Mark C. Williams represents clients in the electric power and natural gas industries. For more than 20 years, Mark has advised banks, insurers, pension funds, multinational institutional investors, hedge funds, private equity funds, and traditional investment funds on the complex regulatory requirements applicable to electricity and gas investments. He documents secured lending and direct equity positions, investment and portfolio affiliations, bankruptcy matters, and fuel procurement and transportation issues.
Mark advises institutional investors, fund managers and advisers, and private equity funds on the energy regulatory requirements applicable to electricity and gas investments, financings, mergers, acquisitions, securities, and restructuring transactions. To date, he has represented investors in transactions totaling more than 37,000 MW of electric generating capacity, and more than 29,000 miles of natural gas pipeline capacity.
Before entering private practice, Mark was the sole attorney in the Division of Corporate Applications of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In that role, he advised the commission on merger, divestiture, financing, independent power, and electrical transmission system matters, and led more than 100 commission orders in transactional-regulatory matters.
Mark also led FERC’s review of generation facility sales, utility and holding company restructuring transactions, and a range of Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) proposals, including the formation of the Alliance RTO, the acquisition of a US facility by a foreign energy system, and the independence of RTOs from other energy market participants.
Chambers USA recognized Mark as “one of the leading attorneys in the USA when it comes to the regulatory aspects of the purchase and sale of electric generation assets” and as “a tremendous resource for any team . . . well versed in regulatory minutiae and top of the class in the regulatory space.” He is also recognized by Chambers Global and has been lead energy regulatory counsel to several project finance transactions deemed “deals of the year.”
Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Mark was a partner in the energy practice of another international law firm.
Energy regulatory counsel to Ares EIF Management LLC, the manager of leading electricity and gas private equity funds.
Energy regulatory counsel to the developers of the Astoria Energy projects in New York.
Energy regulatory counsel to Northern Star Generation LLC independent power system.
Energy regulatory counsel to financial and institutional creditors and noteholders of over 50 generating companies and holding companies.
Lead regulatory counsel to General Electric Energy Financial Services in connection with the financing, development, and regulation of new clean-energy wind-generation facilities across the country.
Lead regulatory counsel to Portland Natural Gas in its 2003 refinancing.
Lead regulatory counsel to Highstar Renewable in its 2003 acquisition of renewable-fuel independent power generation interests from Duke Energy.
Lead regulatory counsel to AIG Highstar Capital in its 2002 acquisition of the 6,000-mile Southern Star Central gas pipeline (and to Southern Star in its 2003 refinancing, to AIG and Southern Star in the 2005 acquisition by General Electric Capital, and to Southern Star in its 2006 refinancing).
Represented private equity and insurance investors in former Enron electric facilities in FERC’s 2003–2004 Enron proceedings, leading to the full and public exoneration of the clients.
New York Law School, 1990, J.D.
Columbia University, 1987, B.A.
District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Law Firm of the Year, Energy/Projects: Power (including Renewables), Chambers USA (2018)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Energy, Law360 (2016)
Member, Energy Law Firm of the Year, US News & World Report/Best Lawyers (2015)
Ranked, Energy: Electricity (Regulatory & Litigation), Nationwide, Chambers Global (2018)
Ranked, Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers, Energy: Regulatory & Litigation Law (2013–2017)
Ranked, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Energy: Electricity — Regulatory & Litigation Law, Nationwide (2007–2017)
Ranked, IFLR1000 Financial and Corporate guide "Leading Lawyer" (2017, 2018)
Ranked, The Best Lawyers in America, Project Finance (2009–2014, 2017–2018)
Ranked, The Legal 500 US (2012, 2015)
Trustee, Foundation of the Energy Law Journal (2011–present)
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Energy Bar Association:
– Founding Chair, Committee on Finance and Transactions (1999–2000)
– Vice Chair and Chair-elect, Committee on Finance and Transactions (2005–2006)
– Chair, Committee on Finance and Transactions (2006–2007)
– Vice Chair (2008–2010) and Chair (2010–2011), Committee on Professional Development and Ethics
– Co-chair, Programs and Meetings Committee (2005–2006)
– Conference Chair, National Legislative Program (2005)
– Elected Member, Board of Directors (2002–2005)
– Chair, Committee on FERC Administration and Reorganization (1998–1999)
Commissioner, City Industrial Development and Revenue Bond Authority, City of Alexandria, VA (Term 2002–2012; acting Chairman, 2012)
Adviser to U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform and Paperwork Reduction (105th Congress) in connection with national electric-sector oversight hearings (1998)