Walter A. Foskett and Diedre T. Lawrence, formerly of Burke & Foskett, LLC have joined the law firm of Duncan & Allen as Of Counsel. Mr. Foskett and Ms. Lawrence have opened a New England office for Duncan & Allen at 35 Braintree Hill Office Park in Braintree, Massachusetts. Duncan & Allen is a Washington, D.C. based law firm whose roots go back to the early 1930’s. The Firm represents public power and cooperative entities in connection with their electric power business and service throughout the United States. It has been in the forefront of protecting and extending the rights of those entities while also introducing legal innovation and guiding its clients through fundamental changes in the regulatory framework reshaping the way their industry operates.
Prior to joining Burke & Foskett, Ms. Lawrence was a partner in the Energy and Regulatory departments at Rubin & Rudman in Boston, Massachusetts where she provided general counsel services to municipal light plants, municipal cooperatives, utility project developers, major educational institutions, telecommunications, cable television and internet service providers (ISPs), and appeared before federal, state and local regulatory agencies, including the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, Mass DEP and the Energy Facilities Siting Board, as well as all Massachusetts state and federal courts.
Ms. Lawrence brings to Duncan & Allen significant expertise in environmental and regulatory permitting for utility generation, transmission and distribution projects; formation of cooperatives; development and negotiation of engineering, procurement and construction contracts, power supply contracts and long term service agreements for power projects; drafting requests for proposals and invitations to bid on a variety of design and construction matters; development of solar facilities and other renewable projects and solar power purchase agreements; drafting and negotiation of IRUs, master lease agreements and co-location agreements for dark fiber projects; litigation involving power supply agreements; land use and zoning litigation; employment law counseling, employment contracts and discrimination claims defense; and municipal law matters such as special legislation and home rule petitions; bid challenges; real property ownership and transfers; municipal finance; utility rate design issues; Open Meeting and State Ethics laws.
Prior to co-founding Burke & Foskett in 1996, Mr. Foskett was a partner at McDermott, Will & Emery, where he maintained a corporate and securities law practice specializing in the energy and electric utility arenas. With over thirty years of experience, he has provided legal advice to major electric utilities and their regulated and unregulated subsidiaries. Mr. Foskett has maintained a long history of personal involvement in the energy field. From 2007 to 2013, he was the General Counsel of World Energy, a global biofuels company. From 1995 to 2015, he was a member of the Hingham Municipal Light Board, the governing body that has oversight responsibility for a municipally owned electric utility in Hingham, Massachusetts. From 2011 to 2015, he served on the Board of Directors of Energy New England, an energy cooperative founded in 1998 by members of the public power community to enhance their competitive position to which he continues to provide legal advice. Mr. Foskett currently serves on the advisory board of Microbe Detectives, LLC, a bio-tech start up currently developing proprietary methods using DNA genetic sequencing to identify and analyze organisms found in the environment.
A seasoned negotiator, Mr. Foskett has significant experience in a wide variety of contract negotiation, drafting and administration, strategic business planning and risk management. His experience in the energy field includes power supply contracts and power plant project financing, energy services contracts, formation of cooperatives; development and negotiation of engineering, procurement and construction contracts, requests for proposals and invitations to bid for municipal utilities, electrical aggregation, fuel tax licensing, EPA regulatory compliance, fuel terminal leasing, fuel production tolling contracts and logistical procurement contracts (terminal, truck, railcar and ocean going vessels).
Mr. Foskett also brings to Duncan & Allen significant corporate and transactional expertise, including experience in stockholder and operating agreements, executive employment agreements, mergers and acquisitions, asset purchase and sales, venture capital financing, public and private offers of stock and debt instruments, long-term debt offerings under indentures, tax exempt industrial revenue bond transactions and commercial and real estate loan transactions. He advises clients through all phases of business planning and expansion, including corporate structuring and integration of succession planning. His clients include energy, software, financial services companies and a metagenomics company.
Combined, Mr. Foskett and Ms. Lawrence provide over fifty years of legal representation in all facets of the energy and electric utility industry along with an unmatched knowledge base of current industry standards, policies, innovation and personnel.