Renewable and Sustainable Energy Industry

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McAfee & Taft represents clients involved in renewable and sustainable energy projects, such as wind, solar, ethanol, hydrogen, and biodiesel project developments and associated financings. Clients include tax equity investors, traditional lenders, project developers and manufacturers, and landowners. We have been fortunate to have represented parties in many of Oklahoma’s largest wind projects over the years and recently represented the lenders to one of the state’s largest commercial solar projects.  The firm also assists clients in developing diversified energy and related carbon management strategies in response to developments in the market and in government energy and climate change legislation and policy.

The firm is able to draw on its established expertise in a number of practice areas to serve the needs of clients in this emerging area. That expertise enables the firm to provide representation in a broad range of areas.

Comprehensive Legal and Business Services

Real Estate and Financing

The firm’s real estate experience positions it to represent developers, tax equity financing parties, and traditional lenders in varied transactions related to renewable energy projects. More specifically, the firm has an established practice representing tax equity and traditional financing parties in wind and solar energy projects.  These projects typically involve title and survey reviews of numerous parcels, and we have a team of lawyers with extensive experience in performing this complex analysis that stand ready to provide these reviews and assist in any curative actions.  Further, the title insurance industry continues to evolve to keep up to speed with renewable energy projects and their unique needs, and our team works closely with all of the large title insurance companies and keeps abreast of the these ever-evolving practices.  The firm has also represented landowners and developers in the negotiation of leases, easements, and similar agreements related to these projects. These agreements are tailored not only to address the unique issues raised by renewable energy projects, but are designed to facilitate construction and long-term project financing.

Diversified Energy Strategies

State, regional and federal policies regarding energy production, distribution and consumption are developing rapidly in response to energy security and conservation, as well as climate change, issues. The range of companies impacted, directly or indirectly, by renewable portfolio standards, energy production requirements, energy conservation and efficiency measures and restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG or CO2e) is rapidly expanding. The firm’s energy and environmental lawyers keep abreast of these developments in order to most effectively assist clients in strategically addressing energy as one of many critical business issues.

Tax

McAfee & Taft’s tax lawyers remain abreast of the rapidly changing federal and state tax opportunities available with respect to renewable energy projects. With the national focus on renewable energy, those opportunities will no doubt continue to evolve, and the firm’s tax lawyers are positioned to provide up-to-date guidance on the latest tax-related developments.  Renewable energy projects frequently involve significant capital outlays for  the acquisition of tangible personal property in the projects that require extensive financial analysis for budgeting purposes and forecasting of future cash outlays for state and local property taxes.  In some case, there are exemptions from state and local taxes to be considered and evaluated in connection with the project.  Our lawyers keep up with the most current developments in these areas to assist developers and their financers in this analysis.

General Corporate and Business Matters

McAfee & Taft lawyers have expertise in handling a wide variety of general contract matters, including supply and distribution agreements, franchising, licensing and marketing agreements, transportation agreements, and employment and benefit agreements and programs. The firm has also been involved in all types of business transactions and combinations, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and sales of businesses. Whether the assignment involves evaluating due diligence information, drafting and negotiating merger and acquisition agreements, compliance with securities laws, or any of a myriad of other contract issues, our team will add value. Our experience includes dealing with price discrimination, trade regulation, and antitrust and competition matters.

Patents, Trademarks and Licensing

Our intellectual property attorneys have the technical backgrounds, experience and resources to successfully and efficiently handle all types of intellectual property issues associated with alternate energy. We are familiar with the technology and represent manufacturers of equipment used to create alternate energy and clean energy. We routinely procure and enforce patent rights throughout the world, perform patent infringement assessments and issue opinions, prepare technology development agreements, and counsel clients on how to protect confidential and proprietary information such as trade secrets. We also clear and register trademarks, draft and negotiate trademark-related agreements, and counsel clients with respect to advertising issues and trademark enforcement strategies.

