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United States > Industry focus > Energy regulatory: oil and gas > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Energy regulatory: oil and gas
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Described as ‘one of the best firms’, Bracewell LLPoffers tremendous value’ to its broad client roster that includes key industry players such as Kinder Morgan and Shell. The team, led by Mark Lewis, regularly assists with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Department of Energy (DOE), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and other federal and state energy regulatory agencies proceedings and is particularly experienced in the regulatory aspects of project developments, such as pipelines, power plants and petrochemical facilities. Lewis and ‘stellar attorneyKirk Morgan are advising Venice Gathering System, a Targa Resources Partners owned interstate pipeline company, on a proposed raise of its FERC-regulated rates and assisted Apache with the regulatory approvals regarding the development of a new oil and gas midstream infrastructure. Another highlight was advising Energy Transfer Partners on the development of a crude oil pipeline project that connects production areas in North Dakota to Patoka. The recommended Michael Brooks and David Perlman are representing various natural oil and gas trading companies in FERC and CFTC inquiries. George Fatula made partner.

Experienced and responsiveVan Ness Feldman LLP stands out for its experience in representing large interstate pipeline companies before the FERC and is well versed in advising clients on the authorization process of the development of pipelines, storage facilities and LNG terminals. The firm also provides ongoing regulatory compliance advice, handles transactions and features a robust pipeline safety practice. A recent engagement was acting on behalf of Mountain Valley Pipeline in the FERC authorization process regarding the development, construction and operation of a natural gas pipeline that will extend from north-western West Virginia to southern Virginia. A key client is Boardwalk Pipeline Partners; the group frequently assists with a wide range of regulatory matters regarding the operation of its subsidiary pipeline companies and, most recently, responded to a FERC inquiry concerning cost recovery related to income tax. Other notable clients include Kinder Morgan, Dominion and TransCanada. Michael Pincus and Paul Korman are recommended.

Vinson & Elkins LLP has one of the most specialized practices in the natural gas and LNG industry sectors and handles tariff, certificate, abandonment and presidential permit applications, rate cases, gas quality proceedings, audits, compliance issues as well as petitions for declaratory orders. Anita Wilson is advising Jordan Cove on all regulatory issues related to the Jordan Cove Energy Project and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline and together with James Seegers is also assisting TC PipeLines with the purchase of 49.3 percent interest in Iroquois Gas Transmission System and the remaining 11.8 percent interest in Portland Natural Gas Transmission System from TransCanada for $765m. John Decker continues to handle all regulatory aspects of the development of various small-scale LNG export projects for New Fortress Energy. Another area of expertise is crude oil; the team frequently assists multiple clients with regulatory and transactional matters such as drafting joint venture arrangements with midstream companies.

Boutique firm Caldwell Boudreaux Lefler PLLC is praised for its ‘industry knowledge’, ‘quick response times’ and ‘efficiency’. Led by renowned managing partner Charles Caldwell, the team focuses on the regulation of the transportation of liquid hydrocarbons and natural gas by pipeline, primarily at the federal level before the FERC. Key matters were the representation of Kinder Morgan subsidiary SFPP in a FERC proceeding arising from damages and rate reduction claims brought by five shippers and reaching a settlement on behalf of BP Pipelines in a rate case concerning costs for an upgrade of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System and tax payments. The client list includes names such as Kinder Morgan, Enterprise Products, Plains and Occidental. Elizabeth Kohlhausen and Michelle Boudreauxare both world class’. Sabina Walia joined from Vinson & Elkins LLP.

King & Spalding LLP provides ‘top quality work’ and fields a ‘deeply knowledgeable, highly competent and very responsive’ team that handles the full range of regulatory matters, including project developments, transactions and compliance matters within the oil and gas sector. The ‘incredibly knowledgeable and commercially orientedJames Bowe is advising Arlington Storage Company, a Crestwood Midstream Partners affiliate, on the FERC authorization process for the expansion of a salt cavern natural gas storage facility and assisted NOVA Chemicals Corporation with its negotiation and documentation of long-term contracts to transport ethane under the Interstate Commerce Act. The recent caseload also includes assisting RH energytrans with the development of a new interstate natural gas pipeline and representing ConocoPhillips in numerous royalty matters. The firm continues to work for Eagle LNG Partners, Chevron and BP America.

The team at Steptoe & Johnson LLP is best known for representing integrated oil companies and independent pipeline companies on regulatory and transactional matters. A key client for Daniel Poynor, who leads the department alongside Steven Reed, is the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL); recent mandates include issuing comments in the course of the FERC’s review of its calculation of the inflation-based index for oil pipeline rates and opposing a petition filed by shippers concerning the disclosure of additional pipeline costs information in the pipelines’ annual report to the commission. Steven Brose assisted Colonial Pipeline Company with the filing of a comprehensive revision of its rule tariffs at FERC. Other highlights were the representation of Seaway Crude Pipeline Company in a FERC proceeding to obtain approval to charge market-based rates and defending Sunoco against a complaint at the commission brought by BP Products North America regarding capacity allocations.

