WASHINGTON, May 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Jenner & Block announced today the formation of an Energy Practice with the addition of three high-ranking officials from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Suedeen G. Kelly, an internationally recognized energy lawyer and former commissioner with FERC, has joined as a partner; Max J. Minzner, former general counsel of FERC, also joins the firm as a partner, effective July 3; and Jeffery S. Dennis, a former FERC Division of Policy Development director, has joined the firm as special counsel. They will be based in Jenner & Block's Washington, DC office.
Ms. Kelly will serve as co-chair of the practice with Partner Randall E. Mehrberg. With his deep experience across all areas of legal and business strategy for electric and gas utilities and power generators, the firm had tasked Mr. Mehrberg with developing a leading, full-service Energy Practice upon his re-joining the firm in March 2016 following his service as Executive Vice President at both Exelon and Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG). Since re-joining the firm, Mr. Mehrberg had been developing the practice with long-time firm partners David W. DeBruin and Matthew E. Price, who are based in the Washington, DC office.
Craig C. Martin, chair of Jenner & Block's Litigation Department, added, "With Randy's C-Suite experience, Dave and Matt's deep knowledge and great successes, and Suedeen, Max and Jeff's regulatory experience, industry knowledge and technical skills at the state and federal levels, we are well positioned to create a leading energy practice."
"Over the past several years, our outstanding team of lawyers have been handling important matters on behalf of utility and power clients," said Mr. Mehrberg. "With Suedeen, Max and Jeff's arrival, we are excited to build-out a full-service practice for energy-specific clients as well as clients with needs in this area. Suedeen's distinguished career and significant leadership positions in the energy sector will greatly benefit the firm and its clients. Her knowledge, particularly advising on regulatory matters, adds to the firm's strategic capabilities at the state and federal levels. Together with Max and Jeff, we are building a destination practice."
"Randy is an excellent choice to lead Jenner & Block's energy practice. He has deep industry knowledge and experience, is a creative thinker, builds great teams and he drives outstanding results," said Ralph Izzo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PSEG.
The new Energy Practice expands the firm's already strong reputation in serving clients in the energy sector. Jenner & Block's lawyers have extensive experience representing energy clients in a wide array of litigation and investigations, regulatory and policy matters, transactions, environmental, insurance coverage, tax and privacy and data breach response. Clients include Exelon Corporation; Pacific Gas & Electric; PSEG; Southern California Edison; American Electric Power Company; Arizona Public Service; National Grid; AES; Mitsubishi Electric; Constitution Pipeline; and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Nominated by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama to three terms as an FERC Commissioner, Ms. Kelly resolved 7,000 disputes with published Commission decisions and personally authored 100 separate statements during her tenure. She is credited with spearheading change in numerous regulatory policies, including transmission interconnection and planning reform, integration and deployment of renewables and smart technology into the grid, the inclusion of smart grid demonstration grants in the stimulus effort, and natural gas quality standards. In addition, she has significant state regulatory experience.
"Jenner & Block practices at the highest levels of excellence and I am looking forward to contributing my skills as we build a go-to energy practice," said Ms. Kelly. "It is a privilege to be helping clients achieve success in their most challenging business, litigation and regulatory matters. On a personal note, I look forward to continuing to collaborate with Max and Jeff."
As FERC's general counsel, Mr. Minzner oversaw an office of just under 200 lawyers and legal professionals and was responsible for legal work in all areas of the Commission's statutory jurisdiction, including regulation of electricity and natural gas under the Federal Power Act and the Natural Gas Act. Among other matters, he supervised the agency's role in the litigation resulting in the United States Supreme Court decisions in FERC v. EPSA, 136 S. Ct. 760 (2016) and Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, 136 S. Ct. 1288 (2016). From 2009 until 2010, Mr. Minzner also helped lead the enforcement arm at FERC, investigating violations in the energy sector relating to anti-competitive activities, market manipulation and conduct that threatening the reliability of the electric grid.
Mr. Dennis has extensive experience handling FERC and state public utility commission regulation matters, as well as significant experience navigating the complexities of Regional Transmission Organization and Independent System Operator markets and planning processes.
