Energy Regulatory and Markets
Latham & Watkins has a comprehensive practice serving companies with interests in the international energy industry. Our integrated team of energy law practitioners -- based in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia -- handle both regulatory and transactional matters for clients in the energy industry.
Our attorneys have extensive experience with regulatory matters and commercial transactions relating to the purchase and sale of energy commodities and energy transportation in the United States and Europe. Our energy team focuses on all aspects of the industry and is experienced in dealing with the variety of legal issues that arise in the energy industry, including antitrust and competition, capital markets, land use, international dispute resolution, senior lending and project finance.
Our antitrust and competition lawyers were at the forefront of defending the antitrust and unfair competition claims that arose out of the California energy crisis in the early 2000s, and have counseled energy-related joint ventures and trade groups, steered energy mergers through government investigations and defended clients in litigation against a wide range of energy antitrust claims, from price-fixing to monopolization.
Latham lawyers have deep experience addressing the full range of land use issues, including issues arising under the Endangered Species Act, federal lands laws (for projects involving access to federal lands, and/or the leasing of federally owned assets) and the Federal Power Act (for hydropower development and licensing projects). We provide cross-disciplinary support for the siting of energy projects, including expertise on entitlements, infrastructure approvals and development, public and private financing, land assemblage, parcel maps, vesting tract maps and subdivisions, development agreements and skills in all related litigation issues.
We regularly work on transactional and agency and appellate litigation matters involving all aspects of the Federal Power Act, the Public Utility Holding Company Act, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, the Natural Gas Act, energy-related aspects of the Commodities Exchange Act and various state public utility laws.
On the capital markets arena, our lawyers have participated in a myriad of different types of financing transactions for a broad array of companies in the energy sector, including refineries, oil and gas exploration and production companies, local gas distribution companies, coal mines, electric utilities, independent power producers, pipeline owners and marine terminal service providers. We also have extensive experience in the oilfield services sector. We have acted for both issuers and underwriters in IPOs, secondary equity offerings, senior note offerings, senior secured note offerings, subordinated note offerings, convertible note offerings and preferred stock offerings, including trust preferred financings. Our experience includes registered public offerings as well as private placements and Rule 144A offerings. We have represented lenders and borrowers in senior credit facilities, subordinated credit facilities, mezzanine facilities and bridge loans. These loans have ranged from secured to unsecured and non recourse to full recourse, many involving multiple layers of debt with multi-currency credit facilities.
We regularly represent clients involved in electric generation, electric and gas transmission/transportation, electric and gas marketing and trading and retail industrial purchases of electricity and gas. We negotiate and draft complex structured transactions for electricity and gas purchases and sales. We have also assisted in the development and implementation of market rules and governance structures for each of the new electricity markets in the United States and have represented trading companies on competition-related matters. We also regularly represent lenders and borrowers on regulatory issues involved in a variety of financings.
Our expertise includes:
Energy market rules
Regulatory investigations on market manipulation
Generation and transmission rates
US Federal and state energy laws/regulations
FERC, SEC and state PUC litigation
Structuring/designing electricity markets
Mergers and acquisitions
Natural gas regulation
Diligence for finance and corporate transactions