Dian Grueneich has joined as a partner in Morrison & Foerster LLP’s Environment and Energy Practice in San Francisco.
Grueneich is an energy regulatory lawyer with more 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors. She joins from the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC), where she served as a commissioner for the past six years. She is one of the nation’s leading authorities on the nexus of energy law, environmental policy and energy regulation.
Grueneich’s arrival is an important addition to Morrison & Foerster’s Environment and Energy and Cleantech Practices. The California PUC originated numerous groundbreaking clean energy policies during her tenure. She served as lead commissioner for energy efficiency, demand response and transmission issues. She is credited with shepherding the successful permitting of three major new transmission lines—representing more than $6 billion in energy infrastructure—through the state’s challenging project-approval process. The lines are designed to bring a much-needed supply of additional renewable energy to California’s load centers.
She also was responsible for developing the 2008 California Long-term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan and oversaw a 40 percent expansion of energy efficiency funding in 2009 alone. She helped implement the state’s greenhouse gas emission control initiatives and served as the commissioner representative on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Climate Action Team.
Susan MacCormac is co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Business Department.
“Energy policy is a strategic concern for every industry as companies closely monitor regulatory changes both to capitalize on opportunities for growth and to address potential risks to their business models,” MacCormac said. “Dian’s command of these essential issues will be a strategic asset to both new and existing clients. Her policymaking experience and prior activities, not only in California but nationally and internationally, add a vital element to our existing energy, environmental and clean-tech capabilities. She will work closely with attorneys advising on patent and intellectual property, corporate transactions, project finance, development and litigation matters. Her arrival is a clear signal of our strength as one of the preeminent clean-tech practices.”
Chris Carr is chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Environment and Energy Group.
“Dian represents an important enhancement of our capability in advising businesses on a host of renewable energy and greenhouse gas issues,” Carr said. “Our clients, who include major utilities and power generators, as well as emerging solar and alternative energy providers, need guidance on a myriad of regulatory matters where Dian and Theresa can provide invaluable assistance.”
Grueneich’s career in energy law and policy began as staff counsel and later deputy general counsel for the California Energy Commission. She also headed her own advisory practice, working with energy providers, industrial trade organizations, large customers and public utility clients. Among her noteworthy projects were developing strategic energy plans for Los Angeles County and the California State University system. She also worked in private practice as an energy and environmental attorney.
Grueneich earned her J.D. with honors from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1977 and received her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in 1974.
Also joining is Grueneich’s longtime colleague and former chief of staff, Theresa Cho, who will become of counsel in the firm’s San Francisco office. Cho received her J.D. from Boalt Law School in 1991 and her bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in 1986.
About Morrison & Foerster
Morrison & Foerster is a global firm with more than 1,000 lawyers in key technology and financial centers in the U.S., Europe and Asia.