The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Bracewell LLP

Work +1 202 828 5800

Jeffrey Holmstead

Work +1.202.828.5852
Bracewell LLP

Work Department

Environmental Strategies


Jeff Holmstead, former Assistant Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Air and Radiation, is one of the nation's leading air-quality lawyers. From his time in both the government and the private sector, Jeff is very familiar with the environmental and energy challenges facing the business community. He advises clients dealing with an increasingly complex regulatory, legal and public relations landscape, drawing on his experience in policy development, administrative and legislative advocacy, litigation and strategic communications. He has worked with clients in a number of industries on issues related to climate change, Clean Air Act policy and enforcement, and energy policy — including the development of new coal-fired power plants, refineries, renewable energy sources, and electric transmission infrastructure.


J.D., Yale Law School, 1987; B.A., summa cum laude, Brigham Young University, 1984

United States: Industry focus

Energy litigation: conventional power

Within: Energy litigation: conventional power

Bracewell LLP’s ‘very good’ practice is well versed in commercial disputes in the conventional power arena and handles a steady flow of FERC proceedings for a broad client roster, including Hydro One, Powerex and GDF SUEZ Energy North America (ENGIE). Houston-based Bryan Dumesnil and Bradley Benoit are defending Southern Copper and its directors against damages claims brought by a putative class of shareholders; the case is related to the ownership transfer of a subsidiary with two power plants, the execution of a power purchase agreement and the restructuring of a line credit for the power plants‘ construction. In other work, David Perlman represented Shell Energy North America in a FERC settlement regarding refunds for short-term energy sales during the 2000-2001 California energy crisis and Jeffrey Holmstead acted for member-owned electric cooperative Tri-State in a contentious proceeding challenging two EPA rules that would have prevented the construction of two coal-fired plants. Stephen Crain heads the team, which recently welcomed David Super from Baker Botts L.L.P. and Paul Wight from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

[back to top]

Environment: litigation

Within: Environment: litigation

Bracewell LLP hired Washington DC-based David Super, whose experience includes environmental claims under the Clean Air Act (CAA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and CERCLA, from Baker Botts L.L.P.. The firm’s environmental litigation depth, coupled with its significant white-collar defense, appellate, and environmental regulatory practices, enables it to handle large, complex environmental litigation. The practice’s areas of activity include upstream and midstream shale energy development; government enforcement defense; air permitting and climate change; Superfund and contamination issues; and accident investigation and defense. The team was lead counsel to Valero Energy and its subsidiaries in a lawsuit against the EPA for failing to take required action under the Renewable Fuel Standard of the CAA. Houston-based Christopher Dodson and Austin managing partner Timothy Wilkins co-chair the environmental litigation practice, while Jason Hutt is environmental practice chair. Other recommended Washington DC contacts are Kevin Ewing and Jeffrey Holmstead. Austin’s Kevin Collins is a former assistant US attorney for the Eastern District of Texas; and Sara Burgin is particularly noted for water issues.

[back to top]

Environment: regulatory

Within: Environment: regulatory

Bracewell LLP’s work includes climate change regulation, LNG development, pipeline and other infrastructure development, and major incidents. The team acts for Cheniere Energy on environmental regulation, permitting, and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration compliance matters. Jason Hutt chairs the firm’s environmental department; Jeffrey Holmstead is a CAA and climate change specialist; Timothy Wilkins, Austin managing partner, and Christopher Dodson in Houston co-chair the environmental litigation practice. The practice hired David Super from Baker Botts L.L.P.. All advisers are in Washington DC, unless otherwise stated.

[back to top]

Environment: transactional

Within: Environment: transactional

Bracewell LLP is highly regarded for its advice to strategic buyers, financial institutions, hedge funds, and private equity investors on transactions that require due diligence investigations, negotiation of environmental indemnities, environmental disclosures to shareholders, and public policy considerations. The team advised Great Plains Energy on the environmental due diligence surrounding an amended and restated merger agreement with Kansas’ Westar Energy. The key contacts are Timothy Wilkins in Austin; Washington DC-based Jason Hutt, who chairs the firm’s environmental practice; and Jeffrey Holmstead.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to