Environmental Issues

Our attorneys provide advice regarding permitting, compliance, enforcement, administrative appeals, transactional due diligence and litigation services regarding all facets of environmental law, particularly as it pertains to: air pollutant emissions; greenhouse gas (GHG or CO2e) accounting, tracking and reporting; water pollutant discharges; hazardous waste management; surface and groundwater rights and use; water conservation and efficiency projects; environmental assessments and impact statements; and protection of wetlands and endangered species. Our environmental lawyers maintain knowledge of the most recent developments and proposals in this rapidly evolving area and are particularly well positioned to assist clients with strategies in response to developments in climate change legislation, regulation and litigation, and as climate change impacts other areas of environmental law.

Employment and Labor Issues

Workplace issues play a crucial role in the life of every business, and significant changes are expected in labor and employment laws in the near future. Our labor and employment attorneys are well versed in the challenges posed by these issues and the anticipated changes. Our attorneys have tested expertise in all labor and employment areas, including union avoidance, labor relations, wage and hour law, workplace safety, workers’ compensation, discrimination and retaliation, hiring and interviewing, employment agreements, terminations, immigration, drug and alcohol testing, contractor agreements, federal and state regulatory laws, training for hourly and managerial employees, and alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration programs.

Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits Plans

Our employee benefits attorneys assist clients of all sizes on group health and welfare plans, qualified and nonqualified group retirement plans, and executive compensation, including equity compensation programs (such as stock option plans, phantom stock plans, and restricted stock award plans), long-term incentive awards and supplemental retirement plans. We also counsel clients on legal compliance, fiduciary responsibilities, and funding and taxation issues, litigate ERISA claims, and handle the employee benefits and compensation aspects of transactions for which the firm provides corporate and securities services.

Industry Group Leader

Robert L. Garbrecht

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Industry Team

Alexis S. Barnes

Associate

(405) 552-2309

Logan P. Blackmore

Associate

(405) 552-2303

T. Michael Blake

Shareholder, Practice Group Leader

(405) 552-2317

Simon W. Bright

Associate

(405) 270-6082

Jennifer H. Callahan

Shareholder, Director, Industry Group Leader

(405) 552-2225

Robert J. Clougherty

Associate

(918) 574-3021

Jodi C. Cole

Shareholder

(405) 552-2224

Katherine Crowley Jimenez

Associate

(405) 552-2314

Evan J. Crumpley

Associate

(405) 552-2276

Kate N. Dodoo

Shareholder, Practice Group Leader

(405) 270-6057

Clifford C. Dougherty, III

Shareholder

(405) 552-2302

Robert L. Garbrecht

Shareholder, Practice Group Leader

(405) 552-2254

Thomas P. Goresen Jr.

Associate

(405) 552-2279

J. Derek Hardberger

Shareholder, Practice Group Leader

(405) 552-2327

Allison Meinders Harvey

Associate

(405) 552-2338

Matthew B. Hickey

Of Counsel

(405) 552-2264

Robert J. Joyce

Shareholder

(918) 574-3040

Garry L. Keele, II

Shareholder

(918) 574-3037

Michael J. LaBrie

Shareholder, Practice Group Leader, Industry Group Leader

(405) 552-2305

Tony Mastin

Of Counsel, Practice Group Leader

(405) 552-2353

Isai Molina

Shareholder

(405) 552-2290

Jennie M. Mook

Associate

(405) 270-6087

Haley J. (Maynard) Nimmo

Associate

(405) 552-2293

Anthony L. Rahhal

Shareholder

(405) 552-2306

Jeff L. Todd

Of Counsel

(405) 552-2269

Jeffrey L. Vogt

Shareholder

(405) 552-2214

Nathan L. Whatley

Shareholder, Practice Group Leader

(405) 552-2365

J. Todd Woolery

Shareholder, Practice Group Leader, Industry Group Leader

(405) 552-2333