“All my clients are important to me,” says Frances Francis, who has practiced energy law since 1965, when she first served with what is now the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Her specialty is hydroelectric licensing and regulation and related water and natural resources issues.
Frances has been involved in many significant issues and efforts, including arguing cases in federal appellate courts, representing consumers in both electricity and natural gas rate cases before FERC, and working on transmission siting issues for the New England River Basins Commission and the Energy Policy Project. Frances has advised clients and participated in cases on nuclear decommissioning issues, including nuclear waste disposal trust funds. She has also been involved in many negotiations, as well as in arbitrations.
A Yale Law School grad, she enjoys practicing energy law because, she says, “It allows me to make a living in an interesting way, by helping individuals with hard problems to solve.” Frances has authored and co-authored numerous articles on hydroelectric power, environmental issues, nuclear energy, power plant siting and administrative law issues.
She has advised clients in competitive hydroelectric relicensings; on PURPA issues; franchise negotiation, including the transfer of a bus transit system and a hydroelectric project in the Southeast; and represented coalitions of governmental agencies who were interveners in hydroelectric relicensing or electric or natural gas rate cases.
Frances joined Spiegel & McDiarmid in 1974 and was a partner from 1976 to 2010, with hiatuses from the firm to teach law school, for advanced study at Harvard University in government and economics and to work for public commissions. She has been recognized as an AV Preeminent-Top Rated Lawyer® for Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources by ALM Media.
Frances handles a range of regulatory issues involving electricity, hydroelectric, natural gas, nuclear energy generation and licensing and natural resources allocation. She is experienced in electric and natural gas rate cases before FERC and state commissions.
In late 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Frances to be a Member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.