Shariff Barakat, who brings substantial experience advising on the development, acquisition and tax equity financing of renewable energy projects, joins Akin Gump as a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of the firm’s project finance & development and tax practices.
Mr. Barakat’s practice focuses on the representation of developers, sponsors, tax equity investors, lenders and other stakeholders in the acquisition, development and financing of power generation projects, particularly in the renewable power space.
Prior to joining Akin Gump. Mr. Barakat was a partner at Nixon Peabody. Earlier in his career, he worked at a large consulting firm, where he advised clients on renewable power tax equity transactions.
Commenting on Mr. Barakat’s arrival, Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith said, “Shariff is a great addition to our firm. We have long been proud to offer clients a team with extensive experience advising on renewable and other clean energy infrastructure projects. With his deep background in the tax equity financing of these projects—honed in both the law firm and consulting firm environments—Shariff will strengthen our bench, add depth to our offerings and be a real boon to our clients. I am thrilled to welcome him to Akin Gump.”
Added John Goodgame, co-head of Akin Gump’s firmwide corporate practice, “With clients increasingly pursuing renewable energy, carbon capture and other infrastructure projects, particularly those centered around the energy transition components of the Biden-Harris administration’s proposed infrastructure plan, Shariff brings an immensely valuable skill set. He will be an outstanding addition to our team.”
Stuart Leblang, co-head of Akin Gump’s tax practice, concurred, adding, “What makes Shariff stand out isn’t simply his deep knowledge of tax equity financing, but his ability to quarterback a deal from start to finish. He brings hard skills and a soup-to-nuts understanding of the development and financing of energy projects that our clients will appreciate.”
Throughout his career, Mr. Barakat has advised clients on deals employing billions of dollars in closed and funded investments supporting gigawatts of renewable energy, including large and small utility-scale solar and wind projects, large and small residential solar portfolios, community solar projects, commercial and industrial (C&I) solar projects, geothermal projects, waste-to-energy projects and other biomass projects.
Speaking of his move to Akin Gump, Mr. Barakat said, “Akin Gump offers the ideal platform for my practice and a tremendous opportunity for my clients. It is home to renowned and top-tier practices in energy and tax, has an expansive footprint across the U.S., and has a deep and respected presence in the renewable and clean energy spaces. The ability to expand my practice and to help the growing number of clients at Akin Gump who are pursuing opportunities with renewable and clean energy projects was one I simply could not pass up.”
Mr. Barakat received his J.D. and his LL.M., Taxation, from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from the University of Southern California.