Electric Utilities

Public utility issues involve complex interactions of law, economics, finance, accounting, and engineering. Bickerstaff has developed the skills, tools, and resources to do so in an effective manner, while accommodating the client’s need to control legal expenses. Our attorneys practicing in this area of law have more than 30 years of experience each in the area. The attorneys at Bickerstaff are accustomed to working as members of a multi-disciplinary team and in sharing responsibilities with a client’s legal and business personnel to ensure that tasks are performed in an efficient and cost-effective manner, consistent with the objectives to be achieved. We assist clients with matters in the following areas:

Utility Ratemaking and Regulatory Compliance Issues

Including representing clients in utility ratemaking; assisting clients with affiliate transactions; counseling clients on sales, transfers, and mergers; assisting clients with consumer protection and quality of service; advising clients on designation of service area and customers; assisting clients with regulatory reporting requirements; and counseling clients in rulemaking;

Siting, Easements, and Right-Of Way Issues

Including assisting clients with siting, routing, and placement decisions; guiding clients through negotiating right-of-way acquisitions and management; representing clients in obtaining necessary electric utility certificates of convenience and necessity; and counseling clients on environmental, zoning, and other permits and licenses;

Industry Restructuring

Including advising clients in unbundling and business separation; assisting clients with wholesale and retail market protocols; representing both investor-owned and publicly-owned entities in the establishment of open access transmission to support the competitive wholesale market; assisted clients in stranded cost recovery; and advised clients in rulemakings;

This assistance has been rendered in a number of ways:

Transactional Matters

Including advising clients in contract negotiations and in working with draft contracts; and counseling clients on mergers and acquisitions;

State and Federal Court Proceedings

Including assisting clients in contract disputes, service area disputes, facilities construction disputes, right-of-way acquisitions, easements, condemnation, and trespass; and advising and consulting utility clients’ local counsel and special counsel in complex ratemaking and other utility matters, such as fuel supply litigation, in Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico;

Contested Cases Before Regulatory Agencies

Including representing utilities in Texas in numerous major ratemaking proceedings, numerous fuel expense proceedings, and hundreds of other types of cases such as those involving rulemakings, tariffs, complaints, and facilities certification;

Appeals of Agency Decisions

Including representing clients, both challenging and supporting regulatory decisions, in trial and appellate court appeals of agency decisions, including seeking and opposing temporary restraining orders, injunctions and declaratory judgments; briefing and arguing numerous appeals in all levels of state and federal courts on behalf of clients; and both prosecuting and defending against petitions for injunctive and declaratory relief.