Goodin MacBride’s utility regulatory practice joins the Downey brand


04 Oct 2021 6:00 PM ET


Company Strengthens Presence in Bay Area with Strategic Expansion of Natural Resources Practice

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) Downey Brand, a leading full-service law firm also known for its state-wide prowess in natural resources, water, land use and the environment , is pleased to announce that six lawyers previously from Goodin, MacBride, Squeri & Day specializing in the regulation of public services have joined its San Francisco office. With the arrival of seasoned lawyers Thomas MacBride, James squeri, Michael day, Brian cragg, Megan somogyi, and partner Nirvech Sikand the firm now has 16 attorneys in its San Francisco office and over 100 attorneys across the firm.

“This is an exciting development for our company,” said Downey Brand Managing Partner Scott shapiro. “Developing the depth and versatility of our San Francisco office (and the stature of the firm’s multidisciplinary natural resources department) by adding a public service practice is a key strategic opportunity for the firm. ” Christian swamp, a member of the firm’s executive committee and senior land use partner in the San Francisco office, noted, “Downey Brand has always provided a unique blend of services to public and private clients in the environmental sectors, natural resources and energy. The combined experience and excellent reputation of the Goodin MacBride team is a great addition and provides us with a solid foundation for future expansion in these developing practice areas.

Kathryn oehlschlager, Executive Partner of Downey Brand’s San Francisco office, added, “We are excited to grow our San Francisco team and are excited to collaborate on the unique cross-service opportunities this presents. We have several common clients and we are convinced that the natural synergies between our practices will greatly benefit our clients. “

Goodin MacBride’s utility attorneys are recognized as some of the best practitioners in their field, representing clients before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and other state agencies that regulate electric, gas and utility utilities. natural, energy and water, telecommunications providers and some transport companies. In addition, they guide clients through appeals of regulatory decisions and advocate on legislative issues affecting energy and utility regulation throughout California. The main partners have held influential positions in major state agencies, giving the department unparalleled experience in this highly specialized field. Customers include a wide range of power generators, energy storage developers, transportation companies, telecommunications carriers, natural gas pipeline and storage suppliers, oil pipelines, and water utilities. .

Tom macbride, co-founder of the Goodin MacBride Regulatory Group noted his long-standing interest and respect for Downey Brand, stating that “as a born and raised in Sacramento, I became familiar with the company’s stellar reputation at an early age. My father, Thomas MacBride, attorney, lawmaker, and US District Judge, has always praised the attorneys at the firm, especially John F. “Jack” Downey. Therefore, I couldn’t be happier than our utility group joins Downey Brand, a firm which I have always associated with the highest level of the legal profession and which today has the skills to serve our clients that are so complementary to those we have developed at Goodin MacBride.

Michael day, Goodin MacBride Managing Partner and former Acting General Counsel of CPUC, added that “We were drawn to Downey Brand because of their expertise in water, air quality, wastewater management and other environmental regulatory issues. They clearly understand what is needed. to practice administrative law before agencies in the State of California, and this convinced us that our practice would fit well into the firm’s overall strategic objectives.

Learn more about the public services team

Thomas MacBride co-founded the Goodin MacBride regulatory group in 1985 and practiced before the CPUC for over 45 years, representing the interests of land and water transport providers, public and private water service providers, telecommunications companies and d energy, real estate developers and municipalities, among others. Tom was involved in drafting and advocating for the enactment of the Calderon-Peace-MacBride Judicial Review Act of 1998, significantly expanding the scope of judicial review of CPUC decisions. A former CPUC lawyer, Tom received his JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1975 and holds a BS in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

James squeri represents clients in all aspects of regulation affecting the supply, delivery and consumption of natural gas, electricity and oil. Prior to joining Goodin MacBride in 1986, James served as in-house counsel to the CPUC and served as an administrative judge. James graduated from Stanford University and received his JD from Boston University Law School in 1975.

Michael day has a state-wide practice that represents the interests of customers in natural gas and electricity pricing procedures, natural gas and electricity transmission site selection matters, and business wireless telecommunications. Much of his practice focuses on creating competitive energy markets in California, primarily through litigation before the CPUC, as well as legislation under consideration by the California legislature. Mike spent nine years in the Legal Division of the CPUC as senior counsel in natural gas cases and later as Acting General Counsel. Mike received his JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1976 and his BA from Cornell University.

Brian cragg practices before the CPUC and other regulatory bodies with particular emphasis on energy issues. Its customers range from solar, wind, geothermal, landfill gas and other renewable energy producers to owners and operators of conventional power plants and energy storage companies. Prior to joining Goodin MacBride, Brian spent 18 years at the CPUC as Associate Chief Administrative Judge, involved in cases ranging from tariff and merger cases to nuclear power plant cost reviews. Brian graduated from Yale University and received his JD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1977.

Megan somogyi has a decade of experience in regulatory, transactional and appeals affairs relating to utilities, with a focus on energy, transportation and water. She represents municipalities and utility customers in power transmission line location selection proceedings, pricing disputes, sale and transfer of power utility property, and power generation litigation. certification of public services before the CPUC and other regulatory bodies, with occasional trips to appellate courts. She also has significant expertise on CPUC regulations for forest fire prevention and proactive power line shutdown. Megan received her JD from University of San Francisco Law School in 2011 and her BA from the University of California, Berkeley.

Nirvech Sikand assists clients on various regulatory issues before the CPUC, where he also interned at the law school, gaining valuable experience from his research on cases involving the regulation of energy, telecommunications, water and transports. Nirvesh received his JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2018, where he served on the editorial board of the Hastings Environmental Law Journal, as well as an editor-in-chief at Hastings Business Law Review. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Learn more about the Downey brand and its natural resources department

Founded 95 years ago in the Californian capital, Downey Brand is a full-service law firm known for its in-depth knowledge of the natural resources industry, as well as for its breadth of business practices and litigation strength. . With over 100 lawyers, it is the largest law firm based in Sacramento. It operates in California and Nevada, with its headquarters in Sacramento and additional offices in San Francisco, Stockton and Reno.

The firm’s Department of Natural Resources is one of the largest and most diverse practice groups of its kind in California. With 39 attorneys, it is a well-coordinated multidisciplinary team with in-depth experience handling litigation and regulatory compliance across a wide range of specialties, including all aspects of water, land and water. the air. Areas of expertise within the department include water rights, flood protection, water quality, endangered species, energy, land use, environment, waste dangerous and toxic, air quality and climate change, and now the regulation of utilities. For more information visit


Contact details:

Happy Isley, [email protected]

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