Jennings, Strouss & Salmon is a premier law firm in the comprehensive areas of utilities and energy.
The firm provides a rare combination of a Washington D.C.-based energy practice, focused industry expertise, broad experience in state and local regulatory and legislative issues, and the capability to handle the business needs of its energy and utility clients. Jennings, Strouss & Salmon represents the business needs of electric, hydroelectric, natural gas, water, telecommunication utilities, investor-owned utilities and large end-users of electric power and natural gas.
CUSTOMERS, END-USERS AND INTERESTED PARTIES
Jennings Strouss lawyers represent major energy end-users on both electric power and natural gas matters. The firm also represents large commercial and industrial purchasers of natural gas in certificate, ratemaking and tariff proceedings before FERC, as well as in gas purchase and transportation negotiations. Other areas of representation include advocating on behalf of homeowners’ associations and individual homeowners with respect to the siting of interstate gas pipeline facilities, and representing the second largest U.S. manufacturer of natural gas distribution pipe couplings before FERC, the U.S. Department of Transportation and state commissions. The firm is also active in the district heating and cooling industry, acting as general counsel to its 900 member international trade association.
Jennings Strouss’ energy lawyers have represented the business and regulatory needs of electric, natural gas, telecommunications and water utilities for more than sixty years.
The firm’s Energy lawyers are significantly involved in comprehensive representation at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The firm’s capabilities include lawyer and consultant services in these major areas:
Electric Power Legal Representation
- Industry restructuring rulemaking, policy development and implementation
- Bulk power supply
- Transmission and interconnection contracts
- Generation and transmission participation and joint ownership arrangements
- Joint Action Agency operations and formation
- FERC proceedings (including rates, transmission, mergers, interconnections, rulemakings, tariffs, complaints, contract enforcement)
- RTO formation, development, tariffs, and operational and interface matters
- Court litigation, state and federal, trial level and appellate
- Arbitration, mediation and other Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures
Electric Industry Consulting
- Interconnection agreement negotiations
- Retail and wholesale electric cost of service development, support and analysis
- Regional Transmission Organization (“RTO”) energy market expertise, including a broad scope of energy market tariff matters, including issues involving the revenue sufficiency guarantee (“RSG”), grandfathered agreements (“GFAs”), and overall implementation and interpretation
- RTO membership evaluation criteria and analysis
- Energy market and transmission service-related overviews for state regulatory commissions and consumer advocate groups
- Transmission expansion system planning, cost recovery mechanisms and pricing proposal consulting
Natural Gas Representation
- FERC proceedings (including rates, certificates, rulemakings, complaints, contract enforcement)
- Resolution of pipeline tariff issues
- Negotiation and enforcement of transportation contracts
- Negotiation of gas purchase contracts
- Appellate court litigation
- Direct connect proceedings
- Project permitting and licensing
- License compliance matters
- Project development, including Joint Developmental Agreements
- Project license transfers
- Rulemaking proceedings
State and Local Regulation and Government Affairs
The firm has a strong history of handling state and local regulation and government affairs, from all of its offices. Capabilities include proceedings and issues related to all utilities including electric, natural gas, telecommunications, and water:
- State ratemaking, rate design, rulemaking, and generic dockets
- Certificates of Convenience and Necessity
- Complaint proceedings
- Investigation proceedings
- Regulatory compliance
- Environmental siting of transmission and generation
- Industry restructuring rulemaking, policy development and implementation
- Code of Conduct drafting and compliance
- Municipal and county franchises
- Local licenses
- Local facilities issues
- State and local tax issues
The Business of Utilities
The firm recognizes that a primary need of utilities is competent and comprehensive business representation. The combination of the firm’s strong energy, commercial and litigation lawyer practices offers capabilities particularly tailored to the business of utilities.
Contract Advice and Negotiation
The firm regularly advises on and negotiates contracts of interest to the utility industry. These include natural gas, coal, hydro and geothermal agreements; power purchase agreements; fuel agreements; and facilities purchase; participation agreements; and telecommunications and cellular agreements.
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
The firm engages in comprehensive litigation over business issues affecting utilities. This includes power contract litigation, coal and fuels litigation; billing disputes; collections and bankruptcy.
The firm’s intellectual property attorneys handle all aspects of intellectual property that arise in the utility industry including utility patents and infringement claims and copyright and trademark issues.
Federal, State and Local Tax
The firm provides comprehensive tax-related services. These include tax advice and consultation as well as handling tax claims and litigation.
Insurance and Reinsurance
The firm provides advice and legal services on all aspects of insurance procurement, claims and disputes.
Real Estate and Eminent Domain Law
The firm provides support and litigation services in all aspects of real estate service involving utilities, including unique issues of easements, public utility easements, and facilities siting. The firm’s eminent domain group handles utility condemnations on a broad scale.
Employment, Labor and ERISA
The firm handles all aspects of labor and employment and ERISA, including Union contracts and collective bargaining agreements; unfair labor practice claims; labor arbitration cases; election campaigns; employee handbooks, policies and procedures; employee discipline and termination decisions; structuring reduction in force programs; and EEOC claims and charges and related litigation.
The firm’s corporate and business law group regularly assists utilities with their financial needs. This includes bond and financing transactions, commercial paper programs, derivative and swap transactions, Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs), electric and natural gas prepayment, mergers and acquisitions, tax exempt transactions, lease purchase agreements, certificates of participation financing, auction rate securities and joint financing transactions.
New Issues and Special Programs
The firm is involved in new programs and issues particular to the utility industry. These include, for example:
- “Green” power
- Sustainability standards
- Environmental siting
- Fuel prepayment programs
- Native American concerns
- Metering technology
- Energy efficiency programs
- Low income assistance
- Prepay metering
Municipalities, Public Power Entities, Cooperatives and Power Pools
In large part the legal representation of public power entities, including joint action agencies, individual municipalities, generation and transmission cooperatives, individual distribution cooperatives, power pools and other governmental or quasi-governmental utilities involves the general business affairs of those entities. However, the firm recognizes that public entities have unique issues. In its sixty-year representation of one of the largest public power entities in the U.S., and in its national representation of public power organizations, the firm has addressed and developed expertise on most issues that are unique to public power. Examples include:
- Public power, wholesale customer and transmission dependent utility perspectives on transmission, RTOs, marketers and FERC and state policy
- Joint development and ownership of transmission and generation facilities
- Authority issues
- Price process
- Energy and utility legislation
- Voting and governance issues
- Constitutional issues related to employment
- General requirements of municipalities and government entities
- Natural gas procurement and contracting