The following is an excerpt from Practice Perspectives: Vault's Guide to Legal Practice Areas.
Geoff focuses his practice on the acquisition, financing, and development of electric-generating facilities employing both conventional and renewable technologies. He has advised on the financing of over 10 GW of power and is experienced in a variety of complex financing and transaction structures, including partnership flip, pay-as-you-go tax equity transactions, sale and leaseback transactions, purchase and sale agreements, build-transfer agreements, and traditional secured financings. Geoff has been recognized in Chambers Global and USA categories and is currently recognized as a leader in the field in the category of Projects: Renewables & Alternative Energy (USA – Nationwide).
Jean represents clients in connection with development and financing of conventional and renewable energy projects across the United States. She has represented financial institutions across various renewable energy partnership flip transactions on both a single project and portfolio project basis and across a range of power generating technologies, including solar, wind, battery storage, geothermal, and fuel cell.
Describe your practice area and what it entails.
We have a sophisticated Clean Tech/Renewables practice with unmatched experience advising on the financing, development, and acquisition of renewable energy and clean power projects and portfolios, including wind, solar (both residential and utility-scale), geothermal, energy storage, “green” and “blue” hydrogen, carbon capture and sequestration, and other technologies.
We also have a premier tax equity practice, which is widely recognized in the market and has continued to close a high-volume of transactions.
What types of clients do you represent?
We primarily represent top financial institutions investing and lending into wind, solar, and other clean power projects, including Bank of America, GE-Energy Financial Services, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Wells Fargo.
In addition, we represent top-tier project developers, utilities, and sponsors, including American Electric Power and DTE Power & Industrial, as well as strategic investors and power end-users.
What types of cases/deals do you work on?
Most of our transactions involve the financing or acquisition of large-scale renewable energy projects across the U.S. and Latin America, whether single project or a portfolio of projects.
How did you choose this practice area?
Hunton Andrews Kurth has a long-standing history in development and energy practice and strong relationships with energy market players.
What is a typical day like and/or what are some common tasks you perform?
As energy transaction attorneys, our typical day involves:
- negotiating and drafting transaction and ancillary documents,
- reviewing project documents relating to a renewable energy project, such as power purchase agreements and construction agreements, and
- managing and coordinating with other experts and local counsel in bringing the transaction to close.
What training, classes, experience, or skills development would you recommend to someone who wishes to enter your practice area?
Having an interest in the energy sector and project financing would be a good start to developing further skills and experience in this practice area.
What do you like best about your practice area?
An energy transaction attorney is exposed to and is required to have an understanding of multiple legal disciplines, including tax, real estate, environmental, regulatory, technology, and finance.
What is unique about your practice area at your firm?
Hunton Andrews Kurth has a strong and extensive range of attorneys with experience in different areas within Clean Energy/Renewable Energy, such as financing, tax, environmental and land use, FERC and energy regulatory, project development, and real estate, which allows us to provide seamless representation over the life of an energy project.
What are some typical tasks that a junior lawyer would perform in this practice area?
A junior lawyer’s role is very critical to every deal—the junior lawyer is responsible for assisting the team in managing the transaction, including drafting transaction documents and closing deliverables, tracking multiple drafts of documents, and coordinating and liaising with the clients and counterparties in bringing the deal to a successful closing.
The Clean Tech and Renewable Energy practice includes everything from M&A to financing to tax and much more. How do you think this multi-faceted practice has helped you grow as a lawyer?
The multiple aspects of renewable energy practice develop a lawyer’s skills in becoming a well-rounded lawyer in having the required legal knowledge in different aspects of a transaction and different legal disciplines.