• November 21, 2014

    LDK Solar Wins Ch. 11 Confirmation, Ch. 15 Recognition

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge granted Chinese solar cell manufacturer LDK Solar Co. Ltd Chapter 15 recognition Friday, and confirmed the Chapter 11 plan for its U.S. affiliates after the debtor resolved objections from the U.S. Trustee’s Office that the prepackaged reorganization strategy shielded too many from liability.

  • November 21, 2014

    Texas Justices Say Court Misread Gas Contract Ruling

    The Texas Supreme Court held Friday that an appeals court erred in determining it could not review questions about whether Wolf Hollow I LP was owed damages in a contract dispute with El Paso Marketing LP, finding the appeals court misinterpreted an earlier high court ruling.

  • November 21, 2014

    Urgency To Use P3 Grows, But Lack Of Law Is An Obstacle

    The United States' crumbling infrastructure and lack of funds is forcing an increasing number of local governments to turn to public-private partnerships, but many states lack comprehensive legislation for so-called P3 deals, requiring law firms to mobilize practices to help get a project developed.

  • November 21, 2014

    Con Ed On Hook For Part Of $24M Gas Plant Cleanup Suit

    A New York federal judge ruled on Friday that Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. would have to pay part of an estimated $24 million in cleanup costs associated with a polluted former manufactured gas plant, finding that half of the plaintiffs hadn’t entered agreements that would limit their claims.

  • November 21, 2014

    Coal Co. Says It Lawfully Handled Worker Against Hand Scan

    The way Consolidation Coal Co. handled a worker's religious objection to a biometric hand-scanning system for tracking employee time satisfied federal law, the company told a West Virginia federal court Friday, despite the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's argument that the company had violated Title VII.

  • November 21, 2014

    NJ Utility Regulator Again Nixes Offshore Wind Farm

    A New Jersey utility regulator on Friday dealt another blow to an offshore wind farm proposed by Fishermen's Energy LLC, concluding again the developer had not proved the net benefits were enough to justify its $188 million price tag despite a nearly $47 million federal grant.

  • November 21, 2014

    Job Applicants Not 'Employees' Under FCA, 6th Circ. Says

    The False Claims Act's whistleblower protections don't extend to job applicants because they don't qualify as employees, the Sixth Circuit held, upholding the dismissal of a landfill manager's retaliation suit against EnergySolutions Inc. under the FCA and several environmental statutes.

  • November 21, 2014

    Enviros Sue Ohio Over Alleged Illegal Fracking Waste Permits

    Food and water advocacy groups filed suit against Ohio Gov. John Kasich and the state’s Department of Natural Resources in a state appeals court this week for allegedly approving at least 23 fracking waste handling, storage, processing and recycling facilities without going through the proper rulemaking procedures.

  • November 21, 2014

    Pipeline Cos. Can Recoup Safety Upgrade Costs, FERC Says

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday proposed a formal policy that would allow interstate gas pipeline owners to recover costs for performing safety and reliability upgrades to their infrastructure in response to tougher standards from environmental and pipeline safety regulators.

  • November 21, 2014

    Schlumberger Questions SLAPP Ruling In Trade Secret Appeal

    Schlumberger Ltd. on Wednesday appealed a $600,000 award entered against it after a Texas judge threw out the majority of a lawsuit accusing its former chief intellectual property lawyer of sharing trade secrets, questioning whether the state's anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation statute had been properly used.

  • November 21, 2014

    Fed Examining Stricter Rules For Bank Commodity Operations

    The Federal Reserve is considering additional rules for bank holding companies trading in commodities after the major investment banks built up dangerously large positions in commodities since the financial crisis, according to Fed governor Daniel K. Tarullo's testimony Friday before the U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

  • November 21, 2014

    Oiltanking-Enterprise $6B Deal Stiffs Unitholders, Suit Says

    Oiltanking Partners LP and its board of directors were hit with a putative class action in Texas federal court Thursday accusing them of pushing through a $6 billion two-step merger with pipeline company Enterprise Products Partners LP that stiffs unitholders.

  • November 21, 2014

    Ineos Makes $1B Bet On UK Shale Development

    Swiss chemicals conglomerate Ineos Group Ltd. announced Thursday that it plans to invest $1 billion in British shale gas development, aiming to become a dominant European player in a robust industry whose growth is fueled by breakthroughs in fracking technology.

  • November 21, 2014

    Ill. High Court Sinks False Claims Suit Over Gas Rate

    The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday threw out a whistleblower state False Claims Act suit alleging a natural gas utility had fudged safety records to back a rate increase, finding that the state utilities regulator — and not the courts — has jurisdiction over the dispute.

  • November 21, 2014

    FERC Approves Physical Grid Security Standards

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday greenlighted new security standards to protect the U.S. grid from physical attacks, a regulatory push sparked by an April 2013 gunfire attack on Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s Metcalf substation in California's Silicon Valley.

  • November 21, 2014

    TerraForm Sells $350M In Stock To Back First Wind Buy

    TerraForm Power Inc., SunEdison Inc.’s renewable energy power plant operating unit, said Friday that it is selling $350 million in stock to raise cash to help fund its portion of their $2.4 billion acquisition of First Wind Holdings LLC.

