Veteran Owned

Whitt Sturtevant is pleased to announce it is now certified as a veteran-owned business and a proud participant in the State of Ohio’s Veteran-Friendly Business Enterprise (VBE) Procurement program.

Whitt Sturtevant LLP is committed to promoting and achieving diversity within our firm and in the greater legal community. We believe a diverse workplace that reflects the diversity in our communities enhances our ability to provide quality legal services to our clients. Diversity in backgrounds, experiences, and ideas allows us to be creative and innovative in solving problems and responding to our clients’ needs. It is crucial to our mission of providing quality legal services that are efficient, results-oriented, and cost-effective.

Mark Whitt

Managing Partner

Illinois First District Appellate Court Issues Noteworthy Opinion Regarding Illinois Commerce Commission’s Authority to Set Utility Return on Equity

On September 11, 2018, the Illinois First District appellate court issued an opinion (Case No. 1-17-0527 cons.) affirming the Illinois Commerce Commission’s 9.79% return on equity award to Illinois-American Water Company in its 2016 rate case (ICC Docket...

Illinois Utilities Respond to Commission’s Tax Investigation

Illinois utilities responded this week to the January 25 order initiating an investigation into their rates following changes in state and federal corporate income tax rates.[1] In that order, the Commission directed utilities to either: (a)...

Commission Initiates Investigations into Illinois Utilities’ Rates Following Changes in State and Federal Corporate Income Tax Rates

On January 25, the Illinois Commerce Commission issued an order initiating investigations into Illinois public utilities’ rates due to changes in state and federal corporate income tax rates. Illinois state corporate income tax rates changed...

Commission Initiates Rulemaking to Address Ratemaking Treatment of Cloud Computing in Illinois

On December 6, the Illinois Commerce Commission issued an Order initiating Docket 17-0855, a rulemaking to clarify the regulatory accounting treatment of utility cloud-based computing systems. Cloud-based computing systems are arrangements in...

A guiding principle of our firm is to place our clients’ needs before our own. This means we staff cases based on the needs of each particular matter, not what contributes most to the firm’s bottom line. Our input into strategic decisions is based on our judgment of how the client’s objectives will be met most efficiently, not what will generate the largest bill.

One Focus

Whitt Sturtevant is a law firm serving the energy and public utility industries. Our work encompasses all aspects of regulatory, trial and appellate practice for regulated utilities and retail energy suppliers. We are one of only a few law firms in the country with One Focus on energy and public utility law. We practice in the Midwest and nationally from offices in Chicago and Columbus.

Columbus, Ohio

88 E. Broad Street

Suite 1590

Columbus, Ohio 43215


Chicago, Illinois

180 N. LaSalle Street

Suite 2020

Chicago, Illinois 60601


Mark A. Whitt
Managing Partner

Mark is a regulatory lawyer and litigator with over 20 years of experience representing natural gas, electric, water, telecommunications, and retail energy suppliers in regulatory commission proceedings and in state and federal trial and appellate courts. He is a recognized Advocate of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, an Ohio Super Lawyer, and is listed in Best Lawyers in America. Mark was a partner at Jones Day and practice group leader at a litigation boutique before co-founding Whitt Sturtevant in 2012.  

Mark’s diverse experience includes federal and state court litigation stemming from the wholesale electric energy crisis of 2000; deregulation of the Ohio and Illinois retail gas and electric markets; alternative regulation of natural gas supply and distribution in Ohio;  approval of accelerated infrastructure replacement programs; the implementation of performance-based ratemaking; rulemaking proceedings; regulatory investigations; electric transmission siting; and prosecuting and defending regulatory agency complaints. Mark has litigated numerous utility rate cases in Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arkansas In addition to energy and regulatory law, Mark has represented clients in state and federal courts throughout the country in civil litigation involving contracts, product liability, antitrust and unfair competition, construction defects and delays, commercial law, and state and federal consumer protection statutes. Mark has argued appeals at the Ohio Supreme Court, various intermediate appellate courts in Ohio and Illinois, and the U.S. Court of Appeals. Mark has also advised clients in energy-related transactions, including the formation of the Blue Racer joint venture of Dominion and Caimen Energy, the acquisition of Cleveland Thermal by Corix, Aqua Ohio’s acquisition of Ohio-American Water, and regulatory counsel to the Clean Energy Future – Lordstown electric generation project. 

