Akin Gump Welcomes DOJ Veteran Chuck Connolly

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 10:38

Charles F. “Chuck” Connolly, most recently the chief of the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, has joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP as a partner in its litigation practice in Washington, D.C.  Since 2002, Mr. Connolly has served in several capacities within the Department of Justice (DOJ), including as a counselor to the attorney general and an assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting complex fraud cases for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Virginia.  Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Connolly practiced with a large, international law firm.

Mr. Connolly is the third former Department of Justice official announced to be joining the firm since late July, following Steven F. Reich, previously associate deputy attorney general, and Pratik A. Shah, most recently an assistant to the solicitor general.

In his most recent role in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Connolly led a team of approximately a dozen assistant U.S. attorneys in investigating and prosecuting a wide range of white collar criminal cases, including corporate fraud, securities fraud, financial sector fraud, bank fraud, health care fraud, procurement fraud, tax fraud and public corruption. At Akin Gump, he will focus on counseling clients who are facing similar allegations. 

Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith said, “Ensuring that our clients have access to highly experienced counsel who are well versed in white collar litigation and investigations remains a top priority for the firm. When facing significant business or reputational risk, we understand that our clients need someone who has ‘been there’ and can guide them effectively through the process — and Chuck fits that mold perfectly. He brings a wealth of experience that is hard to match and is a seasoned prosecutor who adds tremendous depth to both the practice and the firm overall.”

Added Mr. Connolly, “Akin Gump is widely credited with having one of the top litigation practices around. The firm’s strong defense work in white collar cases involving such allegations as securities fraud, mortgage fraud and FCPA violations is very impressive, and I am thrilled to be here, working alongside some very talented lawyers whom I have known for years.”

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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP advised South Korea’s SK E&S in a binding 20-year Liquefaction Tolling Agreement with Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P. for 2.2 million tons per annum of capacity in the third train of Freeport LNG’s proposed natural gas liquefaction and LNG loading facility on Quintana Island, Texas.

The agreement makes SK E&S the first private Korean company to source U.S. shale gas and establishes a foothold for SK E&S’s expansion into the U.S. market.

The Akin Gump team was led by Houston-based energy partner Stephen D. Davis. It included energy partner Gabriel Procaccini, tax partner W. Thomas Weir, energy regulatory partner Julia Sullivan and energy associates Kate Huggins and Heather Ashour.

This deal represents the latest in a series of deals involving Asia-based energy companies seeking to acquire capacity in U.S. LNG projects. Earlier this year, Davis led an Akin Gump team advising GAIL Global (USA) LNG LLC, a U.S. affiliate of GAIL (India) Limited, in a terminal service agreement for 2.3 mmtpa liquefaction capacity in the Dominion Cove Point LNG liquefaction terminal project in Lusby, Maryland. Additional information on that deal can be found by clicking here.

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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP advised FirstEnergy in the sale of 11 hydroelectric power stations in Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia to Harbor Hydro Holdings, LLC, a subsidiary of LS Power Equity Partners II, LP.

A sales agreement was reached on August 23, and, if approved, the proposed transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013. The hydroelectric power stations included in this proposed sale are owned by FirstEnergy Generation, LLC; Allegheny Energy Supply Company, LLC; and Green Valley Hydro, LLC and have a total capacity of 527 megawatts.

The Akin Gump deal team was led by Washington, DC, corporate partner Daniel Fisher and included international managing partner Rick Burdick; corporate partner Jeremy Schwer and associate Richard Gadhia; energy regulation, markets and enforcement practice co-head Julia Sullivan, partner Chip Cannon and associate Porter Wiseman; and tax senior counsel Austin Lilling and senior attorney Dan Vira and labor counsel Beth Cyr.

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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP advised Diamondback Energy, Inc. in its definitive agreement with IBEX Mineral Resources LLC and Beehive Partners LLC to purchase mineral interests underlying approximately 15,000 gross (12,500 net) acres in Midland County for approximately $440 million, subject to certain adjustments. The proposed transaction is expected to close by the end of September 2013, subject to completion of due diligence and satisfaction of closing conditions. Diamondback intends to finance the acquisition with debt and cash on hand.

The Akin Gump deal team was led by Dallas corporate partner Seth Molay and Houston energy senior counsel Tana Pool.