Representative Experience

Successfully defended Duke Energy in federal court in North Carolina against a claim by Westinghouse for nearly $500 million. Following trial, the judge denied Westinghouse’s claim in its entirety.


Advising Akkuyu NPP Power Generation in the development of its nuclear power plant project in Turkey.


Represented seven applicants seeking to obtain combined operating licenses for 11 plants from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, including the first new nuclear plant at a greenfield site.

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  • Litigation & Dispute Resolution
    • Representing an industrial company in an arbitration stemming from a $6 billion breach of contract claim related to failure of certain components supplied to a nuclear power plant.
    • Represented Duke Energy in recovering $835 million from insurance carrier for repairs and power replacement costs related to Crystal River nuclear energy plant in Florida. Payout was largest in carrier’s history.
    • Successfully represented NEI and 15 utilities in federal court trials and appeals seeking to recover billions of dollars in added storage costs against the U.S. DOE for failure to dispose of utilities’ spent nuclear fuel.
    • Served as lead counsel for 23 utilities in federal court trials and appeals seeking to recover hundreds of millions of dollars from the U.S. DOE for overcharges relating to uranium fuel purchase contracts.
    • Served as lead counsel in the ICJ and German courts for international utilities that were successful in seeking the recovery of uranium involved in a bankruptcy.
  • NRC Compliance
    • Represented EnergySolutions in connection with the acquisition and decommissioning of the Zion nuclear plant. Currently representing Entergy in connection with the decommissioning of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.
    • Advised a number of U.S. utilities, including Entergy, Exelon, Ameren, Dominion, Duke, Xcel Energy, Southern Company and PSEG, on export compliance matters.
  • Licensing Matters
    • Represented Dominion Energy regarding North Anna Power Station Unit 3 in COL application preparation and proceedings, in responding to contentions, and in Atomic Safety and Licensing Board and NRC commissioners’ hearings.
    • Representing Duke Energy regarding the Levy Nuclear Plant Units 1 & 2 in COL application preparation and proceedings, in responding to contentions, and in Atomic Safety and Licensing Board and NRC commissioners’ hearings.
    • Represented PPL in hearings on an extended power uprate for the Susquehanna nuclear plant.
    • Represented Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp. in hearings on an extended power uprate for the Vermont Yankee nuclear station.
    • Successfully represented utilities in proceedings resulting in issuance of 35+ license renewals for nuclear power plants, and currently representing two utilities preparing for second license renewal applications.
    • Representing various vendors developing prototype reactors of an advanced design, including NuScale, Pebble Bed Modular Reactor Company, and M-Power.
    • Represented Private Fuel Storage LLC in its application for a license to construct and operate an independent spent fuel storage installation in Utah.
  • Safety Issues
    • Developed a company-wide Comprehensive Safety Culture Improvement Initiative, which included an independent assessment of the safety culture at NFS.
    • Drafted and introduced quality assurance programs meeting the requirements of NQA-1 and ISO 9001.
    • Conducted an independent investigation into allegations concerning Wolf Creek Generating Station employees failing to complete fire watch duties and falsification of fire watch records.
  • Nuclear Employee Matters
    • Retained by Energy Northwest’s executive board to investigate allegations raised via anonymous letters concerning Columbia senior management’s transparency and performance, and to conduct a work environment assessment of the plant.
    • Conducted an independent investigation into hostile work environment allegations and specific management, behavioral, and procedural violations, and conducted a work environment assessment of the Cook Maintenance Department.
    • Conducted an independent investigation into alleged regulatory violations and related work environment assessment of the Quality Assurance and Radiation Protection departments of the Callaway Nuclear Plant.
    • Representing WECTEC (formerly CB&I) in alleged retaliation claims before OSHA and the NRC concerning termination of three individuals from the Vogtle new plant construction site Access Authorization/Fitness for Duty Department.

Practice Area Highlights

Our team includes a former commissioner on the five-member NRC (1998-2007), which sets all policies and rules that govern the safe and secure use of nuclear materials at all U.S. nuclear power plants.


Ranked among the leading nuclear law firms by both Chambers Global (2013) and Chambers USA (2016).


Pillsbury was ranked Tier 1 - Energy Law by U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers.

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  • Four Pillsbury partners were named to 2013 Chambers Global and USA "Leaders in their Field" list.
  • Recognized as “Energy Law Firm of the Year” by Asian-Counsel (2009) and “Energy Firm of the Year” and “Environmental Firm of the Year” by ACQ Magazine (2008).
  • Partner Jeff Merrifield appears before the Senate Subcommittee to Discuss The Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act and Advanced Reactors.