Orrick Adds Top Natural Gas Regulatory Team


Orrick announced today that leading energy regulatory practitioners Lisa Tonery and Erik Swenson have joined the firm as partners. They join Orrick from Norton Rose Fulbright US, where Lisa led the U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Regulatory practice and co-chaired the LNG International Business Group. Lisa joins the New York office, and Erik will be based in Washington, D.C.

Lisa and Erik are the 20th and 21st partners to join Orrick’s Energy & Infrastructure platform since the start of 2016. Last year, the firm launched a Houston office, which has since grown to more than 40 lawyers. Also in 2016, Orrick was named a Law360 Project Finance Group of the Year for the fourth time.

“Lisa and Erik have one of the premier natural gas and LNG regulatory practices in the U.S., and we are thrilled about the opportunities for collaboration with our growing project development and finance team in this fast evolving market,” said Blake H. Winburne, who co-heads Orrick’s Energy & Infrastructure Business Unit with Mark Weitzel.

“Members of the Orrick team have worked across the table from Lisa and Erik for years, and we have long admired them as practitioners,” noted Kyle Drefke, leader of Orrick’s Washington, D.C. office. “We’re excited to add two additional leading energy lawyers to our fast-growing Energy & Infrastructure practice.”

“We’re inspired by Orrick’s vision for and investment in the E&I sector, the quality of the team, the global platform, and what the firm has built in Houston,” said Lisa. “It’s an exciting time for natural gas and LNG infrastructure development, and we look forward to collaborating with our Orrick colleagues to expand the practice.”

Lisa Tonery

Lisa is widely recognized as an innovator in the natural gas regulatory arena. She focuses her practice on helping LNG and natural gas infrastructure developers, including major natural gas pipelines, navigate complex permitting and regulatory compliance matters in proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy (DOE), the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and other agencies. She advised in obtaining the first long-term authorization issued by the DOE to export domestic natural gas as LNG from the continental U.S., as well as on the first bi-directional LNG terminals proposed in the U.S. in proceedings before FERC. Lisa also represents major interstate natural gas pipelines in permitting and associated transactional matters.

Lisa is recognized as a leading energy lawyer by Chambers USA and Chambers Global and was named an Energy & Environmental Law Trailblazer by the National Law Journal in 2016.

Erik Swenson

Erik focuses on energy law, working closely with clients in transactional and regulatory matters, including guiding on electric, natural gas and LNG infrastructure development. He recently advised NextDecade LLC in its FERC application to approve construction, ownership and operation of the multi-billion dollar Rio Grande LNG export facility and the Rio Bravo Pipeline Company natural gas pipeline, as well as Rio Grande LNG’s applications for LNG export authorizations. Erik also has decades of experience with energy regulatory matters for electric generation facilities and large commercial and energy consumers.

Ranked in Legal 500, Erik is a sought-after speaker on energy industry developments and has presented across the U.S., as well as in Africa, Asia, Canada and Europe.