Energy, project finance attorney Dirk Michels joins Ballard Spahr in LA

Dirk Michels, one of California’s leading energy technology and renewable energy lawyers, has joined Ballard Spahr as a partner, firm Chair Mark Stewart announced.

As a member of the firm’s Business and Finance Department and Energy and Project Finance Group, Michels brings considerable experience in renewable energy.

Michels represents energy technology and renewable energy companies and developers, as well as their lenders and investors, in corporate and project financing matters for solar, biomass, wind, thermal, transmission, energy storage, smart grid and other energy projects.

“Clients with interests in the very active renewable energy market in California and nationwide will benefit significantly from Dirk’s transactional credentials in that sector,” Stewart said. “We are fortunate to have him.”

During his 20-year career practicing law in California and Germany, Michels has advised publicly traded and privately held clients in venture funding, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, and project financing transactions worth billions of dollars.

He also is a recognized leader in the domestic distributed solar energy industry. He has been at the forefront of the development and financing of commercial and industrial distributed generation solar projects in the U.S., as former general counsel of Solartech, the distributed solar industry association financed by the U.S. Department of Energy, and currently as general counsel of the Solar Energy Finance Association, a national organization dedicated to expanding solar financing options.

Michels will further expand the firm’s energy and project finance capabilities in the West, with its growing interest in clean technology and renewable energy ventures. Ballard Spahr’s Energy and Project Finance Group represents clients throughout the energy sector in the development, acquisition and financing of assets, and in the achievement of business, regulatory, policy and legislative goals.

“Dirk understands the complexities and challenges of energy project development in both the United States and abroad,” said R. Thomas Hoffmann, co-leader of Ballard Spahr’s Energy and Project Finance Group. “His proficiency with intricate deals and transactions, and his familiarity with renewable energy project structures will benefit our clients pursuing energy investments.”

Michels’ arrival is the latest development in the continued growth of the firm’s office in Los Angeles. The office includes attorneys’ practicing in the areas of commercial litigation, intellectual property, real estate, consumer financial services, energy, labor and employment, and employee benefits and executive compensation.

“Ballard Spahr is well-positioned in the sustainability and renewable energy space — from policy development to transactional matters and project finance,” Michels said. “My new colleagues are highly regarded, and I look forward to working alongside them during this pivotal time for our clients.”


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