Suedeen Kelly, who until last year was a commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, has signed up with Patton Boggs in Washington. She joined the firm yesterday as a partner and will co-chair Patton Boggs’ energy industry practice.
Kelly had served as a commissioner since 2003, when she was tapped to finish out the remaining year of a previous commissioner's term. She went on to serve two additional terms. In September, Kelly announced that she had declined President Barack Obama’s nomination for a third term.
As a commissioner, Kelly was responsible for oversight and regulation of the nation’s electricity and natural gas wholesale markets and interstate transmission systems, hydroelectric facilities, reliability standards, and smart grid interoperability.
Kelly started her career in private practice at what was then known as Ruckelshaus, Beveridge, Fairbanks & Diamond in Washington and focused on federal environmental and commercial litigation. After a stint at the Natural Resources Defense Council, she became managing partner of Luebben, Hughes & Kelly based in Albuquerque, N.M. In 2001, she joined the Modrall Law Firm to launch its public utility practice.
At Patton Boggs, Kelly will advise clients on the changing energy industry and help them prepare for new legislation and regulations.
Updated 4:32 p.m. Kelly said that she decided not to take Obama up on his offer for a third term as FERC commissioner because she felt "it was an appropriate time to step down."
Kelly said the scope of her practice hasn't been defined, but she expects it to cover a wide range of issues, including regulatory, litigation, transactional, and lobbying matters in the energy sector.
As co-chair of Patton Boggs' energy practice, Kelly said she will work to expand the practice after she has time to get settled in.
She said that with Congress focusing on financial regulatory reform, work in the energy sector will only increase as more clients seek advice on how changes to financial regulations will affect energy regulations and transactions.
"It's a vibrant time to be working on energy law. And it's a good time to be in the private sector," Kelly said.