Chadbourne & Parke Names Renewable Energy Guru, Eli Katz, as Tax Counsel
The international law Firm of Chadbourne & Parke LLP announced today that Eli Katz has joined the Firm as a tax counsel in the project finance and tax practices. The move reflects the continued growth of the renewable energy practice at Chadbourne.“Eli is an outstanding attorney with deep knowledge of the tax aspects of renewable energy, one of the fastest growing segments of Chadbourne’s project finance practice,” said Managing Partner Charles K. O’Neill. “His experience in industry and legal practice will enhance our ability to provide clients with well-informed legal and business guidance.”
Mr. Katz, 35, is joining Chadbourne’s New York office from General Electric, where he held various tax leadership positions over the past three and a half years, most recently as Vice President-Tax Planning and Counsel for GE’s Energy Financial Services business. He was involved in renewable energy project finance investments, including wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and biofuels, and also managed a variety of energy asset acquisitions and dispositions.
Prior to joining GE, Mr. Katz was a tax associate in the New York office of Hunton & Williams LLP, where he focused on cross-border and domestic structured financings and privatizations of infrastructure projects and transportation equipment, such as power plants, electricity grids, rail equipment and aircraft.
“Eli is a great addition to our team with his experience in tax equity financings for renewable energy projects, new markets tax credits, complicated leasing transactions and other forms of structured finance,” said Keith Martin, a tax partner with whom Mr. Katz will be working in the project finance group. “He saw a lot of deals while at GE, which is a market leader in the renewable energy sector. He is also an able and gracious individual.”
Chadbourne’s project finance group is a high-profile name in the energy sector. Over the past two years, half of the group’s work has involved renewable energy. The experience covers major areas of renewables, including wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, landfill gas, biomass and ocean energy. The group’s expansion comes at a time of growth in this marketplace, as wind farms accounted for 35% of all new generating capacity in the U.S. last year and M&A is reshaping the industry.
Chadbourne has worked with most of the major U.S. wind developers. Most renewable energy projects in the United States are heavily subsidized through the U.S. tax code. As a consequence, most such projects are financed in complicated “partnership flip” transactions that convert the tax benefits into capital that can be used to build the projects. There were 19 such transactions in 2007 in the U.S. wind market; Chadbourne acted as counsel in 17 of them. Mr. Martin noted, “Eli will be of immediate help to Chadbourne deal teams working in this market.”
Mr. Katz holds a B.S. in accounting from Touro College, a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, and an LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law.