Van Ness Feldman Further Expands Gas and Electric Regulatory and Litigation Capabilities

May 18, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Van Ness Feldman proudly announces the addition of Lawrence Acker and Brian O’Neill, each as Of Counsel, to the firm’s Washington, DC office. 

Mr. Acker and Mr. O’Neill were previously Of Counsel to Dewey & LeBoeuf.  They bring over 60 years combined experience representing natural gas and electric power industry participants before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Department of Energy (DOE), and federal courts.  Their expertise further enhances Van Ness Feldman’s substantial FERC regulatory and litigation bench strength, providing additional capabilities to the firm’s loyal client base. 

Mr. Acker has substantial experience with FERC authorizations for major gas and electric projects; FERC enforcement investigations; appellate litigation; compliance planning; contract formation and disputes; and rate, tariff, and refund matters.  He works regularly and closely with clients’ senior corporate executives and counsel on complex matters.  Among his clients are natural gas and LNG project developers, interstate pipelines, pipeline shippers, local distribution companies, natural gas and electric power trading companies, and electric utilities.  Mr. Acker is recognized as a leading lawyer in Energy Law by Best Lawyers and is ranked in Band 1 by Chambers USA for both Oil & Gas and Electricity (Regulatory & Litigation).   

Mr. O’Neill has practiced energy law for over 35 years, representing oil, gas, and LNG companies; intrastate pipelines; and electric utilities on regulatory, corporate, and commercial matters.  His litigation expertise includes matters involving regulatory proceedings, project development, and contracts.  Mr. O’Neill is ranked as a Senior Statesman for Oil & Gas (Regulatory & Litigation) by Chambers Global and Chambers USA and as a leading lawyer in Energy Law by Best Lawyers.  In addition, The Legal Times recognized Mr. O’Neill as a top energy lawyer in Washington, DC.  

Richard Agnew, Chairman of Van Ness Feldman, commented, “We enthusiastically welcome Larry and Brian to the firm.  Their expertise and stellar reputations as experts in their fields parallel that of the firm and affirm our commitment to excellence in all aspects of client service.”

Curt Moffatt, a senior Member of Van Ness Feldman’s Natural Gas & Oil practice, stated, “As the firm continues to grow and expand its Natural Gas & Oil practice we remain committed to providing our clients with superior expertise.  Brian and Larry’s leadership on FERC regulatory matters as well as their appellate experience will be of great benefit to the firm’s natural gas, oil and LNG clients in the pipeline transmission and midstream businesses. Many of us at Van Ness Feldman have known and practiced alongside and opposite Brian and Larry for decades.  We are very pleased to now have our friends with us.”

David Yaffe, Van Ness Feldman’s Electricity Practice Chair, added, “Larry and Brian’s collective experience before the FERC with rates, litigation, project development, and compliance and enforcement matters will benefit our electric clients on a number of fronts.”

Larry Acker said about the move, “It’s a privilege for Brian and me to be welcomed into what we’ve always considered to be among the very finest and most respected energy regulatory practices in the country.”

With over 110 professionals in Washington, DC and Seattle, WA, Van Ness Feldman is a recognized national leader focused on law and policy relating to energy, the environment, natural resources, land use, and real estate. Clients benefit from the firm’s strategic and substantive approach to problem-solving, as well as from our professionals’ deep understanding of our clients’ industries and business imperatives.  The firm excels at large-scale project development from concept to ribbon-cutting, as well as in representing clients on their day-to-day commercial, regulatory, litigation, and policy needs.  Learn more at 

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