Jim counsels large industries and utilities on a wide range of complex energy and environmental permitting, compliance and project development issues throughout the United States. His work spans matters concerning the siting of natural gas and renewable energy generation and transmission facilities, the acquisition and sale of utility assets and companies through auctions and direct negotiations, and counseling of senior management and general counsel on the management of regulatory risks.
Jim also represents lenders, borrowers, sellers, creditor committees, project developers, investors, project underwriters and portfolio managers on corporate and real estate transactions, including the acquisition and sale of regulated businesses and contaminated real property in the United States and overseas. His knowledge and substantial experience help clients negotiate contractual terms to properly allocate risk and structure business deals to limit and manage liabilities.
Throughout his legal career, Jim has advised several clients on U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission corporate governance issues, and energy companies on the re-evaluation of retained liabilities and reserves to meet Sarbanes-Oxley obligations. Prior to joining the firm, Jim was Of Counsel at Pepper Hamilton. From 1994 to 2012, he was a partner at LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae LLP and its successor Dewey & LeBoeuf and was chairman of the global Environmental and Health & Safety Practice at both firms. He served on the LeBoeuf Lamb Executive Committee for eight years and was head of the US-based Climate Change Practice from 2006 to 2012.
Awards and Rankings
Named to The Best Lawyers in America in the area of environmental law (1992-2019), including D.C. (2008-2018)
Recognized by Chambers USA: Guide to Leading Business Lawyers in the area of environmental law
Selected for inclusion in Who’s Who in America
Selected for inclusion in Who’s Who in American Law
Selected for inclusion in The International Who’s Who of Environmental Lawyers
Selected for inclusion in The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers
Selected for inclusion in Washington, D.C., Super Lawyer (2016)
Represented Colonial Pipeline Company in the acquisition of marine terminal operations and assets at the Port of Port Arthur, Texas.
Represented a multi-national corporation in the cleanup of a 600 acre industrial site contaminated with highly enriched uranium waste.
Represented two multi-national corporations in a joint venture to develop and permit an offshore floating LNG regasification terminal and subsea pipeline to supply natural gas to the New York metropolitan area.
Represented an energy company/investor consortium in the development of the leasing and permitting strategy for a subsea transmission system and AC/DC converter platforms.
Represented Freepoint Commodities LLC in its joint venture with ArcLight Capital Partners, LLC to acquire certain storage terminals, refining units and marine infrastructure at the former Hovensa refinery in the US Virgin Islands.
Represents a large Norwegian mineral company in its joint venture with a publicly-traded French mineral and processing company.
Legal Alert: Executive Order Reverses Key Aspects of Obama’s Climate Action Plan (March 29, 2017)
Yesterday the White House released its highly anticipated Energy Independence Executive Order (EO). The EO signals the White House’s fulfillment of a campaign promise-to roll back the various ...
Legal Alert: Changing Tide for Obama-era Water Rule (March 14, 2017)
On February 28, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) directing the withdrawal of the controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ...
Legal Alert: Buckle-Up, Uncertainty Paves a Bumpy Road Ahead: Environmental Regulation Under the Trump Administration (January 31, 2017)
Sutherland attorneys are closely watching the developments concerning changes to environmental regulation under President Trump. This article begins a series of communications with our clients on ...
Legal Alert: Federal Court Orders EPA to Evaluate Job Losses from Air Regulations (October 20, 2016)
On October 17, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia ruled in favor of Murray Energy Corporation (Murray) in its section 321 suit against the U.S. Environmental ...
Legal Alert: White House Issues Guidance Advising Agencies to Assess Climate Change in NEPA Reviews (August 11, 2016)
On August 1, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued its final guidance for federal agencies on considering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the effects of climate change in ...
Legal Alert: EPA to Reduce Methane Emissions from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry (May 23, 2016)
On May 12, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released final regulations (the Rules) aimed at reducing methane emissions from certain new and modified oil and gas facilities by 40% to 45% ...
