Since 2003, William (Bill) D. Kissinger has focused his practice on energy matters in California and nationally along with related environmental issues. He developed this practice after spending two years working as senior deputy legal affairs secretary to Gov. Gray Davis and serving as the primary legal contact for the Office of the Governor with Cal EPA, Cal Health and Human Services Agency, and the Resources Agency. Bill previously spent four years in Washington, DC working in senior positions at the White House and the US State Department.
Bill served as a member of the Governor’s Energy Task Force, responsible for shaping California’s strategy in responding to the 2001 electricity crisis. He was California’s lead negotiator in the effort to renegotiate the multibillion-dollar energy contracts the state entered into in early 2001. His efforts resulted in greatly improved contract terms with future savings to the state in excess of $5 billion over the life of the contracts. Bill was also a member of the California Electricity Oversight Board, after being appointed by Gov. Davis in 2002.
From 1997–2000, Bill served as special assistant to the legal adviser for the US Department of State in Washington, D.C. From 2000–2001, he served as senior adviser for international economic policy at the White House National Economic Council.
Bill’s practice includes energy and environmental matters. He represents conventional and renewable energy companies, municipalities, and publicly owned utilities. His energy practice includes representing parties in litigation arising out of the purchase and sale of electricity as well as providing advice on regulatory matters involving the California Independent System Operator, the California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Recognized by Chambers USA, Bill is described as “a wealth of knowledge and contacts” by his energy clients. Bill serves as a member of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board after being appointed by Gov. Brown in 2012.
Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Bill was a partner in the environmental practice of another international law firm.
Assisted in passage of California legislation to enable 800 MW gas-fired power plant to complete California Energy Commission (CEC) licensing process
Negotiated first of its kind multiparty interconnection agreement for Arizona-based 500 MW photovoltaic solar project involving two adjacent balancing authorities (CAISO and APS)
Represented California municipal public utility in section 206 proceeding before Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) against an investor-owned utility arising out of the breach of interconnection agreement
Represented independent power plant developer before California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for approval of power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
Appeared on behalf of two Mexicali-based combined cycle power plants in CPUC proceedings related to the acquisition by San Diego Gas & Electric Co. of resources to meet grid reliability criteria
Prosecuted American Arbitration Association arbitration arising out of dispute relating to purchase of electricity by California Department of Water Resources from Sempra Generation
Represented party before CPUC seeking approval of the sale of the 1,050 MW Mountainview Power Project to Southern California Edison
Participated in California Independent System Operator (CAISO) sponsored stakeholder process relating to the management of transmission congestion and the proposed development of additional congestion management zones
Appearances before FERC relating to challenges of proposed CAISO tariff amendments and associated compliance filings
Represented InterGen Services Inc. before the CPUC proceedings relating to the development of various transmission upgrade projects
Renegotiated on behalf of the California Department of Water Resources Power Purchase Agreements with Allegheny Energy Supply, CalPeak, Constellation Power Source, Edison Mission Energy, El Paso, GWF Energy LLC, High Desert Power, PGE Trading, Williams Energy Marketing & Trading; renegotiated contracts resulted in more than $5 billion in savings to the state of California
Led US delegation on behalf of the State Department to successfully conclude negotiations with Canada on the sale of Canadian electricity into the wholesale energy markets
Advised California Department of Water Resources on environmental permitting related to emergency levee repairs along Sacramento River
Plaintiff’s counsel in multiparty cost recovery action pending in U.S. District Court Hawaii
Represented former property interest holder within Hylebos Superfund site, Tacoma, Wash.
Established new precedent under California Right-to-Know statute that provided additional protection to commercial trade secrets
Extensive involvement in all phases of Superfund litigation and remediation, including US v. Stringfellow, U.S. v. Allied, U.S. v. Bunker Hill
Advised party seeking to do business with state of California on state procurement practices
Acted as lead plaintiffs’ counsel in multiparty litigation involving tort law claims of first impression under California law; successfully negotiated multimillion-dollar settlement for client; efforts recognized by California Lawyer magazine
Princeton University, 1982, Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude
University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), 1987, Juris Doctor
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US District Court for the Central District of California
US District Court for the District of Hawaii
US District Court for the Eastern District of California
US District Court for the Northern District of California
US Supreme Court
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Environmental, Law360 (2017)
Recommended, The Legal 500 US (2016)
Ranked, Energy: State Regulatory & Litigation, California, Chambers USA (2011–2018)
Lawyer of the Year, Energy Regulatory Law, San Francisco, The Best Lawyers in America (2012, 2017–2019)
Recognized, Energy Regulatory Law, San Francisco, The Best Lawyers in America (2015–2019)
Recognized, Energy Law, San Francisco, The Best Lawyers in America (2009–2019)
Recognized, Northern California Super Lawyers (2005, 2011–2014)
Board Member, San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board (Governor Brown Appointment)
Board Member, Grid Alternatives
Board member, China-US Energy Efficiency Alliance
Board member, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Member, Conference of California Public Utility Counsel
Member, Energy Bar Association
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Pacific Council on International Policy
Member, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area
Recipient, Certificate of Excellence awarded by Attorney General Bill Lockyer (2003) for “extraordinary advocacy for California energy consumers”
Recipient, US Department of State Superior Honor Award (2000) for outstanding contribution to negotiations resolving claims of the People’s Republic of China against the United States arising out of the Chinese Embassy bombing in Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Recipient, 1996 “California Lawyer of the Year” based on advocacy in a pro bono action against the assault weapon manufacturer used in mass shooting in San Francisco high-rise building
Recipient, The Jack Berman Advocacy Center of the American Jewish Congress 1996 Community Service Award
Recipient, Margaret Sanger Community Sanger Service Award Planned Parenthood Association of San Mateo (1992); recognized for successful prosecution of claims for injunction relief against Operation Rescue on behalf of Planned Parenthood healthcare clinic
Notes and Comments Editor, Ecology Law Quarterly (past)