SAN FRANCISCO – JUNE 22, 2021 – Jenner & Block announced that litigator Laurie Edelstein has joined as a partner in the firm’s San Francisco office, which opened earlier this year. She is a member of the firm’s Energy and Complex Commercial Litigation Practices.
Ms. Edelstein represents companies and individuals in energy matters, complex business disputes, regulatory litigation, antitrust and competition matters, and white-collar cases and investigations. Her cases often are at the intersection of litigation and regulatory regimes and have spanned a broad range of industries from energy to financial services to health care to insurance. Ms. Edelstein also advises companies on compliance issues, policies, and procedures.
“We are excited to welcome Laurie to our growing team in the Bay Area,” said Katya Jestin and Randy Mehrberg, Jenner & Block’s co-managing partners. “Her practice fits well with the focus of our other San Francisco lawyers, who counsel clients in complex matters that often require a mix of litigation, regulatory, public policy, and crisis response experience.”
Ms. Edelstein is the second lateral partner to join the office this year. Ann O’Leary, former Chief of Staff to California Governor Gavin Newsom, started with the firm in March.
Giving Jenner & Block’s prominent Energy Practice a coast-to-coast presence across multiple offices—in the West, Midwest, and East—Ms. Edelstein is the third partner with significant energy industry experience to join the firm’s broad and deep practice since the start of last year. Former FERC lawyer and Entergy assistant general counsel Jennifer Amerkhail joined in May 2020, and Thomas S. O’Neill, former senior vice president and general counsel of Exelon Corporation, rejoined the firm this past January.
“Laurie is a highly respected litigator who supports our strategy of adding top talent on the West Coast,” said Reid Schar, managing partner of the San Francisco office. “She brings exceptional value to California-based energy and utility companies requiring sophisticated legal counsel, and her commercial litigation experience is beneficial for our clients in other industries based in the Bay Area and beyond.”
Ms. Edelstein defended electric power provider PG&E in dozens of lawsuits arising from the tragic 2016 Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland. She also is representing PG&E and Southern California Edison in multiple actions in which municipalities have claimed the electric utility is responsible for alleged tax shortfalls in connection with the distribution of state-mandated climate credits. The Court of Appeal recently ruled that the utilities are not responsible for any uncollected taxes as they are pass-through entities that merely collect the tax on behalf of the municipalities.
Ms. Edelstein represented a major electric power provider in the Southeast in connection with a fire and power outage at the world’s busiest airport during the holiday season, leading the root cause investigation into the outage and handling claims of business interruption losses.
Ms. Edelstein also has defended a national insurance company in multiple matters across the country involving claims arising out of pandemic-related losses, represented doctors at a major research hospital in a Department of Justice False Claims Act investigation over Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements, and obtained an early dismissal of her national retailer client from a putative RICO consumer class action.
Aligning with Jenner & Block’s commitment to pro bono and public service, Ms. Edelstein maintains an active pro bono practice representing clients in LGBTQ, human trafficking, immigration, and gun control matters. In 2020, she worked with Lambda Legal to challenge the Trump Administration’s attempt to roll back LGBTQ protections under the Affordable Care Act. As a result, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction that blocked portions of the rule change that rescinded the rights of LGBTQ individuals.
Ms. Edelstein has received recognition for her work. Legal 500 US, Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, and Legal Media Group's Expert Guides have recognized her as a top commercial and white-collar lawyer. In 2020, The Daily Journal named her as one of its Top 100 Lawyers in California, and The National Law Journal named her a Trailblazer in Litigation.
“I’m excited to join Jenner & Block’s strong team of lawyers in San Francisco and a firm whose work and values, particularly our shared commitment to pro bono and diversity in the legal profession, align so closely with mine,” said Ms. Edelstein. “Driving the expansion of the office and firm’s Energy Practice on the West Coast is a fantastic opportunity. I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues in delivering excellence to our clients.”
Ms. Edelstein joins the firm from Steptoe & Johnson LLP. In addition to her private practice experience, she previously served as in-house counsel at a California utility.
Ms. Edelstein earned her JD from Yale Law School and her M. Phil. from Yale University. She earned her AB from Stanford University, Phi Beta Kappa, where she also won the President’s Award for Academic Excellence.