Legal Alert: COP21 Yields Landmark Climate Change Accord: What’s Next? (December 23, 2015)
More than a week has passed since 195 countries announced a climate change deal to hold global average temperatures to 2 C above pre-industrial levels, with an aspirational ceiling of 1.5 C. While ...
Legal Alert: Final Clean Power Plan Released; Significant Changes Will Not Ward Off Legal Challenges (August 4, 2015)
Final Clean Power Plan regulating carbon emissions from existing utilities released on August 3, 2015.EPA calculated new emissions rates for each state - some adjusted up or down ...
WIFIA: A Bridge over Troubled Waters? (November 15, 2018)
On March 1, Washington State’s King County advanced long-standing efforts by the state to protect Puget Sound, the nation’s third-largest estuary and home to a variety of salmon species subject to ...
European Offshore Wind Crosses the Atlantic (March 5, 2018)
In their article published by AltEnergyMag, Eversheds Sutherland (International) Partner Richard Streeter and Eversheds Sutherland (US) attorneys Joshua Belcher and Jim Thompson provide insight on ...
In the News
Sutherland Attorneys Manage Wind, Gas and Oil Deals (December 4, 2015)
In an article published by the Daily Report, a number of Sutherland attorneys in Atlanta, Houston, New York and Washington DC are recognized for handling three energy deals in wind, natural gas and ...
Eversheds Sutherland Advises Colonial Pipeline on Purchase of Northstar Port Arthur (May 3, 2018)
HOUSTON-Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP represented Colonial Pipeline Company (Colonial) in negotiating an agreement to acquire Northstar Port Arthur LLC. The agreement gives Colonial marine terminal ...
Four Eversheds Sutherland Attorneys Named Lawyer of the Year; 80 Lawyers Recognized in 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America (August 15, 2017)
Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce that four attorneys have been selected as “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective fields by The Best Lawyers in America, and 80 attorneys have been ...
Six Sutherland Attorneys Named Lawyer of the Year; 81 Lawyers Recognized in 2017 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America (August 15, 2016)
ATLANTA and WASHINGTON-Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce that that six attorneys have been selected as “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective fields by The Best Lawyers in ...
20 Sutherland Attorneys Named 2016 Washington DC Super Lawyers and Rising Stars (April 21, 2016)
WASHINGTON-Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce that 13 of the firm’s attorneys based in Washington DC have been selected as top attorneys in the District of Columbia by Super ...
Sutherland Represents Freepoint Commodities in Joint Acquisition of St. Croix Oil Storage Terminal (December 2, 2015)
HOUSTON-Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce that the firm represented commodities merchant Freepoint Commodities LLC, in a joint venture with private equity firm ArcLight Capital ...
Five Sutherland Partners Named “Lawyer of the Year”; 82 Lawyers Recognized in 2016 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America (August 17, 2015)
ATLANTA and WASHINGTON-Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce that five partners have been selected as “Lawyer of the Year in their respective fields by The Best Lawyers in America, ...
23 Sutherland Attorneys Named 2015 Washington, DC, Super Lawyers and Rising Stars (April 23, 2015)
WASHINGTON (April 23, 2015)-Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP today announced that 19 of the firm’s attorneys based in Washington, DC, have been selected as top attorneys in the state by Super ...
Sutherland Bolsters Energy and Environmental Practice with Addition of James A. Thompson, Jr. (January 7, 2015)
WASHINGTON-Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP announced today that James A. Thompson, Jr. has joined the firm’s Energy, Environmental and Commodities Practice Group as Counsel, and will be resident in ...
Member, American Bar Association (Environmental, Natural Resources and Energy Sections)
Former Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Talcott Mountain Science Center (1998-2009)
You should not send any sensitive or confidential information through this site. Emails sent through this site do not create an attorney-client relationship and may not be treated as privileged or confidential. The lawyer or law firm you are contacting is not required to, and may choose not to, accept you as a client. The Internet is not necessarily secure and emails sent though this site could be intercepted or read by third parties.