Paul Varnado is an associate in the firm’s Energy Regulatory practice. He focuses his practice on the electric and natural gas industries including enforcement defense, compliance, markets, litigation, and transactional matters.
Before joining the firm, Mr. Varnado served as an attorney-advisor at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). His experience at FERC involved a variety of electric, natural gas, and oil matters, including significant investigations by the Office of Enforcement into alleged violations of FERC’s market manipulation rule, false statements rule, electric reliability standards, jurisdictional tariffs, and other regulations. He also advised FERC on Commission orders, policy issues, and served as a liaison to an independent system operator and its market monitor.
Mr. Varnado’s other FERC experience included an externship in the Energy Markets Division, Office of the General Counsel.
Mr. Varnado represents clients in energy regulatory, enforcement, compliance, commercial, and transactional matters and activities including before FERC, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and state regulators. He also represents clients in disputes before the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) related to airport rates and charges and compliance with federal grant assurances.
Mr. Varnado maintains an active pro bono practice including representing a national advocacy group in litigation regarding the use of surplus federal real properties for homeless services, assisting a community nonprofit in the development and financing of a sustainable urban microgrid, representing applicants for asylum, and litigating and mediating on behalf of residential tenants facing eviction.
Mr. Varnado received his B.A. in Public Policy Studies from Duke University and his J.D. from the Washington University School of Law. While in law school, Mr. Varnado was a staff editor and executive board member of the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy.
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