Skip to main content

Thomas R. Burton, III

Member / Chair, Energy & Sustainability Practice

[email protected]

+1.617.348.3097

Follow:
Share:

Tom Burton’s zeal for innovation and passion for energy and sustainability have shaped the clean energy industry. He created one of the nation’s first clean energy legal practices. Clients ranging from investors to entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies rely on him for creative and strategic legal solutions, and he has completed hundreds of venture capital and private equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, and IPOs. He guides the industry’s next generation of leaders through active involvement with start-up organizations and accelerators. The Northeast Clean Energy Council recognized his pioneering role in the Northeast with a Decade of Influence award in 2017.

Tom’s global practice focuses on complex corporate finance matters including mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, private equity, and securities transactions. He represents high-growth and emerging businesses, including companies in the energy and clean technology, social media and software industries, as well as life science companies, from start-ups to public companies.

In 2004, Tom founded, and currently chairs, the firm’s Energy & Sustainability Practice, which has completed more than 500 transactions across energy sectors totaling over $8.5 billion since 2006. Serving more than 250 clients, spanning the ecosystem from emerging companies to large corporations, venture capital and private equity funds, investment banks, project developers, and family offices, the firm is recognized nationally as a leading law firm in the space. Tom is ranked by Best Lawyers in America in the Corporate Law section, and he is recognized by The Legal 500 United States as “rising to the fore” in energy technology for Venture Capital and Emerging Companies.

On the corporate and securities side, Tom has served as counsel in the structuring and completion of over 400 venture capital and private equity financings, representing both the funds providing the capital and the emerging growth companies seeking funding. His work in this area has raised billions of dollars. He organizes venture capital funds and represents them in their portfolio investments. Tom is also a key contributor to MintzEdge, an online resource for entrepreneurs that includes useful tools and information for starting and growing a company. In addition, he devotes a portion of his practice to counseling social enterprise companies, impact investors, and nonprofit companies.

Tom routinely counsels businesses on their growth and development, advises their boards of directors on corporate governance matters, and participates in an array of transactions, from private and public offerings to mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and technology transfer matters. Tom also has experience in advising investment banks in private placements and underwritten public offerings of equity securities, and in their role as financial advisor in mergers and acquisitions.

He applies his background in corporate finance to counsel energy and clean technology companies through all stages of formation, financing, and exits. His energy and clean technology clients span markets such as solar and wind, smart grid and energy efficiency, energy storage, water technologies, waste treatment, biofuels, electric vehicles, and green buildings.

Education

  • Boston College (JD, Order of the Coif)
  • Boston College (BA)

Experience

  • Represented Spring Lane Capital in its investment in Aries Clean Energy.
  • Represented Greentech Media, Inc. in the sale of its business to Woods Mackenzie (Verisk Analytics, Inc.).
  • Represented Vionx Energy in licensing technology from United Technologies Corporation and subsequent equity financing.
  • Represented NanoSteel in securing a $10 million venture loan facility from Nasdaq-listed Horizon Technology Finance Management.
  • Represented Aspen Aerogels in its $82.5 million Initial Public Offering.
  • Represented EnerNOC, Inc. in its acquisition of Pulse Energy.
  • Served as counsel to Canaccord Genuity in $32.5 and $37.4 million follow-on public offerings for Rubicon Technology.
  • Represented True North Venture Holdings as lead investor in Harvest Power’s 2014 $20 million financing round.
  • Represented First Solar, Inc. in its acquisition of TetraSun.
  • Represented XL Hybrids in Windsail Capital debt financing.
  • Served as counsel to FloDesign Sonics in its $10 million Series A financing led by Bright Capital and Pall Corporation.
  • Represented GreatPoint Energy in its $1.25 billion financing and joint venture with China-based Wanxiang Holdings; selected as Greentech Media’s Deal of the Year.
  • Represented EnerNOC, Inc. in its IPO and follow-on offerings ($97 million, $108 million, and $97 million, respectively)
  • Represented Canaccord in Televent GIT, S.A. follow-on public offerings ($66 million and $115 million, respectively).
  • Formation of New England Energy Innovation Collaborative (now the Northeast Clean Energy Council).
  • Represented Beryllium, LLC in a financing with a strategic partner.

