Energy

Energy

Freeman represents clients in the energy sector, from oil and gas to renewables, propelling clients forward with cutting-edge legal advice as they navigate global energy markets and a complex regulatory environment.

  • Freeman’s legal team counsels clients across the full spectrum of the energy sector, confronting unique legal challenges, geo-political risks, and frenetic economic shifts.
  • Freeman has been ranked by U.S. News and World Reports as a “Tier 1” law firm for tax law. Our tax attorneys assist clients with sophisticated energy tax planning and tax strategies, including energy tax credits, section 45 tax credits, renewable fuels tax credits, carbon capture use and sequestration, international tax planning, energy M&A, IRS tax controversy representation, and state and local energy taxation.
  • Our tax attorneys regularly work with clients in the energy sector and have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being named to U.S. News and World Report’s Best Lawyers in America list, Super Lawyers, and recognized by Chambers & Partners as among the leading tax attorneys in the United States. Nearly one-third of our attorneys serve as tax law professors at tier-one law schools.

The complex energy sector is constantly changing, confronting unique legal challenges, geo-political risks, and economic shifts.  As participants in the energy industry confront this evolving array of legal and regulatory obstacles, Freeman stands ready to propel them forward with cutting-edge legal advice and counsel.

At Freeman Law, our attorneys have a combined decades of experience working with clients in the energy sector.  From oil and gas companies and pipeline owners and operators, to energy traders and clients forging renewable, alternative energy sources, we are committed to providing world-class legal counsel and tax advice.

On The Grid: Legal Counsel for the Energy Sector

U.S. energy consumption exceeds 93 quadrillion BTUs annually and the country’s electric grid links more than six million miles of lines and equipment—all of which is managed by some 3,000-plus organizations that are themselves largely regulated by federal and state agencies.  From thousands of generators to millions of consumers, this networked system is powered by, and made up of, many public and private enterprises that function within a complex web of federal, regional, state, and municipal government regulation.

At a high level, the U.S. power system is comprised of three independently synchronized grids: the Eastern Interconnection, the Western Interconnection, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).  Much of the countries’ wholesale energy markets are run by independent system operators (ISOs) or Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), including CAISO, MISO, ISO-NE, NYISO, PJM, SPP, and ERCOT.

At Freeman, we operate at a complex crossroads of laws and regulations—a space that requires an appreciation for nuance and ingenuity.  Our energy-industry clients face a spectrum of strategic, operational, and legal challenges layered on a shifting regulatory environment and global uncertainty.  Together, we help our energy clients navigate the federal, state, and local regulatory bodies governing the sphere within which they operate.

From proceedings under the Federal Power Act to multi-national financed oil-and-gas projects, we counsel clients in the energy sector with interests in oil and gas, electric, nuclear, and renewable energy, including providing legal representation with:

  • Joint venture agreements
  • Energy marketing and commodity hedging arrangements
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Energy Tax credits and
  • Dispute Resolution

We counsel energy clients across corporate, regulatory, tax, litigation, and other disciplines, working with novel structures, financing, acquisitions and divestitures, as well as cross-border energy transactions.

Energy and Transformation: Driving Progress

Over the past century and a half, society has undergone a fundamental transformation driven largely by advances and innovation in the energy sector.  A key underpinning to modern society and economies across the globe, the energy sector has been marked by a history of volatility, market shifts, technological advances, and geopolitical stress.  From the oil & gas sector to the electric power sector, investment funds, state-owned enterprises and public-private partnerships, the global energy sector has powered progress.

The U.S. electric industry is made up of more than 3,000 public, private and cooperative utilities—including more than 1,000 independent power generators.  And private, investor-owned utilities serve nearly 75 percent of the U.S. population.  These private companies, financed by investor equity and bondholder debt, are subject to federal and state regulation, giving rise to a complex of legal and tax factors that influence capital and other strategic decisions.

At Freeman, we help energy clients navigate this complex web, advising clients involved in the production, distribution, and consumption of energy resources—from those generating energy to those transmitting, selling, trading, using and investing in power.

International Reach

Freeman is a cross-border firm with legal and tax professionals licensed to practice in both the United States and Mexico.  We offer unique multinational insights, resources, and relationships.  Energy is a major component of the U.S. and Mexican economies, providing opportunities for innovation, employment, and wealth creation.  We stand ready to counsel clients through the unique cross-border challenges that they face.

The Oil & Gas and Natural Gas Sector

Transactions in the oil & gas and natural gas sector give rise to complex considerations.  Business involved in the oil and gas industry face an array of legal issues with respect to the exploration, production, development, transportation, trade, refining and processing of oil and other petroleum products.

