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According to Chambers Global 2012:
Alan Rafte heads the firm's energy and finance group and advises on all manner of deals, from upstream M&A to private equity investments and capital market transactions. He possesses an “excellent knowledge of the industry and industry participants.” Recent work includes representing Apache Corporation in its USD7 billion acquisition of BP's oil and gas operations, acreage and infrastructure in west Texas, New Mexico and Egypt's Western Desert, and of BP's upstream natural gas business in western Alberta and British Columbia.
Charles Shoneman co-chairs the firm's energy regulatory department. He has a reputable natural gas pipeline practice, advising on the regulatory aspects of commercial contracting, M&A, financing, and natural gas and LNG projects. Sources highlight his “strategic thinking.”
Mark Lewis has a broad-based energy practice, handling both the regulatory and transactional aspects of domestic and foreign oil and gas pipeline development projects. “His commercial acumen is second to none and he manages to make you feel like his only client,” said a source.
James McAnelly is lauded for “coming up with viable solutions to complex problems,” and has particular capabilities in the upstream and midstream oil and gas arenas. Recent work includes assisting in the formation of a joint venture relating to the ownership, development, gathering and marketing of USD1.5–2 billion of West Virginia oil and gas and midstream assets located in the Marcellus Shale.
Chambers and Partners USA
According to Chambers and Partners 2012:
THE FIRM The firm’s well-reputed energy practice remains at the forefront of the industry. It is particularly renowned for its transactional expertise in the oil and gas market, providing corporate and M&A counsel to upstream, midstream and downstream entities. Its talented transactional lawyers recently represented Kinder Morgan in the filing of a $3.3 billion IPO, one of the largest in recent times. The firm has also been making waves on the regulatory and litigation front, most recently after its headline-grabbing victory at FERC on behalf a large group of major gas marketers, which saw the Commission reverse its decision to bring enforcement actions under its buy/sell prohibition.
Commercial Awareness “They brought a lot to the table - creativity, a high level of experience and an unrivaled quality of deal execution.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Alan Rafte continues to be regarded as “one of the best in the field.” The “skilled lawyer” combines his role as head of the firm’s oil and gas transactional practice with his continued representation of some of the industry’s leading companies. He recently acted on behalf of EIG Global Partners in its multimillion purchase of a majority stake in Blackbrush Oil & Gas and TexStar Midstream. Rafte has garnered praise for his “business-oriented” approach and “intimate knowledge of the oil and gas industry.”
Charles Shoneman counts some of the market’s leading oil and gas participants among his clients. The Washington, D.C.-based lawyer advises on the regulatory nuances of M&A, financings and other corporate transactions. He is “well respected in the FERC arena” and continues to amass praise for his “great client management skills” and “rational and reasonable negotiation style.”
James McAnelly is a “truly experienced” oil and gas lawyer who “has seen it all.” His focus lies in midstream and upstream work, executing a variety of transactions for processing plants, production and storage facilities, and pipeline systems. A former landman, McAnelly is an attorney who “really understands the nitty-gritty of the oil and gas world!”
Mark Lewis is another well-reputed FERC attorney at the firm. He represents a broad spectrum of oil and gas entities, including oil and gas producers and pipeline developers, investors and owners. To quote one client: “He is a problem solver who brings a lot to the table.” DTE Pipelines and Lion Oil have recently reaped the rewards of his expertise.
Sandra Rizzo's star continues to rise in the regulatory and litigation space. Heading up the firm’s energy regulatory group, she advises a multitude of electricity entities on regulatory compliance and enforcement issues. She recently represented Constellation Energy Commodities, Hess, Macquarie Energy and BP Energy in their successful challenge to proposed market rule changes. Rizzo is described as a “strategic thinker” and is praised for her ability to provide “relevant and valuable” advice.
Seattle-based Paul Fox is able to call upon over three decades' worth of experience representing electricity companies in litigated proceedings before FERC. He heads up the regulatory dispute section of the firm’s respected litigation group, adding further strength to Bracewell's talented attorney bench.
Kirstin Gibbs's presence as a strong regulatory attorney has been acknowledged by attorneys and clients alike. She represents participants in the oil and gas market, advising them on compliance, enforcement, rate, policy and litigation matters. She is described as a “problem solver who adds value.”
Deanna King's practice provides regulatory and compliance services to electricity organizations at home and abroad. She is viewed by fellow attorneys as a “top-notch” and “smooth” practitioner in the field. Along with Paul Fox, she continues to represent Powerex in litigation proceedings and investigations before the FERC.
D.C.-based Kirk Morgan is a promising up-and-comer in the firm’s energy regulatory group. His broad client base includes petroleum refineries, pipeline developers, and oil and gas producers and marketers. He is praised for his ability to “always stay on top of things” and “get his points across effectively.”
David Sweeney continues to elicit praise from seasoned energy attorneys, who already view the associate as an “extremely impressive” oil and gas attorney. A popular presence in the field, Sweeney’s main focus lies in acquisitions and divestitures.
