David K. Burton is a partner in Mayer Brown's New York office and a member of the Tax Transactions & Consulting practice. He leads Mayer Brown's Renewable Energy group in New York. He advises clients on a wide range of US tax matters, with a particular emphasis on project finance and energy transactions. In addition, he also advises clients on tax matters regarding the formation and structuring of domestic and offshore investment funds.
David has extensive experience structuring tax-efficient transactions, such as sale-leasebacks, flip partnerships, pass-through leases and other structures, for the acquisition and financing of renewable energy assets.
Earlier in his career, David was the managing director and senior tax counsel at GE Energy Financial Services (GE EFS), one of the world’s leading investors in energy projects. At GE EFS, David oversaw all of the tax aspects for more than $21 billion in global energy projects from structuring transactions to accounting for taxes to formulating tax policy initiatives. During his tenure at GE EFS, the division’s investments in wind, solar, hydro, biomass and geothermal power grew to $6 billion, making GE EFS the largest tax-advantaged energy investor in the US. Before joining GE EFS, David was a tax lawyer at GE Capital and primarily focused on aircraft and equipment leasing and financing and asset acquisitions.
David received the "Distinguished Legal Writing Award (Law Firm)" as part of the 2016 Burton Awards. He also is a co-editor of Tax Equity Times, which addresses issues at the intersection of renewable energy and tax policy in the United States. David has been recognized by A Word About Wind's "Legal Power List 2016", the definitive rundown of the 100 most influential lawyers working on the financial side of the global wind sector. David is also ranked in Band 3 by Chambers USA 2017 in the area of Projects: Renewables & Alternative Energy.
David received his BA magna cum laude from Ithaca College in 1993 and his JD cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1996, where he was on the staff of The Tax Lawyer.
- Represented Fengate Real Asset Investments on development load finance and co-development arrangements for a utility-scale wind project in Maine, US.
- Represented Tortoise Capital Advisors, L.L.C. on the acquisition by its closed-end fund, Tortoise Energy Infrastructure Fund, of a 33-megawatt portfolio of commercial and industrial solar projects portfolio from Kenyon Energy and its affiliate Sun Financial. The solar projects will provide electricity to various university and municipality customers in the State of New York.
- Represented Sustainable Power Group (sPower) as tax counsel in the 61 MW Latigo Wind Farm Project.
- Represented Sunpower as tax counsel in the 135 MW Quinto Solar Project in Merced County, California. Also represented Sunpower as tax counsel in the 579 MW Solar Star Project in Rosamond, California.
- Acted as special tax counsel to SunEdison and TerraForm Power with respect to the acquisition of Vivint Solar for $2.2 Billion.
- Represented Campbell County Wind Farm Holdings in the sale of a 95 MW wind farm in South Dakota to Consolidated Edison Development.
- Represented residential solar developer in creation of $58 million tax equity fund for a portfolio of residential solar projects.
- Represented a publicly traded company in the acquisition of an entity holding a $107 million portfolio of land and payments from land leases underlying wind and solar projects, including more than 7,500 acres of land leased to three solar projects with a value of approximately $60 million and the payments from 11 additional land leases for a portfolio of wind projects with a value of approximately $27 million.
- Advised Tri Global in connection with a turbine supply agreement with Alstom Power under which the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) will provide turbines for Tri Global’s 80 MW Fiber Winds Energy project in Texas.
- Represented OneRoof Energy Group, Inc. in an IPO/reverse merger transaction pursuant to which OneRoof Energy, Inc., a national residential solar company, became a wholly owned subsidiary of a company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
- Advised affiliates of C2 Energy Capital in the sale of five California distributed generation solar projects to PNC Energy Capital and the leaseback of the same.
- Advised a tax equity fund managed by an affiliate of C2 Energy Capital in the acquisition of distributed generation solar projects in Massachusetts and New York and incurring a bank loan for the same.
- Advised a high net worth individual on acquisition and financing of solar projects subject to virtual net metering in which the individual will materially participate in the operations to treat the tax benefits as active.
- Represented Element Power in the sale of a portfolio of approximately 1.6 GWs of US and Mexican solar projects in development to First Solar. The 18 projects range in size from 13 MWs to 336 MWs and included some assets that have been shortlisted for PPAs.
- Representation of Cielo in the sale of the 194 MW Spinning Spur 3 wind project in Texas to EDF Renewables.
- Representation of State Street Bank & Trust in connection with the $260 million in tax equity financing for the Buffalo Dunes, a 250 MW wind project in Kansas backed by subsidiaries of Enel Green Power and GE Capital.
- Representing SunPower Corporation in the development and sale of the 580 MW Antelope Valley photovoltaic solar project (AVSP) to affiliates of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company. The project will utilize SunPower’s proprietary photovoltaic modules and tracking technology, and its electricity will be sold to Southern California Edison Company under long-term power purchase agreements. SunPower will build and operate the project for MidAmerican. Construction of the project has commenced, and commercial operation is expected in 2015. When completed, AVSP will be the largest solar energy project in the world.
- Represented Rabobank International as a lessee in a pass-through lease for photovoltaic solar energy equipment installed on stores in the Western United States.
- Acted as special tax counsel to NRG Energy and its California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR) project in connection with inclusion of CVSR in NRG’s public offering of securities in Yieldco.
- Advised a foreign and domestic wind turbine manufacturer regarding Treasury Grant matters.
- Advised Hunt Investment Management LLC on the formation of a fund to invest in US renewable energy projects.
- Acted as project counsel for Treasury Grant and tax matters in the financing of California Valley Solar Ranch, a $1.5B solar PV project supported by a Department of Energy loan guaranty.
- Represented SunPower in connection with a sale and leaseback of photovoltaic solar energy equipment to be installed in California.
Georgetown University Law Center, JD, cum laude, Staff member, The Tax Lawyer
Ithaca College, BA, magna cum laude
- New York
- New Jersey