KEN IRVIN, a co-leader of Sidley’s global Energy practice area team, represents clients on a variety of regulatory, enforcement, compliance and transactional matters involving the U.S. wholesale electricity and natural gas markets. Ken has extensive experience representing clients in regulatory and investigations proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and multiple state energy regulatory agencies, which includes handling FERC enforcement matters and self-reports. Ken regularly advises energy traders and marketers on physical and financial wholesale power and gas transactions, mergers and asset acquisition approvals, regional energy market rules and tariff requirements, power purchase and sale agreements, and issues related to the design and operation of wholesale energy and capacity markets. Ken also advises energy companies, marketers, financial institutions, private equity funds and institutional investors and advisors on regulatory requirements under the Federal Power Act, the Natural Gas Act, the Public Utility Holding Company Act and the creation and implementation of robust compliance programs.
Ken’s practice spans representing clients on federal and state commodity and energy, electricity, natural gas, oil, alternative energy and emissions matters. In addition to helping clients ensure compliance with FERC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) requirements, Ken provides counsel on hedging and credit risks, contract structures and disputes, arbitrations, bankruptcy, non-performing assets and regulatory issues involving energy and commodities trading.
Ken’s experience includes successfully defending clients on enforcement and anti-manipulation cases under FERC regulation, for investigations initiated by regulatory staff, whistleblowers, or self-reported. Ken also represents clients acquiring or releasing natural gas transportation and storage services; precedent agreements; asset management agreements under FERC Order 712; securing FERC approval for corporate reorganizations or acquisitions under the Federal Power Act section 203; PUHCA; handling complaint proceedings under FPA 206; and representing shippers in rate cases under the Natural Gas Act.
Ken’s recent experience includes:
- Representing a retail energy provider in purchasing another retail provider.
- Representing pipeline company on self-report to FERC enforcement and to certificate the pipeline for interstate gas transportation; certificate issued and enforcement matter concluded with no adverse action by FERC.
- Representing energy trading firm in connection with FERC investigatory matters concerning California ISO market.
- Representing utility holding company in connection with acquisition of LNG import terminal.
- Representing midstream company regarding FERC jurisdiction over natural gas pipeline facilities.
- Representing the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) in connection with development of new natural gas pipelines from Texas to the border, in connection with acquiring natural gas and transportation services to serve CFE’s needs and in connection with gas transportation agreement for newly constructed pipelines in Mexico.
- Representing a wholesale supplier in structuring exclusive commodity supply contracts for retail energy providers.
- Representing Coaltrain Energy, LP in defending the manipulation case brought by FERC in the U.S.
- Handling high-profile acquisitions of wholesale natural gas and wholesale power trading portfolios, as well as in connection with structuring wholesale supply arrangements for retail energy service companies.
- Establishing commodity inventory facilities for gas, crude and refined products and acquiring a tolling agreement.
- Representing client as a passive investor in connection with leveraged lease of power plant, the owner of which is pending in bankruptcy.
- Representing a generation owner before FERC on regulatory matters and market design of regional transmission organization.
Frequently recognized as one of the leading lawyers in his field, Ken has been included since 2012 in Chambers USA, recognized by The Legal 500 U.S. for his Energy Regulatory practice (2010 – 2017), and commended by Best Lawyers in the areas of Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights, Insolvency and Reorganization and Bankruptcy Litigation (2013 – 2019). Ken was recently selected by The National Law Journal for inclusion in the annual list of Energy & Environmental Trailblazers. The recognition honors individuals who have “moved the needle” and made an impact at the “crucial intersection of energy production and the environment.”
Ken speaks frequently at industry conferences. He has been speaker at Platts Nodal Trader conference each year since 2015, and he recently spoke at LSI’s Renewable Energy in the Midwest (Minneapolis, MN, October 11 – 12, 2018), LSI’s Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle, WA, June 7, 2018) about Grid Reliability and Resilience Pricing — FERC’s Rulemaking and how the markets are responding to FERC’s Grid Reliability and Resilience Pricing proceeding; likely paths forward; impact of potential regional coordination in western markets. Ken also spoke at the Platts 21st Annual Mexican Energy Conference (Mexico City, Mexico, November 12 – 14, 2017) and the Sidley General Counsel Roundtable (Dallas, Texas, October 24, 2017). He spoke at the Sidley Houston Business Summit (October 2018), and also spoke at Platts 20th Annual Mexican Energy Conference (Mexico City, Mexico, November 14 – 15, 2016). He presented on “Blurring the line between FERC and States: Trio of Supreme Court Cases Could Electrify US Energy Markets,” at the WSPP Spring Conference (Alberta, Canada, March 4, 2016). He also spoke at ”Buying and Selling Electricity in the West“ in January 2016. Ken chaired the ERCOT Market Summit Conference in February 2014, chaired the Energy Bar Association’s Finance and Transactions Committee for 2013 – 2014 and served as Director for the Foundation of the Energy Law Journal (2013 – 2016).
Follow Ken on Twitter at https://twitter.com/irvin_ken.
Admissions & Certifications
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
- District of Columbia
- New York
- Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., 1992
- Clarkson University, B.S. in Electrical Engineering, 1987 (magna cum laude)