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Energy

  • October 4, 2018

    Holman Fenwick Snags Greenberg Energy Atty In Houston

    Holman Fenwick Willian LLP, a British firm that entered the U.S. market in 2016 after merging with Houston-based Legge Farrow Kimmitt McGrath & Brown LLP, recently made its first U.S. lateral hire, poaching an energy partner from Greenberg Traurig LLP.

  • October 4, 2018

    7th Circ. Affirms $500M Tax Hit Against Exelon

    An energy company must pay over $500 million in taxes and penalties because it bore none of the “burdens or indicia” of ownership in several coal plants that were the basis of its claim for a Section 1031 like-kind exchange, the Seventh Circuit ruled Wednesday, upholding a decision by the U.S. Tax Court.

  • October 4, 2018

    US Silica Investors Sue For Records On $750M Acquisition

    Two investors hit industrial mineral producer U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. with a suit in Delaware Chancery Court on Wednesday seeking access to the company’s records to investigate potential mismanagement, claiming the company’s $750 million purchase of EP Minerals this year was significantly overpriced.

  • October 4, 2018

    EPA Inspector General Sets Ambitious Five-Year Plan

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General said it wants to increase its effectiveness by 10 percent between 2019 and 2023, according to a five-year strategic plan the office released Thursday.

  • October 4, 2018

    NL Industries Reaches $13M Deal To Settle Superfund Claims

    NL Industries Inc. on Thursday agreed to pay the federal government $13 million to settle claims related to the cleanup of lead contamination at a Missouri Superfund site.

  • October 4, 2018

    Ghana Says $14M Award Row Doesn't Belong In DC

    The Republic of Ghana on Wednesday pushed back against efforts by a British energy firm to enforce a nearly $13.7 million arbitral award it won following a dispute over a soured power purchase agreement, telling the D.C. Circuit that the lower court wrongly refused to send the dispute to Ghana.

  • October 4, 2018

    Indian Oil Co. Gets OK Of $3.8M Award Against Yemen

    A D.C. federal court judge has confirmed a $3.8 million arbitration award issued against Yemen in a dispute with an oil company owned by the Indian state of Gujarat, entering a default judgment against the Middle East nation that is in the midst of a civil war.

  • October 4, 2018

    Ex-Fuel Co. Exec Pleads Guilty To $4M Biodiesel Tax Scheme

    A former Keystone Biofuels Inc. executive pled guilty in Pennsylvania federal court Wednesday to a $4.1 million tax fraud conspiracy that involved seeking renewable energy tax refunds by falsely claiming to manufacture biodiesel that met the necessary standards, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

  • October 4, 2018

    Hong Kong Doc Denied Bail As Flight Risk In Bribery Case

    A New York federal judge denied bail once again on Thursday to a doctor from Hong Kong accused of bribing African officials for favors in the energy and banking industries, saying he’s a flight risk and there are no conditions the court could set to guarantee his presence at trial.

  • October 4, 2018

    FERC Says Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline Can Start Shipping Gas

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday gave Williams Cos. the green light to put its $2.65 billion Atlantic Sunrise gas pipeline expansion project into service, even as the D.C. Circuit continues to mull a challenge to the commission's approval of the project.

  • October 4, 2018

    Petrobras Can't Prove Bias To Nix $622M Award, Vantage Says

    Vantage Deepwater Co. defended a $622 million arbitral award over a drilling contract against Brazilian oil company Petrobras, telling a Texas federal court Petrobas’ claims that the driller's appointed arbitrator was biased don’t meet the high standard to warrant vacating the award.

  • October 4, 2018

    GOP AGs Back Big Oil’s Bid To Ditch Wash. Climate Suit

    Republican attorneys general from 12 states urged a federal court Wednesday to nix King County, Washington's suit seeking to hold Big Oil liable for climate change-related infrastructure damage, arguing the county can't be allowed to use the courts to usurp federal and state regulation of climate change.

  • October 4, 2018

    Energy Data Co. Says Exec Stole Secrets, Helped Competitor

    The energy-market data firm Genscape Inc. has filed suit against a former employee who is now the CEO of a competitor in Colorado federal court over allegations that he stole company secrets that allowed his new employer to bypass years of expensive research.

  • October 4, 2018

    US Charges 7 Russian Agents In Anti-Doping, Nuclear Hacks

    The U.S. Department of Justice accused seven Russian intelligence agents on Thursday of hacking sports anti-doping organizations and a Pennsylvania-based nuclear company in an indictment announced hours after Western government leaders blamed Russia for a number of other cyberattacks.

  • October 3, 2018

    VW Must Face Claims Of Drivers Who Sold Cars Pre-Scandal

    A California federal judge Wednesday largely rejected bids by Volkswagen AG and electronics engineering firm Robert Bosch LLC to dismiss putative class claims from former owners who sold their affected diesel vehicles before news of an emissions-cheating scandal broke, saying the drivers alleged a sufficiently concrete injury.

  • October 3, 2018

    Emissions Crackdown Stretches To Small Auto Parts Makers

    The U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal prosecutions of small businesses that make aftermarket auto components that increase vehicles’ pollution are a show of force that experts say clearly indicates it’s not just giants like Volkswagen that need to be careful about their products’ effects on air quality.

