• Contacts



    Co-Chair; Energy, Environment and Natural Resources



    Chair; Land, Environment and Natural Resources



    Co-Chair, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources
    Real Estate and Land Use

    Energy and Natural Resources

    Helping Lead the Charge in Energy Issues and Policies

    The energy sector is undergoing major transformations. Rising demand, emerging technologies, climatic changes and other environmental impacts, and regulatory developments all promise to reshape not only how we harness and use energy, but the structure of local and national economies as well. In the midst of these exciting changes, energy industry players—from traditional producers to renewable and cleantech companies—are looking for ways to strengthen their enterprises and increase performance, opportunities and growth.

    Manatt’s Energy and Natural Resources practice has broad and deep experience in dealing with the complex and diverse issues—as well as the substantial opportunities—facing the energy and natural resources industry today. We represent the full spectrum of energy and natural resources companies in all aspects of their business, from production to consumption and all the steps between, as well as industry proponents and opponents, applicants and interveners.

    Our attorneys include former energy industry executives, as well as government and legislative officials with experience in energy policymaking and regulations, who bring knowledge and understanding of the business and political realities of the industry.

    We have been at the forefront of virtually every legal issue and policy decision affecting the energy and natural resources industry in the past 10 years. Our team has successfully handled a broad range of matters, including:

    • Litigation and arbitration before state and federal regulatory bodies and courts
    • Power generation and gas sales agreements
    • Transmission, transportation and distribution agreements
    • Community relations
    • Clean energy alternatives
    • Environmental compliance, licensing and due diligence
    • Interstate and international commerce
    • Tax and tariff issues
    • Policy and political planning and lobbying
    • Project finance and development
    • Mergers and acquisitions
    • Regulatory and land use compliance and advocacy
    • Business problem analysis and solutions

    A Public Policy and Regulatory Powerhouse

    Supporting our energy team’s efforts is Manatt’s recognized and highly respected Government and Regulatory group, which provides government relations and policy development activities crucial to our energy and natural resources clients. From offices in Washington, D.C., Albany and Sacramento, the group advocates for clients in legislative and administrative hearings, and rulemaking and regulatory proceedings, as well as providing legislative lobbying and analysis. The group also facilitates strategic planning, government contracts, permits and entitlements.

    In addition to helping clients navigate the regulatory maze, our government and regulatory team assists clients by anticipating, leveraging and/or shaping the dynamic body of law regulating them. The team is currently playing an active role in matters concerning climate change, alternative fuels, energy-related stimulus dollars and energy taxation.

    Plugged Into Every Aspect of the Energy Industry

    Our clients are leaders in the energy arena, covering everything from electric power, natural gas, oil and coal to renewable energy, such as wind and solar power. We combine practical, real-world solutions with forward-thinking, proactive counsel to help our clients successfully understand and respond to developments in the energy industry and achieve their business objectives.

    Electric Power

    Over the years, Manatt has built a well-developed practice covering traditional generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, cutting-edge technologies and business matters. Our attorneys have represented investor-owned electric power utilities; municipal utilities that deal with electric power, such as irrigation districts, cogenerators and cogeneration projects; and independent power producers; and have handled matters regarding transmission and distribution issues and projects.

    Our attorneys have represented all industry segments in negotiating power purchase agreements, transmission-related agreements—including those with the California Independent System Operator—and every form of contract and tariff used in the industry. We also represent utilities in a broad range of land-related issues, including eminent domain and condemnation matters for power companies such as Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

    On the other end of the energy spectrum, Manatt helps large consumers of energy control and reduce their energy costs. Our work includes helping negotiate and draft purchase agreements, assess utility rates and charges, and examine facility purchasing and hedging strategies.

    Natural Gas

    Manatt attorneys represent all segments of the natural gas industry: production and processing; interstate, intrastate and international transportation and commerce; distribution and marketing; and planning for more efficient consumption. In addition to providing a broad range of legal services, we have been involved in numerous state, federal and international regulatory and lobbying efforts on behalf of our natural gas industry clients.

    Our practice is not limited to local matters between regulated entities and consumers but is engaged in cross-border matters as well. We have been involved in matters as diverse as major LNG import projects, such as that proposed by BHP Billiton for the West Coast, and Canadian matters as diverse as distribution infrastructure in Nova Scotia and major transportation projects such as the Alaska natural gas transportation system.


    The team has particularly deep experience in dealing with the sensitive environmental and regulatory concerns involved in petroleum production, refining and marketing, with a particular focus on the refining industry, which we advise on regulatory matters affecting transportation (including water, truck and pipeline) and local issues of utility service. The group works closely with lawyers in the firm’s Environmental Law team on permitting and other matters requiring a high degree of environmental regulatory, legislative and litigation experience.

    Our clients include major petroleum refiners and marketers such as Tesoro Refining and Marketing Co. and Kern River Refining Co. We have also represented oil companies on royalty matters before the Minerals Management Service, and drafted numerous leasing and production-related agreements.

    Alternative Energy and Renewable Resources

    Green is growing. As the effort to reduce greenhouse gases has increased, Manatt has been at the forefront of efforts to develop clean and renewable energy resources. Our work in this area includes major projects for solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and other areas in the global effort to provide clean and efficient energy.

    Project and product development, as well as energy efficiency programs, have dominated our efforts, particularly in the field of solar energy. We have represented a broad range of solar industry clients, large and small, ground- and rooftop-mounted, that work with energy providers, integrators and owners. Our representation includes power purchase agreements and solar lease contracts relating to project development, corporate mergers and acquisitions, licensing and implementation of sustainability plans, and contracts for the lease or sale of solar units to homeowners.

