Ronald A. Fleming
Clean technologies are attracting investment at historically high levels and promise to have far-reaching effects on business, the world economy and society. While the opportunities are significant, so are the demands placed on new entrants. Pillsbury stands apart from other law firms for our deep experience in the areas of law, regulation and policy critical to successful development and deployment of clean technologies. Our clean technology lawyers help entrepreneurs and investors not only with initial financing, but they also guide them through the legal and regulatory maze. With one of the most comprehensive energy practices in the world and decades of experience representing technology industry leaders, we are a “go-to” firm in this burgeoning sector.
Cleantech startups, emerging companies and investors look to us for essential services, including assisting companies to obtain financing from VCs, private equity, governmental sources and through industry collaboration; protecting the company’s intellectual property and innovative technologies; and advising on trends, existing and proposed legislation, and structures to enable the most advantageous exploitation of technology.Practice Highlights
Dominant Market Presence.For more than a century, Pillsbury has had a dominant position in the energy industry. As an example, since 2007, Pillsbury has handled more than 40 public and other underwritten energy matters valued at approximately $10 billion. Since 2006, we have advised on more than 100 renewable energy projects involving wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and other renewable technologies.
Emerging Growth Company Experience. With one of the largest emerging growth and technology practices in the U.S., we have deep experience in obtaining financing from all available sources. We help foster relationships with venture capitalists, private equity firms, established companies, nonprofit research institutions and academic institutions to further joint development and ventures, sponsored research and technology licensing. Our BackstagePass™ program, which puts investors and startups together, is just one example.
Intellectual Property. Pillsbury assists cleantech and renewable energy companies in protecting innovative ideas and developing high-value patent portfolios. We field a team of over 140 IP lawyers, plus technical consultants and patent agents. The team has a wide range of advanced scientific and technical degrees in areas including electrical and mechanical engineering, chemistry, biology, physics, and with technologies including renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, energy storage and transmission, materials, water treatment and conservation, waste treatment and recycling, air quality and emissions control, agriculture and transportation.
Infrastructure Experience. Cleantech investments are not always pure technology matters, and often require large upfront capital outlays for build-out of infrastructure, such as solar and wind farms. Pillsbury’s technology lawyers work closely with our dedicated project finance team to assist clients in obtaining financing and identifying the best financing structure.
Leading Energy Regulatory Practice. Many of our cleantech clients operate within highly regulated energy markets, and it is likely that regulation of energy and the environment will increase in the future. Having been involved directly in many of the major Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rulemaking proceedings of the past decade, our Energy Regulatory team has a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory environment.
Dedicated Public Policy Team. Our public policy lawyers assist with practical policy development and advocacy of cleantech issues in the areas of energy policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, climate change and sustainability, tax incentives for clean technologies, greenhouse gas regulation, cap-and-trade programs and carbon taxes.Representative Matters
Pillsbury’s cleantech experience spans a wide range of renewable energy and resource efficiency technologies and projects. A small sample of our representations includes:
- Biofuels. Represented a U.S. biodiesel company on a $100 million credit facility, a first-of-its-kind financing in the biodiesel industry to secure working capital lines of credit for a U.S. biodiesel company unsecured by its biodiesel assets.
- Carbon Sequestration. Represent Clean Energy Systems Inc. (CES) on permit and contract advice for its 50MW zero-emissions plant.
- Geothermal. Represented a lender in a $110 million construction loan and $115 million loan in connection with sale/leaseback for geothermal facility.
- Solar. Advised a solar cell technology company on tax matters and drafting its patent applications.
- Wind. Represented multiple clients on the development of an aggregate 2,500 MW of new wind power capacity, involving the negotiation of turbine purchases, balance of plant agreements, and long-term power sales agreements.
- Emissions Reduction. Creating a strategic plan to address potential GHG emission regulations and identifying related business opportunities for one of the world’s leading industrial mineral producers.
- Energy Efficiency. Advised on a $5 billion private works project seeking LEED Silver certification on the design and construction of one of the largest green development projects in the U.S.
- Monitoring Systems. Represent PG&E in the procurement of the technologies required to make smart metering available to more than 5 million residential and commercial customers.
- Water Management. Advised the $1 billion Global Environment Fund private equity fund on the closing of a $37 million water treatment deal in China.