Energy & Sustainability

Mintz Levin is the nation's premier legal and consulting solutions provider for energy technology innovators and investors. We provide the strategic and legal guidance clients need to thrive, whether they are entrepreneurs, start-ups, or large-scale corporations. One of the first law firms to develop a practice focused on representing companies creating green and clean technologies, we have expanded our practice in recent years to also include full-service representation of companies advancing technology innovations used in established energy sectors.

Mintz Levin attorneys and our colleagues from ML Strategies, LLC, the firm's government relations consulting affiliate, represent companies developing innovative technologies to generate energy using renewable sources, to engineer new forms of energy storage, and to increase the efficiency of transmission and end-use systems. Our clients include industry leaders in the following sectors:

   Clean tech and renewables (solar, wind, water tech)
   Energy management (smart grid, lighting, storage, efficiency)
   Energy procurement
   Industrial (motors, robotics, 3-D printing tech)
   Oil, gas, and industrial processing
   Resource management (recycling, waste-to-energy)
   Sustainability (consumer goods, corporate engagement)

We have been at the forefront of the industry since the earliest days of clean technology. The founder of our practice was part of the original team to launch the first clean tech industry association in Massachusetts (and the country), the Northeast Clean Energy Council. He has also been recognized by The Legal 500 United States as “rising to the fore” in energy technology for Venture Capital and Emerging Companies. In addition, a member of our legal team is a former Bush administration Chief Operating Officer for the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Our government relations team includes a former Clinton administration Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for EERE at the US Department of Energy and the former Massachusetts Commissioner of the Department of Energy Resources, who implemented the first-ever standards for renewable energy use and renewable certificate trading in New England.

Quick Facts

  • 500+ deals completed, totaling over $7.5 billion in the energy tech sector since 2006
  • Combined knowledge of 50+ industry leading attorneys and other professionals
  • Practice blog ( recognized by Lexblog as among the top 5 energy blogs in the Am Law 200
  • Practice chair and co-chair ranked among the "Top 100 Cleantech & Renewables Lawyers" by Euromoney's LMG Cleantech & Renewable Energy
  • Member of Advanced Energy Economy's Business Council
  • Practice chair and co-chair ranked among the "Top 100 People Shaping Cleantech on Twitter" by Watershed Capital
  • Practice chair recognized by The Legal 500 United States for "rising to the fore" in energy technology for Venture Capital and Emerging Companies
  • Ranked #2 in Top10 US Cleantech Law Firms for global experience in the commercialization of clean energy technologies by Watershed Capital Group
  • Served as legal counsel to GreatPoint Energy in the top greentech VC deal of 2012, according to Greentech Media
  • Recognized regionally and nationally as a "Best Law Firm" by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers
  • Practice chair ranked among Biofuels Digest "40 Hottest Partners in Biotechnology and Bio-Based Materials"

Areas of Focus

How do we help? Under the Mintz Levin banner our clients gain access to nationally recognized attorneys and consultants with experience advising energy clients on:

Venture Capital & Private Equity
We provide representation on all manner of venture capital and private equity transactions. Our attorneys understand the clean energy and energy technology landscapes and we have an extensive network of investors whose primary focus is on finding the next opportunity in these sectors. Our attorneys have decades of experience negotiating such transactions from both sides of the table, in deals ranging from several hundred thousand dollars to tens of millions.

We represent companies, investors, and financial advisors in all types of venture financings — from early- or seed-stage investments through later stages. In recent years, we have completed private equity transactions varying in complexity — from simple acquisitions to intricate funding deals, from transactions involving single business units to complex, multistate, or international business operations.

Whether you are a company seeking backing or an investor looking for your next investment, we are in a position to provide introductions and full-service transactions support.

Public Offerings
Mintz Levin represents issuers, underwriters, and investors in initial and follow-on public offerings of equity, debt, and other securities, including registered direct offerings, PIPEs, and confidentially marketed public offerings, and in reverse mergers and other “alternative” means of accessing capital.

We draw from extensive transactional experience and deep industry knowledge when representing you in your interactions with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We also represent buyers and sellers of businesses in merger and acquisition transactions in which securities are used as transaction consideration.

Project Development & Finance
Our Energy Technology Practice is driving progressive change in the project finance arena, including the development of cutting-edge public-private financing mechanisms. Mintz Levin was integral in the creation and development of the bond financing program that was recently adopted in the USDA’s 9003 loan guarantee program for biofuels projects. The program uses credit-enhanced corporate debt from project companies in lieu of commercial debt — providing an interest rate that is up to 2% lower, a tenor of 15 to 25 years, and terms that are unavailable to developers relying exclusively on commercial debt. The program is expected to play a critical role in opening up the debt market to biofuels companies in need of financing.

