Greenberg Traurig, LLP

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Carbon Credits

Greenberg Traurig’s Carbon Credits Group advises clients that produce and trade carbon credits, which are transferable rights to emit greenhouse gases created by governmental entities in response to two public policy goals:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
     
  • Using a free market to efficiently allocate resources and reduce risk

Whom Do GHG Cap and Trade Systems Impact?

  • Many companies, individuals, cities, states and countries are recognizing that the future will bring a cap on their emissions that may contribute to global warming.
     
  • Industries that are energy-intensive, whether or not they emit greenhouse gases, may need to hedge their risk through energy hedges, carbon credit hedges or both, recognizing that the future will bring a cap on their emissions.
     
  • Depending on the regional or national GHG reduction system in place, emitters of GHGs may be forced to obtain the carbon credits needed to reduce their carbon footprint through an auction, through emissions reduction projects or through allocation by the government.

How Cap and Trade Systems Impact Companies

  • Energy companies are the largest single producers of GHGs – and under most pending U.S. proposals would be the largest potential purchasers of carbon credits in a cap and trade system.
     
  • Pending U.S. cap and trade proposals will impact companies in the energy, chemical, manufacturing and investment markets.
     
  • Internationally, the Kyoto Protocol caps emissions from numerous point sources such as power plants, chemical plants or smelters and steel mills.
     
  • Energy companies are faced with the prospect of another potential new “virtual” commodity in the form of carbon credits – a derivative security unlike any other because it is based not upon an underlying commodity, but strictly upon governmental fiat or a public relations desire to change a pattern of production.
     
  • Unless and until one of the many pending cap and trade proposals is enacted, the use of carbon credits by energy companies in the United States will be limited and voluntary. However, the legislation that has been proposed would be market-changing and clients need to rely on a firm that is at the forefront of this issue.

GT’s Carbon Credits Experience

  • We have experience representing energy companies in the exploration, development, transportation and marketing of hydrocarbon commodities. This experience is valuable because carbon credits are integrated with these commodities.
     
  • Outside the United States, we have positioned our firm at the forefront of these issues through representing companies that invest in, develop and market carbon credits for sale in the European Union, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.
     
  • In the United States, GT lawyers have participated in the promulgation of marketing and trading form agreements by industry groups, and have facilitated education and training through seminars, including our lead sponsorship of the “Emerging Opportunities in Carbon Markets” conference in Miami in January 2008.
     
  • We have helped companies analyze their product and supply chains to create and sell carbon credits both within the U.S. voluntary market and also internationally, to reduce their deemed carbon production and also to take advantage of an arbitrage between the U.S. and international markets. With GT’s help, U.S. companies can achieve a smaller carbon footprint, perhaps even carbon neutrality, while also providing the potential for a revenue stream that can be used to lower costs or fund other projects.
     
  • Our lawyers also counsel clients with regard to compliance with legislation and regulations enacted by various state or regional initiatives, such as the Western Regional Climate Initiative (WRCI) and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

How GT Can Help

Our attorneys have experience in virtually every aspect of carbon credit creation and trading, including:

Energy Project Finance and Development

  • Traditional energy projects that incorporate greenhouse gas reduction mechanisms
     
  • Alternative energy and emissions projects that produce energy and accrue tax benefits and renewable energy credits or create carbon credits, including:
    • Landfill methane capture
       
    • Biofuels
       
    • Biomass and bagasse to energy
       
    • Cogeneration projects
       
    • Wind energy
       
    • Waste to energy
       
    • Wastewater process gas recovery
       
    • Green buildings
       
    • Geothermal energy
       
    • Solar energy
       
    • Manure management
       
    • Reforestation/aforestation

Carbon Credit Development

  • Sourcing and acquisition of development rights in the United States and internationally
     
  • Engineering, procurement and construction contracts
     
  • Application for approval of methodology and certification of credits, including:
    • European Union Allowances (EUAs)
       
    • Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs)
       
    • Emission Reduction Purchase Agreements (ERPAs)

Marketing and Trading

  • Trading contracts – bilateral/multiparty agreements, in accordance with the:
    • International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA)
       
