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Baker Donelson Grows Energy Practice with Matthew Gissendanner, Former Fortune 500 Utility In-House Counsel

In a significant move for its expanding energy practice, the national law firm of Baker Donelson has added veteran energy regulatory and compliance attorney Matthew Gissendanner. Mr. Gissendanner, who previously served for 14 years as in-house counsel at a Fortune 500 utility, joins as of counsel in the Firm's Columbia, South Carolina, office.

An engineer by training, with utility operational experience, Mr. Gissendanner represents energy companies before the state public service commission in electric and gas proceedings involving a wide scope of issues, such as base rate increases, fuel recovery, siting, code of conduct matters, competitive procurement, regulated transactions, and transportation electrification.

Mr. Gissendanner's practice also includes advising companies regarding federal natural gas pipeline safety regulations, and he has transactional experience negotiating matters ranging from interconnection agreements to power purchase agreements.

Nicholas C. Steinhaus, managing shareholder of Baker Donelson's Columbia office, said, "Matt is a tremendous addition in the continued growth of our energy practice and our Columbia office. With his extensive experience as in-house counsel, he adds particular depth to our energy team. He has very specific regulatory insight as an engineer and a lawyer that our clients are truly excited to be able to tap into."

Baker Donelson's energy practice serves clients throughout the energy value chain, including companies in the utilities sector, as well as oil and gas, chemicals/petrochemicals, renewable energy, nuclear, and coal, mining, and minerals. With nearly 60 attorneys across the Firm's footprint in 11 states and Washington, D.C., the team's attorneys provide counsel to the energy industry on matters ranging from litigation, transactions, and regulatory compliance to construction, bankruptcy, economic development, immigration, and real estate.

Other recent additions to the Firm's energy practice have included a corporate transactions shareholder in Raleigh and a former in-house benefits counsel for a Fortune 500 energy company in New Orleans.

Mr. Gissendanner is also the latest addition in Baker Donelson's growing presence in the Carolinas. The Firm, which has had a location in Columbia since 2016, launched its Charleston presence in September 2022, less than a year after establishing its first North Carolina location in Raleigh. As part of the Firm's plans for continued growth across the Carolinas, the Charleston office recently relocated to new, larger office space.

"Given Baker Donelson's substantive work in the utility sector and their dynamic energy practice, as well as their strong play as a growing presence in the Carolinas, this was a perfect move for the next phase in my career," said Mr. Gissendanner. "To be part of a highly collaborative team serving the energy sector and a firm that is known for its client-focused approach was a great opportunity for me, and I look forward to the work we'll be doing together for our clients."

A graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law, Mr. Gissendanner served as a judicial clerk for the Hon. Karen J. Williams, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He also holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University.

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