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Thomas R. Burton, III

Member / Chair, Energy & Sustainability Practice

[email protected]

+1.617.348.3097

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Tom’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 $7.5 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 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, Reader’s Choice Awards – Energy (2017 - 2018)
  • Best Lawyers in America: Corporate Law (2015 - 2019)
  • 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 – 2017)
  • 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)
  • 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, CEO Search Committee & Trustee, New England Aquarium
  • 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
Read the latest energy policy updates coming out of the Capitol, including the latest developments in DOE-sponsored funding, Congressional hearings about the energy efficiency of blockchain and other technologies, and recently introduced legislation. Energy Efficiency of Blockchain, Offshore Wind for Territories Act, Final Rule for LNG Exports, DOE Funding for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies, RFI for Offshore Wind Energy R&D Facilities

Viewpoint
Energy & Sustainability Connections brings the latest developments in energy investing, legal insights, company activity, and industry events straight to your inbox.
Viewpoint
Catch up with the latest round of M&A activity in the cleantech space.

Viewpoint
Don’t miss this month’s exciting events, including Horizon18, a new global event for the clean energy economy; Solar Power International and Energy Storage International; and BlueTech Night at Venture Café Kendall.

Do you work for an impact company, or know an impact company that is leveraging the engine of capitalism for greater profit and greater good?
The Massachusetts restrictive covenant legal landscape is set to shift dramatically with a new law limiting the use and enforcement of non-competition agreements by employers – effective October 1. In a post on our Mintz teammates’ Employment Blog, they review the new law’s requirements, discuss the legal and practical implications of the law, and outline action items for employers.
As the sustainability movement grows, so too do the ambiguities under which boards of directors govern. In this article published by the National Association of Corporate Directors, Thomas R. Burton and Benjamin D. Stone provide suggestions for how boards can navigate this exciting but still developing sector and help corporations generate both profits and positive impact.
A hot new area for the development of energy efficiency storage technology is refrigeration. Last month, this blog covered the recent success of Mintz client Axiom Exergy.
Read the latest energy policy updates coming out of the Capitol, including the latest developments in DOE-sponsored funding, Congressional hearings about the reorganization of the DOE, and recently introduced legislation.
We are proud to be a founding sponsor of the RealLeaders 100 – the first ranking of the top impact companies in North America. On June 28, 2018, enVerid Systems, a leading private technology company, received Red Herring’s 2018 Top 100 North America Award in recognition of their innovative approach to improving indoor air quality.

News & Press

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.
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.
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
Nov
30
2018

2018 Boston Navigate Investor Corporate Customer Connect

NECEC

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

Moderator
Oct
10
2018

Horizon18

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center 415 Summer Street Boston, MA

Panelist
Jul
18
2018

Impact Capitalism Summit Nantucket

Big Path Capital

Nantucket

Moderator
Jul
18
2018

Impact Capitalism Summit Nantucket

The Nantcuket 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