    Our clients include companies such as Applied Materials, SunWize, GroSolar and SunEdison as well as large domestic and Chinese solar panel manufacturers. We also advise the County of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Unified School District in energy consumption and energy efficiency programs. Our lawyers have also drafted complex long-term agreements involving all facets of biomass projects.

    Our Energy and Natural Resources practice is an interdisciplinary one, often involving lawyers skilled in corporate formation and governance, complex transactions, financing, and regulatory and governmental affairs.


    Water, particularly in the West, is a major issue, and Manatt has been a player in the industry’s deep end for decades. We represent major elements of the complex water industry, primarily in California, but with far-reaching connections to other areas of the country.

    Our clients include the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; “Class A” investor-owned and state-regulated water utilities, such as California American Water Company; small, investor- or municipally owned water utilities and irrigation districts, and major project developers regarding water supply and other issues. Our attorneys are also involved in cutting-edge water projects involving the desalinization of seawater and cleanup of areas such as Mono Lake.

    Coal and Hard Rock Mining

    Our professionals have a breadth of experience in representing coal producers and consumers. We have particular experience in coal policy-related issues, surface mining and reclamation, transportation and taxation. We also counsel large industrial energy consumers that use coal as their primary energy source on cost reduction and environmental strategies. We represent companies mining copper, gold, aggregate and other materials in entitlements, air quality matters, water quality matters, resources, MSHA and litigation.

    Attorneys & Professionals

    Allen-Niesen, Keith M. Los Angeles 310.312.4105
    Ashin, Brian Washington, D.C. 202.585.6549
    Bassak, Andrew A. San Francisco 415.291.7449
    Bava, Gordon M. Los Angeles 310.312.4205
    Begland, Robert R. Los Angeles 310.312.4324
    Berger, Michael M. Los Angeles 310.312.4185
    Boyce, Simon Washington, D.C. 202.585.6680
    Burg, Edward G. Los Angeles 310.312.4189
    Costantino, Jon Sacramento 916.552.2365
    Crisp, Robia San Francisco 415.291.7462
    Davidson, Jeffrey J. Washington, D.C. 202.585.6678
    de Recat, Craig J. Los Angeles 310.312.4319
    Dillingham, Blase P. Los Angeles 310.312.4159
    Dombroski, Matthew A. New York 212.790.4556
    Duchesneau, Peter Los Angeles 310.312.4209
    Farkas, Steven D. Los Angeles 310.312.4137
    Fitzgerald, Donald J. San Francisco 415.291.7420
    Fox, Beth Los Angeles 310.312.4211
    Hori, Susan K. Orange County 714.371.2528
    Huard, David L. San Francisco 415.291.7430
    Jones, James R. Washington, D.C. 202.585.6560
    Keen, Randall W. Los Angeles 310.312.4361
    Lawson, Kristina D. San Francisco 415.291.7555
    LeRoy, Bryan C. Los Angeles 310.312.4191
    Marshall, Phyllis A. Sacramento 916.552.2350
    McGrath, David Los Angeles 310.312.4147
    McKenna, Lilly San Francisco 415.291.7445
    McMorrow, Thomas R. Sacramento 916.552.2310
    Meraj, Jubin Los Angeles 310.312.4125
    Moyer, Craig A. Los Angeles 310.312.4353
    Polentz, Michael Palo Alto 650.251.1440
    Reichwald, Harold P. Los Angeles 310.312.4148
    Riedel, Adam Washington, D.C. 202.585.6522
    Soneff, George M. Los Angeles 310.312.4186
    Vallejo, Cristián L. Los Angeles 310.312.4285
    Votaw, James G. Washington, D.C. 202.585.6610
    Whang, Nancy S. Los Angeles 310.312.4377
    Wolff, Ted New York 212.790.4575
    Yang, Grace S. San Francisco 415.291.7448

    Energy & Natural Resources

    Selected Clients

    • California Independent Petroleum Association
    • Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
    • Peabody Energy
    • SunEdison
    • Sunnova Energy Corporation
    • SunPower Corporation
    • Tesoro Petroleum Corporation
    • TransCanada Corporation
    • Western Independent Refiners Association

    Energy and Natural Resources

    Representative Matters

    Energy Industry Transactional Strength

    Energy industry companies are among the most capital-intensive businesses in the world, and Manatt attorneys have assisted them with every major type of transaction, ranging from financing, acquisitions and dispositions to special due diligence issues and restructuring of energy assets. Among the major deals we have handled are:

    • The development, purchase and sale of natural gas, pipeline construction and electric power generation within the United States and between U.S. and Mexican and U.S. and Canadian interests
    • Negotiating and preparing agreements to purchase natural gas, refined products and electricity, to reserve transmission and pipeline capacity, and to develop and install alternative energy sources
    • Project finance transactions on behalf of energy companies and financial institutions in combined cycle, cogeneration, geothermal, coal and hydro projects
    • Proposed mergers of U.S.- and Canada-based petroleum refiners and marketers, and natural gas and electric distribution companies, including extensive litigation and environmental due diligence
    • Negotiating and preparing agreements for the merger and acquisition of a solar panel manufacturer with facilities in California, Arizona, Brazil and China
  • Awards & Rankings

    logo/img/@altRanked Nationally for Energy Law for 2011–2016