Our attorneys will advise you on the development, financing, construction, restructuring, purchase, and sale of traditional power and renewable energy projects — of any size and complexity — in the United States and around the world. We regularly represent project developers, owners, investors, supply and off-take contractors, and utilities in complex, domestic and multinational ventures and transactions, and we have extensive experience with an array of project finance structures, including through commercial and investment banks, private equity, capital markets, multilateral and export credit agencies, and tax-exempt financings.

Construction Law
Mintz Levin understands the unique challenges and opportunities facing the construction and real estate industries. Our team of efficient, solutions-oriented counsel will focus on the legal details so you can focus on what matters to you — your project.

Our clients include project owners, investors, developers, financiers, contractors, project managers, engineers, commercial tenants, and materials suppliers. We have worked every angle in the industry and our footprints are all over a wide range of projects.

Mergers & Acquisitions
We employ a team approach to merger and acquisition transactions, providing buyers and sellers with practiced and practical advice throughout every step of the transaction — from the initial structuring and negotiation to implementation and even post-closing. We can call upon the diverse backgrounds of lawyers in our Corporate & Securities; Antitrust; Employment, Labor & Benefits; Environmental Law; Intellectual Property; Real Estate; Tax; and other practices to help you complete a successful transaction.

Mergers and acquisitions can be fraught with complications, especially in an increasingly complex business and regulatory environment. We know that a successful outcome requires a delicate balance among the legal, business, and operational interests of a company.

Intellectual Property
Protecting your intellectual assets is vital to staying competitive and investing confidently in developing new products and services. Mintz Levin’s Intellectual Property attorneys take a business-oriented approach in helping clients ranging from start-ups to multinational corporations with developing patent portfolios, executing IP strategies, resolving disputes, project management, strategic counseling, patent infringement, patent prosecution and trademark applications. Additionally, we counsel academic researchers and provide due diligence and other advice to venture capital firms and other investors.

Our patent agents, technology specialists, and attorneys have in-depth knowledge and experience in technologies critical to the energy industry, including environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, software (clean web, control systems, analytics, big data), hardware-based control systems, optics, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, and biotechnology. We file thousands of original patent applications every year across those fields, and manage the US and international portfolios arising from those filings. 

Environmental Permitting
Mintz Levin attorneys have developed effective permit strategies and secured all needed state, federal, and local environmental permits and approvals for a wide range of major projects for public and private project sponsors and landowners. These include energy projects, solid and hazardous waste management facilities, industrial facilities, regional shopping centers and industrial office parks, numerous major downtown developments in Boston and elsewhere, waterfront industrial and recreational / residential developments, and subsidized housing developments. Many of these projects have required coordination of multiple environmental reviews and advocacy before many different forums, facing varying standards and procedural requirements as well as intense agency and public scrutiny. In the context of this diverse array of projects, we have established a clear track record of successful permitting of complex, highly visible, and often controversial and contested projects.

Our environmental attorneys have effectively represented such projects in hearings before local zoning boards, health boards, and conservation commissions, and in adjudicatory appeals before the Department of Environmental Protection. Our regular appearances before environmental regulatory agencies on behalf of public and private project proponents, together with the senior-level public sector background of several of our attorneys, give us extensive knowledge of agency policies and approval processes. We are skilled at assisting clients in anticipating and addressing agency concerns.

Real Estate & Data Centers
Our breadth of experience includes solar panel installations, solar rooftop and ground leases and related transactions, cogeneration system agreements and installations, and site control and land acquisition for wind power development. We also represent developers, owners, operators, and users of data center space on issues including agreements with utility providers and service level agreements. Mintz Levin represents property owners and developers in property agreements, including options, ground leases, easements and land acquisitions, as well as landlords and tenants in retail power purchase agreements and net metering programs. Our LEED AP attorneys understand how renewable energy and efficiency improvements integrate with a property owner’s overall sustainability goals and leasing program.

Employment & Benefits
Employment relationships are among the most regulated in the nation, and ensuring compliance with the many laws and regulations impacting the workplace can be quite challenging. Mintz Levin can help you navigate through this complex legal environment, delivering practical advice and counsel to enable you to make smart decisions and minimize risks.

Our broad-based experience with employment matters makes our legal team an exceptional resource to assist our clients in dealing with employment questions, conflicts, and issues that arise throughout the employment life cycle, from hiring through termination. Whether you need to address a medical leave issue before it becomes a major problem, respond to a harassment complaint, or implement proactive measures to prevent future wage-payment mistakes, we will work closely with your management and HR teams to plan a successful strategy, implement best practices, and avoid costly landmines.

Regulatory & Legislative Counseling
The consulting colleagues in ML Strategies provide exceptional advice and counsel related to complex federal and state regulatory issues facing companies operating in all segments of the energy industry. 

