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Overview

Concerns over energy security and reliability, environmental impacts, mineral rights, volatile commodity prices and ever-increasing demands for energy are creating unprecedented challenges and opportunities for our clients.

We appreciate and understand the complexity inherent in the energy industry. Calfee’s Energy and Utilities Team focuses on these issues, providing sophisticated yet practical advice. We represent our clients in all aspects of power project licensing, permitting, financing, construction and operations for regulated and unregulated energy-related entities.

Our clients have included investment banking and brokerage firms, investors, syndicators and institutional lenders, as well as general corporate clients engaged in energy-related activities.  We also have represented small, independent E&P companies and drilling partnerships, publicly traded oil and gas companies, large field service providers, public utilities, electric cooperatives and utility customers.  

Members of this multidisciplinary industry team have direct industry experience, including as Director of the Ohio EPA, Commissioner and Chief of Staff of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, and as General Counsel for an oil and gas exploration and production company with shale development experience. The scope and depth of our industry knowledge provides clients experienced perspective on issues confronting their businesses, particularly in connection with legal services related to shale development.

Professionals

Professionals

Chair, Commercial Business and Finance
Partner-in-Charge, Columbus; Chair, Government Relations and Legislation
Co-Chair, Corporate and Capital Markets

Services

Services

Calfee provides a broad range of legal services to the energy industry that include regulatory, government relations, construction, transactional, environmental, intellectual property, real estate finance and litigation counseling and representation.

Transactional

Calfee’s Corporate and Capital Markets attorneys have a broad spectrum of transactional experience with energy companies, including electric power, oil and gas producers, coal companies (both surface mining and deep hole), and ash reclamation. Members of the group have assisted energy industry clients with the following types of legal matters:

  • Purchased and sold power companies
  • Financed and developed synthetic fuel plants
  • Borrowed money on a secured and unsecured basis
  • Engaged in transactions involving derivatives and SWAPS
  • Issued bonds and other public debt and notes
  • Negotiated with railroads for the use of rail cars and rail availability
  • Leased sidings
  • Negotiated leases with port authorities
  • Dealt with trucking issues involving independent contractors
  • Negotiated oil and gas, mineral and coal sales contracts and leases
  • Developed plants that produce enhanced and clean coal
  • Served as lead counsel for lenders and contracting parties for engagements involving stressed and bankrupt energy companies
  • Involved in the formative stages of development, staffing, and financing for alternate energy projects in the wind turbine and gasification industries.
  • Advised on asset purchase and sale agreements
  • Advised on public and private offerings for drilling programs
  • Involved with project structuring for drilling, development and acquisition projects
  • Negotiated lease and farm-out agreements
  • Developed joint operating and joint venture agreements and drilling and service provider agreements
  • Conducted environmental due diligence, reporting and compliance
  • Negotiated with and represented in front of regulatory bodies including the federal and state EPAs and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources
  • Developed exchange offers, both private and with the Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Negotiated gas purchase agreements for industrial end-users
  • Involved in financings for oil and gas borrowers and companies in connection with senior mezzanine debt-financing arrangements
  • Conducted tax planning and counseling

Real Estate

Calfee’s real estate attorneys represent developers, investors and syndicators, institutional lenders, individuals and corporate clients in connection with matters related to the acquisition, disposition, construction, development, leasing and financing of property assets, including the acquisition of mineral interests by fee or lease.

In addition to conventional transactions, our practice encompasses the formation of investment syndications, joint ventures and tax-advantaged investment arrangements, the structuring of synthetic leases and tax-deferred exchanges, and the representation of clients in complex multisite and multistate transactions.

Public Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Litigation

Calfee represents utilities, municipalities, cooperatives, transportation network companies and other interested parties in regulatory proceedings before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and Ohio Power Siting Board. We have counseled companies in merger approval, industry restructuring, electric security plan, and rate proceedings, rule-making and complaint proceedings, and facility siting and municipal right-of-way reviews. 

We also have represented utility customers in the drafting and negotiation of power purchase agreements, including solar power purchase agreements. This representation has included negotiations regarding distribution improvements needed for major projects, integrating distributed generation resources, and assisting energy brokers in negotiating with the CRES provider.

Government Relations and Legislation

Calfee’s Government Relations and Legislation practice group provides a unique perspective into the highly regulated energy arena. Whether our clients require legislative lobbying, regulatory and technical experience or execution of administrative matters, our experienced attorneys offer years of experience and knowledge-based relationships in the energy industry developed from years of legal representation and lobbying on energy issues.

Calfee clients benefit from our strengths when analyzing governmental issues, developing and executing successful strategies, and adding unique insight ranging from the General Assembly to the PUCO. We work together to resolve our clients’ issues involving the executive and legislative branches of government, as well as commissions, authorities and other special purpose entities.

Environmental

Calfee has experience with all aspects of the environmental compliance requirements associated with the energy industry. From the permitting requirements associated with obtaining the raw materials for energy production to the compliance requirements associated with distribution, Calfee can provide a full range of environmental compliance counseling for the energy industry.

Litigation

Calfee has successfully represented energy industry clients in a myriad of litigation matters involving complex contract and commercial disputes, government investigations, employment and labor matters, real estate and environmental disputes, class action litigation and ERISA claims. Calfee also has extensive experience representing energy industry clients in tort, accident and product liability claims including asbestos and toxic tort defense. Calfee works closely with clients to aggressively prevent, resolve and defend litigation matters at all phases of a dispute to reach the best business resolution for our clients.

Construction

Calfee takes a multidisciplinary approach to energy construction projects tailoring its advice to the specific needs of the client. Calfee has been involved with advising and drafting contract documents, assisting in contract administration, and representing clients in contract disputes in all phases of energy related construction.

Calfee has assisted clients with new construction, scheduled outages, transmission issues, alternate energy projects, including wind and gasification, and power generation systems and storage. Calfee attorneys are sensitive to assessing risk in all phases of a project and are additionally sensitive to cost issues. This broad range of experience on varied types of energy project informs our decisions and protects our clients’ interests throughout the life of a project.

Intellectual Property

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will, on petition, accord “special” status to all patent applications for inventions that materially contribute to:

  • The discovery or development of energy resources (i.e., developments in fossil fuels such as natural gas, coal, and petroleum; hydrogen fuel technologies; nuclear energy; solar energy, etc.); or
  • The more efficient utilization and conservation of energy resources (i.e., inventions relating to the reduction of energy consumption in combustion systems, industrial equipment, household appliances, etc.).

Calfee’s patent attorneys are skilled in the preparation and prosecution of patent applications for energy and energy-related inventions. The Group includes patent attorneys with degrees in physics, electrical engineering, chemistry and chemical engineering, and mechanical engineering. In addition to their technical education backgrounds, many of our patent attorneys have spent time working in their technical fields as engineers and scientists prior to becoming patent attorneys.

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