Van F. Smith

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Van Smith advises electric utilities and other energy sector participants on a wide variety of energy regulatory matters. He represents transmission providers and generators before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and counsels clients on interconnection and transmission matters; regulatory compliance for the development of major transmission projects, tariff and organized market rules, and market-based rate authority. He also provides strategic counsel on energy derivatives regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act and assists market participants on transactional matters involving commodity master trading agreements such as the ISDA and NAESB agreements.

  • Experience
    • Represent generation project developers and transmission providers in interconnection and transmission disputes involving FERC’s large generator interconnection procedures and open access transmission tariff (OATT) requirements.
    • Represent public power entity before FERC, NYISO, and the New York Public Service Commission in connection with the development of several major transmission projects required to meet New York State clean energy mandates.
    • Represent electric utilities and competitive transmission developers in litigated rate proceedings before FERC and advise on FERC regulatory issues, including large generator interconnection procedures, OATT compliance, maintenance of market-based rate authority, standards of conduct, and affiliate trading restrictions.
    • Assist clients in review, drafting, and interpretation of common industry arrangements such as transmission, interconnection, power purchase, supply, exchange, and environmental commodity purchase and sale agreements.
    • Draft and advise on ISDA master agreements and associated swap documentation for utilities and power producers.
    • Counsel energy hedge providers/REC suppliers on CFTC/National Futures Association (NFA) registration obligations and process.
    • Advise commercial swaps end-users on CFTC compliance issues including recordkeeping and reporting requirements, business conduct standards, capital and margin requirements, and position limits.
    • Prepare and audit Dodd-Frank and NFA compliance manuals and documentation.
    • Defend manufacturers in DOE enforcement actions alleging violations of DOE efficiency standards.
    • Counsel manufacturers on compliance with applicable DOE rules and related audit program requirements.
    • Draft comments for DOE efficiency standard and test procedure rulemakings.
    • Represent manufacturers in appellate challenges to DOE efficiency standards and test procedures.
  • Professional Affiliations

    American Bar Association

    Energy Bar Association

  • Awards & Honors
    "Best Lawyers in America" by Best Lawyers
    Energy Law, 2021
    Environmental Law, 2021

    "Ones to Watch" by Best Lawyers


  • Government Service

    U.S. Senate

    Law Clerk, Committee on the Judiciary, 2011

    U.S. International Trade Commission

    Law Clerk, Office of General Counsel, 2009

    Executive Office of the President

    Trade Policy Advisor, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, 2008-2009

    U.S. Peace Corps

    Water and Sanitation Engineer, Dominican Republic, 2004-2006

  • News & Presentations
  • Thought Leadership


Georgetown University Law Center J.D., 2011

Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies M.A., 2011

Duke University B.S.E., 2001