Our energy work spans Illinois, the Midwest, and in other states with restructured energy markets. Our clients are the “everyone but the utility”—from primary energy market participants including retail suppliers, energy generators, and consumers to secondary market entities such as developers, lenders, and not-for-profits, to entities outside the energy sector. Our objective is always to achieve cost-effective solutions to your legal and regulatory questions and concerns.Michael R. Strong, Principal

Services

The energy industry in Illinois, the Midwest, and across the country consists of a highly technical, constantly evolving patchwork of overlapping statutes, regulations, and agency directives. Technology often changes faster than administrative rules or laws. Statutes and regulations outside of the energy regulatory framework often impact energy-related transactions.
In other words, energy issues are complex and change rapidly. Strong Legal & Regulatory Solutions assists companies, governments, and not-for-profits navigate and make the most of existing rules and serves as an advocate before regulators and other policymakers.

Whether supporting a large regulatory and legal team or advising smaller start-up companies, Strong Legal works with stakeholders to build coalitions and resolve issues when possible before resorting to regulatory litigation.

Of course, all companies (energy focused or otherwise) have needs tangential to or beyond energy markets. Strong Legal handles contract drafting and negotiation for a range of vendor and customer agreements. Strong Legal also provides litigation assistance, including handling a range of appellate work and supporting litigation involving energy issues.

Please contact Strong Legal & Regulatory Solutions for further information about legal services and pricing structures customized to fit your company’s needs.

… such as retail energy suppliers, energy service providers, and energy generators, rely on market rules and regulations for revenue streams for new and existing products. Services provided by Strong Legal & Regulatory Solutions to protect and expand opportunities for Energy-Focused Companies include:

  • Representing Energy-Focused Companies before public service commissions (with a focus on the Illinois Commerce Commission) and other state agencies (including the Illinois Power Agency) to protect and expand business opportunities;
  • Monitoring Illinois and other states’ state agencies, stakeholder groups, and proposed legislation to identify potential opportunities and threats to current and anticipated business opportunities;
  • Providing compliance advice for new products and services or business processes;
  • Leading or supporting audits or backward-looking compliance review, including “cold eye” review;
  • Drafting and negotiating contracts and vendor agreements;
  • Serving as “outside in-house counsel” for Energy-Focused Companies to have uninterrupted access to legal support from advice to drafting on energy regulatory matters from routine and complex, all with a cost-effective rate structure, allowing Energy-Focused Companies to scale up energy-related legal capabilities without adding to their in-house legal department.

…from the largest manufacturers to the smallest stores and restaurants, know that reducing energy costs leads to a direct improvement in their bottom lines. Services provided by Strong Legal & Regulatory Solutions include:

  • Guiding Energy Consumers through the process of procuring and securing energy supply or energy-related services, including on-site generation, energy efficiency services, demand reduction, or audits/analytics. Specific services include standard contract drafting, support of procurement strategy, and regulatory advice;
  • Working with a preexisting consultant or drawing from Strong Legal’s robust network of consultants to assist with saving money and adding value.

…concerned about the impact of adverse regulatory actions, need expertise to work with stakeholders and effectively advocate in front of regulators and policymakers. Whether executing a strategy with highly sophisticated and well-staffed organizations or maintaining sole responsibility for developing and executing strategies, Strong Legal & Regulatory Solutions provides cost-effective services. Services provided by Strong Legal & Regulatory Solutions include:

  • Advocacy before administrative agencies, including conceiving and drafting pleadings, comments, and other documents for public filings;
  • Appellate support, as both a named party and amicus;
  • Support for legislative initiatives, working with the client’s lobbying team.

Selected current and past representations include:

Illinois Competitive
Energy Association

A trade association of some of the largest retail electric suppliers operating in Illinois, with a focus on preserving and enhancing retail energy choice market rules.

Retail Electric Suppliers

With a focus on resolving compliance and contracting questions.

End Users

With a focus on electricity and natural gas contract review and on-site generation development for users across the Midwest and in particular in Illinois.

Generation Developers

With a focus on solar energy developers.

Investors

with a focus on interpreting regulatory climate, explaining revenue streams, and translating regulatory actions into actionable information.

