Sidley, Hunton & Williams, Latham: Business of Law

Sidley Austin LLP was one of several law firms that successfully challenged a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule aimed at reducing pollution from coal-fired power plants.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington yesterday struck down the EPA’s cross-state air pollution rule, saying the agency illegally imposed federal authority over state air pollution programs.

The court sided with more than three dozen challengers to the measure, which caps emissions in more than two dozen states. The rule had been put on hold by the court in December while it considered the regulation’s legality.

Peter Keisler, the former assistant attorney general for the civil division of the Justice Department in the Bush administration, argued the case before the appellate court. Working with him was Roger Martella, another partner from Sidley, who was the EPA’s general counsel during the Bush administration. Sidley partners C. Frederick Beckner and Timothy Webster were on the team as well, representing Luminant, a unit of Energy Future Holdings Corp.

Also representing Luminant were Hunton & Williams LLP partner F. William Brownell and Balch & Bingham LLP partner P. Stephen Gidiere.

Latham & Watkins LLP was also involved in the case, representing EME Homer City Generation LP, a unit of Edison International. From Latham are partners Gregory Garre, Claudia O’Brien and Lori Alvino McGill.

Finally, partners Joshua Frank and William Bumpers of Baker Botts LLP represented Entergy Corp., Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc., Northern States Power Co. - Minnesota, Southwestern Public Service Co. and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative.

In the 60-page opinion, Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote that “our limited but important role is to independently ensure that the agency stays within the boundaries Congress has set. EPA did not do so here.”

The court’s decision, which sparked a rally in coal stocks, could leave the EPA with years of work to replace a regulation the agency said would have “dramatic” health benefits for 240 million people, Whitney Stanco, senior energy policy analyst at Guggenheim Securities LLC, said.

The case is EME Homer City Generation LP v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 11-1302, U.S. Court of Appeals

For more on the decision, click here.


Bracewell, Stinson, Debevoise on Kinder Morgan-Tallgrass Deal

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, the second-largest U.S. pipeline partnership, agreed to sell assets in the Rocky Mountains to private-equity backed Tallgrass Energy Partners LP for $1.8 billion in cash, a divestiture promised to antitrust regulators.

Kinder Morgan Energy will sell 7,200 miles (11,600 kilometers) of pipelines and two natural-gas processing facilities, the Houston-based company said Aug. 20 in a statement. The deal, which includes its Trailblazer Pipeline Co., Kinder Morgan Interstate Gas Transmission pipeline and a 50 percent interest in the Rockies Express pipeline, is valued at $3.3 billion including assumed debt, according to the statement.

The sale is the last requirement from Kinder Morgan Inc.’s $22.8 billion takeover of El Paso Corp. in May. The Federal Trade Commission forced Kinder Morgan, which controls Kinder Morgan Energy, to sell some of its gas pipelines to reduce its dominance in the Rocky Mountain region.

Partners W. Cleland Dade, Gregory M. Bopp, Heather L. Brown, Aaron P. Roffwarg, Jeffrey S. Whittle and Timothy A. Wilkins from Bracewell & Giuliani LLP represented Kinder Morgan.

Tallgrass, based in Overland Park, Kansas, is owned by its management as well as private-equity firm Kelso & Co. and a group of investors led by the Energy & Minerals Group.

Partners Patrick Respeliers and Scot Hill from Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP in Kansas City, Missouri, represented Tallgrass.

Partners Margaret Andrews Davenport, Paul D. Brusiloff and David H. Schnabel from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP represented Kelso.

Baker Botts LLP represented the Energy & Minerals Group. From that firm were partners Laura Tyson, Michael Bengtson and Stephen Marcus.


Kirkland & Ellis Adds Corporate Partner in New York Office

Taurie M. Zeitzer joined the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP as a partner in the corporate group. Zeitzer had been a partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins LLP, where she was also in the corporate department.

Zeitzer focuses her practice on mergers and acquisitions, private equity and complex corporate transactions, according to a Kirkland & Ellis statement.

Kirkland & Ellis has about 1,500 attorneys in offices worldwide.

DLA Piper Adds Litigator to Office in Minneapolis

William Stute joined DLA Piper LLP as a partner in the Minneapolis office. He previously was a partner at Faegre Baker & Daniels LLP.

Stute is a litigator who focuses on complex financial disputes, including commercial and securities fraud, business torts, merger and acquisition litigation, and shareholder derivative and class actions. He also represents companies and individuals in investigations and proceedings involving the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and other agencies.

Stute is a member of William Mitchell College of Law’s board of trustees and a member of Minnesota CLE’s board of directors.

DLA Piper’s litigation practice has more than 1,500 lawyers globally.

Ex-Chicago Education Board General Counsel Joins Jackson Lewis

Patrick Rocks, the Chicago Board of Education’s general counsel since 2005, joined Jackson Lewis LLP as a partner in the firm’s Chicago office.

Rocks has more than 20 years of experience in public sector and education law, with an emphasis on both class litigation and labor and employment issues, the firm said in a statement.

Jackson Lewis represents management in workplace law with more than 700 attorneys in 49 offices throughout the U.S.

Morrison & Foerster Adds Intellectual Property Lawyer

Intellectual property litigator Johnny Chiu joined Morrison & Foerster LLP’s Washington office as a partner.

Chiu has represented China- and Taiwan-based technology companies in IP litigation before the International Trade Commission and in U.S. courts, according to a statement from the firm.

Goodwin Procter Adds Lawyer to Technology, M&A Practices

Lawrence M. Chu joined the Silicon Valley office of Goodwin Procter LLP as a member of its Technology Companies, M&A/Corporate Governance and Private Equity practices.

Chu, who was a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC in San Francisco, will focus on mergers and acquisitions, dispositions and corporate finance transactions in the technology, Internet, digital media, financial technology, e-commerce and biotechnology industries.

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