Greenberg Traurig Continues Strategic Expansion of Global Energy Practice, Adds Michelle De Blasi in Phoenix

PHOENIX, May 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP announced that Michelle De Blasi has joined its Phoenix office as a shareholder and will serve as chair of the office's Energy & Infrastructure Group and as a member of the firm's Environmental Group. Prior to joining Greenberg Traurig, De Blasi was a partner with Quarles & Brady.

De Blasi provides guidance for renewable energy projects, particularly solar energy, from initial concept to  completion. De Blasi, along with other recent additions of energy shareholders across the firm, is part of Greenberg Traurig's continuing strategic expansion of its energy practice. The others include Nicolas Borda, based in the firm's Mexico City office and current chair of the energy committee of the Mexican Bar Association; William S. Garner, Jr., who heads the firm's Renewable Energy Practice from the Houston office; and John P. McMullan, also in Houston and previously senior vice president and general counsel of a renewal energy company.

"We are committed to the expansion of the practices that will most significantly impact the key industries important to our clients for decades to come. This is one such practice," said Richard A. Rosenbaum, Greenberg Traurig's Chief Executive Officer. "We are proud to be able to attract top-tier energy attorneys who are drawn to Greenberg Traurig's collaborative, efficient and strong platform and our commitment to excellence."

De Blasi's extensive experience in the solar energy market includes assisting multibillion-dollar Fortune 100 companies with all aspects of their solar energy projects, including drafting and negotiating multi-state power purchase agreements for companies that have national facilities; negotiating utility interconnection and renewable energy credit agreements with electric utilities; providing extensive financial structuring and tax-related advice on solar transactions; and performing due diligence evaluation for project sites. She also provides federal, state and local permitting advice on renewable energy projects. 

De Blasi's environmental experience spans 14 years and includes real estate projects from traditional and renewable energy projects to Brownfield property acquisition and development. De Blasi provides environmental project advice, from initial due diligence through project completion.  She also assists development clients in managing regulatory permitting processes under both state and federal laws, including NPDES permits, aquifer protection permits and Clean Water Act Section 404 permits.

"Michelle is a seasoned attorney and highly regarded in the fields of energy and natural resources, as well as in the environmental law arena," said Douglas C. Atnipp, co-chair of Greenberg Traurig's Global Energy & Infrastructure Practice and co-managing shareholder of the firm's Houston office. "Her experience and reputation adds value not only to our practice but also to our clients firmwide."

As an environmental attorney, De Blasi has defended clients accused of environmental regulatory violations by government agencies and private parties with regard to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), and aquifer protection laws. She also advises clients on regulatory compliance issues, including assistance with internal environmental audits and participation in Voluntary Remediation Programs (VRP).

"We are extremely pleased that Michelle has joined Greenberg Traurig. She brings a wealth of experience to our global energy and environmental clients," said John E. Cummerford, co-managing shareholder of Greenberg Traurig's Phoenix office.  "Because of Michelle's addition to our Phoenix team, our office now has a serious presence in the local energy marketplace."

"I am excited by the opportunity to continue to build my practice at Greenberg Traurig," said De Blasi. "The firm has an excellent geographic platform across the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. With approximately 1800 attorneys and 35 offices, Greenberg Traurig is well positioned to serve my clients now and in the future."

De Blasi also has a formidable presence in the alternative energy marketplace. She was instrumental in drafting Arizona's Solar Strategic Plan and is currently drafting a broader energy roadmap for the state.  She has also been a past chair of the Solar Leadership Conference and currently serves as co-chair of Arizona Technology Council's Arizona Energy Consortium. She is  a member of the Arizona State University Professional Science Master Solar Energy Engineering & Commercialization Advisory Board. 

De Blasi holds a J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law and a B.S. from Arizona State University.

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Greenberg Traurig, LLP is an international, full-service law firm with approximately 1800 attorneys serving clients from 35 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In the U.S., the firm has more offices than any other among the Top 10 on The National Law Journal's 2012 NLJ 250. For additional information, please visit www.gtlaw.com.

SOURCE Greenberg Traurig, LLP




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