Christopher J. Townsend has joined Freeborn & Peters LLP’s Chicago office as a partner and co-leader of the firm’s Environment and Energy Practice Group.
“This is the exact right time for Chris to be joining the firm,” said Philip L. Comella, a Freeborn Partner and Co-Leader of the Environment and Energy Practice Group. “Environmental and Energy law and policy continue to converge at an increasing pace, with clients looking for creative but practical ways to address emerging technologies, shifting energy markets, and constantly evolving laws and regulations. I look forward to collaborating with Chris to lead our team helping a wide variety of clients address environmental and energy issues. Chris is a nationally-ranked leader in Energy law, and our clients will greatly benefit from his insights and experience in developing innovative solutions, particularly related to complex infrastructure projects and multi-faceted administrative proceedings.”
In a release, the firm said Townsend has more than two decades of experience representing forward-thinking energy market participants, both individually and in coalitions, develop, defend and improve the structures for effective and efficient competition in the energy markets. He regularly provides energy advice to entities other than the local utilities, including large industrial, institutional and commercial energy users; municipalities; and other governmental entities. He also assists alternative electricity and natural gas suppliers in developing the structures for energy markets. In addition, he represents energy project developers on complicated and cutting-edge projects and assists other large-scale energy industry participants.
“We are thrilled to welcome Chris to the firm,” said Freeborn Co-Managing Partner Michael J. Kelly. “His award-winning commitment to client service and continuous focus on positioning clients for the next wave of changes in the energy world is a great fit with our firm’s culture.”
The firm said Townsend has been involved in a wide variety of regulatory proceedings before the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as well as in numerous legislative efforts before the Illinois General Assembly, with an emphasis on matters related to bringing additional efficiencies to the energy industries. He also has served as counsel to several consortia composed of large industrial, institutional, governmental and commercial electricity consumers; retail energy suppliers; a public water district; and a small privately owned water company. Globally, he has worked with the U.S. State Department and counseled the government of Iraq on multi-billion-dollar energy and infrastructure projects.
Townsend previously was a partner at DLA Piper and most recently was a member of the Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Practice Group at Clark Hill PLC in Chicago. He has been consistently ranked by Chambers, receiving its top rank in the area of Illinois Energy & Natural Resources law earlier this year. He also is a three-time winner of the exclusive Lexology Client Choice Award for Energy & Natural Resources in Illinois.
Townsend received his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law (with honors) and his Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) from Augustana College.