We assist clients in the oil and gase and natural gas sector, including with:

  • Joint Ventures
  • Mergers, acquisitions and divestitures
  • Resource exploration
  • DrillCo transactions
  • Oilfield services
  • Surface use agreements
  • Midstream gathering, processing and transportation agreements
  • Joint operating agreements
  • Leasing and permitting

The Oil and Gas Division of the Texas Railroad Commission regulates oil and natural gas exploration, production, and transportation in Texas.  The Commission issues oil and gas permitting, monitors production, and levies taxes on the oil and gas industry.  In addition, the Oil and Gas Division oversees injection wells and disposal wells; fracking regulations, including well construction requirements and steel casing requirements, and administering the Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Rule.  We provide Texas-based attorneys with Texas-based experience.

Oil & Gas Funds

At Freeman, we recognize that capital is the lifeblood of our modern American economy.  It carries the capacity to move lives and markets forward.  We help energy fund clients set the gears in motion to transform the industry—and to create value from calculated risk and insight.

Freeman represents fund sponsors and investors in oil & gas focused private funds.  We have the capacity to represent clients in the formation of private oil & gas funds—including funds seeking to acquire specific oil & gas assets.  And our legal team can counsel management teams seeking private funding for oil & gas development projects.

Oil & Gas Taxation

Oil and gas taxation is complex and provides many planning opportunities.  Freeman has been ranked by U.S. News and World Reports as a “Tier 1” law firm for tax law and our attorneys are well-versed in oil and gas tax issues.

We maintain capability to structure and plan for energy companies, energy funds, and a network of energy-related service companies, including tax-realated matters with respect to:

  • Oil and gas asset acquisitions
  • Joint ventures
  • Tax-efficient structuring oil and gas partnership and production payments
  • Like-kind exchange transactions involving oil and gas interests
  • Tax credits

Renewable Energy

The International Energy Agency forecasts that renewable-based power capacity will increase approximately 50% from 2019 to 2024, a shift that has seen diversification into renewables and low-carbon energy sources.  Continued technological advances have made many forms of renewable energy effective, efficient, accessible, and profitable. From solar energy to wind turbines, the growth potential is high.

Freeman represents clients in the renewable energy sector. Renewable energy projects represent an emerging investment opportunity for companies and investors. We provide the ability to assist clients with solar, wind, and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) projects throughout Texas and across the country.

Our attorneys provide particular insights with respect to federal and state tax matters, including energy-related tax credits and rebates.

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues have grown in importance to global businesses, as legal and regulatory structures evolve, and investors, customers, and other stakeholders demonstrate ESG expectations.

Freeman’s lawyers can provide clients across the energy sector with counsel regarding ESG risks and compliance measures.

Compliance and Regulations Across the Energy Sector

Regulatory compliance across the energy sector presents a constant threat.  As energy companies continue to modernize and evaluate their regulatory functions, external oversight from regulators has increased in sophistication, resulting in increased risk profiles across the energy sector.  Energy regulators have entered a digital age, with the pace of digital development reaching a frenetic level, marking major shifts in the industry.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is an independent federal agency that regulates the transmission and wholesale sale of electricity and natural gas in interstate commerce, as well as the transportation of oil by pipelines in interstate commerce.  At the federal level alone, a host of statutes impact the energy sector, including the Federal Power Act, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, the Natural Gas Act, the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978, and the Interstate Commerce Act.  Those statutes are bolstered by FERC and other regulations.  Local distribution and retail electricity sales are generally regulated at the state and local level, such as by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

Participants in the energy sector require astute legal counsel to stay ahead of the regulatory curve.  At Freeman, we work with clients in the energy industry to navigate the complex web of regulations and oversight.

Bankruptcy and Reorganization

We assist clients with bankruptcies, workouts, and asset sales.  As a volatile industry marked by unique legal challenges, geo-political risks, and economic shifts, the energy sector gives rise to distinct trends in bankruptcy and restructuring.

Stakeholders include companies facing insolvency, investors, creditors, trustees, and customers. Energy company bankruptcies give rise to unique complexities and tax implications.

At Freeman, our attorneys have decades combined of experience working with the IRS and other tax agencies to settle bankruptcies and business reorganizations.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Like other industries, the energy sector is not immune to disputes and litigation.  The power business, in fact, gives rise to many unique dynamics and disputes.  At Freeman, we represent clients in high-stakes litigation and dispute resolution, including arbitrations, regulatory proceedings, private litigation, and enforcement disputes, such as enforcement investigations through FERC, CFTC, PUCT, and DOJ.

Freeman is a sophisticated trial boutique, hyper focused on advancing our clients’ litigation interests.  We are committed to delivering world-class counsel in the courtroom using bold, tactical, state-of-the-art approaches to litigation.  We are client-focused problem solvers; tireless advocates that work best under pressure and are committed for the long haul.

Freeman Law provides trial and litigation representation, including:

  • Property disputes (e.g., lease or sales agreements)
  • Mergers and acquisitions disputes
  • Eminent domain and condemnation
  • Royalty and pricing disputes regarding coal, oil, and natural gas
  • Regulatory, compliance, and tax disputes