Mark is a graduate of the University of Akron (B.S., cum laude, 1993; J.D., cum laude, 1997) and was Editor-in-Chief of the Akron Law Review. He is a veteran of the United States Army (101st Airborne Division, 2nd Infantry Division, 11th Special Forces Group, 1987-1991). During undergraduate and law school, Mark worked for a small general practice law firm, a municipal court judge, and the legal department of an electric utility holding company. 

Click here to view Mark’s full bio.

Christopher T. Kennedy

Christopher Kennedy is a partner in the Columbus, Ohio office of Whitt Sturtevant LLP. Mr. Kennedy is a litigator experienced in representing corporate clients in energy-related matters. Mr. Kennedy has acted as regulatory counsel for Fortune 500 companies in government proceedings and investigations, both at the federal and state level. Mr. Kennedy also has acted as trial counsel for U.S. corporations needing to litigate business disputes in venues ranging from local courts to international arbitration tribunals. Prior to practicing in Columbus, Mr. Kennedy earned his stripes as a litigation and regulatory associate in the Washington. D.C. office of Jones Day. It was at Jones Day where Mr. Kennedy received the training and mentoring that provide the foundation for his approach to zealously representing his clients to this day.

Mr. Kennedy’s regulatory practice focuses on advising and defending electric, gas and water utilities on applications, petitions and other filings before state public utility agencies.  In that role, Mr. Kennedy appears before the Ohio Public Utilities Commission (PUCO) and the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) in administrative proceedings to set rates and approve tariffs.  That experience includes the preparation and litigation, from start to finish, of more than a dozen different rate cases in the past eight years on behalf of regulated utilities. That experience includes both traditional historical and future test year cases (gas) and performance-based formula rate cases (electric). Mr. Kennedy also has handled gas and electric rate design proceedings, the approval of electric smart grid applications and other petitions for administrative action on behalf of public utilities in Ohio and Illinois. Prior to joining Whitt Sturtevant LLP at its inception, Mr. Kennedy worked for the litigation boutique, Carpenter Lipps & Leland LLP, also principally as an energy litigator, working on behalf of regulated utilities.

Mr. Kennedy began his legal career in the Columbus, Ohio office of Jones Day, defending corporate clients in local, statewide and federal matters. Mr. Kennedy went on to work in Washington, D.C., as regulatory and trial counsel, both with Jones Day and with Hollingsworth LLP. While in Washington, Mr. Kennedy advocated for his clients in an array of complex commercial cases and government proceedings, including antitrust and securities investigations, toxic tort, environmental, and pharmaceutical litigation, oil and gas lawsuits, contract disputes, property damage and personal injury cases, and claims against federal agencies. Mr. Kennedy also worked as a litigation associate with the law firm of Hinman Straub P.C., in Albany, New York, representing health care providers, insurers and managed care companies in New York state and federal courts, as well as bringing legal challenges to the administrative acts of New York State agencies. During his time at Hinman Straub, Mr. Kennedy gained admission to practice law in New York, where he currently maintains an active status.

Mr. Kennedy received his Juris Doctor degree from Duke University School of Law where he was Managing Editor of Law and Contemporary Problems, the oldest legal journal published at Duke University.  He is a graduate of both the Trial Academy of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and the Utility Rate School of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

Click here to view Chris’ full bio.

Shannon K. Rust
Senior Counsel

Shannon has practiced corporate and securities law for over seven years, most recently as in-house counsel with a Fortune 500 manufacturing firm. She began her career with the international law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP in its Newport Beach, California office. Shannon is admitted to practice in Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, and Ohio.

Shannon earned her undergraduate degree in business and economics from Lehigh University. She is a 1998 graduate of the University of Southern California law school, where she served as Notes Editor of the Southern California Law Review and earned Order of the Coif honors. Shannon was Series 7 and Series 63 registered during her prior career in the finance industry with Merrill Lynch.

Shannon is a graduate of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Utility Rate School.

Click here to view Shannon’s full bio.

Lucas A. Fykes

Lucas started his career in the energy industry as the Director of Operations for an Ohio-based energy consulting and brokerage firm specializing in electric and natural gas procurement for commercial, governmental, and residential clients. Lucas’s business experience enables him to develop practical solutions to complex legal and regulatory issues encountered by Firm clients.

