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Vinson & Elkins LLP

2200 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE NW, SUITE 500 WEST, WASHINGTON, DC 20037-1701, USA
Tel:
Work +1 202 639 6500
Fax:
Fax +1 202 639 6604
Email:
Web:
www.velaw.com
Austin, Beijing, Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston and 10 more

John Decker

Tel:
Work +1 202 639 6599
Email:
Vinson & Elkins LLP

Work Department

Energy Regulatory

Position

John represents companies in the energy industry in transactional and regulatory matters. John has worked on numerous domestic and international transactions involving the production and transportation of natural gas and liquefied natural gas, the development of gas-fired power plants, and the sale or acquisition of electric power and natural gas assets. He has analyzed the regulatory systems of several foreign countries. John has also represented natural gas pipeline owners, liquefied natural gas importers, investor-owned utilities, owners of qualifying facilities, exempt wholesale generators, electric power marketers, and municipalities before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Department of Energy (DOE). John has also provided advice on commercial and regulatory issues in the domestic retail electricity market.

Member

  • Member, Energy Bar Association

Education

John graduated from Duke University, A.B. in 1991 (Fraternity: Omicron Delta Epsilon Honor Society in Economics), and the University of Virginia, J.D. in 1994 (Fraternity: Order of the Coif). John served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Environmental Law Journal. He was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1994 and the District of Columbia Bar in 1996.


United States: Industry focus

Energy regulation: conventional power

Within: Leading lawyers

John Decker - Vinson & Elkins LLP

Within: Energy regulation: conventional power

Vinson & Elkins LLP handles both contentious and non-contentious matters in the context of conventional energy regulatory work. Besides assisting clients with obtaining FERC approvals for asset transactions, the energy regulatory group also represents them in cost-of-service rate cases, administrative litigation and investigations carried out by FERC's Office of Enforcement. Jim Thompson (Houston), John Wander (Dallas) and Craig Seebald (DC) are the joint heads of the team. A group led by Jo Ann Biggs (Dallas) and John Decker (DC) assisted an electrical transmission and distribution company with the preparation of change-of-control filings demanded by FERC followings its successful change-of-control transaction with Sempra Energy; this transaction was one which the firm had previously handled in the context of Energy Future Holdings' bankruptcy. Other noteworthy clients include Pattern Energy Group Holdings and Tyr Energy. Matt Henry departed for an in-house position in March 2018. Myles Reynolds and Tab Urbantke joined Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP in June 2018 and July 2018 respectively.

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Energy regulation: oil and gas

Within: Energy regulation: oil and gas

Deep knowledge of federal regulation is the hallmark of the 60-partner energy regulatory and complex commercial litigation practice at Vinson & Elkins LLP. Washington DC-based John Decker and others are assisting New Fortress Energy with all aspects of its development of multiple small-scale LNG export projects. On the regulatory side, this involves obtaining export authorizations from the DOE. Also in DC, a group led by Anita Wilson advises Jordan Cove on all federal regulatory matters regarding its Jordan Cove Energy Project and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline; the $10bn project will be the first LNG export project developed on the West Coast, and is aimed at supplying the Asian market. Wilson also counsels East Cheyenne Gas Storage on regulatory issues ranging from rates and tariffs to certification and compliance. Other major clients include Enbridge and AltaGas. James Seegers (Houston) is another name to note; counsels Suzanne Clevenger (Houston) and Damien Lyster (DC) are also highly recommended. Matt Henry departed for an in-house position at Oncor Electric Delivery in March 2018.

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United States: Real estate

Construction (including construction litigation)

Within: Construction (including construction litigation)

Vinson & Elkins LLP combines 'high quality work with consistent availability', underpinned by 'a pleasant demeanor'. The team, which is praised by clients for its 'commitment to success', is led by Ferguson McNiel and Kaam Sahely, both based in Houston. The team is experienced in complex infrastructure projects and is representing Texas Central Partners as project counsel in the multibillion-dollar development of a high-speed rail project between Dallas and Houston. Mark Brasher and Sahely led, supported by a team across the firm's Dallas, New York and Houston offices, including 'fantastic' associate Stephanie Coco, who is based in Houston and is 'developing a great practice with respect to complex construction documentation'. Brasher also acted as project counsel to LNG21, which is developing a $2.4bn LNG platform in the Gulf of Mexico; the team advised LNG21 on joint venture agreements and equity negotiations. Alongside the Washington DC-based John Decker, Brasher also advised New Fortress Energy on various LNG projects. Katy Gottsponer, who is based in Washington DC, and senior associate Luke Edney in Houston supported on this matter. Edney, alongside Brasher and Coco, supported Sahely on Gulf Coast Ammonia, a joint venture that is developing and financing a hydrogen-ammonia production facility in Texas. Also active on this matter was Houston-based senior associate Alan Alexander, who is praised by one client as 'one of the best lawyers I have ever worked with' and offers 'partner counsel for an associate rate'. Houston-based James Loftis, who, alongside the London office, handled a series of arbitrations for the Panama Canal Authority relating to the ongoing expansion project, is also noted; McNeil supported on this matter.

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