ABOUT JENNER & BLOCK'S ENERGY LAWYERS
About Suedeen Kelly
Suedeen Kelly represents a variety of clients in the electric and natural gas industries in a variety of matters and areas. These include business affairs, regulatory issues, litigation, enforcement and policy matters such as electricity and gas markets, renewable energy, electricity transmission, natural gas and oil infrastructure, LNG, electricity reliability standards, hydro licensing, carbon emissions, smart grid, energy efficiency and distributed generation. Ms. Kelly's knowledge of the national electricity and natural gas industries includes significant experience in infrastructure development and operation, market structures and financial products, emerging technologies, federal and state laws and regulations, impending policy changes and domestic/international market interrelations. She is an experienced litigator on energy and environmental matters in federal and state courts. Ms. Kelly served as regulatory counsel for the California Independent System Operator, and in 1999, she worked as a legislative aide to Senator Jeff Bingaman, then the ranking member of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee. She also served as chairwoman and commissioner for the New Mexico Public Service Commission and was a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council and US Environmental Protection Agency. Most recently, Ms. Kelly was a partner with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where she served as chair of the firm's Energy Regulation, Markets and Enforcement Practice.
About Max Minzner
Max Minzner was most recently general counsel of FERC where he was responsible for legal work in all areas of the Commission's statutory jurisdiction. Before joining FERC, he was an associate dean and professor of law at the University of New Mexico School of Law where he taught and wrote in the areas of criminal law, criminal and civil procedure, and administrative agency enforcement. From 2009 to 2010, Mr. Minzner also helped lead the enforcement arm at FERC, investigating violations in the energy sector relating to anti-competitive activities, market manipulation and conduct that threatening the reliability of the electric grid. In this role, he helped lead the enforcement arm of FERC, investigating violations in the energy sector relating to anti-competitive activities, market manipulation and conduct that threatened the reliability of the electric grid. He also taught at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law from 2006 to 2011. Before entering academia, he was an Assistant United States Attorney in the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, where he prosecuted a wide range of federal criminal cases.
About Jeffery S. Dennis
Jeffery S. Dennis represents a variety of clients in the electric and natural gas industries on business, regulatory, litigation, enforcement and policy matters, including electricity and gas markets, renewable energy, electricity transmission, infrastructure development, electricity reliability standards, environmental regulations impacting energy production, smart grid, energy efficiency and distributed generation. He has extensive experience handling FERC and state public utility commission regulation matters, as well as significant experience navigating the complexities of Regional Transmission Organization and Independent System Operator markets and planning processes. Mr. Dennis is also an experienced appellate litigator, having presented oral argument in numerous complex energy regulatory cases in the US Court of Appeals. For more than 10 years, he served in numerous positions at FERC. As the director of the Division of Policy Development, he led FERC staff's efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of existing FERC policies and to identify new and emerging policy issues impacting FERC's statutory responsibilities.
About Randall E. Mehrberg
In addition to his legal experience, Mr. Mehrberg has had leadership experience at major, complex organizations, including serving as executive vice president, chief administrative officer/chief legal officer at Exelon and as president of PSEG Energy Holdings, a multi-billion-dollar subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group. At both Exelon and PSEG, Mr. Mehrberg had responsibility for the company's strategy, M&A and communications. At PSEG, he also oversaw government affairs, diversity and inclusion and philanthropy. Mr. Mehrberg has worked across all aspects of corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, financings, securities, corporate governance, regulatory, commercial transactions, government relations, restructuring, work-outs, tax, real estate, environmental and labor and employment. He also has significant litigation experience, including jury trials, appeals and investigations.
ABOUT JENNER & BLOCK'S ENERGY PRACTICE
Amid high-stakes changes in the energy sector, Jenner & Block provides clients with cutting-edge strategic guidance, a nationally recognized litigation track record, public policy advocacy and deep transactional experience. Our lawyers, who include a former FERC Commissioner, the former general counsel of Exelon Corporation and former president of PSEG Energy Holdings, and the former FERC General Counsel, have experience handling the full range of issues confronting energy companies today. These issues include bankruptcy and restructuring, litigation and investigation matters, transactional and regulatory counseling, including environmental. We have also counseled energy clients on privacy and data breach response.
ABOUT JENNER & BLOCK
Jenner & Block (www.jenner.com) is a law firm with global reach, with more than 500 lawyers and offices in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC. The firm is known for its prominent and successful litigation practice and experience handling sophisticated and high-profile corporate transactions. Firm clients include Fortune 100 companies, large privately held corporations, financial services institutions, emerging companies and venture capital and private equity investors. In 2016, The American Lawyer named Jenner & Block to the A-List, which recognizes the top 20 US law firms. The American Lawyer also recognized the firm as the #1 pro bono firm in the United States six of the past nine years; the firm has been ranked among the top 10 in this category every year since 1990.
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