Recognition & Awards

  • Decade of Influence Award, NECEC (2017)
  • JD Supra: Top Author, Readers' Choice Awards – Energy (2017 - 2019)
  • Best Lawyers in America: Corporate Law (2015 - 2020)
  • Wunder Capital: 100 People Shaping Cleantech on Twitter (2015)
  • Recognized by The Legal 500 United States as “rising to the fore” in energy technology for Venture Capital and Emerging Companies (2014)
  • Included on the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list: Securities & Corporate Finance (2004, 2010 – 2019)
  • Euromoney’s LMG Cleantech & Renewable Energy: Top 100 Lawyers in CleanTech (2013)
  • Euromoney’s LMG Cleantech & Renewable Energy: Top 10 Clean Technology and Renewables Law Firm
  • Watershed Capital Group: #2 US Clean Technology law firm
  • World Technology Award Finalist: Law (2010) (The World Technology Network awards are released in association with Time, Fortune, Technology Review, CNN, and Science)
  • Boston Business Journal: 40 Under 40 (2009)
  • Susan Grant Desmaris Award, Boston College Law School
  • Order of the Coif, Boston College Law School

Involvement

  • Chair, Boston College Law Day (2017, 2018)
  • Selection Committee Member, Big Path Capital’s SmarterMoney+ Review (2016)
  • Presenter, Cleantech Open Northeast CleanWeb Prize by Mintz & EnerNOC, Inc. (2014, 2015)
  • Judge, MIT $100K Pitch Competition (2015, 2016)
  • Judge, Cleantech Open Northeast Regional Finals (2012 – 2015, 2018)
  • Presenter, Department of Energy Clean Energy Business Plan Competition (2012 - 2014)
  • Judge, MIT Clean Energy Prize; Grand Prize (2018), Track Final Round (2014), Grand Prize (2012), and Energy Efficiency and Infrastructure Finals (2011)
  • Co-chair, Massachusetts Water Innovation Mission to Israel (2012)
  • Judge, Cleantech Open National Finals (2010, 2011)
  • Judge, MassChallenge Business Plan Competition (2010)
  • Chair-Elect, New England Aquarium Board of Trustees
  • Member, Board of Directors, Boston Golf Club
  • Advisory committee member, Flutie Spectrum Enterprises LLC
  • Board of Trustees, Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism (2008 - 2014)
  • Advisory committee member, UMass Lowell Center for Sustainable Production Cleantech Project: An Agenda for a Healthy Economy
  • President, Boston College Law School Alumni Board of Directors (2016)

Recent Insights

News & Press

Viewpoints

Viewpoint General

Energy & Sustainability Event Highlights – November 2019

November 8, 2019 | Article | By Thomas R. Burton, III, Sahir Surmeli

Don’t miss this month’s exciting events, including Greentech Media’s Energy Storage Summit in Denver, Colorado, and SEBANE’s Clean Peak Standard & Energy Storage Forum hosted by Mintz in the Boston office.
Viewpoint General

Energy & Sustainability Client Feature: Energetic Insurance

November 8, 2019 | Article | By Thomas R. Burton, III, Sahir Surmeli

This month, we are pleased to feature Energetic Insurance, a company that facilitates solar project financing for developers, investors, and energy service providers. Serving as a Managing General Underwriter (MGU), the insurance company helps to evaluate risks and sell and bind policies for large insurance carriers.

Viewpoint General

Energy & Sustainability M&A Activity – November 2019

November 8, 2019 | Article | By Thomas R. Burton, III, Sahir Surmeli

Read the latest round of M&A activity in the energy and sustainability space.
Viewpoint General

Energy & Sustainability Connections Newsletter – November 2019

November 8, 2019 | Article | By Thomas R. Burton, III, Sahir Surmeli

This issue covers news about Energetic Insurance, regulatory issues related to blockchain in the energy industry, recent M&A activity, energy policy developments in DC, and upcoming energy events.
Viewpoint General

Mintz Sponsors Horizon18

October 25, 2019 | Blog | By Thomas Burton

Mintz is excited to sponsor Horizon18, a new global event for the clean energy economy taking place October 10-11 in Boston.
Viewpoint General