Lucas earned his law degree from Brandeis School of Law in Louisville, Kentucky in 2016. He served as Articles Editor for the Journal of Animal and Environmental Law, competed in the National Environmental Moot Court Competition, and was chosen as the Donan Energy Fellow, where he assisted the Kentucky Energy and Environmental Cabinet in implementing state and federal energy policy. Lucas also served as a judicial extern to two trial judges in Kentucky’s 48th Judicial Circuit.

Following law school, Lucas went on to earn a Master of Laws in Energy Law from Vermont Law School. His post-graduate academic work focused on the legal, economic, and technical aspects of state and federal energy law and policy. In addition to hosting and leading a panel discussion of solar contracts for the Vermont Bar Association in 2016, Lucas also guided non-profits in implementing community solar programs.

Lucas joined Whitt Sturtevant in 2019 to further realize his passion for energy law and policy.

Click here to view Lucas’ full bio.

Valerie A. Cahill

Valerie has a comprehensive background in writing, editing and curriculum building. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Murray State University and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Kentucky.

While working toward her master’s degree, Valerie taught writing classes that focused on analysis and argument. After graduate school, Valerie worked as an editor for McGraw-Hill to meet educational standards for Texas, Florida, and Ohio. She also served as managing editor for the local Columbus, OH arts magazine, CityScene and its companion homebuilding publication, Luxury Living Magazine. Valerie obtained a paralegal certificate from Capital University School of Law in 2016.

Albert D. Sturtevant

Bert is a founding Partner of Whitt Sturtevant LLP. His practice focuses on public utility regulation, litigation and counseling on behalf of natural gas, electric, and water utility clients in state regulatory, appellate and related proceedings.

Bert has significant experience in water and energy rate proceedings, including representation of Ameren’s Illinois utilities in their 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 distribution rate cases and Illinois-American Water Company in its 2007, 2009, and 2011 rate cases. Bert also represented Ameren Illinois in the 2012 implementation of Illinois’ performance based electric formula rate law and subsequent annual rate filings.

Bert has also represented electric, gas and water utilities in transmission line and facility siting approval proceedings, including proceedings for certificates of public convenience to construct and operate over 550 miles of electric transmission lines in Illinois; related condemnation authority proceedings; merger, reorganization and acquisition approvals; complaint cases and regulatory audits and investigations; and other matters before state utility commissions. He also has experience in related appellate court proceedings, including judicial review of regulatory agency decisions.

Prior to joining the Firm, Bert was an attorney in Jones Day’s energy regulatory practice for eight years and then a partner in the regulatory practice at a litigation boutique. Before law school, Bert spent several years in the environmental services field in China, including work as a consultant for the British firm of Atkins China in Hong Kong. He is a graduate of Stanford University (B.A., 1994), New York University (J.D., 2002) and is admitted to practice in Illinois and the U.S. District Court, N.D. Illinois.

Click here to view Albert’s full bio.

Anne M. Zehr

Anne has been representing investor-owned gas, electric, and water/sewer utilities before the Illinois Commerce Commission and Appellate Courts for over a decade now, securing for her clients in that time regulatory and judicial approvals in, to date, 20 rate cases and numerous infrastructure construction,  rider, financing, management audit, regulation variance, eminent domain, and rulemaking proceedings, among others. Before joining Whitt Sturtevant at the firm’s 2012 inception, Anne litigated consumer finance and product liability claims in federal and state courts across the U.S. on behalf of Fortune 500 companies with the Columbus and Chicago offices of a first-tier litigation boutique.

Throughout her career, Anne has passionately promoted women’s initiatives – in the energy and legal professions and beyond. She currently serves on the Planning Committee for Habitat for Humanity Chicago’s annual Women Build, which raises awareness, funds, and walls to break down barriers to women homeownership. She also serves on the Planning Committee for the annual Chicago Women’s Energy Summit, and has participated in the annual summit, as a Rising Star Forum panel moderator. From 2015 to 2020, Anne sat on the Chicago Women’s Energy Network’s Board of Directors, where she served as Director of Community Initiatives, encouraging women energy industry professionals to energize their community through volunteerism. Anne also volunteers alongside other attorney moms in Chicago Public Schools classrooms with Lawyers in the Classroom, helping elementary students better understand the U.S. Constitution, our legal system, and law-related careers.

