Perkins Coie adds K&L Gates renewables practice leads on West Coast

Buck Endemann and Elizabeth Crouse join as Inflation Reduction Act heralds clean energy investment boom

Elizabeth Crouse and Buck Endemann Image courtesy of Perkins Coie

Perkins Coie has bolstered its renewables practice on the West Coast with the hire of a pair of practice leads from K&L Gates. 

Buck Endemann and Elizabeth Crouse, who previously led K&L Gates’ global renewables and power group, have joined Perkins Coie as partners in San Francisco and Portland respectively. Their arrival comes amid an anticipated boom in US renewable energy projects fuelled by The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) with its $369bn package of investment and tax breaks over 10 years.

The duo bring extensive experience advising in the development of renewable electricity, green hydrogen, renewable gas, offset and carbon capture projects across the United States. Endemann is a partner in the energy, environment and resources practice and Crouse in the tax team. 

“We are thrilled to welcome these two veteran renewable energy lawyers to the firm,” said Karen McGaffey, firmwide chair of Perkins Coie’s environment, energy and resources practice. “Renewable energy developments are booming across the country, and Buck and Elizabeth’s regulatory, transactional and tax equity expertise further bolsters our strong nationwide renewables team.”

Endemann has joined Perkins Coie after six years at K&L Gates, prior to which he practised at Paul Hastings. He focuses his practice on renewable energy project development. He counsels clients on renewable power and fuels offtake, development agreements, EPC and supply agreements, and environmental attribute and carbon offset transactions. His regulatory practice includes environmental permitting and regulatory and enforcement matters before bodies including the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Air Resources Board. 

Meantime, Crouse joined K&L Gates in 2011 from Minneapolis-based firm Dorsey & Whitney. She advises clients on developing, acquiring and investing in renewable electricity, renewable fuels and carbon capture projects. She also advises on ESG-related matters and domestic and international tax structuring. 

“With numerous federal tax credits available, tax issues are critical to the development of many large-scale power and renewable projects, and Elizabeth’s experience will help our clients successfully develop, acquire and invest in those projects,” said Bob Mahon, chair of the firm’s tax practice. “We’re pleased that a tax lawyer of Elizabeth’s calibre chose to join our group at this pivotal moment for the renewable energy sector.”

The duo have joined Perkins Coie against a backdrop of rapid growth in the global renewables market, which has been predicted to grow in value from $856bn to more than $2trn by 2030. 

Growth in the US renewables market slowed in 2022 due to factors including rising costs, supply chain disruption and high inflation, though a recent report by Deloitte suggested growth will likely accelerate this year, powered by robust demand and the record-breaking raft of clean energy incentives in the IRA. 

UK law firm Linklaters has targeted US energy transition work recently, adding renewables partners Marius Griskonis and Judy Kwok in New York in March from White & Case and Troutman Pepper respectively. Griskonis was named co-head of the firm’s energy and infrastructure team alongside Ron Erlichman, who himself joined the firm in November from Sidley Austin.

UK rival Norton Rose Fulbright also hired a group of seven renewable projects-focused real estate lawyers and three support staff in Chicago last August from local boutique Clean Law. 

And K&L Gates itself hired a four partner-strong renewables team from Husch Blackwell in May last year to strengthen its energy practice, with the firm opening a Kansas City office as part of the move. The firm declined to comment on the departures of Endemann and Crouse. 

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