In traditional energy sectors, ML Strategies helps clients solve regulatory problems related to the siting and operation of transmission, distribution, generation, and energy storage facilities as well as overcome challenges in rate setting, cost allocation, and environmental permitting. In the case of alternative energy technologies (energy efficiency, wind, biomass, biofuels, geothermal, and solar power), we work with clients to help them qualify for financial subsidies, trade renewable energy and carbon credits, and form strategic alliances with environmental groups to accomplish legislative and policy change. For new energy technologies, ML Strategies helps clients bring new solutions to the marketplace by introducing their companies, technologies, and services to public officials and constituency group leaders who shape public opinion.

Bankruptcy & Restructuring
If you face restructuring issues for your own company, your borrowers, or people you do business with, we can help. We have a strong reputation for representing large, sophisticated debtors in matters that require significant resources and specialized knowledge. We are able to draw upon the legal resources within the firm to handle the nonbankruptcy issues that often occasion disputes during Chapter 11 reorganization cases. 

Our nationally recognized Bankruptcy, Restructuring & Commercial Law Practice is considered to be one of the premier bankruptcy and workout practices for tax-exempt bondholders. We have represented tax-exempt and taxable bondholders and their indenture trustees doing business throughout the country and internationally, and we have appeared in bankruptcy courts in almost every state in the nation.

Dispute Resolution
We bring depth of industry knowledge to the table when dealing with litigation and other types of business disputes. Whether the issue at hand is related to your real estate, intellectual property, contracts, investments, employees, securities, or corporate governance, we have the team to provide you with relief. 

We are recognized as aggressive litigators and advocates for our clients. We are also known for our business acumen, and at the forefront of each of our representations is the client’s end goal. You may want a quick conclusion or to press every advantage through to the end. You may want to exit litigation and leverage an alternative dispute resolution. We will represent you through all of those approaches and provide the best possible outcome for you and your company. 

Sort by: Name  Title  Office

Barbara Chin

Barbara Chin

Practice Group Associate

Maryanne Kline

Maryanne Kline

Practice Group Associate

R.J. Lyman

R.J. Lyman

ML Strategies – Senior Advisor
Of Counsel

David L. O'Connor

David L. O'Connor

ML Strategies - Senior Vice President for Energy & Clean Technology

Case Study: Unsecured Noteholders of Bankrupt Energy XXI Receive Favorable Cash Payout

Mintz Levin represented Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB as indenture trustee for holders of $367 million in convertible notes in the bankruptcy case of Energy XXI, Inc., which was filed in the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Texas (Houston Division). At the time, Energy XXI, Inc. was the largest oil and gas developer in the Gulf of Mexico. Energy XXI, Inc. was a publicly traded company and had 67 subsidiaries, not all of which filed for bankruptcy. The obligor of our client’s note claims was actually a Bermuda company that also filed a companion “winding-up” petition in the Bermuda courts. The debtor owed in excess of $3 billion of secured and unsecured debt. The case was highly contentious, with eight different tranches of debt, including two classes of secured debt, all having different priority over common, as well as separate, collateral. Some debt was structurally subordinated by virtue of being held at parent levels, which engendered intense disputes over the valuation of subsidiaries and their assets, the movement of cash and assets among the subsidiaries, and the claims against those assets at various levels of the capital stack. Over the course of approximately 120 days, our team of litigators participated in 67 depositions, the preparation of thousands of pages of written and electronic discovery, and weeks of mediation and court appearances.

Some of the issues that were litigated included:

    • The valuation of oil and gas assets, including governmental leases of tracts in the Gulf of Mexico
    • The extent and priority of security interests in oil and gas rights, as well as other collateral
    • The validity and amount of secured claims that were subject to fraudulent conveyance challenge
    • The proper amount of adequate protection payments to be paid to secured creditors
    • The allocation of post-petition expenses and claims among Energy XXI's numerous subsidiaries
    • Whether movements of assets and cash among sister subsidiaries were fraudulent conveyances
    • Whether cash held by the obligor of the convertible notes could be used for the benefit of subsidiaries
    • Whether notes repurchased by the debtor constituted subordinated claims
    • The validity and value of a number of potential D&O claims
    • Whether releases, exculpations, and injunctions in favor of non-debtors were appropriate in the plan

Ultimately, all disputes were settled, and a consensual plan was confirmed that doubled the payout originally offered to our noteholders and, unlike other note tranches, immediately paid our noteholders in cash.

