James M. Avery

James M. Avery represents a broad range of utilities, developers, aggregators, and other stakeholders before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board, and numerous other state utility commissions.

Jim’s clients include developers of solar, offshore wind, biomass, and related facilities; developers of natural gas-fired generation and storage facilities; electric and natural gas utilities; electricity aggregators; wireless telecommunications carriers; and hospitals, government agencies, and industrial facilities.

Jim also represents clients in a variety of commercial and financial transactions, including acquisitions, mergers, corporate restructurings, contracts, and financings.

Prior to joining Pierce Atwood, Jim was a partner in the Energy, Utilities, and Environmental Practice Group at Brown Rudnick LLP.

Honors & Distinctions
  • Recognized by Chambers USA for Energy & Natural Resources Law (2020-present)
Professional Activities
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association,  Member and former Co-chair, Energy and Telecommunications Committee
  • Energy Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section, Co-chair of Renewable Energy Subcommittee
  • Co-author, Inside the Minds: Energy Law Settlements and Negotiations: Leading Lawyers on Dealing With Regulatory Commissions, Understanding Political and Market Forces, and Making the Right Deal, Aspatore Books
  • Co-author, chapter on the Department of Public Utilities, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Compilation on Massachusetts Procedure, Volume 9
  • Co-author, State and Federal Deregulation of Electric and Natural Gas Services in Massachusetts, National Business Institute

Practice Areas

Representative Experience
  • Represented electric and gas utilities in contested rate proceedings, including securing funding for an electric utility's innovative vegetation management program.
  • Represented solar developers and energy aggregators in solar generation development and contracting, including the development of an innovative structure for low-income community solar projects.
  • Represented state agencies in the negotiation of energy performance contracts.
  • Represented numerous hospitals, government agencies, and industrial facilities in contracting for electric and natural gas supply and energy efficiency services.
  • Represented a gas utility in structuring and securing necessary approvals for a commodity portfolio optimization alliance with other utilities and a major natural gas producer.
  • Represented publicly traded utility holding companies and other energy clients in mergers, acquisitions, dispositions of assets, and long-term debt and equity financings.
  • Represented of one of the world's leading developers of renewable resources and the world’s largest developer of wind generation resources in securing regulatory approvals necessary to complete its acquisition of a major utility holding company.
Representative Experience
  • Represented developer in permit and contract matters for solar, electric and wind generation facility developers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
  • Assisted offshore wind developers in developing and implementing legislative and regulatory strategies, representation in regulatory proceedings regarding procurement, developing contract forms for construction-related services, and representation in infrastructure development for construction and operation.
  • Represented a gas utility in securing the necessary regulatory and environmental approvals for the first liquefied natural gas facility in Massachusetts in over 35 years and the permanent financing of the facility.
  • Represented private developer in siting and contracting for a new LNG facility to serve regional gas utilities and other energy consumers.
  • Represented a Florida developer of a 100 MW biomass generation facility in permitting, appeals, and contract matters with a major regional municipal utility.
  • Representing developers in siting and development of electricity storage facilities, including analyzing regulatory strategy.
  • Represented leading municipal electric aggregators in designing aggregation plans, securing regulatory approvals and contract negotiations, and a natural gas purchasing consortium in gas supply contracting. Successfully secured approvals for more than 80 aggregation plans.
  • Represented electric utilities in the siting of numerous electric transmission lines and substations.
  • Represented a gas utility in securing approvals for a high pressure gas pipeline to serve a CHP plant at a major university.
  • Represented a wireless telecommunications carrier in a rate-setting proceeding relating to access charges.