Joining recently from Dewey & LeBoeuf, John Klauberg has garnered high praise among his fellow attorneys and clients. He provides a range of transactional services, including advice on the acquisitions and dispositions of power plants and on leases of generating and transmission facilities. Attorneys praise his “intuitive” sense of market conditions or, putting it another way, his ability to “see around corners.” Clients note his dedication, attention to detail and “levelheadedness in a crisis situation.”
Catherine McCarthy, also formerly of Dewey, focuses on energy regulatory matters. She advises a variety of electricity entities, with a particular focus on transmission issues including formula rate work. Peers and clients describe her as a “pleasure to work with.”
According to Legal 500 2012:
Bracewell & Giuliani LLP represents a diverse client base, acting for electric and cogeneration power producers, hydro-power companies, and nuclear, oil and gas, and exploration and production players. It continues to grow its practice and new clients include Anadarko, Direct Energy, Topaz Power, Chesapeake Energy, and Plains Exploration & Production. In Bud and Sue Frashier Family Trust, Derivatively On Behalf of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation v James T Hackett, et al, the team successfully represented eight of the nine board members of Anadarko against alleged breaches of fiduciary duties with respect to the board’s actions leading up to and following the Deepwater Horizon explosion. The group is currently representing Kinder Morgan Treating in two class action lawsuits in which plaintiffs allege, inter alia, nuisance and trespass relating to the operation of two natural gas compressor stations. The team is also acting as national counsel for Baker Hughes in hydraulic fracturing litigation, with one case pending in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas (Bradford County) and another in the Southern District of West Virginia. The team is based in Houston and six other offices. Firm-wide litigation head Glenn Ballard and energy litigation head Stephen Crain are recommended, as are partners Paul Fox, Deanna King, J. Clifford Gunter, Shelby Kelley, and Sandra Rizzo.
According to Legal 500 2012:
Bracewell & Giuliani LLP’s “first-rate” energy practice provides “excellent, cost-effective” advice and has deep industry knowledge in the oil and gas and electricity sectors. The firm is representing Kinder Morgan in its $38bn acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of El Paso Corporation, including the assumption of outstanding debt. Once complete, the transaction will create North America’s largest midstream company controlling 80,000 miles of pipelines, and will make Kinder Morgan the leading US independent transporter of petroleum products, the largest transporter of carbon dioxide, and the largest independent terminal owner/operator. The team represented Chesapeake Energy in its $1.25bn joint venture with EIG Global Energy Partners, which included Chesapeake contributing Utica Shale acreage to a newly formed entity CHK Utica and the sale of perpetual preferred shares in CHK Utica in two tranches totaling $1.25bn. The team acted for Legend Natural Gas in the $900m purchase of Barnett Shale properties in the Fort Worth Basin from Range Resources Corporation, including 390 producing wells and approximately 52,000 net acres. Interestingly, the team is currently representing NRG Energy’s subsidiary, NRG EV Services (eVgo), in all aspects of creating the first comprehensive, privately funded network of home and public charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles. It is anticipated that the network will expand on a national level. Most recently, the team represented Apache Corporation in its $2.85bn cash-and-stock purchase of private equity-owned exploration company Cordillera Energy Partners III, which will more than double Apache’s oil and gas reserves along the Texas-Oklahoma border, with Apache gaining assets in the Cleveland, Granite Wash, Marmaton and Tonkawa shale plays. Team head Alan Rafte is “excellent on complex financial instruments and transactions.” Gregory Bopp is an oil and gas expert and J.J. McAnelly is also recommended. May 2012, John Klauberg joined from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP.
According to Legal 500 2012:
Bracewell & Giuliani LLP’s “excellent” team provides “extremely effective, first-rate” guidance and advice. The team is active in various market manipulation investigations and, in FERC enforcement proceedings, is representing several companies including ConocoPhillips, which it represented in an investigation and settlement relating to an internal review of natural gas transportation and capacity release matters. In response to New Jersey’s recent legislation to incentivize in-state power generation, which affects PJM competition, the team is representing PPL Corporation and its subsidiaries in proceedings before the FERC and has been engaged by various members of the PJM Providers Group in seeking an agency rehearing. Aspects of the proceedings are now pending before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the team is representing PPL in the five petitions that have been filed to date. The team also represented several major gas marketers in opposing FERC’s efforts to retrospectively and/or prospectively expand the “buy/sell prohibition” from interstate pipelines to intrastate and Hinshaw pipelines. As a result, FERC announced it would not seek enforcement. It continues to advise Powerex Corporation and Shell Energy North America in California ex rel. Lockyer v BC Power Exch Corp, originally a FERC case which has resulted in appeals to the Ninth Circuit and the US Supreme Court. The case involves issues relating to cross-border energy trading, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, the North American Free Trade Act, and the Columbia River Treaty. G. Alan Rafte heads the team, in which Mark Lewis and Kirk Morgan are recommended for pipeline work and are both “very seasoned, hardworking, and client focused.” Kirstin Gibbs is recommended for her vast knowledge of natural gas regulatory issues, and associate Michael Brooks is regarded as an “up-and-coming star.” Gibbs and Brooks joined from Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP. In May 2012, Catherine McCarthy joined from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP.
First Half 2012
Bracewell is ranked second in the U.S. for energy M&A transactions. The league tables rank firms based on the value of transactions they have worked on between January 1 and June 30.