William R. Barksdale

William R. Barksdale

Counsel, Energy Regulatory

William Barksdale represents electric power, natural gas and financial market participants in investigations by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), as well as in administrative litigation before FERC and litigation before federal district and appellate courts.


Mr. Barksdale has represented a broad range of clients in numerous FERC investigations and enforcement actions involving alleged violations of the agency’s anti-manipulation rule, duty of candor rule and RTO/ISO tariffs. A significant portion of his practice includes advising clients on FERC regulations and energy market rules. Mr. Barksdale also has experience representing clients at all stages of complex commercial disputes.

Mr. Barksdale has been recognized in The Legal 500 in the Energy Litigation: Conventional Power and Energy Regulation: Conventional Power categories.

Illustrative matters include the representation of:

  • Barclays Bank PLC in: (i) an enforcement proceeding brought by FERC in the Eastern District of California alleging violations of FERC’s anti-manipulation rule; and (ii) a putative class action in the Southern District of New York alleging antitrust violations relating to the same alleged conduct. Both cases were settled favorably using creative settlement structures;
  • Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in defeating a petition that sought a FERC order pursuant to Federal Power Act section 211A requiring TVA to wheel power to local power companies within TVA’s historical service area;
  • New Fortress Energy in a FERC show-cause order proceeding regarding whether an existing project in Puerto Rico constitutes a FERC-jurisdictional LNG terminal and, if so, whether the terminal must cease operating. Skadden successfully represented New Fortress Energy in securing a FERC order that allowed the facility to continue operating and rejected requests to open an enforcement investigation;
  • Dr. Houlian Chen, HEEP Fund, Inc. and CU Fund Inc. in an enforcement action brought by FERC in the Eastern District of Virginia alleging that the defendants engaged in market manipulation through trading in PJM’s Up-to-Congestion product that allegedly was designed to capture Marginal Loss Transmission Allocation payments. The matter was resolved in 2021 through a favorable settlement in which Skadden’s clients neither admitted nor denied liability;
  • GreenHat Energy, LLC and the Estate of Andrew Kittell in an investigation, show-cause order proceeding and related litigation before FERC. The agency issued a penalty assessment order alleging that GreenHat engaged in market manipulation in PJM’s FTR markets and has sought sanctions in the matter totaling over $200 million;
  • a Western U.S. public utility in parallel inquiries by the CFTC, SEC and FERC concerning trading losses;
  • a Midwestern U.S. public utility in an investigation arising out of allegations of manipulation made during an administrative proceeding that FERC referred to its Office of Enforcement. The investigation was closed without action and before any depositions were taken;
  • a consultant/asset manager and individual employees in an investigation concerning the construction of a capacity resource in New England and related communications with ISO-NE. The matter involved possible allegations of market manipulation, violations of 18 C.F.R. sections 35.41 (a) and (b) and violations of various tariff provisions. Skadden’s clients were dropped from the investigation without action;
  • a global infrastructure construction company in an ongoing investigation related to alleged violations of a natural gas pipeline certificate;
  • a CAISO market participant in an investigation concerning the participant’s obligations related to resource adequacy and allegations of market manipulation. The matter was settled on favorable terms;
  • a Midwestern U.S. public utility in an internal investigation concerning its energy market bidding practices;
  • a major natural gas trading firm in an investigation of possible manipulation of Midwestern natural gas indices to benefit related financial positions. The matter was closed without action;
  • an electric power producer in an investigation of its day-ahead offer behavior in PJM during a polar vortex. The investigation was closed without action;
  • a capacity supply resource in an investigation of the company’s fuel procurement activities and whether the company violated FERC’s duty of candor and ISO-NE tariff provisions in connection with its energy offers and following ISO-NE’s dispatch instructions. The case was settled on favorable terms;
  • a CAISO market participant in briefing regarding allegations that it traded physical power in order to benefit congestion revenue rights positions;
  • a large power marketer in an investigation of its transmission scheduling in and around Lake Erie. The matter was closed without action;
  • a major energy company in an investigation concerning its reactive power rates and unit retirements/transfers. The investigation was closed without action;
  • an electric power producer in connection with the retirement of a large generation facility in the Northeast United States; and
  • an electric power producer in connection with NYISO’s buyer-side mitigation rules.

Mr. Barksdale is actively engaged in pro bono matters. He represents clients seeking asylum in the United States, and also has served as a court-appointed guardian ad litem, representing the best interests of children in custody disputes.



  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 2008
  • B.A., University of Virginia, 2005


  • New York
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

William R. Barksdale