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.

88 E. Broad Street

Suite 1590

Columbus, Ohio 43215

614.224.3913

180 N. LaSalle Street

Suite 2020

Chicago, Illinois 60601

312.251.3099

Contact Us

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
Partner

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’s 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.

Gregory L. Williams
Of Counsel

Greg advises businesses on federal, state and local government procurement and business development programs. Greg began his legal career as an associate at Whitt Sturtevant LLP. He left the firm in 2014 to serve as Deputy Director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS), and was appointed as the State of Ohio’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Coordinator. Greg rejoined the firm as Of Counsel in 2018.

During his service with the State of Ohio, Greg oversaw several small business development and procurement preference programs, including the State of Ohio’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program. During his administration of the MBE program, the state achieved its procurement goals for the first time since the program began in 1980, making Greg the first State EEO Coordinator in Ohio’s history with this accomplishment. Greg went on to lead the state to achieve the program’s goals for the next two consecutive fiscal years, which represented over $830 million in contracts and thousands of jobs created for minority-owned businesses.

Greg also oversaw the successful administration of the state’s Encouraging Diversity, Growth, and Equity (EDGE) Business Development program, through which over $981 million in state contracts and subcontracts were placed with historically underutilized businesses. He also implemented the state’s first preference program for Veteran-friendly Business Enterprises (VBE).

During law school, Greg completed clerkships with the Ohio governor’s office and the Ohio House of Representative. He has also served on the Franklin County Republican Party’s Executive Committee. Greg earned his J.D. from The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law and his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Akron.

Click here to view Greg’s full bio.

Rebekah J. Glover
Of Counsel
Rebekah joined the Columbus office of Whitt Sturtevant LLP in 2015. Prior to this, she worked at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio as legal aide to Commissioner Asim Z. Haque. During her time at the Commission, Rebekah worked on a broad range of issues, including EPA carbon emissions standards, renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolio standards, and gas/electric coordination concerns.

Before her tenure with the Commission, Rebekah clerked with the Education Section of the Ohio Attorney General. There she worked as a contract attorney and project manager, leading teams in discovery on federal investigations and contract disputes. She also co-authored chapters on securities legislation, conflict minerals and resource extraction in “Emerging Trends in Securities Law: 2013-2014 Edition.”

Rebekah earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Anderson University and law degree from Georgetown University. She is the author of “Weighing Market Driven-Competition Against Government Regulation in Online Entertainment Media,” published in the Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, where she held the role of Executive Editor. Rebekah was also a member of the Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic.

Rebekah was admitted to practice in Ohio and Virginia in 2012.

Click here to view Rebekah’s full bio.

Albert D. Sturtevant
Partner

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
Partner

For nearly a decade, Anne has represented investor-owned gas, electric, and water/sewer utilities before the Illinois Commerce Commission and Appellate Courts, securing for her clients regulatory and judicial approvals in, to date, eighteen rate cases and numerous infrastructure construction, eminent domain, rider, financing, management audit, and rulemaking proceedings. Before joining Whitt Sturtevant, Anne litigated consumer finance and product liability claims on behalf of Fortune 500 companies.

Anne passionately promotes women’s initiatives in the energy industry. She currently serves as Director of Community Initiatives on the Chicago Women’s Energy Network Board of Directors, where she encourages industry professionals to energize their community through volunteerism. She previously served as WEN Chicago’s Chair of External Mentoring. Anne has also actively supported the annual Chicago Women’s Energy Summit. She served on the summit’s inaugural 2014 and 2015 Planning Committees and, most recently, moderated the Got Leadership? Leading, Learning and Utilizing Your Network panel at the 2017 summit’s Rising Star Forum.

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 from Miami University (Oxford). She is a National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Utility Rate School graduate, a National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s Trial Skills Chicago Program graduate, and former Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Energy, Telecommunications and Water Committee. Anne volunteers in Chicago Public Schools second through eighth-grade classrooms with Lawyers in the Classroom to help students better understand the U.S. Constitution, our legal system, and law-related careers.

Anne is unduly competitive at ping pong and pub games.

Click here to view Anne’s full bio.

 

Mark W. DeMonte
Partner

Mark DeMonte has nearly 15 years of experience resolving complex and difficult disputes through creative problem solving, whether inside or outside of the courtroom. His work covers a variety of forums, from prelitigation settlement, litigation in state and federal courts, regulatory proceedings before state administrative agencies, and in 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 to energy and water companies on assessing and addressing legal risk without disrupting the business goals, as well as legislative matters involving the future of energy and water regulation. He regularly practices 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 ratemaking, traditional rate cases, rulemaking proceedings, and approval of nearly a billion dollars of total cost recovery for clients.

In his litigation practice, Mark has represented plaintiffs and defendants in litigation matters involving class actions, claims for breach of contract, insurance, tortious interference, trade secret misappropriation, fraud, administrative claims, state and federal False Claims Acts, and 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.

Click here to view Mark’s 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’s full bio.