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Parker Poe Announces Energy Team Expansion

J. Ashley Cooper named Head of Energy Industry Team, Jane Lewis-Raymond and Matt Morais Join as Attorneys

    Firm News
  • February 23, 2017

Charlotte, NC - Parker Poe Adams and Bernstein LLP, an east coast-based, corporate law firm announced today that partner J. Ashley Cooper is the new head of its Energy Industry Team, and two additional attorneys, Jane Lewis-Raymond and Matt Morais, have joined the growing practice group. The Energy Group, consisting of more than 30 attorneys from across the firm’s offices, counsels a broad base of regional and national clients including electric and gas public utilities, renewable energy developers, energy services companies and engineering and construction companies. According to Cooper, “We are purposefully expanding our energy industry team by hiring these two key attorneys who have extensive regulatory knowledge with gas, gas pipeline and organized electric markets. Combining their experience with our firm’s growing list of former in-house attorneys increases our bench strength and enhances our ability to partner with in-house counsel to provide efficient and effective service.”

Cooper leads a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to servicing the energy industry as they navigate regulatory, commercial, financial, tax, land use and environmental work. Resident in Parker Poe’s Charleston, South Carolina office since 2012, Cooper practices regulatory and commercial law with a focus on counseling regulated utilities and renewable energy developers. He advises on regulatory compliance issues and state and federal energy regulations. Prior to joining Parker Poe, Cooper served as Chief Compliance Officer and Assistant General Counsel for a Fortune 500 electric and gas utility. He also served as Legislative Director and Counsel to former U.S. Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC), where he was the senior advisor on legislative, policy, and political matters, including all energy, judiciary and financial issues.

Lewis-Raymond joins the Charlotte office on March 6 as a partner with more than 25 years’ experience in energy and corporate law. Over the last decade she has served as the Senior Legal and Chief Compliance Officer at Piedmont Natural Gas Company, retiring as Senior Vice President and Chief Legal, Compliance, and External Relations Officer in October of 2016. In that capacity, Lewis-Raymond had oversight for all aspects of corporate and securities compliance and regulatory issues, focusing on natural gas and natural gas distribution companies and transmission pipeline infrastructure. She has represented natural gas distribution companies on both state and federal levels, and she offers counsel on federal regulatory issues including those implemented by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Lewis-Raymond is a former member of the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission, appointed by former Govs. Bev Perdue and Pat McCrory. She is a frequent speaker on energy-related topics and has twice been championed with area “Most Influential Women” awards.

Morais joins the Charleston office as an attorney with nearly 20 years of experience in energy law. Morais has advised clients on federal and state regulatory and policy matters and North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) requirements. He has extensive experience with organized markets and has worked closely with Independent System Operations/Regional Transmission Regulations across the country. Previously, he served as Assistant General Counsel at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the Southwest Power Pool, and as Senior Counsel at PJM Interconnection - three of the nation's larger independent operators.

“We have a long history of representing utilities and renewables and we are eager to bring Jane’s and Matt’s unique skills and perspectives to our clients,” said Parker Poe Managing Partner Tom Griffin.

About Parker Poe

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP has approximately 200 lawyers in seven offices located in major markets across North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The firm provides legal counsel to large commercial and public organizations on litigation, corporate and regulatory matters.

Parker Poe is a member of TerraLex, one of the world’s leading international legal networks. With 155 member law firms and 19,000 attorneys in 100 countries, TerraLex members provide the legal resources and expertise needed to conduct seamless business worldwide.