Frances advises clients in navigating complex regulatory issues relating to a variety of energy, environmental, and consumer financial protection laws. Frances represents clients in all phases of government investigations and administrative and civil litigation, as well as assisting clients in conducting internal investigations and audits.
In particular, Frances represents clients in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)’s certification process for interstate natural gas pipeline and liquefied natural gas terminals under the Natural Gas Act (NGA). Frances assists clients with all aspects of FERC’s environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and with respect to applicable environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. In addition, Frances assists tribal and non-tribal businesses with regulatory issues, disputes, and transactions relating to project development on tribal and federal lands; issues of federal, state, and tribal regulations; as well as commercial and lending transactions involving American Indian tribes.
Before joining Van Ness Feldman, Frances practiced commercial litigation as an associate with Venable LLP, where she represented clients in a variety of business disputes before state and federal courts and arbitral tribunals. During law school, Frances served as a law clerk for the Department of Justice, Environmental and Natural Resources Division, Environmental Enforcement Section, and interned in a European office of an international law firm specializing in energy law.
In her spare time, Frances enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, daughter, and yellow lab. She also volunteers as a foster home for rescued labs with Lab Rescue of the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac.
The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law
J.D., magna cum laude, 2013; Served as Note and Comment Editor to the Catholic University Law Review, and Captain of the International Arbitration Moot Court team.
James Madison University
U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Virginia
U.S. Department of Justice
Environmental and Natural Resources Division, Environmental Enforcement Section, 2012