  • November 21, 2014

    EPA Puts Off 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard To 2015

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday it will not be finalizing 2014 volume standard under the Renewable Fuel Standard program before the end of this year, a move that reflects controversy between the ethanol and oil industries about how volumes should be set in light of lower-than-predicted gasoline consumption.

  • November 20, 2014

    Bankrupt Windsor Wins Nod For $189M Debt-For-Equity Plan

    Oil shipper Windsor Petroleum Transport Corp. got the blessing of Delaware bankruptcy judge Thursday for its Chapter 11 restructuring plan, which will hand the helm to bondholders via a $188.6 million debt-for-equity swap.

  • November 20, 2014

    Siemens Avoids Liability For Texas Gas Plant Explosion

    Siemens Energy Inc. is not liable for a 2011 gas plant explosion that left an electrician severely burned, a Texas state jury found on Thursday, in a verdict that held the plant’s owner and an engineering firm responsible for the accident.

  • November 20, 2014

    PG&E Hit With $1M Fine For Judge Shopping In Rate Case

    The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday fined Pacific Gas & Electric Co. $1.05 million and will require shareholders to cover up to $400 million of a planned rate increase as a penalty for improper communications with the CPUC over administrative law judge selection.

Expert Analysis

  • Differentiate Your Litigation Practice With Data Security

    Jennifer Topper

    Despite the significant tilt toward technology in how litigation is now conducted, many senior lawyers still delegate tech-related issues to e-discovery specialists or associates at their firms. This is a missed opportunity not just for client development, but also for shaping the way the firm and lawyer are seen in the eyes of corporate counsel, says legal industry business development specialist Jenn Topper.

  • Halliburton, Baker Hughes Prepared For Antitrust Scrutiny

    Dionne Lomax

    The Halliburton-Baker Hughes merger agreement is an illustrative example of various antitrust risk-shifting mechanisms. Meanwhile, Halliburton’s agreement to pay a substantial breakup fee could be an indication that it is confident the deal can secure antitrust clearance, says Dionne Lomax of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • FERC Dissent Signals Possible Shift On NGA Authority

    James F. Bowe Jr.

    Norman Bay's dissent over Emera CNG LLC's proposed compressed natural gas facility in Florida may signal a split inside the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — if Bay's interpretation of Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act becomes the majority view then FERC could exercise jurisdiction over a class of facilities previously deemed exempt, say James Bowe Jr. and William Rice of King & Spalding LLP.

  • Europe's Projects Of Common Interest: Part 3

    Tomas Gardfors

    Institutional investors are increasingly interested in Europe's Projects of Common Interest, however, due to constraints, regulatory adaptation will be required to allow private investors to invest directly into transmission system operators in many jurisdictions, says Tomas Gardfors of Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • The Print Room: How To Spend Less And Get More

    Senthil Rajakrishnan

    Our estimates indicate that some law firms spend up to $8,000 per attorney each year on print-related costs. Although we live in a digital world, hard copy printing will remain an important part of business for years to come. Changing technology, however, offers opportunities to improve efficiencies and save money, say Senthil Rajakrishnan and Ryan Mittman of HBR Consulting LLC.

  • Europe's Projects Of Common Interest: Part 2

    Tomas Gardfors

    Despite fundamental differences among "projects of common interest" in Europe's energy market, they face similar challenges in the form of cross-border cooperation, regulatory alignment and asymmetric impacts on EU member states, says Tomas Gardfors of Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • Dewey Partner Clawback Ruling May Hurt New York Law Firms

    Evan C. Hollander

    Unless the recent ruling in the Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP bankruptcy case is overturned on appeal or the New York Legislature amends the state’s fraudulent transfer and partnership laws, partners of New York firms will bear greater risk if their firms fail than will members of many non-New York partnerships. This risk factor might even affect decisions by prospective lateral partners about which firms to join, say attorneys with Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • Europe's Projects Of Common Interest: Part 1

    Tomas Gardfors

    The European Commission's recent adoption of key energy infrastructure projects — Projects of Common Interest — will require substantial investment given their scale and present significant opportunities for investors, financiers, governments and contractors on a global scale, says Tomas Gardfors of Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • When Do Tribal Leaders Create FCPA Liability?

    T. Markus Funk

    One of the many definitional challenges facing Foreign Corrupt Practices Act practitioners worldwide is under what circumstances traditional authorities, who routinely exercise considerable influence over business matters, qualify as “foreign officials.” This is a particularly apt question for companies seeking to pursue mining interests in Canada, say T. Markus Funk and Barak Cohen of Perkins Coie LLP.

  • Federal Preemption May Be The Key For Calif. Railroads

    Donald E. Sobelman

    Friends of the Eel River v. North Coast Railroad Authority suggests that lawsuits claiming California railroads have not complied with state environmental review statutes as they expand operations to meet the growing demand for frac sands may face a significant hurdle — federal preemption, say Donald Sobelman and Nicole Martin of Barg Coffin Lewis & Trapp LLP.