Former FERC Commissioner Among Group Joining Akin Gump's Energy Regulatory Practice

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 16:58

November 1, 2012 – Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has announced that Suedeen G. Kelly, a former commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and George D. “Chip” Cannon Jr. have joined the firm’s energy regulatory practice in Washington, DC, as co-chair and partner, respectively. 

Ms. Kelly and Mr. Cannon are joined at Akin Gump by Cynthia A. Marlette, a former general counsel to FERC, who will be a senior counsel in the firm’s energy regulatory practice.

Internationally recognized for her work in the energy regulatory field, particularly for clients in the natural gas and electricity industries, Suedeen Kelly was nominated for three terms as an FERC commissioner under President Obama and former President George W. Bush. During her tenure at FERC, she resolved thousands of disputes and is credited with strengthening FERC enforcement, as well as orchestrating change in several key regulatory policies, including integration of renewables into the transmission grid, deployment of smart grid technologies and natural gas quality standards.

Since moving into private practice in 2010, Ms. Kelly has represented a variety of clients in the energy industry on business, regulatory, litigation and policy matters. These include FERC enforcement matters, electricity markets and transmission, shale gas production and pipeline activity, LNG imports and exports, deepwater drilling and pipeline breaches and accidents. Her extensive knowledge of the electricity and natural gas industries includes significant experience in infrastructure development and operation, market structures and financial products, rate design issues, emerging technologies, federal and state laws and regulations, impending policy changes and domestic/international market interrelations. She has also advised foreign clients on international energy industry restructuring efforts.  

In addition to her service as a FERC commissioner, in 1999 Ms. Kelly worked as a legislative aide to Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), who was, at the time, the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. She has also served as chairwoman and commissioner for the Public Service Commission of New Mexico and as an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, in addition to previous stints in private practice. Earlier in her career, Ms. Kelly served as regulatory counsel for the California Independent System Operator.

George “Chip” Cannon maintains a broad practice handling regulatory matters before federal agencies, courts and state regulatory commissions on behalf of clients throughout the energy industry.

Mr. Cannon focuses his practice on energy regulatory and commercial matters, concentrating on the production and delivery of electric energy and related products, including from various renewable energy resources. He represents clients, such as electric utilities, independent power producers, project developers, energy traders, financial institutions and manufacturers of renewable technologies, before FERC, the U.S. Department of Energy, federal courts and state regulatory commissions on a variety of matters of importance to the domestic energy industry.

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October 31, 2012 – Akin Gump senior executive partner Joel Jankowsky, partner Scott Parven and senior advisors Vic Fazio and Bill Paxon were named to The Hill’s “Top Lobbyists of 2012” list.  All four are repeat honorees, having received this recognition in 2011. The “Top Lobbyists” list recognizes lobbyists who are “names to know” and who are “working day in and day out to influence federal policy.”

In recognizing their accomplishment, The Hill noted that “few firms can match the breadth of expertise at Akin Gump, a law and lobby giant.”