Energy & Sustainability Connections Newsletter – October 2019

October 8, 2019 | Article | By Thomas R. Burton, III, Sahir Surmeli

This issue covers news about AeroShield and Teratonix, the use of blockchain in the energy industry, Mintz client TitanAES, recent M&A activity, energy policy developments in DC, and upcoming energy events.
Viewpoint General
Congratulations to our client AeroShield and its co-founders, Elise Strobach and Kyle Wilke, on being selected as a regional winner at the Cleantech Open Northeast Accelerator Program 2019 Regional Finals, which took place in New York City on Thursday, September 26. AeroShield is a Cambridge-based startup that manufactures a super-insulating, porous glass for energy efficient windows.
Viewpoint General

Energy & Sustainability M&A Activity – October 2019

October 8, 2019 | Article | By Thomas R. Burton, III, Sahir Surmeli

Read the latest round of M&A activity in the energy and sustainability space.
Viewpoint General

Energy & Sustainability Client Feature: Titan Advanced Energy Solutions (Titan AES)

October 8, 2019 | Article | By Thomas R. Burton, III, Sahir Surmeli

This month, we are pleased to feature Titan Advanced Energy Solutions (Titan AES), a company that has produced cutting-edge technology to increase battery charge capacity and significantly extend overall battery life. Founded by two entrepreneurs, Shawn Murphy and Sean O’Day, the company recently closed a Series A financing deal to advance its products and sales.
Viewpoint General

Energy & Sustainability Event Highlights – October 2019

October 8, 2019 | Article | By Thomas R. Burton, III, Sahir Surmeli

Don’t miss this month’s exciting events, including SeaAhead’s Global Bluetech Summit in New York and Greentech Media’s Power & Renewables Summit 2019 in Austin, Texas.

News & Press

A July 8 article published by The Boston Globe reported that the New England Aquarium is aiming to become a bold advocate on environmental matters, in conjunction with its plans for significant expansion.

Mintz Member and Chair of the Energy & Sustainability practice Tom Burton, Chair-Elect of the New England Aquarium Board of Trustees, recently led the search committee for the aquarium’s chief executive, Vikki Spruill, a longtime advocate for marine conservation. “Board members believe the nonprofit needs to forcefully advocate for conservation measures, and educate the public about what they can do,” Mr. Burton said.

The article also noted that ML Strategies is registered to represent the aquarium with respect to waterfront development on and around Central Wharf.
This Boston Globe column takes a closer look at Vikki Spruill, the New England Aquarium’s new chief executive. Tom Burton, a Member in the firm’s Boston office and leader of the Energy & Sustainability practice, is quoted in the piece. Tom sits on the board of the New England Aquarium and chaired the search committee.
This column notes that as a society, we are increasingly insisting that corporations generate and measure social impact alongside profit. In this piece, Member Tom Burton and Associate Ben Stone discuss both the opportunities and challenges presented to boards of directors. Tom founded, and currently chairs, the firm’s Energy & Sustainability Practice and Ben previously served in-house in social impact roles.
Mintz is proud to be recognized by JD Supra in its 2018 Reader’s Choice awards. The annual program highlights the most widely read authors and articles throughout the past year. Five Mintz attorneys were named JD Supra Top Authors in four different industries.
Mintz is pleased to announce that Member Tom Burton, founder of its Energy & Sustainability Practice, is among the recipients of the Northeast Clean Energy Council’s “Decade of Influence Award.”
Best Lawyers named 85 Mintz attorneys to its 2018 list of The Best Lawyers in America. In addition, Mintz attorneys Matthew J. Gardella and Samuel M. Tony Starr were named “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective practice areas.
Mintz Member and Chair of the Energy & Sustainability practice Tom Burton led a panel, “Building a Larger Tent to Mobilize Capital & Exert Influence,” at Big Path Capital’s annual Impact Capitalism Summit.
JD Supra has recognized Mintz in its 2017 Reader’s Choice awards, highlighting the most widely read authors and articles over the past year. Eleven Mintz attorneys were named JD Supra Top Authors in four industries and Mintz was recognized as the Top Firm with readers in the Energy Industry.

An Energy Law Pioneer

February 6, 2017 | http://lawmagazine.bc.edu/2017/01/an-energy-law-pioneer/ BC Law Magazine

This article profiles Tom Burton, founder and chair of Mintz’s Energy Technology Practice, which focuses on advising clients on building businesses in the clean energy sector.

