Jenner & Block

Jenner & Block Launches Energy Practice with High-Ranking FERC Officials and Recognized Energy Industry Lawyers

WASHINGTON, DC– May 30, 2017 – 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 achievesuccess 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