Case Study: Synata Bio Wins Bankruptcy Auction for Kansas Ethanol Plant

Attorneys from our Bankruptcy & Restructuring, Real Estate and Corporate & Securities practices collaborated to represent Synata Bio, Inc., a bio-based renewable energy company, as the winning bidder in a bankruptcy auction of a cellulosic ethanol plant and electricity cogeneration facility in Hugoton, Kansas. The seller, a subsidiary of Spanish company Abengoa S.A., is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

To facilitate the $48.5 million deal, the Mintz Levin team negotiated the asset purchase agreement, prepared Synata’s winning bid package, and spearheaded a complicated real estate due diligence process. Attorneys also attended the 14-hour auction and counseled Synata on how to effectively compete against the stalking horse bidder, Shell Oil Company. In addition, the firm represented Synata at the subsequent sale hearing in bankruptcy court. With Mintz Levin’s assistance, Synata closed the deal a week and a half after the bankruptcy court approved the sale.

The acquisition of the facility, ideally located for Synata’s purposes, will allow the company to commercialize the technology it purchased from Coskata in another distressed asset sale in which Synata also was represented by Mintz Levin.

Representative Experience

  • Represented Vionx Energy, an energy storage solution company, in licensing technology from United Technologies Corporation and subsequent equity financing.
  • Represented T-REX, a FinTech company, in a Series A financing.
  • Represented NanoSteel, a world leader in nano-structured steel material designs, in securing a $10 million venture loan facility from NASDAQ-listed Horizon Technology Finance Management.
  • Served as counsel to Canaccord Genuity and Barclays in a $35 million public offering for NYSE-listed BioAmber, a sustainable chemicals company.
  • Represented XL Hybrids, a transformative energy company focused on transportation, in its $10.5 million Series C financing led by an individual investor.
  • Represented FloDesign Sonics, an acoustic separation and filtration company, in exclusively licensing their acoustic wave separation technology (AWS) to NYSE-listed Pall Corporation.
  • Represented Aspen Aerogels, a leading energy technology company providing innovative thermal management solutions, in its $82.5 million Initial Public Offering.
  • Represented NASDAQ-listed EnerNOC  in its acquisition of Pulse Energy, a leader in customer engagement software.
  • Represented ClearSky Power + Technology Fund I in the following financings: $5 million Series A financing of Sentient Energy, Inc.; $22.5 million Series D financing of iControl Networks, Inc.; and $17.55 million Series B financing of Modular Wind Energy, Inc.
  • Served as counsel to Canaccord Genuity in $32.5 and $37.4 million follow-on public offerings for NASDAQ-listed Rubicon Technology, a sapphire manufacturer.
  • Served as deal counsel to Soligent Holdings, LLC, the largest US provider of residential solar panels, in three acquisitions totaling over $100 million.
  • Represented FloDesign Sonics, an acoustic separation and filtration company, in its $10 million Series A financing led by Bright Capital.
  • Represented Oxford Bioscience Partners in its $20 million Series C financing of Glori Energy, a leader in sustainable, enhanced oil recovery and provider of the AERO (Activated Environment for Recovery of Oil) System.
  • Serve as general counsel to HydroPoint Data Systems, the market and technology leader in Smart Water Management, on general corporate and employment matters; have also completed several financing rounds led by prominent clean technology venture capital investors.
  • Represented GreatPoint Energy, a technology-driven natural resources company, in its $400 million Series D financing led by China Wanxiang Holding Co. Ltd.
  • Represented NASDAQ-listed EnerNOC as issuers' counsel in its $97 million IPO and two follow-on public offerings, raising over $200 million and establishing a shelf registration statement.
  • Defended a global oil equipment manufacturer in federal class and collective action and successfully limited class to a single plaintiff.
  • Represented an oil industry manufacturer, successfully limiting class size in collective action claiming misclassification under professional exemption, and at trial, significantly limiting the amount of recovery.
  • Represented the developer of a one million-square-foot, single-building solar panel installation project.

Representative Clients

  • Altenex
  • Aspen Aerogels
  • Big Belly Solar
  • Black Coral Capital
  • Cambrian Innovation
  • Canaccord Genuity
  • ClearSky Power + Technology Fund
  • Endress+Hauser
  • Energy Innovation Capital
  • EnerNOC
  • First Solar
  • First Wind
  • FloDesign Sonics
  • GoldenSet Capital Partners
  • Gradiant Corporation
  • GreatPoint Energy
  • GreatPoint Ventures
  • GreatPoint Media
  • HydroPoint Data Systems
  • Nanostone Water
  • NanoSteel
  • Natural Systems Utilities
  • NBD Nanotechnologies
  • NECEC Institute
  • New Energy Capital
  • NewWorld Environmental Infrastructure Fund
  • Nexamp
  • Oasys Water
  • Ogin
  • RockPort Capital Partners
  • Sanergy
  • SmartPower
  • Soligent Holdings
  • VantagePoint Capital Partners
  • T-REX
  • True North Venture Partners
  • Vionx Energy
  • WeSpire
  • XL Hybrids