Joseph Williams focuses his practice on energy, commodities and derivatives law. He regularly represents clients on a range of regulatory, compliance and enforcement matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Joseph has handled numerous investigations, enforcement and show cause proceedings, and complex energy litigation matters. Although most market manipulation cases involve claims related to marketing and trading in energy and commodity markets, Joseph has also represented clients in FERC enforcement matters involving generation dispatch and reliability issues and hydro safety regulation. Joseph has handled market manipulation cases involving both physical and financial products in organized markets nationwide and at all stages – from self-reporting potential violations to fully litigated matters and related appeals.
Joseph advises energy companies, financial institutions, investors, and trading and marketing firms on both physical and financial trading issues across a range of industries and products. In addition, he advises clients on registration and regulatory compliance requirements for various categories of market participants, such as commodity pool operators, commodity trading advisors, and retail foreign exchange dealers.
He also regularly assists clients in regulatory proceedings before the FERC for both electric and natural gas matters, such as market-based rate filings, ISO/RTO rate proceedings, natural gas pipeline rate proceedings and, general rulemakings. He is experienced in dealing with issues related to the organized power markets before the FERC, with particular emphasis on capacity markets and market power mitigation measures. Joseph served as lead counsel for clients with shipping capacity in multiple natural gas pipeline rate cases.
Joseph assists clients with the regulatory due diligence for major transactions and investments, including the development and acquisition of electric generation facilities and natural gas pipelines.
JD, magna cum laude, Syracuse University College of Law, 2001
BS, summa cum laude, Utica College of Syracuse University, 1998
While in law school, Joseph served as Managing Editor of the Syracuse Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif, Moot Court Honor Society, and Syracuse Law and Technology Journal.
Representative Investigations Experience:
- Represented owner and trader in FERC Enforcement action regarding up-to congestion trading in PJM.
- Represented senior manager of generation owner in FERC Enforcement investigation of bidding practices.
- Represented natural gas company in FERC Enforcement investigation of compliance with certificate and reporting requirements.
- Represented senior trader in FERC Enforcement action regarding natural gas trading in West.
- Represented trading company in FERC Enforcement investigation of natural gas trading in Eastern US markets.
- Represented client in FERC Enforcement investigation of qualification and sales in ISO-administered capacity auction.
- Represented client in FERC Enforcement investigation of affiliates' participation in virtual and transmission markets.
- Represented client in FERC Enforcement investigation of trading in financial product in day-ahead and real-time markets.
- Represented financial institution in FERC Enforcement investigation of third-party trading in CAISO.
- Represented client in FERC Enforcement investigation related to power imports and related transmission schedules in day-ahead and real-time markets.
- Represented client in FERC Enforcement investigation of natural gas sales to electric generator subject to mitigation in NYISO.
- Represented client in FERC Enforcement investigation of potential violations of hydro safety regulations and license.
- Represented financial institution in self-report of potential market manipulation.
- Represented client in self-report of potential violations related to obligations of market-based rate sellers.
- Lead counsel for client subject to FERC Enforcement investigation of generator interconnection and participation in ISO market.
- Represented client in investigation of energy market offers in ISO market.
- Represented client in CFTC investigation of trading in two energy commodity markets.
- Represented client in FERC Enforcement investigation of electricity market transactions.
- Lead counsel for client in FERC Enforcement investigation related to the operation of generation in ISO market.
- Represented client in self-report to FERC Enforcement for activity in ISO markets.
- Represented supplier in FERC Enforcement investigation of energy market activity.
- Lead counsel for energy marketing company in non-public FERC investigation regarding participation in ISO-administered markets.
- Represented power marketer in a FERC Enforcement investigation about trading activity in ISO-administered energy markets
- Assisted multiple clients in responding to CFTC subpoenas in crude oil and natural gas markets.
- Represented power marketer in an investigation by FERC Enforcement, which resulted in a favorable finding of no violation.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a power marketer concerning market activity.
Representative Energy Regulatory/Compliance Experience:
- Represented generation company in reactive power rate proceeding.
- Represented transmission owner in petition for review of FERC orders on cost allocation issues.
- Counseled many clients on capacity market design issues and proposed changes, including the potential application and design of mitigation measures.
- Successfully prosecuted a complaint against ISO-NE to qualify capacity.
- Advised client on Standards of Conduct compliance for transmission providers.
- Represented generators regarding proposed capacity market changes in NYC.
- Represented a supplier in a complaint docket at FERC regarding the entry of new capacity in the NYC market.
- Lead counsel in defending FPA Section 222 market manipulation claims in organized power market.
- Lead counsel for shippers in a FERC natural gas pipeline rate case, which resulted in settlement prior to hearing.
- Lead counsel for power generating company for waiver of ISO tariff provisions, which led to significant financial recovery.
- Lead counsel for natural gas exploration and production company in a FERC rate case for a Gulf Coast offshore pipeline.
- Advised client with compliance with ISO market power mitigation measures for participation in capacity and energy markets via DC transmission facility.
- Handled cases at FERC related to the first ever buyer-side mitigation measures for the New York City ICAP market.
- Represented market participants in a complaint regarding the lack of compensation for generators subject to a must-offer obligation.
- Conducted compliance training for power marketer on FERC, CFTC, and DOE regulations.
- Conducted compliance training on FERC Standards of Conduct and FERC/CFTC anti-manipulation regulations.
- Prepared transactional documents regarding contractual obligations for participation in wholesale power market.
- Advised on transaction for LNG terminal capacity.
- Advised a cogeneration plant on FERC's requirements for status as a Qualifying Facility.
- Advised clients with compliance with FERC's policy regarding Asset Management Agreements.
- District of Columbia Bar
- Virginia State Bar
Rankings and recognitions
- Recognized Lawyer, Energy and Natural Resources, Expert Guides, 2013 - 2017
- Legal 500 US, recommended lawyer, Industry focus - Energy regulatory: conventional power, The Legal 500, 2017-2018
- Co-author, "FERC Orders Evidentiary Hearing For Alleged Market Manipulation By BP," JD Supra Business Advisor, May 20, 2014
- Co-author, "FERC Enforcement Director Calls For Legislative Fix To Address Hunter Decision," JD Supra Business Advisor, January 27, 2014
- Co-author, "2013 FERC Report Confirms Increased Enforcement Activity," JD Supra Business Advisor, December 9, 2013
Memberships and activities
With the world’s population projected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050, and climate change continuing to exert pressure on our food production capability, the challenges of feeding the world will become ever more pressing with each passing year..
October 03, 2018
On October 15, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) clarified that the....
October 16, 2015