Stone Mattheis Xenopoulos & Brew, PC (formerly Brickfield Burchette Ritts & Stone, PC) serves as both counselor to and advocate for a wide array of clients with a national footprint, including major manufacturers and industrial energy users, rural electric cooperatives, municipal electric utilities, and national associations. Our practice areas include electric and natural gas utility law, industrial customer electricity and natural gas contracting and procurement, administrative law and litigation, energy efficiency, building codes and regulations, workplace and employment law, public policy law, international trade, and real estate development and land use law. Over the course of more than half a century, the firm has developed from a small natural resources practice to a firm with a broad and sophisticated regulatory, litigation, and transactional practice principally focused on energy and public utility matters.
A primary focus of the firm’s practice is to assist clients in obtaining economically priced energy resources. The firm:
- Represents industrial, electric cooperatives and muncipal utility clients in the development of and analysis of power supply options and contract negotiations regarding both regulated suppliers and competitive wholesale and retail suppliers.
- Advocates for these clients’ interests in the regulatory arena before state utility commissions (the firm’s attorneys have appeared before roughly half of the nation’s state utility regulatory commissions), as well as before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). We actively participate in all types of utility proceedings including rate-related proceedings, contract proceedings, fuel cost review, resource planning, demand-side management, distributed generation, merger approval, and generic policy proceedings and rulemakings.
- Appears in state and federal trial and appellate courts, as necessary, to protect these clients’ interests.
The firm serves as advisors and advocates for numerous clients (including both wholesale and retail customers) in connection with their acquisition of power, transmission and delivery services from federal, state and local government-owned power suppliers, including federally-owned utilities (like TVA), state-owned utilities (like the South Carolina Public Service Authority), public power districts, and municipally-owned utilities.
The firm often addresses issues involving transmission service in its electric and natural gas utilities practice. During the 1990s, the Firm secured three of the seminal FERC orders requiring utilities to provide transmission services to transmission-dependent utilities under new authority granted to FERC by the Energy Policy Act of 1992. With the subsequent evolution of open-access transmission tariffs and organized energy markets, SMXB actively represents clients in connection with Independent System Operators (ISOs), Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), and other forms of power pooling organizations, and advises clients on regional and national power supply and transmission issues that arise at FERC and the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC).
The firm also represents stakeholders related to national, state, and local energy efficiency and building code issues. SMXB has been active in energy and green building code development before the International Code Council and other entities since the 1990s and has been involved in more than half of the states in energy efficiency code adoption and implementation activities. Leading the development and advocacy of proposals regarding energy efficiency, conservation, and demand-side management, the Firm works with independent energy efficiency and environmental groups, utilities and various government entities (such as the EPA ENERGY STAR® program).
Aside from energy regulation and litigation, the firm advises and represents its clients regarding many business and transactional issues. The firm’s attorneys have experience in many different substantive areas of the law including employment law, economic development incentives, building industry issues, government relations, real estate development and land use, and international trade.
In the area of employment law, the firm provides counseling and litigation services to union and non-union employers and executives across the full range of workplace and employment issues. With extensive experience in state and federal courts, as well as extensive appellate experience throughout the country, the Firm has successfully handled class action suits involving hundreds of potential claimants. Our attorneys also regularly assist clients in diffusing workplace disputes, minimizing the risk of litigation, providing representation before the Equal Employment Commission and other related state agencies, and protecting confidential information.