Deep industry and regulatory experience’ are characteristics of Baker Botts L.L.P.’s practice that focuses on representing natural gas and pipeline shippers in FERC proceedings, including transportation services agreements and pipeline expansions; other key clients are producers, refiners and marketers that ship crude oil and refined petroleum products as well as operators of liquid pipelines. Gregory Wagner is representing four refiners, including BP West Coast Products and ExxonMobil Oil, in a FERC proceeding to challenge rates of Kinder Morgan subsidiary SFPP, while Michael Bengtson assisted EQT Midstream Partners with the authorization process for the development of the Mountain Valley Pipeline project. Andrea Stover joined the firm’s Austin office from Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP represents a broad client roster, including BP, Exelon, Anadarko and Occidental Petroleum, in regulatory matters before the FERC, DOE, FTC and multiple public utility commissions. Mark Haskell and Brett Snyder are representing a group of natural gas marketers, including ConocoPhillips and Chevron among others, in an administrative litigation against Texas Eastern Transmission regarding the expiration of a settlement concerning disposition of costs relating to environmental remediation of PCBs on Texas Eastern’s pipeline system. Other highlight matters were acting on behalf of Ascent Resources in a FERC administrative, rate and tariff litigation with interstate pipelines and serving as lead counsel before the FERC and DOE for the Annova LNG project, an intrastate pipeline for natural gas supply, which has implications for environmental review.

Natural gas regulatory work is a sweet spot for the team at Greenberg Traurig LLP, which is best known for advising gas pipelines on rate cases, certificate proceedings, FERC enforcements, LNG project safety issues and compliance matters. Howard Nelson is assisting the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America with a FERC inquiry regarding the commission’s policy for recovery of income tax costs and is also providing ongoing regulatory advice to Colonial Pipeline’s refined petroleum products pipeline. Another ongoing matter is the representation of the State of Alaska and Alaska Gasline Development in regulatory issues regarding the development of the Alaska LNG Project; in 2017 Kenneth Minesinger filed an application before the FERC under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act to construct, own and operate Alaska LNG.

Hogan Lovells US LLP fields a ‘smart and professional’ team that handles oil and gas work, including FERC and CFTC compliance advice, rate cases and energy infrastructure projects. Key areas of expertise are natural gas pipeline regulatory work and LNG export projects; Christopher Schindler is assisting G2 LNG with all regulatory proceedings, including FERC authorization and DOE export authorization, related to the development of a LNG export facility on the Calcasieu River Ship Channel in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Department lead Stefan Krantz advised UGI Sunbury on transactional and regulatory matters regarding its new greenfield interstate natural gas pipeline and is additionally handling a rate case on behalf of Great Lakes Gas Transmission before the FERC. Notable clients include Dominion Resources and Chevron.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP draws on a wealth of experience in representing oil and natural gas producers and developers, interstate and intrastate pipelines as well as marketing companies before the FERC, DOE, the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the Department of the Interior (DOI). The recommended Shemin Proctor advised the Conflicts Committee of the Board of Directors of the General Partner of DCP Midstream Partners on regulatory aspects of DCP Midstream Partner’s acquisition of the assets of a Phillips 66 and Spectra Energy joint venture. The team also represented Tallgrass Interstate Gas Transmission in a rate case and assisted Mississippi River Transmission with regulatory proceedings regarding the construction of a new natural gas pipeline. Following the merger of the legacy Hunton & Williams and Andrews Kurth Kenyon firms in March 2018, former practice head Kenneth Wiseman and Mark Sundback joined Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, as special counsel and partner respectively.

Very responsive and reliableLatham & Watkins LLP leverages its corporate and M&A strengths to assist clients with transactional regulatory matters as well as litigious proceedings before the FERC, DOE and CFTC. The ‘hard-working’ Patrick Nevins is advising Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a joint venture formed by four regionally based energy companies, including Dominion Energy and Duke Energy, on FERC regulatory approvals regarding the construction of a new greenfield pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina. Another highlight for Nevins was the assistance given to Delfin LNG with all regulatory issues related to the development of a deepwater port LNG export and floating liquefaction project. The team is led by David Schwartz and also includes ‘extremely trustworthy and excellent negotiatorEugene Elrod.

Under the leadership of Kathryn Sutton, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP handles FERC compliance, enforcement and transactional issues as well as litigation on behalf of oil and natural gas companies, such as Pioneer Natural Resources and Statoil Natural Gas. Kirstin Gibbs and Levi McAllister are handling multiple FERC natural gas rate cases for various clients, including Cheniere Energy, Dominion Energy as well as Duke Energy Kentucky and Duke Energy Ohio among others. Another highlight saw Gibbs, alongside litigator Winn Carter, represent South Jersey Resources Group in a pricing dispute related to the sale of natural gas by Antero Resources.

