McGuireWoods is starting a new energy policy practice with the help of its latest partner recruit: James Kerr II, currently a member of the North Carolina Utilities Commission. Kerr will start at the firm Sept. 1 and will lead the new practice out of the Raleigh and Washington offices.
The energy group will combine the efforts of McGuireWoods and its public policy arm, McGuireWoods Consulting. Kerr will focus on counseling clients in constructing legal, policy, and business strategies in connection with issues such as energy generation, renewable energy, portfolio standards, climate change policy, carbon regulation, and other types of environmental regulation and compliance.
Kerr says that in addition to the traditional legal work involved, the new practice is an “opportunity to also work in the communications and public affairs arena, to work with people and with clients on how their customers and how the cities they serve think about these issues.”
He says the practice will initially be staffed with 12 to 15 partners and consultants from other practices, such as the environmental, project finance, and energy groups. Public clients of the existing energy practice include Dominion and Constellation NewEnergy.
Before becoming a state utility commissioner in North Carolina, Kerr was president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.