McGuireWoods is setting up a new practice focused on water-related issues, and the firm is bolstering it with a pair of former government attorneys.
Partner Bernadette Rappold and senior advisor Russell Sullivan are two recent hires in the new practice group, which is focused on regulation and finance issues associated with water projects.
Rappold, who joined the firm in February, formerly worked in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. Sullivan, who starts July 1, is a former Democratic staffer in the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.
D. Cameron Prell, senior counsel at the firm and co-chairman of the water industry group, said the team will combine the experience of attorneys in practices that include finance, transactions and the environment. In Washington, four attorneys on the law firm side and three members from McGuireWoods Consulting will be a part of the practice. A number of attorneys in the team are also located in London, Prell said.
"It is the convergence of infrastructure, energy and environmental law," he said. "These issues are economic, financial and physical."
Among the matters that the new water industry team will tackle: public-private partnerships, project and infrastructure financing. Prell said the team would likely confront issues that include budgetary constraints at the local level, climate change and water supply. The water industry team is driven in part by client demands, Prell said.
"We are growing as we need and the need is increasingly becoming the nexus between regulations and financing," Prell said.