Latham & Watkins LLP

Energy & Natural Resources Department

USA - Nationwide
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What the team is known for Distinguished international firm, renowned for the leading role it plays in both oil and gas and power transactional matters. Regularly acts on sophisticated deals for corporate, financial and sovereign industry participants. Also provides both electricity and oil and gas clients with a committed regulatory offering. Represents clients adeptly at FERC and before other energy regulatory bodies.

Strengths Clients say: "They handle everything amazingly; they are really top notch. They are incredibly responsive and there's no problem with bandwidth to get things done. It's a really impressive team."

One source comments: "They are always well prepared and their expertise is top of the class."

Sources say: "They are strong performers and offer good value for the services provided."

Interviewees note: "They are a fantastic team, including younger partners and associates; there's never a resource issue despite demanding contexts."

Market commentators highlight: "Latham have developed 'cook books' for certain deals so the efficiency and depth of knowledge they offer is impressive and can save clients money."

Clients say: "They can tell you the magnitude of an issue and the probability of it hitting. They are terrific counsel and can frequently say, 'If I were in your shoes, this is what I would do.' They also have a sense of what others have done too, which helps shape clients' approaches."

Sources reveal: "They're quick to turn around documents and provide consistent, strong guidance through the right business decisions needed to solve issues."

One interviewee highlights: "I am extremely impressed by the team. Their approach is very effective in broaching issues, discussing them and resolving them without it becoming overly adversarial."

Work highlights Represented Energy Transfer Equity in its $63 billion acquisition of Energy Transfer Partners.

Represented ExxonMobil with respect to its ownership interest in the Trans Alaska Pipeline System in discovery and negotiations concerning the implementation of rate-setting methodology following a 2018 FERC settlement.

Assisted D.E. Shaw Renewables Investments in connection with the acquisition, debt financing and tax equity financing of two utility-scale power projects in Texas, the Midway Solar Project and the Ivory Solar (Lamesa II) Project.

Represented the New Hampshire Generator Group in a request for a declaratory order proceeding at FERC filed by the New England Ratepayers Association in connection with above-market payments.

Notable practitioners

David Kurzweil offers considerable transactional expertise at the single asset and portfolio level alongside advising on commercial agreements supporting project financing. Sources comment: "Pragmatic and deep thinking, he tries to reach a resolution on a deal while representing his clients well."

David Schwartz has considerable experience advising clients on high-stakes proceedings before FERC, including those arising from market manipulation allegations. Sources say: "He's a gentleman and a good listener. He processes everything he hears very quickly and provides excellent advice."

Edward Sonnenschein is a strong choice for power sector mergers, acquisitions and other commercial transactions, with particular strength in matters involving wind and solar assets. Sources highlight: "He's terrific in M&A; there's no tension negotiating as he gets the important points and knows how to do a deal."

Eugene Elrod possesses significant expertise in advising pipeline owners and developers in a broad array of FERC matters and regulatory issues, including rate-setting disputes, project permitting and transaction approval. One peer comments: "He's one of the best oil pipeline lawyers in the country."

One source says James Blackburn is a "diligent and helpful" associate, while another notes: "He does a fine job in this space. He is timely in providing drafts and his work is comprehensive." He has experience in a range of power market matters, including ratemaking and rulemaking.

Jeff Munoz provides a broad roster of oil and gas sector clients expert counsel on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and project development. Sources reveal: "He can handle the twists and turns, providing solid advice in negotiations. He knows what will come back and bite you years in the future."

Justin Stolte has considerable expertise in upstream and midstream oil and gas transactions, including high-value strategic M&A. Sources say: "He is very good and doesn't over-lawyer things. He's very deal-focused and zealously represents his clients but is reasonable in his approach."

Michael Gergen is a strong choice for clients on a broad range of issues, with expertise spanning regulatory, transactional and legislative matters concerning power markets. Market sources note: "He sees the solution as opposed to fighting on everything; he's easy to deal with while still advocating for his client."

Michael King is "professional and service-oriented," according to one source, while another notes: "He really understands the business and what actually goes on; he's very effective and able to get into the details to assist clients efficiently." His practice spans the upstream and midstream spaces, with experience advising on acquisitions and sales of assets as well as joint ventures and commercial agreements.

Natasha Gianvecchio is an accomplished regulatory attorney who possesses strengths across litigation and transactional matters in the electricity sector. Clients reveal: "She is excellent at reviewing an issue, highlighting the risks and staying on top of the matter. She is also diligent in her research."

Patrick Nevins is adept at advising pipeline owners, joint venture operators and project developers on FERC and other regulatory approvals as well as handling proceedings concerning tariffs and rate design. Market sources highlight: "He has a history of experience and strong relationships with agency staff, which makes him very effective in advancing client interests."

Robin Fredrickson has a stellar reputation for handling major mergers and acquisitions across the oil and gas sector, frequently acting for upstream companies and private equity investors. Market commentators highlight: "Robin's strengths are numerous. She is incredibly fast in responding to requests, reviewing documents and providing comments. She has a wealth of experience, so nothing takes her by surprise."

Stephen Szalkowski focuses his practice on upstream and midstream oil and gas transactions, and is frequently sought after for acquisitions, dispositions and private equity investments. A source reports: "He's an extremely hard worker who does great quality work. He will go any hours needed to get the deal closed. I'd also highlight his quality of response and attention to detail."

Tyler Brown has experience assisting with approvals for transactions and project development as well as a broad range of power market matters, including rulemaking and cost allocation. Market sources note: "He is responsive to questions and a good person to discuss things with. He gets a lot of work done and it's very high-quality."