Illinois Competitive
Energy Association

A trade association of some of the largest retail electric suppliers operating in Illinois, with a focus on preserving and enhancing retail energy choice market rules.

End Users

With a focus on electricity and natural gas contract review and on-site generation development for users across the Midwest and in particular in Illinois.

Retail Energy Suppliers

With a focus on resolving compliance and contracting questions.

Generation Developers

With a focus on solar energy and storage developers.

Investors

With a focus on interpreting regulatory climate, explaining revenue streams, and translating regulatory actions into actionable information.

Illinois Competitive Energy Association

A trade association of some of the largest retail electric suppliers operating in Illinois, with a focus on preserving and enhancing retail energy choice market rules.

End Users

With a focus on electricity and natural gas contract review and on-site generation development for users across the Midwest and in particular in Illinois.

Retail Electric Suppliers

With a focus on resolving compliance and contracting questions.

Developers & Investors

With a focus on regulatory litigation and revenue stream counseling.

Issues and topics arising in past representations include:

  • Retail electricity and natural gas market rules
  • B2B and B2C standard customer contract drafting and review
  • B2B customer and vendor contract negotiation
  • Data privacy and access to data
  • Smart grid
  • Municipal aggregation
  • Illinois Power Agency procurements
  • Compliance advice on existing and proposed state regulations
  • Compliance reviews and audits
  • Functioning of the Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standard and Clean Coal Portfolio Standard
  • Current and proposed legislation affecting renewable energy, distributed energy, energy efficiency, and demand response
  • Development of new generation assets from utility-scale to rooftop solar to storage
  • Lobbying services, including legislative counsel and monitoring services

Who is Strong Legal?

Who is Strong Legal?

Michael R. Strong

Michael brings private and public-sector experience to bear on complex regulatory, compliance, and revenue stream issues in the energy and utility sectors.

Michael was the first in-house counsel in the history of the Illinois Power Agency, a state agency with a portfolio including procurement of energy and capacity for utility supply customers, renewable energy, and clean coal development. He also served as the IPA’s Ethics Officer and Legislative Liaison, as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer. During his tenure, Michael handled the legal aspects of and served as a key policy advisor regarding first-of-its-kind actions from purchasing electricity from FutureGen 2.0 to purchases from the Renewable Energy Resources Fund.

Before and after his tenure at the IPA, Michael worked at international and national law firms on litigation and transactional matters in the energy and environmental sectors. During his law firm tenures, he represented some of the world’s largest energy companies on a range of complex energy regulatory and environmental issues. Michael’s transactional work ranges from support on international transactions to drafting and negotiating energy supply contracts. Michael’s litigation experience ranges from complex state and federal court litigation to spearheading administrative litigation. Michael’s law-firm colleagues turned to him to help develop creative solutions to regulatory matters in energy and other subject areas.

Michael earned his J.D. from University of Michigan Law School, and earned his B.A. cum laude from Dartmouth College, where he majored in Government (with honors) and Mathematics.

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

Aggregation 2.0: Evolution of Customer Engagement with Retail Choice?
Michael R. Strong and Mark Pruitt
Public Utilities Fortnightly (May, 2016)


A Greener Standard Offer
Michael R. Strong
Public Utilities Fortnightly (October, 2014)


How Do You Get To Green?
Michael R. Strong
Public Utilities Fortnightly (July, 2013)


When 2 + 2 = 5 (or Zero): Emissions Reporting Risks of Facilities With Complex Ownership Structures
Edward F. Malone & Michael R. Strong
Emerging Issues in Environmental Law and Climate Change, LexisNexis (April, 2008)

Cap and Trade: Early Action “Bonuses” Under the Lieberman-Warner Bill
Robert L. Graham, Edward F. Malone & Michael R. Strong
39 Environmental Reporter 241, 286 (February, 2008)


What Do You Mean By Green?
Michael R. Strong
Public Utilities Fortnightly (October, 2003)

Contact Us

Strong Legal & Regulatory Solutions is in residence at the Galvin Center for Electric Innovation, located at:

10 W. 35th Street
16th Floor
Chicago, IL 60616

Telephone: (773) 401-8739

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(773) 401-8739
10W. 35th Street | 16th Floor | Chicago, IL 60616
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