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Thompson Coburn welcomes four attorneys to its nationally recognized utilities practice

January 31, 2017

Jesse Halpern
Jesse Halpern
Tom Blackburn
Tom Blackburn
Peter Matt
Peter Matt
Nicole Allen
Nicole Allen

Thompson Coburn is pleased to announce that one partner, one counsel and two senior counsel have joined its Utilities practice in Washington, D.C. Jesse Halpern, Thomas L. Blackburn, Peter K. Matt and Nicole S. Allen were previously at Schiff Hardin. 

Jesse Halpern, Partner, focuses on electric transmission matters, including open-access transmission service, cost-of-service transmission rates, generation and transmission interconnection matters, and regional transmission organization (RTO) issues. She also helps clients comply with North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) reliability standards and has substantial experience with FERC compliance and audit matters. Jesse’s experience as an economist for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for more than six years provides her with a unique insight into FERC enforcement policy and the audit process. She earned her J.D. from George Washington University School of Law.

Tom Blackburn, Senior Counsel, has decades of experience in electric utility regulatory law and helped shape the regulations that affect this complex industry. He has a comprehensive understanding of the FERC and also helps clients in their interactions with RTOs. Tom has a strong background in open-access transmission service, utility compliance with FERC Standards of Conduct, affiliate restrictions, anti-market manipulation requirements, market behavior rules, and contract negotiation. He also regularly advises clients on compliance with FERC regulations and conducts training sessions and audits. Tom has worked on transmission and generation issues in most regions of the continental U.S. He earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Peter Matt, Senior Counsel, represents municipal and cooperative utilities, investor-owned utilities, and independent generators before the FERC, state regulatory commissions, and federal courts. He also regularly represents industry trade organizations in matters before the FERC. Peter counsels his clients on the full spectrum of energy-related issues concerning rates, power supply issues, contract negotiations, and open-access transmission tariffs. He also handles antitrust litigation involving transmission access, interconnection and coordination access, and rates and retail competition. He has represented clients before Congress and has also participated on a state restructuring task force committee. He earned his J.D. from George Washington University School of Law.

Nicole Allen, Counsel, routinely works with electric utilities and cooperatives, natural gas companies and local distribution companies on a variety of energy-related matters and has helped them navigate dramatic changes in the regulatory landscape. She understands the varying policy concerns unique to her client base and is well versed in the complex and technical aspects of FERC regulation and compliance. She earned her J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law and an L.L.M. in Law and Government from American University Washington College of Law.

“We are excited that Jesse, Tom, Peter and Nicole have joined the firm,” said Bonnie Blair, chair of Thompson Coburn’s Utilities practice, which has been nationally recognized by Chambers USA for the past six years. “They are highly respected lawyers in this industry and a perfect complement to our existing practice. Our expanded group of clients will benefit from the breadth of our shared experience.