Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, announced that Charles E. Schwenck has joined its Los Angeles office as a partner in the Energy and Natural Resources practice. Schwenck comes to Manatt from K&L Gates.

Schwenck has more than 40 years of experience in the energy, infrastructure and natural resources industries. He advises developers, financiers and owners on a wide range of domestic and international development projects involving power plants and other energy production facilities, pipelines, transmissions lines, industrial facilities and public works. Schwenck regularly structures and negotiates agreements for the development, construction, financing, ownership and operation of energy and infrastructure projects, while also obtaining government concessions, permits and approvals. He has advised on projects exceeding $100 billion in aggregate value and spanning more than three dozen countries.

“Charlie joins Manatt at a crucial time for the energy industry,” said Craig Moyer, chair of Manatt’s Land, Environment and Natural Resources division. “The shale boom has led to a resurgence of U.S. energy development and driven a need for critical infrastructure just as greater penetration of distributed generation and utility scale renewables is significantly changing the way the electricity grid operates and providing new markets and opportunities for emerging ‘smart grid’ and advanced energy storage technologies. Charlie’s high-profile project development and construction experience, combined with our robust energy, environmental and land use capabilities, further enhances our ability to provide clients with strategic, comprehensive and cost-effective solutions on complex matters.”

Schwenck’s energy experience includes engagements involving facilities that generate electricity from coal, natural gas, petroleum, wind and solar, as well as shale gas, oil refining, LNG gas processing and petrochemical facilities. He has counseled on projects involving roads, highways, bridges, rail and water, among other infrastructure developments. Schwenck regularly works with sponsors, investors and lenders on matters related to the development and construction of projects, including project structure development and implementation, bidding procedures and project execution contracts. He has also represented developers and owners in several complex public-private partnership projects in the United States and abroad.

“Energy is one of our core industry practices and our Infrastructure practice is rapidly expanding. We have assembled industry-leading teams on both coasts,” said William Quicksilver, Manatt’s chief executive officer and managing partner. “Charlie is a pivotal addition who brings considerable experience with large-scale project development. We are pleased to welcome him to Manatt.”

Earlier in his career, Schwenck served as general counsel at Fluor Corporation and division counsel at Bechtel Corporation. On numerous occasions, he has represented the engineering and construction industries before congressional committees and legislative bodies across the country.

“Given Manatt’s reputation for innovative approaches in the ever-evolving energy and infrastructure industries, I knew I had found a team that would complement my practice and a platform that would enable me to provide excellent service to clients,” Schwenck said. “Manatt’s deep project-specific experience, combined with its leading state and federal policy practice in the U.S., Mexico and elsewhere, and its strong environmental, regulatory, corporate, finance and litigation practices, makes the firm a player in project development in the Americas. I look forward to working with my new colleagues to provide clients the integrated solutions necessary in today’s complex business and regulatory environment.”

Manatt’s Energy and Natural Resources practice has broad and deep experience in dealing with the complex and diverse issues — as well as the substantial opportunities — facing energy and natural resources industries today. Manatt lawyers represent clients that cover the full spectrum of energy and natural resources, from production to consumption and all the steps between, as well as industry proponents and opponents, applicants and interveners. The practice has been nationally recognized by U.S. News & World Report as part of its 2015 “Best Law Firms” rankings.

Schwenck earned his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.


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