Energy companies operate under an increasingly complex set of laws and regulations around the world, including those regulating mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, securities issuances, electricity sales, corporate governance, environmental, taxation, employment, health and safety matters. Working with our market-leading Oil & Gas, Power & Utilities and Renewable Energy lawyers, our Energy Regulation lawyers can help your investors, officers, and directors understand the regulatory regimes in which energy businesses, and their investors and lenders, operate and have the knowledge needed to minimize risks and maximize opportunities.
- Acquisition support. We represented a top-20 US gas holding company in the sale of its primary local distribution company subsidiary.
- Anti-money laundering. We are advising the trading division of a global energy producer on anti-money laundering systems and controls and market conduct and abuse issues.
- Acquisition approvals. We have advised sellers, target companies and purchasers in over 500 FERC-regulated direct and indirect merger, acquisition, divestiture and similar change-in-control proceedings and exemption determinations. These proceedings have ranged from partial-interest transactions in a single generating company to complex, high-dollar control transactions involving large fleets of generating assets and market-leading realization transactions involving packages of assets. Our regulatory lawyers have also represented sellers and purchasers of controlling interests in franchised utilities and electric transmission companies.
- Bankruptcy and insolvency regulation. US energy regulators including FERC exercise jurisdiction in a variety of bankruptcy and insolvency contexts. Our lawyers have been FERC counsel to an interested party in every major US electric-sector bankruptcy during the past 20 years, often appearing before FERC to obtain required regulatory approvals for final plans of reorganization and asset and interest sales in bankruptcy and to advocate for the assumption or rejection of particular FERC-regulated power sale, fuel and interconnection contracts.
- Commodity transactions. We are advising a major investment bank in relation to a global revolving credit agreement in the aggregate principal amount of up to $1 billion for the financing of margin payments in relation to exchange-traded commodity broking and prime broking activity. The advice focuses on the regulatory aspects of the commodity transactions (metals and soft commodities), margining and clearing, client money considerations and the regulatory capital impact.
- Cross-border acquisitions. We advised owners of US power generating companies on a series of sales of all of their economic interests to a consortium of Asian financial institutions, successfully avoiding complex US acquisition approval requirements and closing the transaction in one of the shortest time frames permissible under US energy law.
- International energy fund management acquisition. We advised a large US multi-sector fund manager on the sale of a 62 percent controlling interest in the manager to a non-US energy fund manager, using a first-of-its-kind voting trust structure to overcome potential competition impediments and advised on post-consummation compliance and regulatory integration requirements.
- Government investigations and enforcement proceedings. We have represented electric power firms and investors in numerous regulatory compliance investigations, enforcement proceedings, and compliance audits and examinations. We successfully represented insurance company investors in Enron Corporation, leading to the first-ever exoneration of investor parties in FERC’s protracted Enron investigations.
- International energy transactions. We regularly advise international fund managers on the acquisition of interests in US energy businesses and counsel US energy businesses on sales of electric power and natural gas interests and assets to international acquirers. We work closely with our international trade and national security colleagues on the coordination of required multi-agency approvals and on post-closing compliance requirements.