LOS ANGELES — Pillsbury today welcomes partner Jorge Medina, who joins the firm’s Tax practice and Energy Industry team in Los Angeles. Following closely on the hires of corporate and project finance partners in New York and London, his arrival supports the firm’s aggressive focus on providing a market-leading, international service platform to clients in the energy industry. Medina is particularly well-known within the renewables community, coming to Pillsbury from a post as Associate General Counsel at Tesla, Inc., after previous stints at Dewey LeBoeuf and Sidley Austin, where he handled a wide range of U.S. tax matters, particularly those in the renewable energy, equipment leasing, securitization, tax equity and other special project matters.
Medina also has extensive experience in structuring tax efficient transactions in the growing energy storage market, which is projected by Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance to see more than $100 billion in investment by 2030. He also has pioneered innovative funding and tax credit programs that facilitate complex projects and transactions in the solar energy sector. In recent years at Tesla and its subsidiary SolarCity, he handled nine successful IRS audits of solar investment funds with more than $500 million at issue.
“The recent additions across Pillsbury’s global energy platform are significant milestones for the firm’s comprehensive, cross-border offering and are integral to our focus on structuring investments and financing for large projects throughout the world,” said Energy Sector Leader Sheila Harvey. “With his energy tax equity background, Jorge brings a unique skill set that will add greater depth to the firm’s sizeable base of energy and technology industry clients. We’re thrilled to welcome him and his contribution to the continued growth of Pillsbury’s global energy group.”
Medina helped develop SolarCity and Tesla’s securitization and “back leverage” programs, in which investments are raised by pledging membership interests in solar funds, as well as tax insurance programs that back-stopped the energy tax credits that were essential to deal cashflow. These highly sophisticated programs were the first of their kind. In his time at Tesla and SolarCity, Medina represented the two companies in over 60 tax equity and private equity transactions that helped finance well over $8 billion in renewable energy projects. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences on topics ranging from renewable energy finance structures to tax controversy, IRS audit defense, tax insurance and securitization structures.
Medina’s addition follows that of Mona E. Dajani, one of the foremost energy and infrastructure project finance lawyers in the world, and highly regarded cross-border energy and infrastructure partner Gavin Watson in New York and London, respectively. Both joined Pillsbury in January.
“Pillsbury’s institutional focus on the energy industry and its commitment to growing a market-leading cross-border project finance platform makes the firm a perfect fit for me,” Medina said. “Moreover, the prospects for the renewable energy are bullish and I look forward to leveraging my skill set in this space and working at a firm that has such a well-defined entrepreneurial spirit and a collaborative, client-first approach.”
Pillsbury has one of the legal industry’s largest and most preeminent energy practices, having worked on large-scale energy projects and their financing in more than 75 countries on six continents. The firm provides advice on policy, regulation, transactions, litigation, intellectual property, tax, real estate and land use and was recognized by Financial Times as one of 2018’s most innovative law firms in connection with groundbreaking projects that are helping two international markets access nuclear energy for the first time. The firm’s experience also extends to crisis response, going back to our representation of the Three Mile Island owner.