David Burton

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

New York
United States
T:+1 212 318 3311
New York
United States
T:+1 212 318 3311
David Burton

David Burton

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David Burton advises clients on a wide range of US tax matters, with an emphasis on project finance and energy transactions. He has extensive experience structuring tax-efficient transactions for wind and other renewables with particular expertise with respect to flip partnerships and sale-leasebacks.  David also advises clients on the tax aspects of the formation and structuring of private equity funds with particular expertise regarding renewable energy investment funds.

Earlier in his career, David was the managing director and senior tax counsel at GE Energy Financial Services (GE EFS) where he oversaw all of the tax aspects for more than US$21 billion in global energy projects. During his tenure at GE EFS, the division's investments in wind, solar, hydro, biomass and geothermal power grew to US$6 billion, making GE EFS  then the largest tax-advantaged energy investor in the US. He is ranked in The Legal Power List 'A Word About Wind' 2016, 2018 and 2022 and has been ranked for the past eight consecutive years in Chambers USA, Nationwide (Projects – Renewables and Alternative Energy). David is the editor of www.TaxEquityNews.com, a Norton Rose Fulbright website covering market trends and considerations for renewable energy and tax policy in the United States. Follow David on Twitter @DavidKBurton.

Professional experience

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  • JD, cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center, staff member, The Tax Lawyer, 1996
  • BA, magna cum laude, Ithaca College, 1993
  • New York State Bar
  • Represented C2 Energy Capital LLC on tax and project finance in the sale of a majority interest in its 89 MW operating distributed generation solar platform, C2 Omega LLC, to EDP Renewables North America LLC (EDPR NA), forming EDPR NA DG.
  • Represented TortoiseEcofin on the initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange of an open-end fund, Ecofin US Renewables Infrastructure Trust plc (RNEW). The offering uses a tax-efficient UK trust structure to expand global investment in US renewable energy projects.
  • Represented C2 Energy Capital, LLC with respect to tax and project finance matters with respect to the formation of its first private equity fund, C2 Taiyo Fund I, LP. 
  • Represented Fengate Real Asset Investments on development finance and co-development arrangements for a utility-scale wind project in Maine.
  • Represented Tortoise Capital Advisors, L.L.C. on the acquisition by its closed-end fund, Tortoise Energy Infrastructure Fund, of a 33-megawatt portfolio of commercial and industrial solar projects portfolio from Kenyon Energy and its affiliate Sun Financial. The solar projects will provide electricity to various university and municipality customers in the State of New York.
  • Represented Sustainable Power Group (sPower) as tax counsel in the 61 MW Latigo Wind Farm Project.
  • Represented Sunpower as tax counsel in the 135 MW Quinto Solar Project in Merced County, California. Also represented Sunpower as tax counsel in the 579 MW Solar Star Project in Rosamond, California.
  • Represented Campbell County Wind Farm Holdings in the sale of a 95 MW wind farm in South Dakota to Consolidated Edison Development.
  • Represented residential solar developer in creation of US$58 million tax equity fund for a portfolio of residential solar projects.
  • Represented a publicly traded company in the acquisition of an entity holding a US$107 million portfolio of land and payments from land leases underlying wind and solar projects, including more than 7,500 acres of land leased to three solar projects with a value of approximately US$60 million and the payments from 11 additional land leases for a portfolio of wind projects with a value of approximately US$27 million.
  • Advised Tri Global in connection with a turbine supply agreement with Alstom Power under which equipment manufacturer will provide turbines for Tri Global's 80 MW Fiber Winds Energy project in Texas.
  • Represented OneRoof Energy Group, Inc. in an IPO/reverse merger transaction pursuant to which OneRoof Energy, Inc., a national residential solar company, became a wholly owned subsidiary of a company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
  • Representation of State Street Bank & Trust in connection with the US$260 million in tax equity financing for the Buffalo Dunes, a 250 MW wind project in Kansas backed by subsidiaries of Enel Green Power and GE Capital.
  • Representing SunPower Corporation in the development and sale of the 580 MW Antelope Valley photovoltaic solar project (AVSP) to affiliates of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company. The project will utilize SunPower's proprietary photovoltaic modules and tracking technology, and its electricity will be sold to Southern California Edison Company under long-term power purchase agreements. SunPower will build and operate the project for MidAmerican. Construction of the project has commenced, and commercial operation is expected in 2015. When completed, AVSP will be the largest solar energy project in the world.
  • Represented Rabobank International as a lessee in a pass-through lease for photovoltaic solar energy equipment installed on stores in the Western United States.
  • Acted as special tax counsel to NRG Energy and its California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR) project in connection with inclusion of CVSR in NRG's public offering of securities in Yieldco.
  • Advised a foreign and domestic wind turbine manufacturer regarding Treasury Grant matters.
  • Advised Hunt Investment Management LLC on the formation of a fund to invest in US renewable energy projects.
  • Acted as project counsel for Treasury Grant and tax matters in the financing of California Valley Solar Ranch, a US$1.5 billion solar PV project supported by a Department of Energy loan guaranty.
  • Represented SunPower in connection with a sale and leaseback of photovoltaic solar energy equipment to be installed in California.
  • Chambers USA, Nationwide: Projects: Renewables & Alternative Energy, Chambers and Partners, 2015 – 2022
  • Chambers Global, Projects: Renewables & Alternative Energy - USA, Chambers and Partners, 2018 – 2020
  • Legal 500 US, Recommended Lawyer, US taxes: contentious, The Legal 500, 2020 – 2022
  • Legal 500 US, Recommended Lawyer, International Tax, The Legal 500, ​2020
  • Legal 500 US, Recommended Lawyer, Project Finance – Advice to Sponsors, The Legal 500, 2021
  • Legal 500 US, Recommended Lawyer, Energy: Renewable / Alternative Powers, The Legal 500, 2021-2022
  • Legal 500 US, Recommended Lawyer, Energy Transactions: Conventional Power, The Legal 500, 2021
  • Distinguished Legal Writing Award (Law Firm), 2016 Burton Awards
  • Legal Power List, A Word About Wind, 2016 - 2020, 2022
  • "Investor Forum: Where the Money is Going," Webinar, A Word About Wind, September 2, 2020
  • "Carbon sequestration tax credits," AirMiners, August 26, 2020
  • "Demystifying capital accounts in tax equity transactions webinar: Q&A and video," Norton Rose Fulbright and Pivotal 180 Webinar, March 25, 2020
  • "Investing in US Solar: US Tax Aspects for Japanese Investors," Japan Institute for Overseas Investment, Tokyo, August 6, 2019
  • "Renewable Energy Tax Credits," Novogradac's 2019 Financing Renewable Energy Tax Credits Spring Conference, San Francisco, May 23, 2019
  • "Tax Reform and Renewable Energy: Planning Techniques, Loopholes, 100% Expensing, BEAT, Credits and Deductions," Stafford Webinar, January 16, 2019
  • "Window of Opportunity: The IRS Issues Initial Guidance on Qualified Opportunity Zone Rules," Panel, November 2, 2018
  • "Renewable Tax Equity Structuring," Webinar, October 23, 2018
  • "Tax Equity Structuring and Impact of Potential Tax Reform," Webinar, June 28, 2017
  • "Tax Equity Structuring and Impact of Potential Tax Reform," Seminar, New York, May 2, 2017
  • "Structuring, Modeling and HLBV Accounting for Tax Equity," Seminar, Chicago, June 29, 2016