Interview the Expert: An Interview With Tom Burton

February 2, 2017 | https://www.getthreatready.com/interview-the-experts/tom-burton/ ThreatReady Resources

This Q&A is conducted with Mintz Member Tom Burton who is founder and Chair of the firm’s Energy Technology Practice. The interview is conducted by Marcus McInnis, Director of Operations for Lockheed Martin’s Cybersecurity Innovation Center. 
Fifty-three Mintz attorneys have been named Massachusetts Super Lawyers for 2016 and thirty-one have been named Massachusetts Rising Stars. The findings will be published in the November 2016 issue of Boston Magazine and in a stand-alone magazine, New England Super Lawyers. 
Thomas R. Burton III and Sahir Surmeli, Co-Chairs of the Energy Technology Practice at Mintz, will serve on a panel of judges at the 2016 Cleantech Open Northeast Regional Finals. Mr. Burton and Mr. Surmeli will join a panel of six judges.
Best Lawyers named 73 Mintz attorneys to its 2017 list of The Best Lawyers in America. Mintz attorneys selected for inclusion in this year’s list span 44 practice areas. 
Mintz attorneys represented Greentech Media, Inc. in its sale to Verisk Analytics, Inc., a leading data analytics provider. Greentech Media is an industry-leading information services provider for the next-generation electricity and renewables sector.
Mintz Members Thomas Burton and Breton Leone-Quick helped author SEC Compliance Best Practices, 2016 ed., in which “expert lawyers offer guidance on the various regulations and latest trends” pertaining to the SEC and their impact on companies and their counsel.
Mintz Member Thomas Burton III and Paul Dickerson, former COO for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency, authored this Houston Chronicle article on the lasting and growing presence of renewable energy in the United States.

Events

Speaker
Aug
21
2019

Tell Your Story Day

Cleantech Open Northeast

Mintz, One Financial Center, Boston, MA 02111

Speaker
Jul
17
2019

2019 Impact Capitalism Summit

Big Path Capital

The Nantucket Hotel & Resort, 77 Easton St., Nantucket, MA

Panelist
Jun
11
2019

The Collaborative Conference

Classy Inc.

The Warehouse at Flynn Cruiseport Boston, 1 Black Falcon Avenue, Boston, MA 02210

Speaker
May
21
2019

Technology for Better Water

Gradiant Corporation

Mandarin Oriental, 5 Raffles Ave Marina Square, Singapore

Speaker
Apr
3
2019

2019 MO Summit

Big Path Capital

Cambria Hotel, 15 Page Ave., Asheville, NC

Speaker
Dec
5
2018
Speaker
Nov
30
2018

2018 Boston Navigate Investor Corporate Customer Connect

NECEC

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 600 Atlantic Ave., Boston, MA 02210

Speaker
Oct
10
2018

Horizon18

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St., Boston, MA

Panelist
Jul
18
2018

Impact Capitalism Summit Nantucket

Big Path Capital

Nantucket

Moderator
Jul
18
2018

Impact Capitalism Summit Nantucket

The Nantucket Hotel & Resort

Panelist
Moderator
Jul
19
2017

Nantucket Impact Capitalism Summit

Big Path Capital

Nantucket Hotel & Resort 77 Easton Street Nantucket, MA

Speaker
Moderator
Mar
2
2016

Sustainable Investments in 2016 and Beyond

Citi

Citi Executive Conference Center, 153 E 53rd Street, 14th fl., New York, NY

Moderator
Nov
19
2015

Boston Cleanweb Tech Night

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)

63 Franklin Street, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA

Moderator
Oct
21
2015

Cleantech Global Showcase: GloSho’15

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)

JW Marriot, LA Live in Downtown LA, Los Angeles, CA

Speaker
Aug
9
2015

12th Annual AREDAY Summit

The American Renewable Energy Institute

Snowmass Village, CO

Speaker
Moderator
Jul
16
2015

Impact Capitalism Summit 2015 New England

Big Path Capital

Nantucket, MA

Speaker
May
26
2015

Energy Tech 10 Year Anniversary Celebration

Mintz Levin

The Lounge at District Hall 75 Northern Avenue Boston, MA