Anne is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Ohio. She earned her Juris Doctorate from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Psychology from Miami University (Oxford). She is a former Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Energy, Telecommunications and Water Committee and a graduate of both the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Utility Rate School and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s Trial Skills Chicago Program.

Anne is unduly competitive at ping pong and pub games.

Click here to view Anne’s full bio.


Mark W. DeMonte

Mark DeMonte has over 15 years of experience resolving complex and difficult disputes for large energy and water utilities, as well as general counsel representation for privately-held companies and entrepreneurs in a variety of sectors.  Mark has a history of successfully assisting clients to achieve results both outside and inside the courtroom through creative and cost-effective problem-solving. He has experience in a variety of practice areas and forums, from prelitigation settlement, litigation in state and federal courts, regulatory proceedings before state administrative agencies, as well as through arbitration and mediation. He focuses on the early assessment of potential claims, defenses, and settlement, while efficiently handling discovery (including managing the costs of e-discovery), pretrial motion practice, trial, post-trial, and appeals, when necessary.

Mark provides counseling on assessing and addressing legal risk without disrupting the business goals and provides general counsel representation to a variety of privately-held companies.  Mark also provides counsel on Illinois legislative matters involving the future of energy and water regulation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. Mark also regularly appears before the Illinois Commerce Commission in a wide range of regulatory proceedings involving energy efficiency and demand response, smart grid, energy and capacity procurement, formula rate-making, traditional rate cases, rulemaking proceedings, Commission investigations, and cost recovery proceedings that have resulted in over of nearly a billion dollars for clients.

In his litigation practice, Mark has represented plaintiffs and defendants in litigation matters involving partnership disputes, negligence, class actions, claims for breach of contract, insurance issues, tortious interference, trade secret misappropriation, fraud, administrative claims, state and federal False Claims Acts, and claims founded upon the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. He also has led or been part of teams that handled internal investigations conducted for clients to assess compliance with various state and federal laws and represents clients under investigation by state and federal agencies and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

Mark is a member of the trial bar of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and dedicates a significant portion of his practice to pro bono and public service initiatives that focus on making the Chicagoland area an even greater place to live and work.

Prior to joining Whitt Sturtevant, Mark was a partner at the law firm of Jones Day in the Business & Tort Litigation Practice Group, where he served as a New Lawyer Coordinator and assisted with managing the Chicago office’s Pro Bono and Public Service initiatives.

Click here to view Mark’s full bio.

Maris Jager

Maris has served as counsel in natural gas, water and electric regulatory proceedings, including natural gas, water and electric utility rate litigation, proceedings related to Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and Smart Grid deployment and applications, cost and revenue reconciliations, system acquisitions, Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity applications and expansions, utility tariffs, rulemakings, energy efficiency programs and whistleblower litigation. She has also counseled clients in complex litigation matters, including commodities trading and regulation, complex contract disputes, fraud, and antitrust law.

Prior to joining the firm, Maris was Counsel at Rooney Rippie & Ratnaswamy LLP, where she focused her practice on utility regulatory proceedings. Maris also previously served as a litigation associate in the Chicago office of a prominent international law firm, where she focused her practice on complex commercial litigation, including issues related to pipeline safety and natural gas defense.

Maris is an active member of several bar associations, including the Chicago Bar Association’s Energy and Communications Law Committee, the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA), and the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy and Resources. Maris is also active in leadership roles in the ABA and WSBA. She currently serves on the WSBA’s Editorial Advisory Committee, which assists the editor and WSBA staff overseeing publication of WSBA’s official magazine, NWLawyer. Maris is also currently serving as a member of the Bench Bar Press Committee of Washington (BBP), which is chaired by the Chief Justice of the Washington State Supreme Court and includes representatives from the legal profession, judiciary, law enforcement, and news media. The mission of the BBP is to seek to accommodate, as much as possible, the tensions between the constitutional values of “free press” and “fair trial” through educational events and relationship building. Recently, Maris served as the Chair of the 2018 Law Day Team for the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division, and Vice-Chair of the Articles Subcommittee for the Water Quality and Wetlands Committee of the ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources.