    • International Emission Trading Association (IETA)
       
    • European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET)
       
  • Monetization or securitization of carbon credits

Risk and Dispute Management

  • Insurance
     
  • Risk allocation
     
  • Securing and financing of alternative suppliers or purchasers
     
  • Litigation/arbitration of disputes related to emissions projects or marketing and trading

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  • 5.0/5.0 Review for Ginger Pigott by a Partner on 05/16/13 in Products Liability

    Ginger is a very experienced litigator. She carefully analyzes and prepares her cases. She is a tough litigator and negotiator. In addition, she has a nice touch with witnesses on both sides of the case. Would recommend her to any client, and I'd... Read more

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    Ginger is a very experienced litigator. She carefully analyzes and prepares her cases. She is a tough litigator and negotiator. In addition, she has a nice touch with witnesses on both sides of the case. Would recommend her to any client, and I'd work with her on any case. Read less

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    Mr. Freylikhman is a creative thinker, and his expertise in his practice area increases every day. He is passionate about his work and it phous.

    Mr. Freylikhman is a creative thinker, and his expertise in his practice area increases every day. He is passionate about his work and it phous. Read less

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Diversity

At Greenberg Traurig, we are committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The individual attorneys at Greenberg Traurig are committed to nurturing diversity throughout the firm and creating an environment where differences are embraced and utilized creatively.

For us, diversity is about taking action - opening doors for lawyers.

That commitment is reflected by the fact that overall, 40 percent of Greenberg Traurig's attorneys worldwide are women or minorities as defined by the American Bar Association. As of Dec. 31, 2014, our U.S. employees, including attorneys and staff, who met the definition of minority persons reflected a total of 29 percent of our employment base. Approximately 32 percent of our U.S. attorneys and 52 percent of our U.S. employees are women.

Greenberg Traurig's commitment to diversity and inclusion goes beyond any single committee. Committees cannot nurture; they cannot mentor; they cannot create an environment where differences are embraced and utilized creatively. Committees do not lead. Our diverse attorneys however, can and do.


* We welcome and reflect the communities we represent better than any other major law firm in our markets.

* We do not simply rely on a "committee" to achieve this.

* We do so through a commitment to providing a fair opportunity for each of us to reach our full potential.

* We have the personal dedication of many at Greenberg Traurig who identify and bring into our firm this very special diversity.

* The Minority Law Journal 2014 Diversity Scorecard has recognized us as follows:
o No. 1 Ranking, African American Partners
o No. 1 Ranking, Hispanic American Non-Partners
o No. 2 Ranking, Hispanic American Partners


* The National Law Journal has previously recognized our attorneys as among:
o No. 2 Ranking, Female Partner Numbers, Female Scorecard (2013)
o "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America" (Three) (2008)
o "The 50 Most Influential Women Attorneys" (Two) (2007)
o "The 100 Most Influential Attorneys in America"
(Two diverse attorneys; three total) (2006)


Diversity in Action: Fostering Diversity in the Profession and Preserving the Pipeline

Greenberg Traurig's Diversity Leadership Community has initiatives that focus on fostering an environment within the firm that supports and encourages diversity and inclusion, and increasing diversity in the profession by increasing access to a legal education for minority students. Helping today's law students and lawyers become tomorrow's business and legal leaders means a larger, more diverse marketplace and a greater pool of talented professionals. And that means more business opportunities for everyone - our firm, our colleagues and, most importantly, our clients.
 
In this way, our approach to diversity and inclusion mandates a high-level of personal responsibility with regard to the recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys. Attorneys in recruiting, hiring and supervisory roles are continuously made aware of the progress of our efforts. Our personal approach to diversity and inclusion means that Greenberg Traurig lawyers are active at their alma maters and at law schools local to their offices, participating in such programs as career panels; "Meet the Employer" days; and mock interviews, among others.

It has been, and continues to be, our goal to create a well-balanced workforce that contains a significant presence of minorities and women.

