Energy Litigation

Energy is among the world's most complicated, highly regulated business sectors. Sutherland has the energy industry experience to handle any dispute.

The Sutherland Energy Litigation team guides, negotiates, arbitrates, litigates and resolves the legal needs of energy companies, integrated majors, producers, pipelines, drillers, developers, operators and businesses that finance and insure the industry. We have extensive litigation experience, knowledge of the industry, a focus on client business goals, and willingness to take matters to trial. We are members of industry groups and regularly speak at energy conferences.

With focus on client business drivers and goals, our energy litigation attorneys try cases and argue before federal and state courts at the trial and appellate levels, and before regulatory agencies and arbitrators. Our dedicated energy sector team recognizes the importance of client resources, and we quickly develop strategies with our clients to devote the right mix of attorney experience and skills to achieve optimal results.

Our lawyers try business disputes for the country’s leading energy corporations. Matters include creditors’ rights, commodity contract disputes, energy construction litigation, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and regulatory litigation and investigations. We also help clients navigate through media attention and other public relations challenges that often accompany disputes. Whenever the situation demands, our energy litigation attorneys can call on colleagues firm-wide, including more than 100 attorneys who comprise our Litigation team, as well as those in our Energy practice.

Why Sutherland
Energy-specific knowledge. Our attorneys possess a wealth of experience with the array of lawsuits and disputes that arise in the energy area.

Real trial experience. Our attorneys try cases before courts across the country, including U.S. Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. We handle matters in all 50 states and are licensed to practice in 24 states and the District of Columbia.

Regulatory focus. A number of lawyers devote their practice to administrative litigation for our energy clients, and we represent energy marketing companies, utilities and trade groups before both state and federal regulators, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Our attorneys are involved in litigating rate cases, stranded costs, certificate proceedings, direct gas connections, LNG issues and complaint proceedings before FERC.

Crisis management skills. In the world of 24/7/365 media coverage and the explosion of social media, the fallout from litigation can be worse than the actual lawsuits or investigations. We guide clients through the minefields, including advising on public relations strategies and mitigating reputational risk. When necessary, our lawyers can provide testimony and evidence in connection with government investigations.

Nuts and Bolts
We advise and litigate on behalf of clients involved in complicated commercial, commodity and regulatory energy disputes relating to:

  • Liquefied natural gas projects
  • Investigations arising from energy trading activities
  • Pre-emptive effect of federal jurisdiction over energy companies
  • Power plant construction contracts and permits
  • Environmental and local compliance for energy projects
  • Personal injury suits related to electromagnetic field (EMF) claims
  • Territorial disputes for electric cooperatives
  • Franchise fees and occupation taxes for utilities
  • Nuisance complaints by landowners
  • Efforts by government authorities and citizens groups to block utility projects
  • Joint use contracts involving utility poles and facilities
  • Antitrust issues
  • Restructuring of the retail electric markets
  • Terminating, liquidating and valuing forward physical and financial trading positions
  • Long-dated tolling agreements
  • Creditworthiness, insolvency and bankruptcy
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) investigations
  • Direct connections and bypasses by industrial end users and generators to interstate natural gas pipelines
  • The enforceability of one-way termination provisions in master agreements
  • Whether contracts and transactions qualify as forward contracts and/or swap agreements under the Bankruptcy Code
  • Strict products liability
  • Toxic tort and mass tort
  • Shareholder claims and breach of fiduciary duties
  • Market manipulation and price fixing allegations
  • Contract termination and valuation

Take Action
Our energy litigation and dispute resolution practice involves the full range of litigation, arbitration, mediation and negotiation activities on behalf of energy companies, with the knowledge of lawyers who have been working with participants in the energy markets for many years.

Selected Experience
Served as lead counsel in the BP oil spill litigation and guided the drilling contractor through crisis management and regulatory issues following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Defended and coordinated Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc.’s legal responses in cases and investigations arising from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, including proceedings in the multidistrict litigation, third-party investigations, and government inquiries and investigations.

Defended a London energy package policy in a $100-plus million claim involving complex multiparty coverage issues.
Represented a London energy package policy in a $100-plus million loss arising from gas escape from a salt cavern storage facility. The claim involved complex multiparty coverage issues and interpretation of various sue and labor, and loss of production income (LOPI).

Defended an offshore drilling manufacturer against claims of breach of contract, breach of warranty, negligence and declaratory relief following a volcanic eruption that damaged the client's equipment.
Defended an offshore drilling manufacturer in a lawsuit for breach of contract, breach of warranty, negligence and declaratory relief against the distributor and Chinese manufacturers of blowout preventers and valve gates purchased by the plaintiff.

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Peer Reviews

  • 4.8/5.0 (77)
  • Legal Knowledge

    4.9/5.0
  • Analytical Capability

    4.8/5.0
  • Judgment

    4.8/5.0
  • Communication

    4.8/5.0
  • Legal Experience

    4.9/5.0

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Client Reviews

  • 4.6/5.0 (13)
  • 92% (12)
  • Communication

    4.5/5.0
  • Responsiveness

    4.6/5.0
  • Quality of Service

    4.6/5.0
  • Value for Money

    4.5/5.0

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Diversity

§  “Diversity at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP” to “Diversity at Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP”

§  “Diversity” section:

o   The firm’s emphasis on diversity is reflected in numerous ways throughout the firm, such as the manner in which we recruit lawyers and other employees, our work-life policies and our professional service efforts. We have been recognized for our achievements in diversity.  More importantly, we understand the significant role a diverse community plays in the firm's growth and development.

§  “Our Awards and Recognitions” section:

o   Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP continues to be recognized for its efforts to promote diversity in the workplace and in the legal profession. In 2016 we were named a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality,” having earned a perfect 100 score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, and we also were ranked a Top 100 Firm for Minority Attorneys by Law360. In addition, the firm was awarded the Gold Standard Certification for the fifth consecutive year by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum.

§  “Our Commitment” section:

o   Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP is committed to promoting diversity within the firm and in the legal profession.  We believe that diverse skills, knowledge and viewpoints make us a stronger, more productive law firm.  We hire and promote qualified lawyers and other professionals regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.  We understand that diversity enhances our value to clients by allowing us to staff our client teams with professionals who possess broad experiences and a spectrum of perspectives.

o   Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP has a cross-office Diversity Committee with responsibility for supporting and enhancing our firm culture.  Our committee has helped coordinate and lead a number of efforts to advance diversity within our firm and the community. Affinity groups at the firm serve as support networks for attorneys of color; women lawyers; and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender attorneys.

o   We are committed to working with our clients as they pursue the common goal of a professional workplace where opportunity is available to all.

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