infrastructure developers, traders, investment banks or hedge funds, need to know what is coming out of Washington next, not what happened yesterday. We anticipate changes and help prepare our clients for what lies ahead. We craft legal and legislative strategies that support our clients' business plans and minimize regulatory risk.

We welcome the opportunity to take an active role in shaping government policy. Sutherland attorneys have worked to resist tighter restrictions on natural gas transactions, including exports and activities under the Commodities Exchange Act. We have implemented strategies targeting Congress and the administration for transactions involving nuclear facilities, off-shore lease royalty controversies and the Gulf Oil spill.

Why Sutherland
Energy industry understanding. Sutherland has a deep and comprehensive knowledge of the energy business. Our lawyers know energy trading, energy company mergers and related transactions, and the tax issues the energy market faces. We know oil and gas, coal, power, nuclear and renewables. We understand the changes our clients face as the energy market evolves because we have followed and been engaged in the market for decades.

Government experience. Our energy policy and government affairs lawyers have worked in Congress, for executive agencies and in the judicial system. This firsthand knowledge enables us to guide clients through the halls of power, protecting their interests and seizing upon opportunities. Whether it is the EPA and new rulemaking on invalid RINs or pollution damages litigation, Sutherland's lawyers have seen the issue from the government's side, to the benefit of our clients.

Proactive practice. Sutherland's lawyers are involved in the development of energy-related laws and regulations. We have provided government officials with information and arguments that have affected the way the energy industry is regulated, and we work to ensure that business interests are fairly represented in the rule-making process.

Collaboration and coordination. Sutherland works regularly with The Alpine Group and Goldwyn Global Strategies to offer our clients extensive access to Washington.

Nuts and Bolts
Our energy policy and government affairs lawyers regularly deal with:

  • Federal agency policies
    • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
    • Department of Energy
    • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
    • Commodity Futures Trading Commission
    • Federal Trade Commission
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE)
  • Legislative policies in energy including communication and coordination with the
    • House Committee on Energy and Commerce
    • House Committee on Natural Resources
    • Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
    • Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Take Action
In one of the nation’s most complex and highly regulated industries, clients trust Sutherland to be their advocate in Washington.

Selected Experience
Sutherland represents Transocean on Capitol Hill after the Macondo oil spill.
Sutherland provides assistance on public relations and coordinates correspondence with members of Congress for Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon.

Sutherland advises British Nuclear Fuels in $5.4 billion auction.
Sutherland represented British Nuclear Fuels plc in all aspects of the $5.4 billion auction sale of its U.S. subsidiary Westinghouse Electric Company to Toshiba Corporation.

Sutherland shapes new legislation in the changing landscape of energy policy.
Sutherland opposed legislative attempts to impose tighter restrictions in the Commodities Exchange Act on certain over-the-counter and exchange transactions involving natural gas.