Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP welcomes Christopher B. Berendt to its growing Environment and Energy Practice Group in Washington, D.C. Berendt joins the firm as Of Counsel and will lead Drinker Biddle’s Environmental Markets Team.
Berendt, who most recently served as vice president at Pace Global Energy Services, LLC, has well more than a decade of experience working in the energy and environmental markets. He concentrates his practice on the design and operations of the compliance and voluntary environmental markets, counseling clients on the creation and capture of environmental asset value through investments, project development and transactions.
The addition of Berendt bolsters Drinker Biddle’s growing energy practice, which provides clients with broad capabilities in infrastructure finance and construction, cleantech investment, project development, and renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Along with partner C. Baird Brown, who joined Drinker Biddle in 2010, Berendt will advise clients on strategies for sustainability, including repurposing traditional energy generation assets and taking advantage of new opportunities in renewable energy, including wind, solar, biomass, fuel cells, tidal, geothermal and biofuels.
“Chris brings rare insight into the relationship between energy and environmental law and markets,” said Bonnie Allyn Barnett, chair of Drinker Biddle’s Environment and Energy Practice Group. “As a sustainability veteran, we look forward to Chris broadening the scope of our Environment and Energy Practice Group. His leadership has contributed to market development and transactional best practices.”
Over the course of his career, Berendt has played a key role in environmental instrument/asset disposition in several large renewable energy projects and has advised carbon offset project developers, hosts and investors on pre-compliance, compliance and voluntary market origination strategy. He is also well-versed in the current condition of the United States power markets.
A Washington, D.C., native, Berendt worked on Capitol Hill helping to draft some of the first pieces of carbon market legislation introduced. He is a founding vice chair and deputy chair of the American Bar Association’s Energy and Environmental Markets and Finance Committee, as well as vice chair of the Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources Committee. He is a co-chair of the American Council on Renewable Energy’s, Environmental Market Association’s, and ABA’s Markets Working Group.
Berendt, who earned his law degree from Vermont Law School, magna cum laude, and his bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College, is a frequent speaker and author on issues concerning the energy and environmental markets. He has also taught on the graduate and undergraduate levels and testified before Congress.