Todd L. Brecher focuses on energy litigation, regulatory and enforcement matters before federal and state agencies and courts.

Practice & Background

Mr. Brecher represents clients in a broad range of litigation, regulatory and enforcement matters relating to the electricity, natural gas and oil markets, including matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and federal and state courts. Mr. Brecher also conducts internal investigations and compliance reviews for energy sector clients. 

Prior to joining Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Mr. Brecher served for more than four years in FERC’s Office of Enforcement, where he was substantially involved in some of FERC’s most significant enforcement matters. Mr. Brecher’s enforcement experience at FERC included both electricity and natural gas-related matters, and involved alleged violations of FERC’s market manipulation regulations, jurisdictional tariffs, and other FERC rules and regulations. In addition to leading investigations and administrative proceedings at FERC, Mr. Brecher also represented FERC in litigation before federal courts, including the first and largest energy market manipulation case filed in federal district court. Mr. Brecher’s work at FERC frequently involved collaboration and coordination with the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement.

In addition to his enforcement-related work, while at FERC, Mr. Brecher provided counsel on a variety of complex, market-related matters, including matters relating to market design and the trading and marketing of energy and capacity products in organized electricity markets. Mr. Brecher also served as a staff liaison to an independent system operator’s market monitoring division regarding market-related matters. Additionally, while at FERC, Mr. Brecher advised on matters involving the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) physical and cybersecurity reliability standards and the FERC/NERC enforcement regime.

Mr. Brecher frequently writes and speaks on energy regulatory and enforcement issues. He is a contributing author to Global Competition Review’s The Guide to Energy Market Manipulation (March 2018).

Mr. Brecher began his legal career in the Washington, D.C., office of a large international law firm, where he represented clients in complex litigation and government enforcement matters.

Representative Matters

Mr. Brecher’s recent engagements include:

  • representing electricity and natural gas market participants before FERC in nonpublic, market manipulation investigations and market surveillance inquiries
  • representing a transmission provider before FERC in a litigated complaint proceeding against a neighboring transmission company
  • representing an electric generation company in parallel FERC and federal court litigation proceedings concerning electricity contracts
  • advising electric utilities, energy and commodity traders, independent power producers, and natural gas pipelines on FERC, CFTC, and antitrust enforcement and litigation risks in connection with business initiatives and strategies
  • representing electricity and natural gas companies in merger and acquisition-related regulatory proceedings
  • representing energy companies in FERC Office of Enforcement audits
  • representing an electric generation company in a FERC/NERC reliability investigation
  • advising electricity and natural gas companies on FERC self-reporting decisions and representing clients before FERC in self-report proceedings
  • assisting electric and natural gas utilities, energy and commodity trading firms, independent power producers, and pipelines in developing and implementing FERC and CFTC compliance and training programs
  • representing an electricity trade association before FERC on transmission issues
  • conducting an internal review of an electric utility company’s compliance with FERC’s Standards of Conduct and Affiliate Restrictions
  • advising private equity firms and other investors on regulatory proceedings and regulatory and compliance risks in connection with energy industry investments.

Community Involvement

  • Energy Bar Association.

Speaking Engagements

  • Energy Bar Association CLE Program, FERC Enforcement: Effectively Defending Investigations, Recent Developments, and Key Issues Facing the New Commission (Houston, Texas, October 2017)
  • Akin Gump Energy Market Manipulation and Antitrust Enforcement Seminar (Houston, Texas, October 2016)
  • Energy Bar Association “101 Series,” Understanding the FERC Office of Enforcement Investigation Process, (Washington, D.C., September 2012).