Greenberg Traurig creates and supports partner programs with women, minority, gay/lesbian or disability-focused bar associations. We attend and sponsor events at these organizations regularly throughout the United States. The firm works closely with national and local minority bars to address the fostering of diversity and inclusion in the profession on many levels. We support the work of several organizations, including MCCA, NAPABA, NASABA, NBA, NLGBTBA, HRC, HNBA and others.

Additionally, we provide funding through the Holly Skolnick Greenberg Traurig Fellowship Foundation for lawyers and law students to work with public interest groups. Through the Foundation, Greenberg Traurig serves as the largest sponsor of Equal Justice Works Fellowships in the United States and has invested approximately $8 million to support, in whole or in part, almost 127 Equal Justice Works Fellows since 1999.

We invite clients to join us as we work towards:

* Cultivating strategic partnerships with clients and potential clients to leverage our diversity platform to create and deepen relationships and cultivate business opportunities.

* Encouraging our lawyers to facilitate opportunities for our diverse and women lawyers to develop relationships with clients before and after new matters are received.

* Broadening the pipeline of diverse attorneys by expanding relationships with minority bar associations and other legal diversity organizations through our combined support of these networks.

* Focusing on strengthening mentoring programs for female and diverse attorneys at every level.

* Instituting a program that provides a variety of mentoring, rainmaking and training opportunities that can be accessed by a wide range of diverse attorneys across a variety of underserved communities.

* Engaging our Affinity Groups and their allies as a forum for professional development and business development opportunities, as well as for recruiting and retention assistance and as a social exchange to promote inclusion.

Diversity in Action: Employee Resource Networks

Greenberg Traurig's Employee Resource Networks (Affinity Groups) have the goal of addressing the needs of our attorneys and professionals who are diverse. We support Affinity Groups for our attorneys who are African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, LGBT and women, and we continue to gauge opportunities to expand those groups as our needs and demographics dictate.

The firm's Affinity Groups are as follows:

* African American Affinity Group

* Asian Pacific American Affinity Group

* Hispanic American Affinity Group

* Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Affinity Group

* South Asian American Affinity Group

* Women's Initiative

Our goals include:

* Mentoring of junior attorneys within the specific group;

* Recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys;

* Active participation in organizations addressing specific groups; and

* Serving as a forum for group members to discuss and explore issues and opportunities that will add value to client relationships.

Women's Initiative

As an example of our approach, Greenberg Traurig's firm-wide Women's Initiative focuses on retaining and supporting women attorneys through professional development and work/life balance initiatives, as well as through business development training programs and networking opportunities.

We work with like-minded organizations to address these issues on a broader scale in a variety of industries and communities.

Our program targets:

* Attracting and retaining talented women attorneys.

* Supporting business development for women attorneys.

* Serving as industry leaders.

* Impacting the community through leadership and service.

* Maintaining a culture that benefits women attorneys.

Diversity in Action: Suppliers

Greenberg Traurig is committed to the development of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and Small Business Enterprises (DBE & SBE) suppliers.

As such:

* All business concerns, large and small, majority- or minority-owned, are afforded an equal opportunity to compete.

* A national director of procurement within the firm supports this practice.

* We are committed to diversity with respect to our vendors and suppliers.

* We are amenable to using diverse vendors and suppliers recommended by clients.

Diversity from the Top Down

Cesar L. Alvarez, Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig, leads our diversity efforts. This is a matter of personal responsibility for him, having entered the U.S. as an immigrant with humble beginnings.

He has previously been honored as follows:

* "Lifetime Achievement Award," Hispanic National Bar Foundation

* "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America," The National Law Journal

* "50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America," The National Law Journal

* "Top Most Powerful Hispanics," The Black Book of Poder

* "25 Best Latinos in Business," Hispanic Magazine, The Power Issue

* "President's Award of Merit for Diversity Efforts," The Florida Bar

* "Spirit of Excellence Award," ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession

* "Lifetime Achievement Award," Chambers USA Awards for Excellence

* "CEO of the Year" award, Multicultural Law Magazine

* "Attorney of the Year Award," Hispanic National Bar Association

 

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