Vinson & Elkins Expands Energy Regulatory Practice with Addition of Prominent Litigation Team
Partners William Scherman, Jeffrey Jakubiak and Jason Fleischer, plus a team of four counsel, have handled many of the nation’s highest profile disputes involving federal energy regulation
Vinson & Elkins has added a team of eight litigators to its Energy Regulatory practice. Led by partner William Scherman, the team includes partners Jeffrey Jakubiak and Jason Fleischer, counsel Laura Swett, Jennifer Mansh and Thomas Kirby, senior counsel Judge John Dring and associate Phillip Washburn.
The addition of this team, which formerly practiced at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, significantly strengthens V&E’s already established energy, regulatory and litigation practices. The team brings to Vinson & Elkins the leading Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) enforcement and investigations practice. This practice compliments Vinson & Elkins’ established leadership in the energy industry, including its leadership in natural gas pipelines and electric transmission. Upon arrival, Scherman will co-lead V&E’s Energy Regulatory practice.
“Bill is the preeminent lawyer in the country when it comes to litigating pipeline and utility disputes before FERC and in the federal courts,” said Vinson & Elkins Chair Keith Fullenweider. “We believe this team will greatly enhance our offering to clients who are committed to developing the infrastructure which is essential to both the energy transition and national and global energy security.”
“I am thrilled to help lead V&E’s regulatory practice working alongside current practice group co-leaders Jay Seegers and Anita Wilson, who are both infinitely talented lawyers,” Scherman said. “Joining forces creates a truly full-service, leading regulatory and litigation team with a comprehensive offering of services from utility rate cases and natural gas pipeline certificate matters to FERC enforcement and investigations.”
Jakubiak will join the firm’s New York office while rest of the team will be based in Washington, D.C. Below is a brief overview of each new partner and counsel’s practice.
William Scherman: Scherman advises companies on litigation, commercial, regulatory and legislative matters relating to the U.S. and international energy markets. He has litigated high-profile energy investigation and enforcement matters before FERC and in federal courts and represents large electric utilities before FERC and state regulators. At Gibson Dunn, he served as chair of the Energy, Regulation and Litigation practice group. Prior to joining Gibson in 2013, he was a partner at Skadden Arps for 20 years. Prior to this time, Scherman served at FERC in roles that included Chief of Staff and General Counsel. During his tenure at FERC, he played a key role in major policy initiative including the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and Order No. 636, which reformed the natural gas pipeline industry. As the agency’s chief legal officer, he was responsible for its litigation strategy before federal appellate courts.
Jeffrey Jakubiak: Holding a bachelor’s degree in quantitative economics, Jakubiak’s practice focuses on matters before FERC at the crossroads of law and economics, particularly cost-of-service ratemaking, energy transactions, electric company mergers and power sales, energy market manipulation and the workings of energy markets. He has a deep understanding of the methodologies used by FERC to set returns on equity and to analyze generation market power, and has developed proprietary quantitative analytical tools that he uses to advise clients on electric asset transactions, market-based rate authorizations, and litigation risk.
Jason Fleischer: Fleischer’s practice focuses primarily on energy litigation, regulatory and transactional matters before FERC, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, other federal agencies and the federal courts. He has represented a wide variety of electric utilities, investment banks, power marketers and natural gas companies and pipelines in agency investigations and enforcement matters including alleged market manipulation, market power and reliability matters, and transactional matters including mergers and acquisitions.
Laura Swett: Swett represents pipelines and electric power companies before FERC in a broad range of matters involving enforcement/market manipulation, rates, market rules and regulation, cybersecurity, licensing and wholesale power sales. She previously served as senior legal and policy advisor to both a FERC Chairman and Commissioner.
Jennifer Mansh: Mansh advises clients on a wide range of energy litigation, regulatory, and transactional matters on behalf of electric utility companies, merchant transmission companies, wholesale power marketing companies, financial institutions, and generation companies in rate, licensing, and enforcement proceedings before FERC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Thomas Kirby: Kirby advises natural gas and oil pipelines, electric utilities and energy market participants on a wide variety of issues in rate, certificate and enforcement proceedings before FERC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Judge John Dring: Judge Dring joined the team after retiring as a U.S. Administrative Law Judge at FERC in 2021, following a distinguished 16-year career at the agency. He began his professional career as a staff member for a U.S. Senator, and later as the Legislative Assistant to a U.S. Congressman. Judge Dring also worked in a broad range of legal and technical positions for a major U.S. natural gas pipeline for 15 years.
About Vinson & Elkins
For more than a century, Vinson & Elkins has provided outstanding client service across important industries that drive the global economy. Built on a strong culture of collaboration across 11 offices worldwide, V&E lawyers are committed to excellence, offering clients decades of legal experience in handling transactions, investments, projects and disputes across the globe. Learn more by visiting www.velaw.com or connect with us on LinkedIn.
For more information, please speak with our media contacts.