  • October 3, 2018

    Coal Supply Agreement Won’t End In FirstEnergy Bankruptcy

    An Ohio bankruptcy judge on Tuesday turned down FirstEnergy Solutions Corp.'s request to end a decadeslong coal purchase deal with Murray Energy Corp. that the coal giant argued was inextricably tied to its contract to dispose of FirstEnergy's coal waste.

  • October 3, 2018

    DC Circ. Hears Challenges To Cross-State Emissions Regs

    The Environmental Protection Agency faced pointed questioning Wednesday from a D.C. Circuit panel over environmental groups’ claims that the regulator has failed to adequately rein in ozone emissions from so-called upwind states that have kept their neighbors from meeting 2008 air quality standards.

  • October 3, 2018

    CIT Affirms Commerce's Duty Calculation On S. Korean Steel

    The U.S. Court of International Trade on Wednesday affirmed the methods used by the U.S. Department of Commerce to assign anti-dumping margins on the importers of certain carbon steel pipes and tubes originating from South Korea.

  • October 3, 2018

    6th Circ. Won't Rehear Rail Co.'s Tax Discrimination Case

    The Sixth Circuit on Wednesday denied a railroad carrier's request for an en banc rehearing in a dispute over whether Tennessee's diesel fuel sales and use tax on railroad carriers is discriminatory, saying all issues raised had been previously considered.

Expert Analysis

  • Affordable Clean Energy Rule: A New Path To GHG Reduction

    Jane Montgomery

    The Affordable Clean Energy rule, proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week, is already controversial. Critics focus on limited greenhouse gas reductions from efficiency projects, but the rule works in concert with market forces and existing law, says Jane Montgomery of Schiff Hardin LLP.

  • Cos. Must Prepare For Toughening Russia Sanctions

    Mario Mancuso

    On Monday, the U.S. Department of State enacted the first round of sanctions against Russia in response to the March 2018 poisoning of the Skripal family in the United Kingdom. The impact of these sanctions is somewhat limited, but the next round of sanctions, expected in early November, may be more sweeping, say attorneys with Kirkland Ellis LLP.

  • 2nd Circ. Restricts The FCPA's Reach

    Brad Karp

    The Second Circuit’s opinion last week in U.S. v. Hoskins limits the U.S. Department of Justice’s ability to prosecute foreign individuals or companies for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations. The opinion also flatly contradicts the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s 2012 FCPA resource guide, say attorneys with Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP.

  • 4 Key Components To New Firm Partnership Agreements

    Russell Shinsky

    A well-drafted partnership agreement protects a law firm's founders, establishes a process for new and outgoing partners, and sets forth guidelines for navigating conflict along the way. Startup firms can begin with something less complex, but there are important elements that every agreement should include, says Russell Shinsky of Anchin Block & Anchin LLP.

  • Delaware Decision Clarifies MFW's Ab Initio Requirement

    Gail Weinstein

    The Delaware Chancery Court's ruling last month in Olenik v. Lodzinski is notable for providing a substantial discussion of the difference between “negotiations” and “preliminary discussions” for determining whether a merger meets MFW's “ab initio requirement” and qualifies for review under the deferential business judgment rule standard, say attorneys with Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

  • Opinion

    Open The Federal Courthouses

    David Oscar Markus

    Forget about cameras, reporters in the Manafort trial were not even permitted in the courtroom with their phones, tablets or computers. That meant no live reporting on Twitter and no emails to the newsrooms with updates. In a world focused on information and news as it happens, this is unacceptable, says trial attorney David Oscar Markus.

  • How FERC's July Order Affects Gas Pipelines

    Paul Forrester

    Earlier this summer, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission adopted an order to force a review of cost-based rates and to implement its current policy on the treatment of income taxes. The order includes procedures for determining which jurisdictional natural gas pipelines may be collecting unjust and unreasonable cost-based rates, says J. Paul Forrester of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Calif. Gas Storage Rules Impose New Burdens On Operators

    William Rice

    In June, the California Conservation Commission adopted strict new regulations addressing the safety of underground natural gas storage facilities. Compliance with the rules’ highly detailed data requirements may be a daunting process for natural gas operators in the state, say William Rice and James Bowe Jr. of King & Spalding LLP.

  • Exxon Investors' Climate Suit Turns Up The Heat On Oil Cos.

    Mike Biles

    A Texas federal judge's decision last week in Ramirez v. Exxon Mobil — the first climate change-related securities class action against a major oil and gas company — is strikingly pro-shareholder and departs from opinions of numerous federal courts, say Mike Biles and Jessica England of King & Spalding LLP.

  • 'High Availability' — A Key Term In Law Firm IT Strategy

    Jeff Norris

    While most law firm executives and partners may instinctively want to tune out terms like "high availability" and "disaster recovery" — concepts that IT managers usually worry about — there are five reasons you should lean in and wrestle with the vocabulary, say Jeff Norris of Managed Technology Services LLC and Greg Inge of information security consulting firm CQR.