Cairncross & Hempelmann
Eric is one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading energy and natural resources attorneys. His practice focuses on assisting both emerging energy and clean tech companies and traditional energy companies navigate the complex legal and regulatory systems governing the nation’s energy industry. With more than 27 years of experience, Eric has successfully represented clients in complex litigation and regulatory matters, ranging from the U.S. Supreme Court to major proceedings before federal and state agencies. In addition, Eric has successfully guided clients through major transactions involving, for example, renewable and traditional energy facilities, complex energy and derivatives trades, brownfields redevelopment, engineering and construction services, early-stage and traditional financing, risk management, and government grants and tax incentives.
Eric’s litigation experience includes successfully representing Snohomish County PUD in a series of complex lawsuits arising from the Enron crisis. The Enron litigation involved action at every level of the federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as complex administrative litigation resulting in an order requiring Enron to disgorge more than $1 billion. In addition, Eric has litigated dozens of matters in the federal and state courts. These include, for example, federal court challenges to the landmark federal orders restructuring regulation of the electricity, natural gas, and oil pipeline industries in the U.S. and critical regulatory and Constitutional issues in the Washington courts, including several matters before the Washington Supreme Court.
In addition, Eric has played a key role in major energy and infrastructure transactions throughout Washington. These include three major wind generation projects, the only major hydroelectric dam constructed in Washington this century, a major electric transmission cable, several renewable energy projects, and the contracts governing sales of power and transmission from the Northwest’s huge federal hydroelectric and transmission systems. In addition, Eric has put together complex transactions involving financing, engineering services, construction of buildings and similar facilities, and energy and commodity trades. He has also successfully litigated claims involving liability for hazardous waste contamination and assisted developers to reclaim and redevelop brownfields sites.