Former Energy Commissioner Honorable Joins Reed Smith

By Rebecca Kern, Bloomberg BNA

Colette Honorable, who left the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last month, has joined the global law firm Reed Smith to help start up a FERC-focused regulatory team, the firm announced today.

Honorable served as a Democratic FERC commissioner appointed by President Barack Obama from January 2015 until her term expired on June 30.

FERC is now down to one lone commissioner — Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur — after being without a voting quorum of three commissioners since February. Two Republican FERC nominees Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson were favorably reported out of the Senate committee in June and currently await a Senate floor vote.

Honorable will be co-leading Reed Smith’s FERC regulatory team with Regina Speed-Bost, a legal adviser to former FERC commissioner William Massey. Speed-Bost most recently was chair of Schiff Hardin’s Energy Group in Washington. The firm also hired Debra Ann Palmer, a colleague of Speed-Bost and a former partner Schiff Hardin, who also has FERC and state regulatory experience.

While Reed Smith has employed FERC attorneys in the past, this will be the firm’s first FERC-focused regulatory offering, Honorable told Bloomberg BNA in an interview. Reed Smith represents natural gas, renewable, oil and power companies as well utilities with 140 attorneys in its energy practices. The firm has 1,700 attorneys in its 27 global offices.