Energy powers our world, making it a vital and complex industry in which to conduct business. Our experience and successes span the vast landscape. Our lawyers provide businesses, investors and lenders across the energy arena with pragmatic, actionable legal advice addressing the range of issues they confront. Our clients trust and depend on us to think through ideas at the outset and provide the value-added insight they need to be successful.
Our diverse client base includes companies that develop, produce, transport, process and market energy. All these endeavors create complex and inter related legal issues with which we can assist. They include the spectrum of corporate transactions, litigation, international arbitration, and internal and government-related investigations, rate cases, reliability standards, enforcement actions, market manipulation, compliance planning and training, and corporate restructurings. With ever-increasing regulation, we harness our experience working with the highest levels of government to help resolve disputes in a cost-effective way.
Our practice in every area of the energy sector affords us a holistic perspective that is truly unique among law firms. Our team harnesses the experience and talent of lawyers and economists from numerous practice groups within the firm, including those with extensive experience in corporate finance, project finance, real estate, land use, environmental regulation, derivatives and commodities, taxation, labor, international trade regulation, dispute resolution and technology.
The team, which features more than 140 lawyers in 15 offices worldwide, brings value to our clients in the following ways:
- Oil and gas—Our highly diversified practice encompasses all types of transactional, regulatory and litigation matters. We advise oil and gas clients in each stage of exploration, development, production and distribution channels and the team represents clients in virtually every aspect of the energy industry. This includes upstream, midstream and downstream oil gas and power developers, oilfield service companies and natural gas pipelines and shippers. Read our hydraulic fracturing report.
- Alternative energy—We represent developers and financial institutions on many of the most significant renewable electric generation projects in the United States and around the world, and provide comprehensive advice on all aspects of those transactions, including with respect to tax matters. We also represent parties with the development of biofuel facilities. Our lawyers have extensive experience representing industry participants in public offerings and private placements, mergers and acquisitions, project financings and joint ventures, as well as the resolution of disputes arising out of these activities.
- Power generation—Our lawyers counsel power generation and trading clients on regulatory, finance and tax issues, including, distributed generation, nuclear, fossil fuels, transmission and distribution, geothermal, wind power, hydroelectric and solar power. They also help clients effectively manage and resolve any disputes arising out of their activities, including the construction of power plants and other production and transmission facilities.
- Crude and petroleum pipelines—We represent many large crude oil and petroleum product pipelines, as well as the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, on transactional, litigation and regulatory issues, including: obtaining market-based rate authority; securing traditional construction and term debt; navigating complex rate issues; resolving non-rate tariff issues, such as pro rationing and other conditions of service; leasing pipeline capacity; acquiring pipeline facilities and infrastructure; establishing jurisdictional status of assets, services and competitive access; ensuring compliance with Interstate Commerce Act and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and addressing antitrust and competition issues.
- Electric utility and energy marketing—The team represents clients at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and on issues in federal and state courts at the trial and appellate level, as well as in bankruptcy courts and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. We provide advice and representation on all aspects of electric transmission and electric market operation, including: executing applications to sell or transfer facilities under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act; executing petitions under Section 205 of the Federal Power Act to secure authorization to make sales of electricity at market-based rates; developing and litigating electric transmission rate cases; advising on market design issues in organized electricity markets; assisting natural gas trading companies and shippers on matters arising under the Natural Gas Act and the Natural Gas Policy Act; developing litigation and settlement strategies related to FERC proceedings, and managing CFTC and FERC litigation.
Recognition for the practice
Strong leadership in advising clients has earned us acknowledgment in numerous industry publications. This includes being awarded the 2016 U.S. News – Best Lawyers Law Firm of the Year in the category of Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (Energy), along with first-tier national rankings in Energy Law and Natural Resources Law. The firm also received first-tier regional rankings for Energy in Houston, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. According to previous survey feedback, Sidley is “well-versed in the issues facing oil and gas companies and is very responsive to the needs of clients with useful and succinct advice.” In naming Sidley as one of Law360’s 2015 Energy Groups of the Year, editors of the publication said our team has “guided some of the industry's largest companies through regulatory hurdles and multibillion-dollar transactions over the past year… .”
Lawyers in our practice have been recognized as leading practitioners by Chambers, Who’s Who Legal, The Legal 500, Project Finance International, IFLR and Euromoney.
About the team
Members of our team have an uncommon insider’s perspective on energy regulation and enforcement, having formerly served in various governmental agencies. This includes:
- A congressman and member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee
- FERC staff lawyers, including the former leader of the FERC trial staff
- Two former enforcement lawyers at the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), including the former director of the agency’s enforcement division
- A former acting U.S. attorney general of the United States, the deputy attorney general of the United States and many former U.S. attorneys and assistant U.S. attorneys
- General counsels of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Surface Transportation Board and the Securities and Exchange Commission
- Several former United States Department of Justice section chiefs
- Federal Trade Commission staff lawyers