Maris is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Washington. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School (2010), and a Bachelor of the Arts from Emory University (2007). She is also a graduate of the American Gas Association’s Rate School.

Click here Maris’ full bio.

Christopher W. Flynn
Of Counsel

Chris has represented electric, gas, water, sewer and telecommunications firms throughout his 30 year career, appearing before both state and federal agencies. Prior to joining the Firm, Chris was a partner at Jones Day, where he was regularly rated among the top energy lawyers in the country. He was excited by the opportunity to move to the Firm, where he represents utility clients in a focused environment, in which all the lawyers share a common interest and expertise in utility regulation.

Chris has been involved in a wide range of regulatory proceedings, including rate cases, reorganizations and mergers, transmission and other facility siting proceedings, regulatory investigations and audits, and rulemaking proceedings. He also has substantial experience in legislative matters and mergers and acquisitions. He has advised foreign investors on investing in U.S. utility assets and has spoken at various industry meetings in the U.S., Spain and Mexico.

Click here to view Chris’ full bio.

Phone: 312.251.3016

Scott B. Elmer
Senior Counsel

Scott Elmer has represented and counseled clients in complex commercial disputes involving a broad range of issues including regulatory compliance, breach of contract, fraud, false claims, false advertising, indemnity, products liability, intellectual property, theft of trade secrets, and civil rights. Scott also has significant experience in government and internal investigations involving regulatory compliance, government contracting, federal grant compliance, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

He has hands-on leadership experience with all phases of litigation, including briefing and motions practice; discovery, including written discovery, complex e-discovery, depositions, and experts; trial preparation and trial, including witness preparation, witness examination, and mock jury exercises; and appeal.

Scott joined Whitt Sturtevant in 2021.

Click here to view Scott’s’ full bio.

Bettina S. Cousar
Senior Counsel


Bettina Stanford Cousar is an experienced energy lawyer and has litigated a variety of matters including utility rate cases, cost and revenue reconciliations, reorganizations, Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity applications, utility tariffs, rulemakings, and energy efficiency programs.  Bettina has also represented Alternative Retail Electric Suppliers in enforcement actions, consumer complaints, and regulatory compliance matters.  Prior to joining the firm, Bettina worked at a large firm where she represented clients before the Illinois Commerce Commission and defended clients in actions brought by other government agencies including state attorneys general, state and municipal regulators, state banking examiners, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Bettina spent four years with the Illinois Commerce Commission where she represented Commission Staff on a wide range of legal issues, including evaluating utilities’ and ARES’ compliance with the Illinois Public Utilities Act and the Illinois Administrative Code.  Prior to joining the Commission’s Office of General Counsel, Bettina served as a legal and policy advisor to a commissioner and advised on various regulatory and policy issues.

Bettina also worked for the Office of the Illinois Attorney General as an Assistant Attorney General where she participated in fraud investigations and litigation, and multimillion-dollar multi-state litigation and arbitrations.

Bettina is licensed to practice law in Illinois. She earned her Juris Doctorate from The University of Illinois Chicago School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University.  Bettina is a member of the Chicago Bar Association and the Women’s Energy Network.

Click here to view Bettina’s full bio.

Carrera P. Thibodeaux

Carrera’s background experience consists of working in the legal department for a public utility and most recently, Carrera was a Legal and Policy Advisor to Commissioner Kimbrel at the Illinois Commerce Commission. During her time at the Commission, Carrera advised her Commissioner on matters such as rate and tariff approval, eminent domain, electric transmission siting, system acquisitions, and Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity applications among other proceedings before the Illinois Commerce Commission. She was also appointed as a member of the NARUC Staff Subcommittees on Critical Infrastructure, Energy Resources and the Environment, and Water. She has completed Michigan State University’s Institute of Public Utilities (IPU) Ratemaking Course and Co-authored Sampling of Methane Emissions Detection Technologies and Practices for Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructure in 2019; a handbook published by NARUC-DOE Natural Gas Infrastructure Modernization Partnership.

Carrera is licensed to practice law in Illinois. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from University of Tennessee Knoxville. She is a member of the Black Women Lawyer’s Association where she previously held a Board of Directors position. She currently sits on their Scholarship Fund Board and is Chair of their Membership Services Committee.

Click here to view Carrera’s full bio.