Commended for its expertise in regulatory proceedings before the FERC, DOE and CFTC, Eversheds Sutherland acts for a broad client base that includes Calpine, Reedy Creek Improvement District and USG. A recent mandate for practice co-chair Paul Forshay was the representation of Energy Strategies, an energy consulting services provider, in a number of FERC rate cases related to the Tallgrass and ANR Pipelines. In another case, Forshay advised, alongside Herbert Short and Thomas Warren, Georgia-based Oglethorpe Power on a Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line’s FERC NGA Section 7 certificate matter.

Jones Day’s practice focuses on compliance, enforcement, rate and tariff matters before the FERC and CFTC. James Beh is representing Tampa Electric Company and Peoples Gas System in a proceeding to oppose Florida Gas Transmission Company’s FERC application to construct and operate the East-West Project. Notable clients include Antero Resources, Enable Midstream Partners and OGE Energy. The group welcomed the ‘excellent’ James Olson from Vinson & Elkins LLP and David Connelly from McGuireWoods LLP. Kevin McIntyre is now the Chairman of the FERC and William Schwind left for an in-house position at Saudi Aramco.

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K&L Gates is praised as ‘highly experienced in the LNG regulatory/permitting space’. A key client is Entergy; the team, led by practice head Sandra Safro, recently represented the client in the Natural Gas Pipeline rate case and advised it on Gulf South Pipeline’s FERC application for the St. Charles Parish Expansion Project, which will serve as a generation facility for Entergy. David Wochner serves as counsel for Magnolia LNG, a subsidiary of Liquefied Natural Gas, in the FERC and DOE authorization process for a greenfield LNG export project. Joseph Regan and Adam Plumbley joined from Winstead; Toshiyuki Yoshida, previously at Mayer Brown, joined the New York office.

Morrison & Foerster LLP has a strong profile for FERC and CFTC enforcement proceedings, investigations and audits. Of counsel Robert Fleishman is advising the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America on FERC’s Notice of Proposed Regulation (NOPR) regarding reliability and resilience pricing, while Bradley Lui is representing the State of Alaska in a FERC proceeding regarding the inclusion of planning and construction costs of pump stations and control systems in the Trans Alaska Pipeline System rates. The firm continues to represent Navajo Nation, Southwest Gas and Starwood Energy Group Global.

Highly knowledgeable’ and ‘very strategicNorton Rose Fulbright US LLP provides ‘good value for money’. The team leverages its litigation experience to handle compliance and enforcement matters before the FERC and CFTC, as well as administrative proceedings related to market manipulation and antitrust. Bob Comer is assisting Energy Transfer Partners with litigation as well as federal, state and tribal permitting access related to the planned construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, while senior counsel Thomas Hirsch is representing the Cameron Interstate Pipeline, that serves Cameron LNG, in Section 4 Rate Change and Non-Conforming Agreement filings before the FERC. Lisa Tonery and Erik Swenson joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP; Peggy Heeg is now with Reed Smith LLP.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP significantly strengthened its practice with the hire of LNG experts Lisa Tonery and Erik Swenson, both previously at Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP. In recent highlights, the practice advised NOVA Chemicals Corporation on regulatory aspects of the purchase of 88.5% ownership interest in the Geismar, Louisiana olefins plant, from Williams Partners. On the natural gas side, the team is assisting Cheniere Energy with the authorization process of a LNG export project and is representing Freeport LNG Development in FERC proceedings related to the construction and operation of the first LNG liquefaction and export terminal authorized in Texas.

Representing a broad range of clients, including Highlands Natural Resources and GDF Suez, in federal regulatory and permitting processes is a cornerstone of WilmerHale’s practice. In a recent highlight mandate, Andrew Spielman and Raya Treiser advised Dominion Resources on regulatory issues concerning the construction of the interstate natural gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Another engagement was the representation of Continental Resources in interpleader litigation to resolve a royalty dispute between the United States and the State of North Dakota. Michael Connor arrived from the Department of the Interior, while Mark Kalpin joined Holland & Knight LLP.

White & Case LLP’s practice is recommended for transactional regulatory work and handles a steady flow of compliance matters and rate cases before state and federal authorities. A recent key mandate saw co-practice head Daniel Hagan and Jane Rueger advise FortisBC, a sponsor of an expansion of the Tilbury liquefaction and export terminal, on LNG sale agreements. The list of notable clients also includes Occidental Petroleum, Saudi Refining, DTE Gas Company, California Resources Corporation, Petro Harvester and Hess Corporation.

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