Former FERC Commissioner Among Group Joining Akin Gump’s Energy Regulatory Practice

(Washington, D.C.) – Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP today announced that Suedeen G. Kelly, a former commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and George D. “Chip” Cannon Jr. have joined the firm’s energy regulatory practice in Washington, D.C., as co-chair and partner, respectively. The addition of Ms. Kelly and Mr. Cannon continues the growth of the practice, which includes the arrival of practice co-chair Julia E. Sullivan in 2011, and further strengthens the firm’s global energy industry practice.

Ms. Kelly and Mr. Cannon are joined at Akin Gump by Cynthia A. Marlette, a former general counsel to FERC, who will be a senior counsel in the firm’s energy regulatory practice. Ms. Kelly, Mr. Cannon and Ms. Marlette were all previously with the Washington, D.C., office of Patton Boggs LLP.

Internationally recognized for her work in the energy regulatory field, particularly for clients in the natural gas and electricity industries, Ms. Kelly was nominated for three terms as a FERC commissioner under President Obama and former President George W. Bush. During her tenure at FERC, she resolved thousands of disputes and is credited with strengthening FERC enforcement, as well as orchestrating change in several key regulatory policies, including integration of renewables into the transmission grid, deployment of smart grid technologies and natural gas quality standards. 

Mr. Cannon maintains a broad practice handling regulatory matters before federal agencies, courts and state regulatory commissions on behalf of clients throughout the energy industry.

“Akin Gump is committed to continuing to add to our strong energy industry team in order to meet the evolving legal needs of our clients wherever they may be,” stated Akin Gump chairman R. Bruce McLean. “Suedeen and Chip’s deep regulatory knowledge and experience equips them with the skill set and perspective to make a difference for our clients. I’m thrilled to welcome them to Akin Gump.”

“Suedeen and Chip bring a wealth of experience in the energy regulatory field to the table and will be ideal complements to the firm’s global energy industry team,” said Ms. Sullivan. “Our clients will benefit tremendously from their ability to navigate the regulatory environment impacting energy companies today, and we are delighted to have them join us.”

“Akin Gump has shown a strong commitment to building a top-tier energy regulatory practice, which makes me very excited to be here,” said Ms. Kelly. “More importantly, my clients will have access to Akin Gump’s deep roster of talent across a vast array of areas that will help them address the full breadth of issues they may encounter.”

Added Mr. Cannon, “Akin Gump is well known for the sophisticated work it does on behalf of energy companies, both in the U.S. and overseas. I look forward to offering my clients access to such a deep and experienced team.”

About Suedeen Kelly and George “Chip” Cannon

Since moving into private practice in 2010, Suedeen Kelly has represented a variety of clients in the energy industry on business, regulatory, litigation and policy matters. These include FERC enforcement matters, electricity markets and transmission, shale gas production and pipeline activity, LNG imports and exports, deepwater drilling and pipeline breaches and accidents. Her extensive knowledge of the electricity and natural gas industries includes significant experience in infrastructure development and operation, market structures and financial products, rate design issues, emerging technologies, federal and state laws and regulations, impending policy changes and domestic/international market interrelations. She has also advised foreign clients on international energy industry restructuring efforts. 

In addition to her service as a FERC commissioner, in 1999 Ms. Kelly worked as a legislative aide to Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), who was, at the time, the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. She has also served as chairwoman and commissioner for the Public Service Commission of New Mexico and as an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, in addition to previous stints in private practice. Earlier in her career, Ms. Kelly served as regulatory counsel for the California Independent System Operator.

A frequent speaker on energy regulatory issues, Ms. Kelly has been the recipient of a number of awards and recognitions for her work. She received her J.D., cum laude, from Cornell Law School, and her B.A., with distinction, from the University of Rochester.

George “Chip” Cannon focuses his practice on energy regulatory and commercial matters, concentrating on the production and delivery of electric energy and related products, including from various renewable energy resources. He represents clients, such as electric utilities, independent power producers, project developers, energy traders, financial institutions and manufacturers of renewable technologies, before FERC, the U.S. Department of Energy, federal courts and state regulatory commissions on a variety of matters of importance to the domestic energy industry.

Mr. Cannon received his J.D., cum laude, from the George Washington University Law School, and his B.A., cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Tulane University.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 850 attorneys in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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