Holland & Knight Acquires Transactional & Regulatory Team

Holland & Knight announced today that a nationally recognized team of nine partners with extensive experience in the energy industry have joined the firm from Eversheds. The team is led by energy and renewables partner Ram Sunkara in Houston and tax partner Amish Shah in Washington, D.C.

The group also includes partners Jackson Allen and Kyle Wamstad in AtlantaJoshua Belcher and Ronnie Dabbasi in HoustonMadeleine Tan in New York; and Alexander Holtan and Susan Lafferty in Washington, D.C. The team’s experience includes corporate transactions, power purchase agreements, project finance and development, equity and debt financing, general tax planning, energy-related tax credits, tax controversy, regulatory and environmental.

The move follows Holland & Knight’s successful 2021 merger with Thompson & Knight, a Texas-based firm and leader in the energy industry, as well as multiple lateral energy and renewable partner additions over the past several years. Holland & Knight’s Energy and Natural Resources Group includes more than 220 lawyers in key markets throughout the U.S. and in Mexico and ColombiaLaw360 named Holland & Knight the 2021 “Energy Practice Group of the Year” based on the firm’s wide-ranging work in the industry.

“Since 2018, one important aspect of our business strategy has been to strengthen our energy practice,” said Steven Sonberg, managing partner of Holland & Knight. “The addition of this exceptional team, combined with the strength of the former Thompson & Knight lawyers, our partners in Bogotá and Mexico, as well as other recent partner additions, positions us to provide a full range of services to the international energy industry. Ram, Amish and their team will help us compete for the most sophisticated work across all areas of the industry.”

“Over the past year we’ve taken significant steps to expand our multi-faceted energy capabilities after the merger with Thompson & Knight,” said David Barkus, co-leader of the firm’s Corporate, M&A and Securities Practice Group and leader of the firm’s Private Equity Team. “Ram and Amish’s team, with their particular mix of strengths and experience, completes the puzzle for us and will help distinguish our team in the market. The team has bold visions for the future and we are excited to help them execute their plans.”

“Ram and Amish are nationally recognized names in energy and tax,” said Roger Aksamit, an energy and tax partner in Holland & Knight’s Houston office. “We are particularly excited to offer our clients the energy and tax equity advice that Ram and Amish bring to renewable project investors. The clean energy provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act have made these transactions a priority with a majority of our energy clients, making this an area poised for explosive growth. This addition is further indication of the firm’s ongoing commitment to making our energy practice second to none.”

“The decision to move a large and successful team like ours isn’t taken lightly,” said Mr. Sunkara. “Holland & Knight’s demonstrated commitment to the energy industry is impressive, as is their track record with successfully integrating groups of lateral attorneys and helping them thrive.”

“The firm has a deep bench in both renewable and traditional energy, and we know our clients will appreciate the firm’s extensive capabilities in the tax legislative and regulatory space,” said Mr. Shah. “We see multiple avenues for fruitful collaboration in the future that we look forward to exploring.”

Mr. Sunkara has an industry-recognized multidisciplinary practice advising clients on complex mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, tax equity transactions, project development and construction matters and structured commodity transactions across the electric energy (with a specific focus on renewables and renewable natural gas), oil and gas, transmission and storage, hydrogen, carbon capture and sequestration, mining and metals, timber, chemicals and natural resource industries. He also has a market-leading practice advising Fortune 500 and FTSE listed companies in achieving their sustainability and other ESG objectives globally.

Mr. Shah provides sophisticated and practical tax advice to clients making investments in the energy sector or seeking to achieve ESG goals, including with respect to production tax credits (PTCs) and investment tax credits (ITCs) for renewable power, alternative fuels, carbon capture and sequestration, energy storage, hydrogen, biogas property, nuclear and other technologies incentivized through tax credits (including through the Inflation Reduction Act). He represents energy clients in seeking legislative and regulatory changes; in maximizing the value of tax credits, including through “begun construction” strategies; in project development, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and tax equity investments; and in tax controversy at the administrative, trial court and appellate levels.

Other key members of the team include:

Atlanta
Jackson Allen represents clients in the power, natural gas and renewable energy sectors in connection with commercial transactions, project development, mergers and acquisitions, power purchase agreements, operations and maintenance agreements, engineering, procurement and construction agreements, and natural gas and power transactions.

Kyle Wamstad represents clients in various transactional and regulatory matters in the electric power, renewable energy, natural gas, crude oil and refined products sectors.

Houston
Joshua Belcher has a national, multidisciplinary practice counseling clients in the utility, power and pipelines sectors.

Ronnie Dabbasi has a broad corporate and commercial practice and advises clients on all aspects of acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures, and project development in the energy sector.

New York
Madeleine Tan advises clients on structured investments and financing transactions in the transportation, energy and infrastructure sectors.

Washington, D.C.
Alexander Holtan counsels energy clients on trading in derivatives, enforcement matters and compliance with derivatives-related regulatory requirements, including those imposed by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Susan Lafferty advises clients on an array of energy and environmental issues impacting the petroleum, biofuels and energy trading industries.

About Holland & Knight LLP:  Holland & Knight is a global law firm with approximately 1,700 lawyers and other professionals in 32 offices worldwide. The firm’s lawyers and advisors provide representation in litigation, corporate and finance, real estate and governmental matters. Interdisciplinary practice groups and industry-based teams provide clients with efficient access to attorneys throughout the firm. www.hklaw.com