Venable Expands Baltimore Energy, Environmental, Litigation, and Regulatory Practices with Addition of Four Attorneys

5 min

Maryland PSC Commissioner Max Curran played key role in implementation of Maryland’s new energy policy; Will DuBois advises large energy firms in critical environmental and energy matters; both have represented energy and utilities in multi-billion dollar mergers; Litigator Christopher Gunderson joins as Counsel and Jessica Raba joins as Associate.  

Baltimore, MD (August 21, 2014) – Adding additional strength  to its leading Energy, Environmental, Litigation, and Regulatory practices, Venable LLP announced the addition of four attorneys to its Baltimore office. J. Joseph “Max” Curran, III, a former Commissioner with Maryland’s Public Service Commission (PSC), and William DuBois, an experienced energy and environmental attorney, have joined the firm as partners while Christopher Gunderson joins as counsel in the firm’s Commercial Litigation practice and associate Jessica Raba joins the Regulatory Group.  All four come to Venable from Saul Ewing.

Mr. Curran and Mr. DuBois represent energy, utility, telecommunications and water companies in regulatory matters before the Maryland PSC and other state and federal administrative agencies. The two have advised clients in high-profile energy sector mergers, as well as in rate proceedings and transmission and electric generation siting for new stations and lines and modifications to existing facilities.

During a six-year term at the PSC, Mr. Curran served a key role in implementing Maryland’s current energy policies, including allowing customers to choose their own electricity and gas suppliers. He also fostered the state’s use of more renewable energy resources as well as innovative energy conservation and demand response programs in Maryland and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

In private practice, Mr. Curran has been a key adviser for energy companies across a range of important matters.  Some of his noteworthy engagements include:

  • Serving as lead Maryland regulatory counsel in an $8 billion merger between two major energy providers;
  • Representing merging utilities in the creation of one of the nation’s largest energy companies, with over six million customers;
  • Counseling a client in its billion-dollar acquisition of six electricity generating facilities in Maryland and Delaware
  • Lead Maryland regulatory counsel in a joint venture for creation of a 267-mile, 765kV high voltage transmission line;
  • Representing a nuclear development company in the creation of a new-generation nuclear plant.
  • Represented a leading national phone company in the roll-out of its enhanced 911 service.

Mr. DuBois, who also represents major energy and utility entities, regularly represents clients in environmental matters before the Maryland Department of the Environment and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He counsels energy firms in complying with the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and numerous other federal and state regulations.  He recently assisted a natural gas-fired power plant in its expansion in Maryland.

In addition to his energy work, Mr. DuBois has considerable experience in public education matters, especially when related to charter schools.  He has successfully litigated cases in the Maryland Court of Appeals and before administrative agencies that enabled significant funding increases for charter schools.  He handled administrative litigation that eliminated the cap on the number of Baltimore City public charter schools, and negotiated model charter school agreements.

Mr. Gunderson is an experienced litigator who represents institutional and corporate clients in litigation and regulatory matters involving commercial disputes, energy and utility regulation, complex insurance products, ERISA, and mass tort product liability litigation.  He represents clients including Fortune 100 companies, insurance providers, and national retailers and manufacturers in federal and state courts across the country.  He has also played key roles counseling clients through high-profile government investigations.

Mr. Gunderson also advises clients subject to external government reviews and investigations, including colleges and universities undergoing Title IX and Clery Act investigations and program reviews. 

“Regulatory issues confront utilities and energy companies on multiple fronts and have become increasingly complex as providers seek to develop new energy sources and expand delivery platforms and cost-efficient service to their customers,” said Venable Chairman James Shea.  “Through their consistent success in helping clients complete critical transactions and navigate sensitive regulatory review, Max Curran and Will DuBois have demonstrated their excellence in energy-related matters.  Max’s tenure on Maryland’s PSC and his subsequent work shepherding large, complicated mergers to fruition seal his place as one of the country’s top energy regulatory advisers and a destination counsel for any utility operating in the state of Maryland.  We are extremely happy to have Max and Will join our top-ranked energy group.”

Mr. Curran commented:  “Venable has an illustrious history in helping leading businesses thrive in Maryland and the firm has had a huge impact in advising energy firms and utilities in the state.  We are looking forward to further growing Venable as the premier energy law firm in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic.”

Douglas Green, who chairs Venable’s Environmental practice, said:  “Both Max and Will have played a major role in guiding energy companies through regulatory traps related to corporate transactions, new plant sitings, rate approvals and on countless issues stemming from operations.  Max’s service at the PSC and Will’s extensive knowledge of changing environmental requirements make them a formidable addition to our energy and environmental groups and will benefit the firm’s energy and power clients nationally as well as in Maryland.”

“Venable has built a robust, widely recognized environmental group, with extremely talented attorneys in Washington, Baltimore, Virginia, and New York,” said Mr. DuBois. “Max and I are pleased to add our skills and experience to the firm in further advancing its practice nationally. We naturally have a strong stake in Maryland’s power and energy markets but see a significant opportunity to work on related matters around the country.”

Mr. Curran received his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law and his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.

Mr. DuBois received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School and his B.A. from the University of Maryland.

Mr. Gunderson is a 2003 graduate of University of Maryland School of Law, where he was associate editor of Maryland Law Review, and holds a B.A. from Towson University.  Ms. Raba is a 2012 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law and earned a dual-degree A.B. in economics & business and biology from Lafayette College.



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