FERC Investigations Director David Applebaum Joins Akin Gump’s Energy Team

(Washington, D.C.) – Akin Gump announced today that David A. Applebaum, a six-year veteran of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), has joined the firm as a partner in its global energy and transactions practice in Washington, D.C. Mr. Applebaum most recently served as Director of the Division of Investigations in the Office of Enforcement at FERC and has held every attorney position in the Division since he joined the agency.

As Director and Deputy Director of the Division of Investigations, Mr. Applebaum was involved at the highest levels in every major legal, policy, investigation, settlement and litigation matter occurring at FERC related to enforcement over the past several years.

At Akin Gump, Mr. Applebaum will leverage, on behalf of energy industry clients, his deep knowledge of FERC enforcement, ranging from broader policy matters to best practices in compliance and enforcement-related investigations to enforcement and litigation matters. He will advise clients in the power and natural gas markets, including traditional gas and electric utilities, independent power producers, natural gas producers, energy traders and financial institutions, as well as newer entrants into FERC markets, including the renewable energy space.

In addition to his FERC Enforcement work, Mr. Applebaum will also handle litigation and internal investigations for clients in the energy industry. He also brings valuable background and experience to energy companies subject to Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) market manipulation investigations and enforcement actions.

“We have built out a comprehensive energy team that can provide trusted advice to clients on all facets of their operations, including enforcement issues,” stated Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith. “With his deep track record at FERC and experience in private practice, David brings a skillset that will prove to be a great asset for our clients and a wonderful complement to our broader energy team.”

Added Akin Gump global energy and transactions head Rick Burdick, “In recent years, FERC has transformed into an aggressive enforcement agency, routinely bringing multimillion-dollar actions against businesses for perceived market manipulation and other violations. David’s background and keen understanding of both FERC’s enforcement process and the energy industry will make him a valuable resource, and I’m thrilled that he will be joining us.”

Mr. Applebaum joins a team at Akin Gump that includes a former FERC Commissioner, a former Director of the Division of Policy Development at FERC and a former FERC Enforcement attorney experienced in market manipulation matters and that is well versed in helping energy industry clients address a vast array of regulatory and enforcement issues.

“Energy industry participants are demonstrating a growing awareness of FERC’s increased focus on enforcement as well as of the potential for significant penalties for enforcement actions,” stated Mr. Applebaum. “Against this backdrop, it’s a very exciting time for me to move back into private practice. Akin Gump is, without question, a top-tier firm in the energy industry and is well regarded for its litigation and government investigations work across a wide range of industries. I very much look forward to joining the firm and putting my knowledge and skills to work on behalf of our clients.”

About David A. Applebaum

David Applebaum spent the past six years at FERC, starting with the Commission in 2010 as an attorney-advisor and continuing onwards to his position as Director of the Division of Investigations. In this capacity, he has directed and supervised all recent major FERC enforcement activities, including both investigations and related litigation. He has also worked closely with other senior-level officials throughout FERC, as well as with government regulators and staff in CFTC Enforcement, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Attorneys' offices, congressional oversight committees and numerous other governmental agencies.

Prior to joining FERC, Mr. Applebaum was in private practice, where he handled complex litigation, class action and antitrust matters.

Mr. Applebaum has served as a law clerk for both Justice Frank F. Drowota III of the Tennessee Supreme Court and Senior U.S. District Court Judge Thomas A. Wiseman Jr. He received a J.D. in 1999 from the Vanderbilt University Law School and a B.A. in history, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996.

About Akin Gump’s Energy Regulation, Markets and Enforcement Practice

Akin Gump’s energy regulation, markets and enforcement practice features a team of lawyers experienced in addressing the most complex and pressing needs of energy industry participants. The team includes a former FERC Commissioner as well as a deep bench of experienced practitioners. This gives the team excellent insight into, and perspective on, the agency’s deliberative processes and the practical implementation of government policies. Our lawyers represent a wide range of energy companies in strategic, regulatory, transactional and litigation matters and are actively involved in representations before FERC, the Department of Energy and other federal agencies, Congress, federal and state courts and state regulatory commissions.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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